Archive Graphic

Please Note: The content on this page is not maintained after the colloquium event is completed.  As such, some links may no longer be functional.

Download Adobe PDF Reader

Marc LevoyDr. Marc Levoy


Digital Michelangelo Project: 3D Scanning and Display of Complex Surfaces
Wednesday, May 9, 2001
Building 3 Auditorium - 3:30 PM

(Refreshments at 3:00PM)

Goddard's Office of the Assistant Director for Information Sciences and Chief Information Officer announces the next GSFC Information Sciences and Technology (IS&T) Colloquium presentation of the Spring 2001 Series. Dr. Marc Levoy, Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, will talk about the
Digital Michelangelo Project: 3D Scanning and Display of Complex Surfaces. Recent improvements in laser rangefinder technology and related geometric processing algorithms allow us to accurately digitize the external shape and appearance of many physical objects. As an application of this technology, Dr. Levoy and a team of 30 researchers spent the 1998-99 academic year in Italy digitizing the sculptures of Michelangelo. Our primary acquisition device was a laser triangulation rangefinder mounted on a 25-foot motorized gantry. Our largest single dataset is of the David - 2 billion polygons and 7,000 color images. In this talk, Dr. Levoy will outline the challenges we faced building our unique hardware and software system, the lessons we learned, and the algorithms we developed for aligning, merging, storing, and displaying large polygon meshes. He will also briefly describe our project to digitize and fit together the 1,163 fragments of the Forma Urbis Romae, a giant marble map of ancient Rome. Piecing this map together is one of the key unsolved problems in classical archeology. Finally, Dr. Levoy will speculate on the future implications of 3D scanning for art historians, museum curators, educators, and the public.
Marc Levoy is an associate professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He received a B. Architecture and M.S. from Cornell University in 1976 and 1978, respectively, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989. In the 1970's Levoy worked mainly on computer animation, developing the first commercially successful computer-assisted cartoon animation system. This system was used by Hanna-Barbera Productions from 1983 until 1996 to produce The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and other shows. In the 1980's Levoy's research focused on volume rendering, a family of techniques for displaying sampled functions of three spatial dimensions, for example medical and scientific data. For this research he won the ACM/SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award in 1996. In the 1990's Levoy worked on technology and algorithms for digitizing three-dimensional objects. This led to the Digital Michelangelo Project, in which he and a team of 30 researchers spent a year in Italy scanning and creating computer models of the statues and architecture of Michelangelo. His current research interests include sensing and display technologies, image-based modeling and rendering, digital imaging and television, and applications of computer graphics in art history, preservation, restoration, and archaeology.

IS&T Colloquium Committee Host: Jacqueline Le Moigne