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Past Winner
2006 Innovation Challenge Award

Dragan Tubić

Framework for Interactive 3D Real-Time Modelling

Université Laval

Dragan Tubić
Dragan Tubić

Dragan Tubic, a recent Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Université Laval, has converted a breakthrough advance in computer vision into a winning commercial idea for speeding up the three-dimensional (3D) modelling of objects.

The concept has made him the 2006 winner of NSERC's Innovation Challenge Award, presented annually to the postgraduate who presents the best idea for applying the results of his or her thesis research.

Dr. Tubic's major scientific contribution is the introduction of “vector fields” as a form of unified surface representation in the 3D modelling of objects. This allows modelling to achieve accurate surface description and real-time modelling performance on "off-the-shelf" computing platforms.

Three-dimensional modelling has medical applications including pre- and post-treatment documentation of the body and adaptation of prostheses. In manufacturing, it allows for rapid prototyping, while forensic experts can document evidence such as footprints and tire tracks. It can create visual simulations in movies and video games as well as "virtual" visits to buildings and neighbourhoods, and can help document museum collections.

The process involves building a 3D computer model of a measured object. Unlike computer-assisted design, where the model is created by manually entering graphic primitives into the computer, Dr. Tubic's model is created from telemetric (range) data.

"In particular, when the model is built during the acquisition of range data, with no time delay, the procedure is called real-time modelling," he said.

His research addressed all aspects relevant to 3D modelling problems: surface reconstruction, data fusion, registration, compression and visualization of the geometric models resulting from the process.

After two years of joint development with Creaform Inc., a commercial hand-held real-time modelling system was put on the market. Dr. Tubic currently works as the chief scientist on further development of 3D modelling systems with Creaform Inc.

A city of Quebec-based company that specializes in 3D data acquisition and modelling, Creaform has received two awards for the new technology: Fideide 2006 – New innovative enterprise of the year, and Fideide – Innovation resulting from the exploitation of optics and photonics.

Dr. Tubic's research was co-supervised by Dr. Patrick Hébert and Dr. Denis Laurendeau of the Computer Vision and Systems Lab in Laval's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.