Building Avatars (Not The James Cameron Kind)

Capturing photos of myself to be used in creating a 3D avatar.

Capturing photos of myself to be used in creating a 3D avatar.

38 photos. 38 photos were all it took to take me from a terrace at Emerson College Los Angeles to a 3-Dimensional rendering of myself. The skies were overcast and the sun was lightly diffused through the clouds. The space around me was wide open. The result was a very clear and sharp rendering of myself in just a matter of hours. With my backpack ready for any adventures that lay ahead we took the photos to the lab so see what we could make of them.

3D render created in 123D-Catch.

3D render created in 123D-Catch.

By bringing the files into the simple and intuitive 123D Catch by Autodesk we were able to recreate both myself and my surroundings. We had taken a step into the uncanny valley, some bits of my face were choppy, but for the most part this avatar was shaping up nicely. But, however nice the surrounding terrace is, we had to remove it from the render to get a clean looking model.

A cleaned up version of the render created in Maya.

A cleaned up version of the render created in Maya.

By bringing that file into Maya, also by Autodesk, we were able to delete surrounding spaces and get down to a fine level of detail on individual polygons, cleaning up the avatar as best as possible. The result is a recreation of myself and I have to say that the feeling is far removed from anything I have experienced yet with VR. Until you have seen the digital representation of you it is hard to formulate the words. It’s as if that persona we all have on twitter and Facebook now had a 3D presence, one that can’t walk and talk just yet, but is a stand-in for all my bad jokes and flowery travel posts on social media. It truly gives the sense that there is more than the world apparent, but multiple worlds which we all seamlessly flow in and out of on a regular basis. I wonder if my avatar is better at calculus?

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