In the virtual realm, avatars are used as graphical representations of people, much like how we use 3D characters in video games.
Considered as one’s alter ego in virtual reality (VR), you can be anything you want with your avatar — a cartoon version of yourself, an animal, a hybrid of both, a robot, or whatever.
With the latest advancements in VR technology, however, your avatar can look very similar to yourself in the real world: a hyper-realistic version of you using 3D modeling.
How does that work?
How to Create Hyper-Realistic VR Avatars
For those who are not familiar, 3D modeling, as the term suggests, is a computer graphic technique wherein artists use specialized software to scan your face and/or body to create a three-dimensional digital model.
The technique uses a combination of motion-capture and face- and body-scanning technologies to fully duplicate the model’s exact facial features, expressions, body movements, and more. Basically, it’s like creating a digital clone.
Avatars can be used for a variety of settings: in games, virtual conferencing, virtual socialization, and so much more.
There are two ways you can create hyper-realistic VR avatars:
- Full-body scan — This technique utilizes a full-body scanner to capture every inch of your body from top to toe. Models are required to go to a studio to have the scan.
- Facial scan — This technique, on the other hand, uses an app that you can access from your smartphone device. You either take a single selfie or capture a 360-degree photo of your face and bust, and the software will do its magic.
Avatar Creation: Full-Body Scans
Doob is one company that offers full-body scans to create hyper-realistic avatars. The process can be summarized as thus:
1. Full-body scan: The model goes inside a full-body scanner wherein the whole body is captured using multiple camera angles. Doob details their full-body scan process here.
2. Head scan: High-resolution head scans will then follow to capture the model’s facial expression.
3. Motion capture: At this stage, the model will use a motion-capture suit to record their body and finger movements, as well as mimic their unique gestures to further personalize the avatar.
4. Data processing: All the data will then be processed by the specialized software to generate the 3D avatar.
5. Fine-tuning and touch-up: You also have the option to use free open-source programs such as Blender to touch up and further customize your avatar.
Then, you can download the file and use it for VR!
Here’s an example of a video of a full-body scan using HoloDeck, though the process bypasses the motion-capture scan:
Avatar Creation: Facial Scans
Creating a hyper-realistic VR avatar using facial scan apps is rather straightforward:
1. Selfie capture or a facial/bust scan: As previously mentioned, the model will either take a single selfie or scan their face and bust using their phone to capture a 360-degree photo.
2. Data processing: The photo will be processed by the app to automatically generate a 3D model. The face and/or bust will then be attached to a pre-programmed 3D body to create a full-body avatar.
3. Fine-tuning: As with the full-body scan process, the generated 3D model can be fine-tuned to your liking.
Here’s a video showing how 3D avatars are made with itSeez3D using a single photo:
Wondering how you would look like in the metaverse?
Aside from the companies and apps mentioned, 3D1go can also help you create your own avatar for VR. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!