Leapfrog in Medicine, Movies and Outer Space
This is the second history blog in a six part series. If you missed part one, In the beginning, you can find it here.
In 1995, the success of the 3D ultrasound and laser scanning research prompted Rick Fright to start Applied Research Associates Ltd (ARANZ) along with friend and former fellow student Bruce McCallum (Electrical Eng.), Mark Nixon (medical doctor) and Brent Price (from Med Physics). Together they hit on the idea of a hand-held portable laser scanner, which allowed almost any solid object’s surface to be acquired and represented, initially, as a mesh of triangles.
A hand-held portable laser scanner being used on a troll model for Lord of the Rings.
These meshes were adequate for many applications, including the movie industry, where the scanner was very successful in computer animation and utilised in numerous films from the Lord of the Rings trilogy to the Star Wars prequels.