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Animation Tool Puts You in the Game 110

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the what-fun-is-that dept.
Matthew Sparkes writes "A new technique could take a simple body scan and allow a user to upload it and use it as an avatar or game character. Previously an animator would have to create a skeleton inside the model and describe movement capabilities manually. In tests, an inexperienced user could produce the animations in less than 15 minutes."
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Animation Tool Puts You in the Game

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  • by ThinkingInBinary (899485) <thinkinginbinary&gmail,com> on Monday March 12, 2007 @02:10PM (#18320661) Homepage

    /me makes the obligatory joke about how most Slashdot readers would probably not want a real body scan of them used as their avatar in games.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Jabbrwokk (1015725)
      Yeah, because then the next thing you know World of Warcraft servers will suddenly be overpopulated with dwarves.
      • by DogDude (805747)
        Very fat dwarves, at that.
      • No, just trolls.
        • Ha ha true! Imagine if you will... a whole server full of troll avatars doing that stupid dance. Ah wait it looks like that all the time in Orgrimmar anyways.
    • by creimer (824291)
      As an avatar, oh hell no. As shootable zombies, oh hell yes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I don't think its just Slashdot readers who wouldn't want their real body scanned for an avatar. I can imagine overweight people with slim avatars making fun of overweight people with overweight avatars because of the dual identity thing. What would be funny would be requiring good-looking people to use ugly folks' images and then get made fun of.
      • by DogDude (805747)
        There's a big difference between ugly and overweight. It's not necessarily the fault of an "ugly" person for being "ugly". 99.9% of the time, there's exactly one person to blame for overweight-ness... and that's the overweight person.
        • You sir are correct on the distinction. That said, while not all ugly people are fat, many fat people are ugly. Also, it is likely that being ugly causes self-esteem issues that manifests themselves as over-indulgent eating. (There are also those unfortunate folks for whom genetics has made it nearly impossible to be normal-sized, but as you wrote they are the minority of overweight people and I sympathize with their difficulty.)
        • by profplump (309017)
          99.9% of the time people who are depressed have only one person to blame -- themselves. They could simply work every day at making changes to their lifestyle, relationships, and brain chemistry to be happy. It's not any less true than your fat line, but it's not an opinion most people would be proud to express.

          I'm not saying fat people shouldn't work to improve their situation, but failing to sympathize *at all* because it "their own fault" is a little extreme, particularly if they are working to improve th
      • by enjerth (892959)
        Suddenly, modeling agencies (RL models) have a VR talent. They'll license their body scan to you for an annual fee.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Walt Dismal (534799)
        When you get asked "Honey, do you think my avatar's ass looks too big?" NEVER say 'yes'.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by antifoidulus (807088)
      Most of them will probably just make a character from their genitals.....
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)
        Most of them will probably just make a character from their genitals.....

        Indeed. Didn't one game already try this for faces and end up with a lot of penis- and vagina-faced avatars running around?

        If you let the end-user upload the data, you don't know what alterations he'll be making to that data. You could end up sitting behind someone with goatse for a head in the virtual cinema.
    • Mario Kart Arcade GP [ign.com] already scans just your face and slaps it on a character model, "putting YOU in the GAME!".
    • by Avatar8 (748465)
      Possibly, but if I could see an avatar with my big gut and butt running, jumping and fighting orcs... that'd be pretty funny.


      I think the product/item/service will sell as long as people can modify their scans: tummy tuck, butt tuck, chest lift, etc.

      I'd be happy with pasting my face onto a model in WoW. At least then my guild would know the face behind the paladin.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by popeye44 (929152)
      Fat basement dwelling Geeks need not apply. Unless your mom says it's ok.
  • by Reason58 (775044) on Monday March 12, 2007 @02:11PM (#18320667)
    When will this technology be applied to pornography?
  • hmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by User 956 (568564) on Monday March 12, 2007 @02:12PM (#18320689) Homepage
    A new technique could take a simple body scan and allow a user to upload it and use it as an avatar or game character. Previously an animator would have to create a skeleton inside the model and describe movement capabilities manually.

    This sounds like a complete Serkis.
    • by Duggeek (1015705)

      Perhaps a game will come out that requires a real body-scan. (C'mon, S/L --be a pioneer for once!)

