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Resurfacing: Projecting 3D Mappings

In an intriguing twist on the Kinect+projector AR experiments, this art project uses a sculpture to present the concept of 360° 3D mappings of a real world object to project an alternative surface back onto the object, mapped precisely to the geometry of the object.

In the digital world, this is commonplace; 3D objects essentially consist of a geometry combined with a surface/texture map. Bringing this digital technique into the real world through mapping+projection suggests novel ways of thinking about AR. It allows for a larger subset of digital imagery capabilities to be applied directly to the real world.

Projecting Onto Rigged Humans

Assume a person has been 3D scanned and rigged (see Footnote: Rigging) and sensors are in place for realtime 3D scanning. A fascinating consequence is the potential to project surfaces that remain accurately mapped to changing body positions. Sophisticated virtual costumes that can be changed instantly. (+Anna Scott, this idea may be of particular interest to you!)

A Hack For Projecting 3D Objects?

Extend this a bit further and we can enable the projection of some types of 3D objects, without requiring holographic projection. We simply need an object capable of some basic morphs that can be the target surface of the projections. Imagine sections of cloth with "joints" created by small metal poles that can be pulled in or pushed out to create different kinds of surface deformations, connected to a central mechanical device. This little robot could be remotely synchronized to the required skeleton. Crude...but possibly effective?


[Footnote: Rigging - 3D animation involves a skeleton model of interconnected movable parts, describing the "bones" and the "joints". This rigging enables doing things like mapping from the realistic model of a person to a character model, so that an actor's movements can be translated to a CGI character that may have different proportions, or radically different construction. By mapping the joints in a human face model to a bird's, for example, the person's facial movements can be reflected, enabling the bird to "talk" with its beak in an animation that is thereby auto-mapped to the actor's.]

#augmentedreality #3dprojection
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