Generate & Animate 3D Characters with PIFuHD


CogniWerk Editor

Date: 17.10.2023

PIFuHD is a powerful and easy to use tool for transforming images to 3D geometry, powered by deep neural networks. It stands for Multi-Level Pixel-Aligned Implicit Function for High-Resolution 3D Human Digitization, was developed by researchers at Shandong University and Adobe Research and it uses AI and computer vision to generate high-quality 3D models of real-life clothed humans from 2D images.

Use-Cases of PIFuHD

One of the most exciting use cases for PIFuHD is in the field of fashion and character design. Designers can use the tool to quickly and easily create 3D models of their designs, which can then be used for prototyping and testing in a 3D environment. This could speed up the design process and help designers to iterate on their designs more quickly. Another use case for PIFuHD is in the field of virtual and augmented reality. By using the tool to generate 3D models of real-life figurines, designers can create more realistic and immersive virtual and augmented reality experiences.

How To Transform a 2D Image into a 3D Character Scene

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First, generate a character using the AUTOMATIC1111 WebUI, preferably in a classic T-pose. ControlNET’s extension for openpose and the openpose editor is a massive helper with this! Inpainting for hands and face is also often required. Make sure to have a simple background.

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Upload your character image to PIFuHD to transform it into an editable 3D object. In most cases, you must tweak the character manually in software like Blender or NomadSculpt.

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If you’re satisfied with the 3D object, you can upload it to Mixamo: a great and free to use tool to easily get simple animations for your character. You can preview the animations with your own character as well! Mixamo has a great library of animations and movements to download and choose from, after quickly setting and adjusting the anchor points of your character.

When using Blender or similar software to bring it all together, you can UV-project the initial generated image back onto the character model to create the illusion of having a fully fleshed out look. Here is an example of using this technique and AI-dephtmaps to create a 3D scene.

Overall, PIFuHD is a very simple to use and integrate tool that has the potential to transform the way we approach character design. I think it could be incredibly interesting to experiment with it when creating works in fashion and design. It’s definitely worth taking the time to explore the capabilities of this tool and to think about how it could be used to enhance your design work.