Using Lidar Technology

In recent years, Lidar has become the most used technology and is a necessity for many industries. Lidar is typically used to scan large areas or environments, buildings, and vehicles. It’s been used for mapping cities and for agricultural use, however our main use has been for visual effects purposes.

building scan 2

tng cg town, lidar scanning, 3d scanning

When we use the FARO scanner on a job, the data captured can be used for Previs and then again as a background for a set. The scanner can either be mounted on a tripod to scan a large area or object, or can be attached to a vehicle or helicopter to collect the data. Some units can now scan point clouds at a much higher rate than past units. If the job is in a more remote area, we make sure to bring along a portable generator for the scanner. One thing to note is the need for a collection of SD cards to store the scans on.

Lidar scanning on site, battle ship

Whether you are scanning in a studio or for a commercial at a baseball stadium, planning is paramount to getting the best results in the shortest period of time. You observe your surroundings, consider the timeframe you have been allotted and are willing to spend on location, and you think about how many scans there will be along with their positions to optimally cover everything vital.

building scan

There are some tricks to aligning the point cloud Lidar data. For example, light bulbs in street lights can be used as markers – or anything for that matter of a consistent size that’s throughout the scene. Another style of alignment is to use printed out targets that are seen by each scanner position – with enough overlap on each scan. Line of sight is very important as well as observing the conditions such as wind and anything that can move in the scene during the capturing period.


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