Generation of 3D characters from existing cartoons and a unified pipeline for animation and video games.

Authors: Barbieri, S.

Conference: Bournemouth University, Faculty of Media and Communication


Despite the remarkable growth of 3D animation in the last twenty years, 2D is still popular today and often employed for both films and video games. In fact, 2D offers important economic and artistic advantages to production. In this thesis has been introduced an innovative system to generate 3D character from 2D cartoons, while maintaining important 2D features in 3D as well. However, handling 2D characters and animation in a 3D environment is not a trivial task, as they do not possess any depth information.

Three different solutions have been proposed in this thesis. A 2.5D modelling method, which exploits billboarding, parallax scrolling and 2D shape interpolation to simulate the depth between the different body parts of the characters. Two additional full 3D solution have been presented. One based on inflation and supported by a surface registration method, and one that produces more accurate approximations by using information from the side views to solve an optimization problem.

These methods have been introduced into a new unified pipeline that involves a game engine, and that could be used for animation and video games production. A unified pipeline introduces several benefits to animation production for either 2D and 3D content. On one hand, assets can be shared for different productions and media. On the other hand, real-time rendering for animated films allows immediate previews of the scenes and offers artists a way to experiment more during the making of a scene.

Source: Manual