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A new camera system virtually represents people.

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications' Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin have developed a way for a realistic image of a person to be transmitted in a virtual world.

Credit: Fraunhofer HHI

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications' Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) in Germany have created a technique for virtually transmitting a fully-sized, three-dimensional (3D) image of a person that viewers can walk around and see from different angles.

This was achieved with a stereoscopic camera system that produces well-estimated distances and an accurate 3D impression. "We are currently using more than 20 stereo cameras to map a human," says HHI's Oliver Schreer.

The cameras are used in conjunction with algorithms that can rapidly derive depth information from the images, a necessity for calculating the 3D form of a captured person. The computer estimates a virtual model of the human, which is transferred into the virtual scene.

"In developing these algorithms, special care has been taken to ensure they work efficiently and fast, so the movements of dialogue partners can very quickly be converted into a dynamic model," Schreer says.

He notes the 3D data from the camera images are fused in a matter of seconds, and the system transmits the 3D dynamic model quickly in virtual reality. "Our goal is that in the future a realistic image copy of a human is able to directly interact with the virtual world--for example, to let it grab virtual objects," Schreer says.

From Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
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