      In the weeks that follow, this tale might be told:

      [quoting myself - a hypothetical chat between two gamers...]
      There's something following us! They are the Squallum. Gamers that had a scan of their physical bodies made into their own Avatar... a shadow of their former selves.

      They love and hate their Avatars as they love and hate themselves. Their need for gaming has drawn them here, and their need for geek-cred has created the desire for “IRL” Avatars.

      My heart tells me that these Avatars have some part to play yet, for good or ill...

      Now I just thought of what this will bring... pasty nerds coughing-up coin to other, not-so-pasty geeks for their body-scans. Maybe it will pay for your next month at the gym?

  • What about scans for the portly gentleman?
  • by TodMinuit (1026042) <todminuitNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday March 12, 2007 @02:15PM (#18320751)
    We've come a long way, haven't we?
  • Or light cycles. Gotta ride the cycles...
  • Missing the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Belgarath52 (121024) on Monday March 12, 2007 @02:23PM (#18320911) Homepage
    If I had the figure of a muscle-bound warrior I'd be out partying at clubs and getting girls, not playing WoW. The point of online games is to experience a different reality.

    Next step: if you don't actually know how to fight, your character can't either.
    • by Cerberus7 (66071)
      In that game, spell-casters would be SO screwed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BarrilPrime (1021153)
      I don't see this really being the situation. Sure, you could upload your own person as an avatar, but that doesn't mean you cant modify it in some way. I'm sure if they decided to put in this capability, you would be able to modify attributes of your player model.

      Even if they didn't have this capability, there are many people in the world that would like to see themselves doing things they cannot or would not be able to do.
    • My dream since I was a kid was to appear in a video game. Since I'm not in the industry, nor likely to become famous enough for someone to put me in a game, this is the next best thing. Fortunately, mostly play sports sims, so I usually have the option to customize a player. I spent 45 minutes w/ Tiger Woods 2006 making a player that resembled me (well, me minus 40 pounds).

      Now they just need perfect speech technology to seamlessly inline my name in commentary (or cut-scenes, or whatever), and the illusio
    • Why WoW? There are more things out there. I bet quite a few people would like to use this in Second Life. Make an avatar based on yourself first, then modify it to perfection.
    • by patonw (747304)
      With those mechanics most slashdotters would have 95% chance to block and only 5% chance to hit.
    • by enjerth (892959)
      Isn't that kind of the inspiration behind Wii?

      I have bad knees, does that mean I might injure myself by trying to play sports games?
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      If I had the figure of a muscle-bound warrior I'd be out partying at clubs and getting girls, not playing WoW. The point of online games is to experience a different reality.

      Next step: if you don't actually know how to fight, your character can't either.


      But we're moving to this, want it or not. Wii adds active physical motion to games. If you can't sit up from your chair, you may indeed incapacitate your character in the game as a result.

      We'll always have games where you're an alien worm or a cartoon duck,
  • by myth_of_sisyphus (818378) on Monday March 12, 2007 @02:24PM (#18320935)
    In accordance with my latest MRI.

    My avatar will bitch and moan and lay down a lot and take pills and flake on people and blame it on his back.
  • by Radon360 (951529) on Monday March 12, 2007 @02:42PM (#18321221)
    Something tells me that there would be more of a market for technology that makes people in real life look more like their avatar, instead.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Reason58 (775044)

      Something tells me that there would be more of a market for technology that makes people in real life look more like their avatar, instead.
      They already have this invention. It's called running shoes.
    • by kabocox (199019)
      Something tells me that there would be more of a market for technology that makes people in real life look more like their avatar, instead.

      We can't do that yet. The easiest way for us to develop that tech, would be to have display glasses that would overlay others avatars when you see them. Problem with that is that it only works for those that have the VR glasses. What we'd really like is the genetic engineering/body mods to make any fully grown human adult look like "anything" out of any of the various on
    • The last thing this world needs is more 40-year-old men dressed up as sailor moon or female elves. I think we've managed to restrict them to anime cons so far...
  • Not literally YOU, right..? Or is there a "simple" way of scanning yourself that I don't know about?
  • kiosks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Raccroc (238757)
    I've always wondered why we haven't had this type of thing in "photo booth" style kiosks in shopping malls and arcades. It always seemed to me that facial scans (and now 3d models) would be a great addon for both arcade and home based games.

