With the increasing use of online shopping and virtual space, 3D technology is being used in more familiar scenes.
There is some free software for creating 3DCG, and it is becoming easier to create 3DCG even if you are not an expert.
Therefore, this time, an engineer who does not know 3D modeling and animation tried to create a 3D model of a person who walks naturally while learning the technique from scratch. This article introduces the series.
In the future, 3D technology is expected to be used in various situations such as AI customer service and 3D catalogs against the background of the spread of 5G communication. We hope that this blog will give you an interest in 3D technology.
<Table of Contents>
・What is Blender?
・I tried using Blender
・About 3D utilization in business use
What is Blender?
Blender is a free open source comprehensive 3DCG software. 3D CG, that is, software for creating 3D computer graphics, and also supports Japanese. It is an excellent software that allows you to create animated 3D such as Toy Story from a human 3D model that is close to reality for free. Due to its high potential, major companies such as Microsoft and Facebook have announced donations to Blender.
I tried using Blender
What we did this time are three steps: (1) create a 3D model using photogrammetry, (2) add animation using Blender, and (3) draw a 3D model using Unity. Let’s take a look at the work done.
Make a 3D model
First of all, I made a 3D model, but in the process, I used a technique called “photogrammetry” this time.
Photogrammetry is a 3D model creation technology that is attracting attention for its ease of use. As a mechanism, it is an excellent mechanism that you can easily create a 3D model by installing multiple cameras to surround the subject, shooting the subject, and synthesizing the shot images with AI.
I have blogged about this software before, so please see here for details.
MR development report using “Magic Leap” -until yakisoba bread is converted to MR-
This time, we asked our employees to use it as a model and converted it into data.
Animate with Blender
Next, we will import it into Blender and add animation.
To add animation, you need to set bones (skeleton) in the 3D model you created earlier. By setting the bones in the same way as a person as shown below, the model will move accordingly.
I didn’t expect it to work all of a sudden, so my goal was to use Blender to quickly add bones and animate them.
What I went to for the time being:
- As for the hands and feet, I think that the instep part does not have to move, so two each.
- I don’t know how many fuselage parts I should put in, so I used two as appropriate.
- After that, connect each bone and put it in your head, 13 in total.
I found that if I move the bone in this state, the surrounding surface also moves, so I made a pose for the top and tried to make an animation.
Tune the movement
Now, let’s tune how to make an animation as if walking naturally from here.
What I did was the following.
(1) Increase the number of bones
2) Set the weight to an appropriate value/range
3) Make the number of animation frames finer
It is a bone that I put in properly, but when I examined it, it turned out that it could be set more finely. I wanted to make the animation of walking realistically, so I made the legs and insteps move separately, and increased the number of bones so that the head and torso can also move finely.
In the end, the number of bones was 24, which is about twice that of the first one.
We also found that the surface of the model can be set to which bones it moves and how much it follows the bones. The setting of the first model I made was not good, so I made fine adjustments this time.
In addition, the model himself pointed out that “tighten your armpits and move your pelvis!”, So I made fine adjustments to that part as well.
What do you think? I think it’s a lot more natural than it was created. In this way, a 3D model that walks naturally was completed.
Blender, the 3D model software used this time, is open source as mentioned above. The hurdles for creating 3D models have dropped significantly because high-performance software can be used for free. It is expected to be used for various services in the future.
About 3D utilization in business use
So far, we’ve talked about the technical aspects of creating 3D models using photogrammetry and Blender, but what are the needs for these technologies? I would like to introduce some of them.
Recently, I have seen it, but there is a mechanism that animation works with chatbots to automatically guide you around the hall. As an application, it is possible to create an information counter without allocating staff on-site by linking a 3D model like this one with staff in remote areas.
If the counters have a small number of customers, one staff member can take charge of them, or multiple staff members can handle them well.
Signage customer service at the store
It’s similar to the information counter scene above, but some people, for example, feel reluctant to serve customers at apparel shops. If it is indirect customer service such as a 3D model, there may be a need to feel free to ask questions.
Online customer service in EC
Online customer service with chatbots has become commonplace these days, but in the future, it may be possible to serve customers in a more human-like manner, such as 3D models. The highest quality customer experience is often found in real stores, but by using technologies like 3D models, it is possible to reproduce a situation close to that and contribute to improving the purchase rate.
Virtual shopping centers and exhibitions
“Metaverse (giant virtual reality space)” is a new technology that Facebook is actively developing. Even in such a world, the 3D model technology by this photogrammetry and blender can be utilized. In fact, in a small-scale exhibition, a service is realized in which the explainers are actually modeled in 3D, placed in a virtual reality space, and can walk freely in it.
If you ever want to know about similar things, check out the Facebook page Maga Techs.