January 14, 2007

More fascinating 3D face bits

Wow–Friday’s face-finds were pretty cool, but this technology takes things in a whole new direction.  Volker Blanz and his collaborators have analyzed hundreds of human faces, then built a representative mesh that can be adjusted along various axes (male to female, young to old, gaunt to fleshy, etc.).  The model can then be mapped to a photo in order to reshape a face (e.g. open a mouth, add a smile), change its orientation in space, or even replace it altogether.  This
5-minute video is well worth a watch, and you can find additional bits on Volker’s site.  I can imagine tons of potential applications.  [Via Gregg Wilensky]

Speaking of mixing 2D & 3D, at Macworld Google demoed a new version of SketchUp, the simple-to-use 3D package they acquired last year.  It features tools that in some ways resemble Photoshop’s Vanishing Point, allowing users to attach planes & other shapes to a photo, then generate 3D artwork; check out this demo video.  (Careful: On #3 the demo artist’s frenetic zooming is a little nausea-inducing. ;-)) Whereas VP is geared towards painting/cloning/healing in perspective, SketchUp is geared toward building full 3D models.  Nifty stuff.  [Via]

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