Innovation That Matters

Animation software | Photo source Matúš Kovačovský on Unsplash

Student software creates 3D animations out of still images

Computing & Tech

Students have developed a software that can make 2D images virtually walk out of their frames into 3D animations.

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Spotted: Visuals are steadily growing in scope, alongside the expansion of technological potential. New innovations are bringing more and more possibilities to the world of visual entertainment and resources, from video analysis tools to virtual desk spaces. Now, an algorithm developed by students from the US could bring still images to life.

A group of students from the University of Washington have formulated a means of creating 3D animations from a single still image. From one still photo, they can create a 3D version of the subject using their software, Photo Wake-Up. This can then develop into an animation. The 3D result can also be experienced in augmented reality. The possibilities for integration into existing forms of experiencing visual stimulus and art, are far-reaching and diverse.

Such an innovation not only changes how we might be able to experience and interact with images, but also opens up new avenues for social interaction online. One image could help create a 3D virtual avatar. This adds a whole new level to character creation in gaming or social media. The effect of their current videos truly makes it seem as though photos are coming to life. The software creates such a realistic animation because it can identify individual limbs. This means that it doesn’t see only one shape in the 2D initial image, like the majority of similar systems. In highlighting separate limbs, it can mimic and recreate movement in the same way that a human animator would.



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