New Adobe Program Translates Hand-Drawing Directly into Digital 3D Imagery

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A research project by Adobe Research and DCGI called Stylit is exploring the way that a human-drawn sketch can be applied to a digital 3D scene.

As reported by Fast Company Design, it takes a lot of work to turn the perfect shapes and shades of computer animation into objects that look closer to the mess and roughness of the real world (the most pristine example of this being products of Pixar). Researchers on the project have developed an algorithm that transfers the way an individual fills in a simple picture of a sphere to a computerized 3D figure.

Artists sat down with a low-contrast picture of a sphere printed on paper and colored it in with the medium of their choice, options including marker, watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic paint, and ink. As they colored, a camera situated above them tracked their style and projected it onto a 3D object. It happened in real time, too, so artists could adjust their style if they saw the need.

While Stylit is an amazing step in computerizing unique artistic techniques, it’s not quite ready to use in professional 3D animation yet. The lighting projected in the original drawing can’t be adjusted in the final 3D scene, and the translation is a little muddier than intended right now. However, Stylit is another step in reproducing specific human aesthetic with digital proficiency like we’ve never seen before. Watch the video below to see the technology in action.