Animated virtual characters make AR applications more spectacular.
Developers from the University of Washington have written a program that recognizes people in photographs and pictures and creates animated 3D models. In the demonstration of the project, Photo Wake-Up, the subjects of famous photos, members of musical groups on album covers, and even abstract Picasso characters come to life.
In order to create a virtual character the program reads a two-dimensional image and recognizes its individual parts such as limbs, heads, and bodies of people. Then the computer builds three-dimensional polygonal models corresponding to the character. After it does the animation, the algorithm completes the composition from all sides of the model and applies motor patterns that allow the character to walk, run, and jump.
The result of Photo Wake-Up’s work looks very impressive, although some 3D models still look scary due to imperfect animation. Previous versions of the program couldn’t recognize individual parts of the body, so the animation was much worse.
The developers have already animated photos of basketball player Stephen Curry, astronaut Neil Armstrong, and paintings by Pablo Picasso using the algorithm.
Among the possible uses of the technology is the creation of interactive AR-applications in museums. In augmented reality, the characters of the paintings will be able to get off the canvas and tell visitors interesting facts about the works of art.
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