Canon is working with Superscape on a software-based solution that will automatically create 3D-graphics models from a sequence of still images.

Canon's research team at the company's UK-based research and development centre is designing the solution, called Small Object Modeller (SOM). It requires approximately twelve 2D pictures taken with a digital camera from different points around the same object. Canon's SOM creates a full-colour, photo-realistic 3D model of the object.

The image can be displayed in a Web browser, or imported into a 3D-editing package. The SOM system is being integrated with Superscape's e-Visualizer (SeV) technology. The two companies hope to establish the system as a Web standard.

Plug-in to standard Paul de Lara, Canon's UK PR manager said: "We are trying to develop cross-platform Web compatibility for our product. We may need to release it as a plug-in for browsers, but, in the long-term we hope to make this into a Web-standard."

Initial results of the collaboration between the companies was presented at Canon Expo 2000, Paris, October 30-November 1. De Lara could not confirm that the product would support the Mac.

He said: "We want SOM to offer broad, cross-platform support. Whether we can supply it on its initial release is something we'll have to consider closer to the time."