Making animated 3D models becomes child's play

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London, July 11 (ANI): Researchers at the Texas A and M University in College Station, US, have developed a new software that allows almost anyone to bring characters to life in 3D using video footage.

Xiaolin Wei and Jinxiang Chai's software tracks humans appearing in video footage, and creates 3D models of them.

To achieve this for, say, a video sequence of a weightlifter, the animator marks the position of the person's joints and the directions in which their limbs are pointing, along with points of contact with the weights bar, in several key frames of the sequence. This information helps an algorithm to estimate the person's size and create a 3D reconstruction for each pose that was annotated, reports The New Scientist.

Making the model move smoothly and naturally are other algorithms that track the movements of joints from pose to pose calculating how each one must have moved between those frames. This is used to generate an animated 3D figure, which can be viewed from multiple angles.

The software can animate a variety of actions including walking, jumping, and even acrobatics.

The system could be incorporated into animation software packages and would come in handy for both amateurs and professionals, according Wei.

Wei and Chai will present their work at the computer graphics conference Siggraph in Los Angeles later this month. (ANI)

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