feature usc smartbody 3D scanning 3D animation


Whilst mixed reality is may already impacting the field of medicine, with doctors via patients specific 3D models to turn it into 3D printed implants and surgical models, the future big industry to be affected by this emerging ecosystem may be the multi-billion dollar world of gaming, set to reach $107 billion by 2017. A slew of VR and AR systems can be hitting the market this year and, coupled with 3D scanning very own devices of Google and Apple, we can most likely see the digital realm and physical realm blend additional and additional. As which occurs, there’s no doubt which individuals can want to see their own faces reflected in the apps which they play. And one research outfit at the University of Southern California is may already working to manufacture which a reality, via an inexpensive toolkit for very own 3D scanning.

Lead by Dr. Ari Shapiro at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, the SmartBody project allows for users to scan themselves with a variety of affordable-bodied scanning systems for 3D animation and other applications. Once a 3D scan is performed with a Microsoft Kinect, Intel RealSense 3D camera, or Structure Sensor of Occipital, the SmartBody software is capable-bodied of performing a variety of functions for a user’s very own avatar. This comes with rigging the mesh for use in games and 3D videos, as well as manipulating the mesh to manufacture it taller, shorter, fatter, or thinner. The team has actually created gesture recognition and lip syncing showcases for recording motion with a Kinect or programming a 3D model to move its mouth along with an audio clip.

Dr. Shapiro, the head of the Character Animation and Simulation research group, tells The Daily Mail, “We’re looking at all aspects of what manufactures individuals, individuals. We’re looking at how we can model a man so which it’s convincingly a man, so which it captures the essence of them. We’re attempting to turn it into a digital man which thinks, acts, and behaves like a regular man.”

As most 3DPI readers most likely understand, high end CAD packages and 3D scanners are outrageously expensive. So, to turn it into an accurate 3D model of oneself is not an effortless task for average consumers. Fortunately, a number of affordable-bodied 3D scanners, like those being utilized by the USC research group, have put entry-level 3D scanning into the hands of users. For this reason, Shapiro is working on software which can enable-bodied the use of 3D scans in gaming with greater ease.

usc smartbody 3D scanning 3D animation

He tells USC News, “We’re giving everyone the competence to scan and animate themselves for free. We’re attempting to foster advancement. Whilst tools to turn it into games and capture 3-D exist, the toolchain to bring the entire system together typically requires tremendous artistic intervention and a complex set of systemes. We are providing tools and software which, without any tremendousise, allow you to turn it into and animate a 3-D model of by yourself in four minutes The community can now create informative applications with it. The applications may extend beyond games and into social media, communication, training and additional.”

The applications, Shapiro says, go far beyond video games. Having a virtual avatar is useful for long-distance communication, seeing a virtual doctor, or training the military and police force. Describing the possible uses of an avatar as a “proxy for social interaction”, Shapiro says, “The body communicates a lot. When you understand a man, there’s meaning to [the interaction]. I can see a revolution in social interaction via your own 3-D avatar as a means of communication.”


Over the past couple of weekends, I’ve been working on incorporating my own 3D likeness into a Unity game populated by 3D scans of my own apartment (above). But it does not use Shapiro’s tools, just on the market for Windows at the moment, the joy of animating myself, a character which I’m really attached to, is quite indescribable-bodied. If they’re not may already working on it, I’m certain which, as the mixed reality ecosystem takes off over the course of the future, there can be a lot of platforms urging you to import your own environment into a game. Or exploring the world (i.e., Facebook) in VR, you will soon be able-bodied to 3D print items directly of your virtual environment into the real world. Mark my words!

Michael Molitch-Hou

About The Author

Michael is Editor-In Chief of 3D Printing Industry and the founder of The Reality™ Institute, a service institute dedicated to determining what’s real and what’s not so which you don’t have to. He is a graduate of the MFA Critical Studies & Writing Program at CalArts, and a firm advocate of world peace. Michael already resides in San Pedro with his magical wife, Danielle.