Tuesday, March 15, 2011

3D Imaging and Modeling in Winston Salem, North Carolina

Be careful if you enter Winston Tower in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, because you might find body part print generation, ranging virtual seas and private dreams animated.

Nickolay Hristov, of the Center for Design Innovation, hosted an assembly of local 3D imaging, animation artists and topography mapping professionals to a packed house this evening. Presentations included Dennis Nikolaidis (formerly of Out of Our Minds Animation) with Animusing Productions, Josh Tan, MS of Research Medical Imaging & 3D Modeling CBI, Thomas Tucker of Winston Salem State University's Animation Department, and David Norman and DeEtta Famiano of Famiano Design Group. Each company and presenter is worth exploring further if you have an interest in 3D animation or modeling in Winston-Salem or the Triad.

Of particular note tonight:

Dennis Nikolaidis demonstrated the process he used to generate a 3D animation of an open sea. The complex and trial and error process resulted in an expansive, realistic 3D animation of a seascape complete with clouds and shoreline that drew gasps and applause from the group. Dennis is an unassuming and highly gifted specialist.

Josh Tan presented examples of how 2D medical digital imaging can be converted into a precise and dynamic 3D medically exact model. This process enables physicians to take virtual, but factual, tours of the patients body, locating tumors, aneurysms, and hidden fractures. Mr. Tan also share the fun (if still incomplete) programming of a Kinect controller adapted to allow motion navigation through a 3D model program. Josh also share a video of 3D model printing as well as a sample of a printed human skull. He had to tell us it wasn't real.

Thomas Tucker showed some clever examples of taking existing 3D modeling research to full animation. The man made a dog skeleton walk in "Night at the Museum" style. Best of all, Mr. Tucker showed several 3D animation projects that were inspired by the images taken from his meditations. Yes, Thomas Tucker has dare to animate dreams!

DeEtta Famiano and David Norman concluded our evening with a presentation of the expansive capabilities of laser scanner data collection - which sounds clever enough, but when applied to topographical and terrain mapping is just downright amazing. Their current project for the restoration of Moody's Furnace has interesting implications for construction site research and large project commercial development. Future applications include our very own I-40 Business corridor here in Winston-Salem, NC.

3D modeling and animation is very much alive in the Triad and it appears may be responsible for bringing a great deal "to life" in our community. Special thanks to Nickolay Hristov and the Center for Design Innovation for an educational and inspirational evening.


  1. Wow! And we thought all the action Downtown Winston-Salem was on 4th Street. Hollywood might have Inception and Leonard DiCaprio but we have Thomas Tucker and 3D dreaming.

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