This AI Tool Creates a 3D Portrait From a Single Photo

Researchers from the University of Nottingham and Kingston University have come up with an AI tool that will turn a 2D portrait into a 3D version, using just a single portrait photo you upload to it.

Normally, when creating a 3D image, you would need multiple shots so that depth can be calculated and used to produce the final result. However, the team has worked out how it can be done with just one frame.

The research paper describes their technique, known as “Direct Volumetric CNN Regression,” which is used to bring the 3D image to life.

Computers have always faced problems when it comes to 3D face reconstruction, a problem which the researchers describe as “of extraordinary difficulty.”

“Our [tool] works with just a single 2D facial image, does not require accurate alignment nor establishes dense correspondence between images, works for arbitrary facial poses and expressions, and can be used to reconstruct the whole 3D facial geometry,” writes the researchers.

To achieve this, their system has been fed a data set of 2D images and corresponding 3D facial models. Learning from this training, the computer then is able to generate the 3D model itself from just a single new frame by extrapolating the data.

The findings have a variety of wider applications, such as in producing 3D avatars for video games, virtual reality, and curing mid-week boredom. Try the tool yourself by uploading your own photo and turning it into 3D.

(via The Verge)