Latest in Science

Image credit:

Disney can digitally recreate your teeth

It should be helpful in everything from video game acting to dentistry.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 5, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Chenglei Wu, Derek Bradley et. al.

Digital models of humans can be uncannily accurate these days, but there's at least one area where they fall short: teeth. Unless you're willing to scan the inside of someone's mouth, you aren't going to get a very faithful representation of someone's pearly whites. Disney Research and ETH Zurich, however, have a far easier solution. They've just developed a technique to digitally recreate teeth beyond the gum line using little more than source data and everyday imagery. The team used 86 3D scans to create a model for an "average" set of teeth, and wrote an algorithm that adapts that model based on what it sees in the contours of teeth in photos and videos.

The technology doesn't require any special capture equipment outside of the initial scans (the camera on your phone will do). Also, you don't have to purposefully bare your teeth: it can work with the incomplete information from a smile or grimace. A movie crew could generate models based on a brief, natural motion capture session.

This being Disney, the most obvious use is for digital actor models in animated movies and video games. You could see uncannily realistic characters whose details pass muster even in close-up shots. However, there are plenty of medical uses as well. The scientists see dentists using the tech to previsualize a patient's mouth before they sit in the operating chair, and it's easy to imagine this leading to more authentic-looking dentures. As silly as the notion of accurately rendered teeth may be, they could be important for your well-being.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

View
'Xbox Series S' console revealed by controller packaging

'Xbox Series S' console revealed by controller packaging

View
Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

View
Watch AI-controlled virtual fighters take on an Air Force pilot on August 18th

Watch AI-controlled virtual fighters take on an Air Force pilot on August 18th

View
Hyundai is turning Ioniq into its own EV sub-brand

Hyundai is turning Ioniq into its own EV sub-brand

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr