Quality Exclusives

Off Topic: Quebec Winter Carnival Goes High Tech

April 28, 2008
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A team participating in an annual 3-D laser-scanning contest digitizes the star of the Quebec City Winter Carnival, Bonhomme Carnaval.

A team of three Creaform employees digitalized a costume and plastic mask depicting the star of the Quebec City Winter Carnival, Bonhomme Carnaval. Source: Creaform

Creaform (Lévis, Quebec), a company specializing in 3-D technology, has executed the digital scanning of the star of the Quebec City Winter Carnival, Bonhomme Carnaval.

The project was part of the company’s annual 3-D scanning contest. It challenged its employees to complete an original 3-D digitalization project on the theme “The 4 elements” using a REVscan laser scanner and standard post-processing software. Nine teams took part in the challenge and the results of their work were introduced at a special event, at which the winners received prizes.

Inspired by the fact that snow is made from water, one of the winning teams came up with the idea of digitalizing Bonhomme Carnaval, a man made from snow and official mascot of the Quebec City Winter Carnival. Displaying his legendary good humor, Bonhomme agreed to take part.

The team of three Creaform employees set to work digitalizing a costume and plastic mask depicting the event’s mascot using 3-D laser scanners developed by the Lévis company. Of course, such a project was not without its challenges.

“First of all, the texture of Bonhomme’s arrow sash and stocking cap were particularly difficult to reproduce, because they are tremendously complex,” explains David Gagné, mechanical engineer and team member. Despite minor technical difficulties, the process was completed in five hours using two REVscan laser scanners.

After taking second prize in the contest, the digital files created were handed over to the Quebec City Winter Carnival. There they should prove useful, making it possible to create spin-off products such as miniatures and effigies that match Bonhomme’s actual proportions, as well as 3-D ads and 3-D animation.
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Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
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