A three-dimensional motion camera system comprises a light projector placed between two synchronous video cameras all focused on an object-of-interest. The light projector shines a sharp pattern of vertical lines (Ronchi ruling) on the object-of-interest that appear to be bent differently to each camera by virtue of the surface shape of the object-of-interest and the relative geometry of the cameras, light projector and object-of-interest Each video frame is captured in a computer memory and analyzed. Since the relative geometry is known and the system pre-calibrated, the unknown three-dimensional shape of the object-of-interest can be solved for by matching the intersections of the projected light lines with orthogonal epipolar lines corresponding to horizontal rows in the video camera frames. A surface reconstruction is made and displayed on a monitor screen. For 360.degree. all around coverage of theobject-of-interest, two additional sets of light projectors and corresponding cameras are distributed about 120.degree. apart from one another.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.