A leading professor of orthodontics has announced the development of a process for animating a patients planned orthodontic treatment. The process, called 3-D CIMAS, three-dimensional craniofacial imaging and motion animation system, allows both the patient and clinician to see the exact propsed treatment and outcome before work is ever begun. The brainchild of Dr. Orhan C. Tuncay, professor and chairman of the Department of Orthodontics and Division of Pediatric Dentistry of Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, the system offers significant improvements over the inherently inaccurate traditional diagnostic tools, such as x-ray and photography. Though 3D imaging systems such as MRI and CT scanners are widely used in hospitals, they are not accurate enough for orthodontic treatment and are too costly for in-office use. There was a real need for precise and accurate malocclusion animation, said Tuncay. And thats what we have developedthe first ever animation of the human face using 3D laser generated images. Its the only such system in the world. Tuncays 3-D CIMAS uses a Minolta Corporation VIVID 3D Non-Contact Digitizer. According to Tuncay, using Class 1 (eye safe at any distance) laser-light stripe triangulation, the VIVID 700 digitizer scans a face in just 0.6 second, capturing both 3D surface geometry and color texture data for input into a PC or laptop computer. It captures an objects image in 200 x 200 (40,000) range points for surface mapping and in 400 x 400 (160,000) point color texture mapping. The procedure uses Minolta scanning/registration and texture mapping software included with the VIVID digitizer. Once the 3D images are produced, they are morphed and animated using 3ds max. 3ds max enables the clinician to place the VIVID 3D subject scan on a virtual 3D stage surrounded by virtual cameras. The clinician can then film the subject from different angles. The image can then be rotated about any axis, studied on the screen, and manipulated to show different treatment scenarios.