Mar 14, 2016 | By Kira
At the CeBIT Digital Business conference today, Hewlett Packard Enterprise unveiled a full-body 3D scanning booth that can create accurate 3D models of people within 10 minutes and then digitally dress and animate them. HPE believes this Avatar Platform, which combines technology from three different global companies, could be used to increase retail clothing sales, help fitness centers track and promote workout programs, and even create customized animated avatars the online gaming industry.
In order to create a 3D human avatar, HPE’s platform utilizes a full-body 3D scanner built by Doob Group, a German 3D technology company that previously launched its 3-meter-tall Dooblicator to create 3D printed figurines of customers and concerts, sports events, fashion shows and more. Doob Group’s 3D scanner takes 64 photos simultaneously, capturing the subject from all possible angles within just seconds.
The next step integrates the Quantam Human software package from Quantam Matrix, which creates automatic human 3D modeling and rigging from arbitrary mesh. Using the photos from the 3D scanning booth, Quantam Human creates a digital 3D model of the subject that can be customized and animated in great detail.
Quantum Matrix's 3D Human Modeling
Finally, the 3D avatar is digitally clothed using software from South Korean company, Physan. This integrated system takes the original manufacturing patterns from fashion designers or brands and converts them into digital renderings that almost perfectly mimic the fit and even draping of real clothes. Physan’s Digital Clothing technology is extremely useful in both the clothing and CG industries, as it provides the most realistic visualization of a fabric’s surface (including cotton, silk, wool, velvet, leather, pleated fabrics and more), and allows for real-time editing of the outfit using CAD 3D modeling software.
The end result of HPE’s Avatar Platform is an accurate, 3D model that is entirely personalized to the subject, and can be digitally animated and realistically dressed within 8-10 minutes. HPE has already envisioned three key markets that could benefit from this technology.
The first is the online clothing retail industry, where currently, the rate of returns is as high as 30 percent. By allowing customers to virtually ‘try on’ new clothes and accessories before they purchase, HPE believes they could reduce that number to 10 percent, saving businesses up to $36 billion per year.
While some retailers already offer ‘virtual dressing rooms,’ these usually have a very limited selection of avatars with standardized body shapes. HPE’s technology will instead offer shoppers the opportunity to see how outfits would look on their actual bodies, with Physan’s Digital Clothing technology accurately representing the fit, drape, texture and color. If it looks good on their 3D avatar, there’s a much better chance it will look good in real life, reducing the chance that the article will need to be returned.
The second area HPE wants to target is the fitness industry. Previously, we’ve seen how BRICK fitness centers used personalized 3D printed nesting dolls to help individuals attain their workout goals. Taking this idea even further, HPE’s 3D Avatar Platform could help customers track the effectiveness of their workouts by taking several 3D body scans throughout their training process. Because each 3D model is entirely personalized, users would be able to see how their bodies have changed over time.
Last but not least is the PC and video gaming industry. While there are several companies looking into how virtual game content can be brought into the real world through 3D printing, HPE instead wants to bring real world players into the game via personalized 3D avatars.
Like the virtual dressing rooms mentioned above, existing options for customizing digital avatars are usually quite limited to a pre-defined menu of body types, skin colors, and clothing and accessories. With HPE’s 3D Avatar Platform, individuals could upload their personalized and animated 3D models directly to the game, significantly increasing player engagement. HPE has already been in talks with game developers about allowing players to upload their 3D avatars in files such as FBX or OBJ.
Doob 3D printed figurines
Whereas the newly-created HP Inc. serves the personal computer and printing market, Hewlett Packard Enterprise's focus is on selling computing equipment and services to large companies. Currently, HPE’s Avatar Platform is still in prototype phase, and costs roughly €120,000 (US$ 135,000) which could be with scaling brought down to €10,000 or €15,000 (US$ 11,000-16,000) with scaling. However, these costs wouldn't be passed to consumers. As HPE envisions it, the data for the 3D models would actually be provided for free to the end user, with the clothing retailers, fitness centers, or game developers in question subsidizing the costs of the 3D scans in return for the added value these personalized avatars could bring to their respective markets.
Posted in 3D Scanning
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Jack Midler wrote at 3/22/2016 6:22:33 AM:
Slightly disappointed in the price point here - there's a scanner out there right now for $19k that does pretty much the same thing (not to mention it's mobile and fits in the back of a car). Not sure why HP chose to work with a partner that is charging that much! The mobile full body 3D scanner I saw is the Twinstant Mobile - saw it at http://web.twindom.com/. I hope other companies continue to bring the price down on these units!