Google rarely fails to impress with technology demos. Their latest — Monster Mash — is aimed at using artificial intelligence to allow the creation of simple 3D animations without a lot of training or trouble. We’ll warn you: we aren’t artists so we didn’t get the results the demos were showing, but then again, if you are even a little artistic, you’ll probably have better luck than we did. You might want to start watching the video, below.
There’s also a research paper if you are more interested in the technology. The idea is to make simple line drawings in 2D. Then you inflate the object to 3D. The final step is to trace out animation paths.
It sounds simple, but there are a few things you need to know. The object’s main body needs to be a closed stroke. After that, you can draw open shapes to cue the system that they are body parts. Drawing with a right click puts objects behind existing objects and double-clicking a shape creates a symmetric copy (for example, a right and left leg).The inflation step has some high-power math behind it, while the final step is to create control points on the model and deform them to produce the appearance of movement.
The project had contributors from the Czech Technical University, ETH Zürich, and the University of Washington. The code is open source, too.