Ever wanted to create a realistic looking human 3D model with great detail – in minutes, instead of weeks of sculpting?
3D scanning is advancing fast. From mobile apps to scan booths, technology is changing the way we’ll live and work.
In near future, virtual reality will be the common way of accessing the internet. Whether you shop online for clothes that fit just right, or for dating and adult purposes, for playing in virtual worlds and MMO video games, for virtual work meetings, or for films and animation films – especially indie low budget productions, music videos etc., using a realistic 3D avatar will be invaluable.
Advanced Uses of 3D Scanning for VFX & Films
Professional, high-quality, 3D scanning was until recently a viable option for film, VFX and animation studios with the budgets to do it.
If an actor was unavailable for any reason, or the scene was simply too dangerous or impossible for a live person to perform, a digital double is used for that scene.
Studios either have their character artists sculpt a digital double, make hair and cloth and so forth, or do a 3D scan of the actor.
3D scanning can be used to create morphs, or Blend Shapes. If you retain the same 3D mesh, poly count, and vertex order, you can essentially go from expression to expression, which can be used to create facial expressions for animation. So, if you 3D scanned 10 different people’s heads and created blend shapes for them, you could mix and match features to create new characters using bits and pieces from different scanned persons to create a unique new 3D character, based upon accurate human features.
This also enabled ‘shape shifting’ from one face to another face and from one body to another.
3D Scanning of Humans Vs 3D Sculpting
3D scanning is the process of replicating a living person and creating its virtual digital double, by means of using cameras to capture the person.
The end product is a photorealistic 3D CG model. While these 3D models are most commonly used inVFX work in film, television, and video game production, the scope is much larger.
3D sculpting is still commonly used as the means of creating 3D characters for games and animation films, digital doubles and especially for 3D printables. It is still useful when creating monsters and fantasy 3D models as well as fictional characters rather than copies of living humans. But when it comes to Digital Doubles, it seems things are soon to change…
Realistic 3D Human Models Can Now Be Created in 10 Minutes – including the Rigging & Cloth Simulation!
You may have heard of 3D scanning services like TNG Visual Effects. Many studios use such 3D scanning services and companies. Because, in order to have a visual effect look real on a character, you need an accurate digital representation. 3D scanning is a solution to produce this accurate digital double without the costs involved in sculpting and rigging. But it may not be cost effective for smaller companies and especially not for indies.
HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise ) recently fused together 3 technologies to build what they name “the Avatar Platform“.
The process is incredibly simple, cost affordable and fast.
The 3D scan takes only seconds, and the 3D avatar can be generated in just about ten minutes;
- The actual scan booth – capturing 64 pictures simultaneously, created by the Doob Group.
- Next, it creates the fully rendered 3D scan of the human, thanks to Quantum Matrix and their Quantum Human software.
- Then a program called DC Suite, developed by the South Korean software company Physan, realistically simulates the clothing.
This 3D scan via the Avatar Platform results in a hyper-detailed and realistic looking 3D avatar.
Perfect for quickly creating 3D printables of live persons in a variety of poses, even without needing to make multiple 3D scans, though we could not find much information online at this point as to feedback of users on the rigged 3D model and overall detail quality resulting from this Avatar Platform.
Doob, the makers of the scanning booth technology, already offer some 3D scanning booths in retail locations in Berlin, Los Angeles and New York, where they sell 3D selfies to customers for about $40 per 3D scan. They target the wedding industry, stars and celebs, business/brands and anyone wanting selfies as 3D printables, from 10cm to full life-sized 3D printables!
Currently, this HP 3D scan booth costs around $135k but they expect in coming years price drops to near $11k only!
As prices drop, life will be so much easier for many while some others may need to change careers.
This official Doob Group video is in German language. It is an interview with a German celeb talking about the huge marketing potential for celebs wanting to sell 3D printables of themselves to their fans. It depicts the old initial DOOB photobooth prototype, when the company only made 3D printables, prior to HPE’s fused solution.
HPE is a great example of how being a thinking match-maker can advance technological solutions without re-inventing the wheel.
2016 Top Solutions for Photorealistic 3D Scanning of Humans
About this 3D Human Scanning Video
Watch this YouTube video from the CeBIT Global Conferences (15. March 2016) where Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company shows (after 30 seconds) a glimpse of their new technologies such as the Avatar Platform. Albeit it is in German language, note how fast clothing can drape on the newly created avatar!
About this DIY getting started with photogrammetry 3D Scanning Video
In this video you will learn how to go from a series of still photos to an actual 3D model with a color texture.
The software used is called Agisoft Photoscan and there’s a trial version if you want to try this yourself.
Agisoft PhotoScan is a stand-alone software product that performs photogrammetric processing of digital images and generates 3D spatial data
Video About Using 3D Scanning for VR and Video Games
A Paris-based company named Uraniom has developed a platform that allows gamers to convert 3D scans of themselves into playable avatars, using Intel’s RealSense 3D camera. CEO Loik Ledoux describes the technology.
Although this video does not pertain to high-quality 3D photorealistic human scans, it gives a taste of the opportunity such technology can provide in the Virtual Reality and video gaming industries.
About this 3D Photorealistic Avatar from Scans in Less than 20 Minutes video
In this video about 3D photorealistic scanning of humans, an avatar is created from scan data with near-automatic processes in less than 20 minutes. The process entails capturing a body and several face poses using separate captures, then combining the body and face together onto a single, controllable 3D character.
The body was captured using a photogrammetry cage and automatically rigged.
The face was captured using a single RGB-D sensor and processed automatically.
Since the face uses scan data, all the details of a facial expression are personalized; you can see blood flow in the cheeks while smiling, wrinkling of the forehead and so forth.
Body and face models are then stitched together and color corrected for compatibility.
Perhaps this kind of just-in-time capability will help to revolutionize games, virtual reality, television and movies, social applications and communication.
Project team: Andrew Feng, Ph.D. and Evan Suma, Ph.D.Ari Shapiro, Ph.D.
Learn more about USC ICT at http://ict.usc.edu
How Will 3D Scanning Technology Impact Character Artists?
Now is the time for character artists as well as for 3D software makers like iClone and others to integrate new technologies and remain ahead of the curve. Especially iClone and MD could see great growth opportunities here. Integrating such an easy way to make a rigged and great looking Avatar of a human in minutes together with tools to make additional clothing and motion is a winning combination.
As these technologies get more affordable for small studios and such 3D scan booths become commonplace in all cities, creating a lifelike human model will be a piece of cake and cheaper than buying a 3D model or spending a lot of time making one.
Making with Marvelous Designer software dynamic realistic 3D clothes for films, games, VR and marketplaces of the future may be another income stream for 3D artists.
What do you think of it all and how can you see ways to benefit yourself?
Let us know by commenting here below!
If you enjoyed reading this article, then please tell your friends about it. This helps us Elves get the word out, so more fellow artists can benefit! All goes hand in hand - Blessings to you the Elves shall send! :)