Wondering how you would look wearing your favourite celebrity’s outfits? Scientists have developed a new four-dimensional (4D) scanning system that can capture clothing on moving people, turn it into a 3D digital form and dress your virtual avatars. The virtual ‘try-on’ system, called ClothCap, can see how the fabric moves and how it fits before a person buys an outfit, researchers said. Traditional virtual clothing try-on involves getting the 2D clothing pattern from the manufacturer, sizing this to a body, and simulating how the clothing drapes on the body.
The new technique replaces garment simulation with garment capture. Capturing and transferring existing garments to new people greatly simplifies the process of virtual try- on. “Our approach is to scan a person wearing the garment, separate the clothing from the person, and then rendering it on top of a new person,” said Gerard Pons-Moll, research scientist at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Germany. “This process captures all the detail present in real clothing, including how it moves, which is hard to replicate with simulation,” said Pons-Moll.
ClothCap uses 4D movies of people recorded with a unique 4D high-resolution scanner. The system uses 66 cameras and projectors to illuminate the person being scanned. “This scanner captures every wrinkle of clothing at high resolution. It is like having 66 eyes looking at a person from every possible angle. This allows us to study humans in motion like never before,” said Michael Black, director at MPI-IS. ClothCap computes the body shape and motion under clothing while separating and tracking the garments on the body as it moves. “The software turns the captured scans into separate meshes corresponding to the clothing and the body,” said Sergi Pujades, postdoctoral researcher at MPI.
ClothCap provides a foundational technology for virtual clothing try-on. “First a retailer needs to scan a professional model in a variety of poses and clothing to create a digital wardrobe of clothing items. Then a user can select an item and visualise how it looks on their virtual avatar,” said Black.