Disney Researchers develop method to capture stylized hair for 3D-printed figurines

August 8, 2014

Perhaps no aspect of 3D printing has captured the popular imagination more than personalized figurines with the facial features of real people. Now, researchers at Disney Research Zurich and the University of Zaragoza have developed a method that can incorporate an individual's hairstyle as well.

The researchers will present their new method at ACM SIGGRAPH 2014, the International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Vancouver, Aug. 10-14.

Miniature statues with a person's likeness are nowadays produced by scanning the individual's face with a depth camera or other sensor to create a 3D model. These can then be applied to a figure that is produced on a 3D printer. But hair is beyond the capabilities of most systems, so hairstyles either must be roughly approximated or replaced with a pre-existing template.

The result can leave much to be desired, said Dr. Derek Bradley, associate research scientist at Disney Research Zurich.

"Almost as much as the face, a person's hairstyle is a defining characteristic of an individual," he explained. "The resulting figurine loses a degree of realism when the individual's hairstyle isn't adequately captured."

The goal is not to reproduce a hairstyle fiber by fiber, as this level of complexity cannot be miniaturized using current 3D printers. Rather, the researchers were inspired by artistic sculptures, such as Michelangelo's David, which reproduce the essence of a hairstyle, but in the solid form of a helmet. In the case of 3D-printed figurines, the researchers sought to retain the appearance of directional wisps and the overall flow of hair, as well as its color.

Beginning with several color images captured of the subject's head, the system first computes a coarse geometry for the surface of the hair. Color information from the images is then added, matching the colors to the rough geometry to the extent possible. In the next step, color stylization, the level of detail is reduced enough to enable the representation to be miniaturized and reproduced, while preserving the hairstyle's defining features. Finally, geometric details are added in a way that is consistent with the color stylization.

The researchers demonstrated the system by capturing the varying hairstyles of several people, including two people who each were scanned with four different hairstyles. In each reproduction, the hairstyles are identifiable and recognizably the same as when the subject's image was captured. The method even enabled facial hair and fur to be reproduced.

Explore further: Researchers invent system for 3-D reconstruction of sparse facial hair and skin

More information: More information, including a video, is available on the project web site at www.disneyresearch.com/project/stylized-hair-capture/

Related Stories

Crowd sourcing project to allow 3D scan-to-print web app

August 5, 2013

Technology to allow for printing three dimensional objects is evolving rapidly, making it difficult for some to keep up. It's also still relatively expensive. Currently, people who wish to print such an object have but two ...

Software systems add motion to physical characters

August 8, 2014

New 3D printing techniques have made it possible for just about anybody to fabricate fanciful plastic characters and sculptures, two new computational design methods developed by Disney Research Zurich are making it possible ...

Recommended for you

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

Smallest 3-D camera offers brain surgery innovation

August 28, 2015

To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.