A comprehensive guide on the most common techniques will allow you to use a 3D human model for various projects.
Training Data & Clean-up
When you are working on an AI R&D project that involves realistic virtual humans, you gather high-quality 3D scan data of a human subjects. However, the data may contain imperfections like noise or artefacts. In this step, you meticulously clean up the data, ensuring it’s free from any visual discrepancies. By removing noise and artefacts, you create a clean dataset that forms the foundation of your AI research.
The cleaning of the data is not only on the geometry and textures of the models but also on the metadata that comes with the 3D-scanned humans. Well-structured metadata like age, gender, ethnicity, height, weight, BMI, Eyes colour, Hair colour, Type of clothing, and more is essential for filtering and segmenting your dataset and applying it effectively into a training model. You can read more about our approach to R&D researches HERE.
Re-topology & Decimation
When you are developing a character for animation, its hard to use the captured data as it has a high polygon count, making it unsuitable for animating. To optimize it, you can perform re-topology, creating a new mesh with an animation-friendly clean topology. Additionally, you can apply decimation techniques to reduce the polygon count while retaining the essential details. This process allows the character to be efficiently animated and rendered without sacrificing quality.
However, is it that simple to apply a re-topology or decimation to a character? Well, yes and no 🙂
As part of the game development team, you’re tasked with creating low-polygon assets. For example, suppose you’re designing a non-playable character (NPC) for an open-world game. Creating a low-polygon version of the character ensures optimal performance in the game engine. In addition, this reduction in polygon count doesn’t compromise the overall appearance, as the character maintains its recognizable features and design.
In an architectural visualization (ArchViz) project, you’re working on a lifelike virtual tour of a newly constructed building. You get excellent human scans, but they must be even better to match the realism in your ArchViz. A sure way to do this is to apply physically-based materials and textures to the 3D human models within the scene. By utilizing PBR (Physically-Based Rendering) techniques, you ensure that light interacts with the surfaces realistically, resulting in accurate reflections, shadows, and overall visual fidelity.
However, most scans have only a captured diffuse map that makes the model look flat and plastic. So how do you create the remaining maps needed for a realistic PBR model?
As a VFX artist, you’re animating a character for a film. Rigging plays a crucial role in this process. First, you add a skeletal rig to the 3D human model, enabling you to manipulate and animate its movements. This rig allows you to control the character’s limbs, joints, and muscles, bringing it to life through dynamic and believable actions. Sounds simple.
Well, not really. Rigging a character can be a daunting process with many pitfalls that can ruin the performance of your rig later.
Suppose you’re working on a product visualization project showcasing a range of clothing items. You set up appropriate lighting, shading, and rendering parameters to highlight these garments effectively. By carefully adjusting these elements, you create visually appealing images or videos, emphasizing the clothing’s materials, colours, and textures while seamlessly integrating the 3D human models into the visual presentation.
The realism here is vital in portraying the right message; having well-created geometry and PBR textures will help you achieve that.
Imagine you’re developing an e-commerce platform allowing customers to customize and preview clothing items. To engage users, you animate the 3D human models wearing different outfits. This animation showcases various body movements, such as walking, running, or even specific actions like raising an arm or bending down. These animations provide an interactive and immersive experience for customers, helping them visualize the fit and style of the clothing items. But how do you do that? Animation steps on the back of a good re-topology, rigging and PBR textures. Having all those done right will set you for the best chances to create a fascinating animation that will wow your audience.
Facial expressions are crucial in a VFX project aiming for realistic character performances. For example, let’s say you’re working on a film where the main character needs to display a wide range of emotions. You implement facial rigging and controls on the 3D human model, allowing you to manipulate facial muscles and create lifelike expressions. This level of detail enables the character to convey emotions convincingly, contributing to a more engaging and immersive storytelling experience.
Capturing an extensive range of facial expressions can make the difference in your model being believable and wowing the audience. We have devised a system for capturing all facial expressions you will; need to create a remarkable facial animation. Read more about it here.
Upload to an Online Viewer
Lastly, in a software development project for an e-commerce platform, you’re integrating an online viewer that enables customers to try on virtual clothing items. After preparing the 3D human models, you optimize and upload them to the viewer. This viewer allows users to interact with the models, rotate them, change poses, and visualize how the clothes look from different angles. It enhances the online shopping experience by visually depicting the garments on a virtual human.
By following this comprehensive guide and considering the specific use industries, you can successfully utilize a 3D human model in various projects, harnessing its potential across different domains.