"A 3D animation technique that could take the hard work out of acting has been developed by German researchers. It allows a high-resolution 3D scan of one person to be pasted on to another person's movements.
Team members from the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science in Saarbrücken, Germany, say their technique is faster than traditional animation methods. Usually animators must design a skeleton to go inside a character and ensure its movements translate into realistic deformations of the outer surface.
"Parts of that process are very labour-intensive," says Christian Theobalt, who led the research: "We wanted to be able to go directly from the desired motion to animating your character."
Theobalt and colleagues Edilson de Aguiar, Carsten Stoll and Hans-Peter Seidel have made that possible. They can directly animate 3D laser scans of people using the motion of another individual collected using motion capture or using the pre-programmed motion of another character.