a. Scanning 3D objects with the z coordinates   
as a function of the x and y coordinates. This technique is primarily used to collect
relief information for the creation of embossing rollers. The end result is 16-bit TIFF
gray scale files. The number of height levels is enormous (up to approximately
32,000). The resolution requirement is usually around 400 l/cm. The sharpness of the
scanning spot is so high that resolutions of up to 4000 l/cm are possible. Under these
conditions, all the requirements for state-of-the-art machines for the production of
embossing rollers are met with ease.
Figure 1 shows a cut-out of a leather surface as a gray scale image.  
The top is shown as white, the bottom as black. To the right you can see brown-red
leather in an oblique 3D view. To the right again is a larger relief cut-out showing a
marking for a profile section. The corresponding diagram is displayed on the far right.