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HxGN LIVE 2014 showcased cutting-edge 3D immersive technology utilizing Leica ScanStation P20 data

LiDAR News, September 2014, Vol 4, No. 6
This 3-page cover story describes MadSpelunker LLC's merging of 3D point clouds, 4K videography, and digital photography to meet today's growing demand for immersive realism, from the Oculus Rift to the Sony Morpheus, to the growing ubiquity of 3D gaming platforms which now include smart phones and tablets. MadSpelunker's ground-breaking developments in the evolving 3D immersive space made their public debut at HxGN LIVE 2014, Leica/Hexagon's annual user conference. Session Moderator, Geoff Jacobs, Leica's Sr VP of Strategic Marketing, emphasized the implication of the technical work being debuted by noting it was the first time a professional photographer was presenting at the annual event. The conference's world premiere talk signified the evolving relationship between scanning, videography, and photography. With a Leica ScanStation P20, video and photo equipment, the MadSpelunker team spent 12 days documenting the rough terrain of remote Claustral Canyon in Australia's Blue Mountains. Due to limited, often precarious scanning setup locations in the narrow canyon, the P20's ability to capture high-definition detail at range, down to the elements of the ferns, was key to realistically mapping the environment in 3D. The detailed point cloud data is processed into meshes, on to which photos and videos are mapped to complete the dynamic 3D environment. The P20's laser scan data means MadSpelunker's 3D environments are not just wholly created artificial worlds like the video game industry, but rather they're measurable photo-real digital replicas of reality. The realism of MadSpelunker's efforts was a huge hit with heritage and forensic attendees seeking evermore convincing 3D materials and looking to partner with the organization on future business opportunities beyond natural environments.