For fans throughout Europe, the image of star soccer players is larger than life. With the help of Geomagic digital reconstruction software, Adidas transformed image into reality.
Visitors to Zurich’s central rail station during the final stages of the Euro 2008 soccer championship last month were greeted by 56-foot-tall models of 11 players from nine national teams that wear Adidas gear.
From physical to digital
Geomagic business partner 3D Culture (www.3D-Culture.de) of Oestrich-Winkel, Germany, scanned the head and face of each player with a KonicaMinolta 3D scanner. The resulting “point clouds” – comprising millions of discrete points representing the 3D coordinates of each player’s head – were imported into Geomagic software.
Within Geomagic, the point clouds were processed to remove any artifacts generated during scanning, then automatically converted to polygons (triangles). The polygon models of the players’ heads were then edited to remove anomalies and to extend, trim and clean-up areas as necessary. The players’ bodies were created in the same way, although only one body was scanned to produce generic models from the neck down.
The polygon models were then converted by Geomagic software into high-quality surface models, which were used to drive a numerical control (NC) milling machine. The heads and body parts were machined from a hard foam. After machining, the individual heads and the generic body parts were painted and transported to Zurich for installation.
Keeping it real
Given the public’s knowledge of the players, realistic reproduction of the heads and faces was critical, according to Peter Brunsbach, managing director of 3D Culture.
Players represented by the models were Michael Ballack and Phillip Lahm of Germany, Karim Benzema and Patrick Vieira of France, Angelos Charisteas of Greece, Andreas Ivanschitz of Austria, Robin van Persie of The Netherlands, David Villa of Spain, Tranquillo Barnetta of Switzerland, Petr Cech of the Czech Republic and Christian Chivu of Romania.