As the world of 3D is slowly but surely expanding, several universities around the globe are offering promising opportunities to get to learn and master such techniques. For those that are quick learners, these classes sometimes last as much as one single semester! It is fun and entertaining to learn how to make a 3D model, however, from this point on, the opportunities are multiple and the choices are all pretty inviting.
One possibility of moving further is by creating a 3D model, out of the 3D animation of the object design. The 3D model can then be turned into a real object, using a 3D printer. Purdue University is offering a tool that allows you to do just that, with not much preparation needed. As you are simply waving your hand, simply touching the air, you are creating a model of a 3D object that you can then, turn into reality.
The tool that seems to have been taken from the set of Minority Report is called Shape-It-Up. It uses a Kinect and some uncomplicated algorithms, in order to register the moves that your hand makes. It is as if you were making an air sculpture! As the shape you are creating becomes a real 3D model object, thanks to a 3D modeling program, you will surely be amazed. It is similar to using a mold, in order to create an object. Just that the mold, in this case is your hand, as it moves in the air.
The complexity of the gestures that the tool can decode is however limited. It is a little hard to model the faces of the characters and the details of great finesse. The technology used for the hand gesture recognition is similar to the one that is used by Wii game console. It functions on a principle similar to a click and drag of the mouse, allowing a more fluid gesture in shaping the model.
Once the model is ready, it all starts to take shape, should there be a 3D printer, available. And then, you can spend your time admiring the original shape of the object that you have just created with your bare hands, out of thin air, practically! Designers and architects will surely love experimenting with the new tool, once it will be released for the public.