Disney is bringing its magic to a brand new augmented reality app that will awaken the imagination of kids and adults of all ages. With just a sprinkle of pixie dust — better yet, the use of technology — the user is able to create and bring to life 3D characters from a drawing.
Developed by Disney Research, the the new augmented reality coloring book app tracks and captures 2D images from a coloring book and transforms them in real-time to 3D characters that move on the page.
To do this, Disney developed a deformable surface tracking method that uses a new outlier rejection algorithm designed to detect the colored drawing and creates the texture of an AR character from a drawing in real-time. This means as the user colors from the physical book, they can see their character getting filled with color at the same exact time in 3D on a smartphone or tablet.
As the app is running on the device, it tracks the page and movement and provides real-time texture by using a lookup map that assigns a pixel from the drawing to every pixel of the texture. This means the user sees the color appear on the animated character on the screen as they are coloring in the real world.
Since coloring books are a great way for children to express their creativity, the augmented reality coloring book app would help kids stay engaged, breathing life into a static activity. Who are we kidding, even adults like us would want to see our own 3D elephant character dancing on our tablets.
The researchers performed user tests on adults, finding that the participants were more motivated to draw and color, and 80 percent revealed they felt more connected to the animated character.
Don't get too excited to start coloring in your own animated characters. The app is only a concept right now, so it will be some time before we see the interactive Disney coloring book in the app stores.