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In this paper, we discuss a novel strategy for rapid acquisition of the range map of a scene employing color-encoded structured light. This technique offers several potential advantages including increased speed and improved accuracy. In this approach we illuminate the scene with a single encoded grid of colored light stripes. The indexing problem, that of matching a detected image plane stripe with its position in the projection grid, is solved from a knowledge of the color grid encoding. In fact, the possibility exists for the first time to acquire high-resolution range data in real time for modest cost, since only a single projection and single color image are required. Grid to grid alignment problems associated with previous multistripe techniques are eliminated, as is the requirement for dark interstices between grid stripes. Scene illumination is more uniform, simplifying the stripe detection problem, and mechanical difficulties associated with the equipment design are significantly reduced.