Computer Animations

Computer animations have long since become an integral part of consumer electronics. Films like “Star Wars”, “Finding Nemo”, “Avatar” and “The Jungle Book” are just a few examples of developments in computer animation technology. Computer animations can also be used in automation technology for the representation of complex processes. In our projects, we use current computer animation technologies (especially POV-Ray and Blender) to visualize processes and measure them automatically in images.

Test patterns with POV-Ray

With Ray Tracing very realistic images can be synthesized. POV-Ray is a free ray tracing program that works script oriented and allows to generate synthetic images for image processing.

With POV-Ray we can…

  • simulate lighting conditions on the computer much faster and cheaper than they would be in reality.
  • generate and test error images that are seldom found in reality or can only be found with great effort. This enables us to demonstrate to our customers the correct behavior of our solution even in borderline situations. If required, a complete case spectrum can be generated.
  • … in combination with modern image processing technologies, make measurements in images.
  • start the development of image processing even before the system is mechanically constructed. This saves time and money.

Below you will find various synthetic images and image sequences generated with POV-Ray which demonstrate the development and verification of our image processing algorithms within the manufacturing process of a drill. During the entire production process of a drill it can happen that the drill bends, especially with thin drills. In order to bend it straight again with an automatic device, the bend in mm and the orientation of the bend must be determined. In order to calculate both with image processing methods, any two images rotated by 90° are sufficient. The image sequence shown below shows a drill bent by 1 mm (center). The same drill is shown on the left and right, only rotated by 90°. The sequence consists of 36 steps with 10° difference from image to image. This allows the image processing algorithm to be fully tested and verified. In the real project, the algorithm was also successfully used with different drill types.

The grinding of a drill tip must be exactly matched to the circumferential groove. We can ensure this with our robust algorithm. The following picture was created with POV-Ray and shows a wrong positioning of a drill tip.

Video with Blender

The free 3D modeling and animation program Blender is an excellent tool for creating computer animated videos. As part of our project “Mass Phenotyping with the iMaster“, the following video was created with the help of Blender to explain our concept, which was developed together with Johnson Controls.