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FibAR: Embedding Optical Fibers in 3D Printed Objects for Active Markers in Dynamic Projection Mapping

This paper presents a novel active marker for dynamic projection mapping (PM) that emits a temporal blinking pattern of infrared (IR) light representing its ID. We used a multi-material three dimensional (3D) printer to fabricate a projection object with optical fibers that can guide IR light from LEDs attached on the bottom of the object. The aperture of an optical fiber is typically very small; thus, it is unnoticeable to human observers under projection and can be placed on a strongly curved part of a projection surface. In addition, the working range of our system can be larger than previous marker-based methods as the blinking patterns can theoretically be recognized by a camera placed at a wide range of distances from markers. We propose an automatic marker placement algorithm to spread multiple active markers over the surface of a projection object such that its pose can be robustly estimated using captured images from arbitrary directions. We also propose an optimization framework for determining the routes of the optical fibers in such a way that collisions of the fibers can be avoided while minimizing the loss of light intensity in the fibers. Through experiments conducted using three fabricated objects containing strongly curved surfaces, we confirmed that the proposed method can achieve accurate dynamic PMs in a significantly wide working range.

(a) The internal structure of a projection object. Optical fibers with the same color are connected to the same IR LED attached to the bottom of the object. (b) The projection object fabricated from a multi-material 3D printer. (c) There are seven holes on the bottom of the object, into which IR LEDs are inserted. (d) A captured IR image shows IR light emit from the tip of each fiber, which is transmitted through the fiber from one of the LEDs. (e) A dynamic projection mapping result.


  • Daiki Tone, Daisuke Iwai, Shinsaku Hiura, and Kosuke Sato, "FibAR: Embedding Optical Fibers in 3D Printed Objects for Active Markers in Dynamic Projection Mapping," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (Proceedings of IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces), 2020. [preprint (arxiv.org)]