New Crowdshaping Technology Uses Words to Create Accurate 3-D Body Models


Scientists from Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the University of Texas at Dallas have created a new crowd shaping technology. This novel technology uses crowdsourced linguistic descriptions of body shape and generates precise 3-D body models from 2D photos. These 3D body models look like the person and are accurate enough to size clothing. According to researchers, this novel crowd-shaping technology has applications in online shopping, gaming, virtual reality, and healthcare.

Dr. Michael J. Black, Director of the Perceiving Systems Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems said, “High-end scanners and their low cost have become evergreen in consumer technology. Capturing 3-D body shape remains a challenge. Our goal is to make it easy and fun. This research shows that people have a shared understanding of body shape that is expressed in our use of language”.

The system uses machine learning to find out the relationship between verbal descriptions of the body and their actual 3D shape. Thus the system provides a rich description of different body features that are related to gender, physical strength, attractiveness, and health.

The system surprisingly captures 3D shapes in a very precise manner and the composite judgment of the crowd can be used to create realistic avatars. The process of crowd shaping accelerates a practical way to scan bodies without using the scanner. In this research, body talk: crowdshaping sensible 3-D avatars with words. Then researchers found that sensible 3D bodies can be generated by using a minimum of 10 words. Through this, scientists discovered a “3-D paparazzi” application. This 3-D paparazzi take a single photo of a celebrity, has it rated by 15 people, and then creates a 3-D avatar of the celebrity that can be animated.

After that, they showed, they can draw out measurements from crowd-shaped bodies in a very precise manner. This is enough for many clothing sizing applications. They even create 3-D avatars of characters from books using just the written description.

Dr. Black, “When scanning technology is unavailable or inapplicable, body talk can be used to visualize mental representations of human body shape. This system can be used in many areas of science and medicine, for example in studies of body perception disorders, obesity, or cross-cultural attitudes about body shape.”