    1. Charge people to get their face/body scanned at kiosk
    2. Place images on a data card (CC for arcade readers and/or console compatible device)
    3. Sell DEV Kits for adding scanned work into your digital programs
    4. Sell Consumer Editing Kits for editing images (more R
  • I seem to remember something similar. They'd do a 3-D scan of you for $35, and give you some sort of file you could use in Quake 3, etc.
    • Get a bluescreen, film yourself and enter openmortal http://openmortal.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] OK it's 2D and singleplayer, but it's still really cool.
      • by UPi (137083)
        Actually it's MULTIplayer only. And it's quite a bit of work that you have to do before you can play as yourself, but it works. See the Character_HOWTO [rulez.org].
        • by KDR_11k (778916)
          Going by that list I'd have an easier time just making the character I want in Blender and rendering the necessary frames.
    • by Siker (851331)
      This is more than just a 3-D scan, which indeed has been around for a while. This is marker and skeleton less motion capture for 3D models. You wouldn't be able to use it in Quake at all - you only need a 3D model in that game, and the game will animate it for you. Here you're doing the animating yourself, so there'd be nothing left for the game to do.
  • Personally, think it would be fun to use known cartoon characters instead. I would want to use Hoss Delgado [cartoonnetwork.com].

    The only downside to this technology is that I could only imagine that people would end up using sprites of celebrities everywhere, which could become quite annoying.

  • Back when Quake was the hot game, I took scans of my wedding photos (I'd gotten married recently) and created textures for myself and my best man.

    It was both cool and extremely creepy to see myself running around the quake levels in a tux and a rocket launcher.
  • Amazing to live in an age where we see science fiction [imdb.com] morph into science fact, isn't it? (PS: anyone else remember this movie for something other than Susan Dey's pert, freshly scanned nipples? :-) )
    • Well, besides the special polarized glasses to protect yourself from the sleeper rayguns (which really exist, but require a backpack) or the catchy theme-song; no not really. (hey not bad for it having been at least 20 years since I saw it last, on nipple-less network TV no less.)
  • What would happen if we found ourselves with some FPS Deathmatch type games where you're running around killing characters that look exactly like real people?

    I can see the headlines now:

    Boy murders schoolmate after practicing it in game
  • well... not entirely, but you can do a scan of your face with the live camera and it creates a VERY close representation of what you really look like (face at least)
  • This could lead to a distinct shortage of NE hotties running around Ironforge in their thongs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by WillAffleckUW (858324)
      You have no idea ... in fact, one of my characters is in WoW's Femme Fatale guild ...

      It's all pixels, boys.
  • As Neal Stephenson predicted, the Metaverse isn't that far away. Avatar kits on the shelves of Wallyworld, programmers making bucks creating custom avatars, etc.

    Still a rather creepy idea to me tho.

  • simpsons did it!
  • "In tests, an inexperienced user could produce the animations in less than 15 minutes."
    avatar != animation
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Monday March 12, 2007 @04:56PM (#18323311) Homepage Journal
    I mean, seriously, how detailed do you need your online character to be? Do you really want that extra 10 pounds of fat - being generous - or your geeky eyes or hair you inherited from your mom?

    Besides, they already do this in Japan.
  • I saw a video where a company took 3d face scans of over 200 people and combined them and averaged them until they could create and adjust just about any face imaginable. They then put this face in front of a 2D photograph of a persons face, and had the computer find the best match for the face in 3D. This was a very impressive representation of the person in the photo. They could then further adjust this 3D representation, to imply weight gain, age adjustment and other factors. If something similar cou
  • by Weebo (1070712)
    This is a really interesting technology if it is developed successfully and is made affordable. I've played a lot of games and if there is one thing all users love, its to customize their characters! Of course, how real is too real? I don't usually pick my characters to replicate me physically hmm.. :)
  • I find it very funny when people know me as a male tauren warrior in WoW and then meet me on vent and realise I'm a chick. I don't think I'd make as impressive a warrior if my char looked like me. Not to mention confusing if all my alts looked the same.

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