3D Web Content


3D Scanner
Application Partners
3D Gallery
Do It Yourself

ETH World
3D Scanner
Point-Based Graphics
Cyfex AG
Flow Vis

© RP, 2004
Last Update: 16-Dec-2005


3D Web Content is an ETH World project aiming at the easy acquisition of complex 3-dimensional objects for web publication. Object acquisition is accomplished with commonly available equipment: a DLP projector, a digital camera and a turntable. The acquired virtual object can then be viewed and edited with Pointshop3D, a software of the ETH Zurich Computer Graphics Laboratory. Beyond that, virtual objects can be integrated into web pages by using a technology being developed within this project.


We want to provide a processing pipeline, acquisition - editing - presentation, for objects which exist in real world but not as CAD models. Our 3D scanner offers a fast and easy alternative to the time-consuming task of re-modeling in CAD a real-world object.

Special emphasis will be laid on fast transmission of the point models over low-bandwidth network connections. The procedure will be easy to use with the help of written instructions, with the necessary software available to all ETH units and staff member on an Internet server. The long-term support can thus be reduced to a minimum.

With the help of this technology users can gain a better intuitive understanding of research objects, equipment and tools presented on the Internet. The project will thus contribute to improving the quality of research and education. The evaluation during the entire project will be realized in cooperation with three user groups.

Project parts


Our 3D Scanner is based on the structured light technique which requires a light source capable of generating various vertical and horizontal stripe patterns. The two main components of the scanner are therefore a video projector acting as the light source, and a digital camera taking pictures from a fixed angle.

Web publishing

The acquired virtual object is stored as a set of surface elements or surfels which are attributed points in 3D-space. Such surfel objects can be easily integrated into web pages where they can be viewed with all major web browsers under Windows or Linux. The SurfelViewer is realised as a browser plugin which is being developed within this project.