Our research project goes on!
Try It On is the research project funded by the Ministry of Economic Development and carried out in collaboration with YOUBIQUO for the creation of a virtual dressing room that allows you to try on clothes via augmented reality both in stores and directly from home. All this to provide the end user with a realistic and satisfying dress try-on experience.
Let’s discover the “Phase 1: avatar modeling” with Eng. Vincenzo Baldi
We interviewed Eng. Vincenzo Baldi, who is in charge of real-time creation of the user’s avatar.
Eng. Baldi, when we speak of Avatar in the context of the TRY IT ON project, what do we mean?
The avatar is a virtual three-dimensional representation of the user of the system that reproduces as faithfully as possible his build.
Is it therefore a virtual copy of the user, right?
Yes! The final goal is to obtain an avatar in which the user can also recognize himself from an aesthetic point of view (understood as facial features, hair color, skin etc.) as well as to correctly reproduce their physicality.
What is the role of this avatar in the project?
The avatar will replace the image reflected in the end user’s mirror and “wear” the dress in its place. Thanks to the use of video cameras, it will be possible to follow the user’s movements and reproduce them on the monitor (of the PC, smartphone or virtual mirror, editor’s note).
How will the end user make his avatar?
The user will simply have to “reflect” inside the virtual mirror: special cameras developed by our partner YOUBIQUO will detect the measures necessary to reproduce his physicality. After that, our software will produce its twin.
Will the avatar have a realistic look? Will we see our face superimposed on the model?
The avatar will reflect the size of the subject that will be framed and the features of the face, hair and all details reproducible.
Where are you with this part of the project?
Currently, in collaboration with DiMIE (the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics of the University of Basilicata), in particular with the Unibas Computer Graphics laboratory, we are studying the anthropometric parameters that are indispensable for the creation of an avatar that has the same measures as the person using the product.
Furthermore, we are working on the creation of the workflow that starts from the extraction of these parameters and arrives at the fitting of the dress, also reproduced through a three-dimensional model similar to the real garment, both in shape and color, but also in physicality of the fabric itself.
To develop everything, we are using the Blender graphic editor to create the avatar and the dress and the Unreal Engine to “dress” the avatar and simulate the fitting of the garment and the movements of the subject.
We are performing the first tests of the prototype on ourselves: in the first instance we took, manually, complete with a tape measure, traditional tailoring measures and we have them inserted into the system, thus obtaining ours personal avatar for each of us.
And how was the final result? Realistic?
I can say that I have obtained excellent feedback. Obviously, these measurements, which have now been taken manually, will then be automatically detected through the hardware that will be created by YOUBIQUO.
On the market there are already solutions similar to the one presented in this project: what are the limits of the current instruments that TRY IT ON aims to overcome?
This project responds first of all to all the problems related to the online purchase of clothing, where unfortunately it is impossible to decide with certainty the size of a suit to take and therefore you risk having to return the product every time or, in some cases, not be able to use it.
The impossibility of being able to try on a dress when buying online is the main limitation that we want to eliminate!
What the solutions currently on the market allow to do is the more or less precise superimposition of the image of a dress on the person. However, the overlap is not realistic, the dress does not follow the movements of the person, thus giving a sense of stillness and fiction to the test.
Normally, a side version of the dress is not available. Consequently, the user has no vision of how the dress can actually fit in reality. It does not receive useful information about the concrete fit of the individual sizes. All these points are investigated within our project: with TRY IT ON the user will have the same experience online as he has in physical retail.
How do you expect the market will react?
What we expect in the e-commerce field is a reduction in returns and an increase in revenues. In addition, it will also be a valuable aid in the physical store, allowing you to save time in trying on clothes (there would no longer be huge queues in front of the dressing rooms) and favoring the safety of customers, which is more important than ever in the post-pandemic scenario. Not forgetting, finally, the possibility of being able to try on clothes not available at that time at the physical store.
What will be the next step of development?
The next step will be to automate the process of measuring the various points of the body necessary for the creation of the 3D model. This will allow us to create a faithful model, even if the subject is dressed. We can’t wait to create our virtual twin!
You may also be interested in: TRY IT ON: a new concept of virtual dressing room