Making 3D Avatars the Easy Way

November 30, 2010
By: Kevin Hattori

Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a user-friendly method for creating realistic three-dimensional avatars (graphical representations of computer users) from any digital image. The team led by Associate Professor Ayellet Tal of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering says the method can be used without regard to the targeted model’s proportions to create undistorted 3D avatars. Avatars are used in computer games, and/or in Internet forums and other online communities.

The new Technion method even allows users to add details, surface texture, and color to their 3D avatars. By avoiding the constrained parameters that exist in currently marketed technology, the method overcomes any severe distortions. Prior to this development, 3D modeling was complicated, and done manually using computer graphics software, or by assigning color information from two-dimensional images using the “texture mapping” method.

3D Avatars

Examples of 3D avatars

The researchers say the technology is simple to use – even for non-experts. In addition to its use for creating avatars, it can also be used in military simulations, and as a plug-in for professional modeling software, including AutoDesk Maya and AutoDesk 3ds.

The technology is available through Technion Technology Transfer (T3), the commercialization arm of the Technion Research and Development Foundation. Click here to learn more about this technology and T3.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel’s leading science and technology university. Home to the country’s first winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel’s high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with offices around the country.