Magical AR Turns 2D Photos into ‘Harry Potter’Style 3D Animations

Researchers at Facebook and the University of Washington have released video of their Photo Wake-Up augmented reality project, which animates stationary characters from any still image.

Photo Wake-Up: 3D Character Animation from a Single Photo

Most current Augmented Reality applications are built for a specific image, like a billboard; this tool can however identify a human silhouette and generate a 3D version of the person to create a realistic animation for the figure to jump off the photo into the real world.

Digitizing and accelerating the speed of computer animation will enable transforming photography and artwork into something like the animated imagery in the Harry Potter movies. Imagine interacting with next-gen immersive advertisements (or art exhibits) where clouds move, cars drive, and animated 3D figures dance around you.