News: Disney Research Creates Avatars That Can Strike a Pose to Match a Person's Movements in Augmented Reality

Disney Research Creates Avatars That Can Strike a Pose to Match a Person's Movements in Augmented Reality

A new augmented reality framework from Disney Research could make it possible for fans to take selfies with an augmented reality Mickey Mouse, Darth Vader, or Iron Man that mimic the user's poses.

Called AR Poser, the prototype experience relies on image recognition to anchor the virtual content and computer vision to identify a person in the scene and estimate the pose. After identifying the person, the application, built with Vuforia's AR platform, then displays a digital avatar with the closest pose match among a set of predefined poses.

Image by Disney Research/YouTube

The 28-page research publication, co-authored by Robert Sumner, associate director of Disney Research, and fellow researchers Gokçen Çimen, Christoph Maurhofer, and Martin Guay, is available for download from Disney Research's website.

"At the heart of our solution is a set of predefined poses (selfie poses) utilized to reduce ambiguities," wrote the team. "In a nutshell, our method consists of two reliable steps: we first perform 2D pose estimation, and then perform a projection onto the 3D subspace to find the closest matching 3D pose. With our method, we are able to automatically create augmented reality selfies for a variety of different poses."

The solution is not unlike recent research from Facebook's full-body AR camera effects, published earlier this year and slated to arrive soon for the Facebook app.

Image by Disney Research/YouTube

Applied to film promotion, AR Poser could be integrated into movie posters and make it possible for moviegoers to create personalized selfies with digital characters (as opposed to posing with the cardboard cutouts found in movie theater lobbies, as I've done in the past). Disney has already experimented with AR poster experiences by way of Facebook's image recognition capabilities.

In keeping with the AR preferences of its chief executive, Disney Research's innovations range from uses cases for AR gaming to movie production techniques to theme park attractions. In coming months, we can probably expect to see the team continue to create new AR experiences that align with Disney's overall entertainment interests.

Cover image via Disney Research/YouTube

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