Realizing Magical 2D to 3D Transformation with Artificial Intelligence



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Realizing Magical 2D to 3D Transformation with Artificial Intelligence

We live in a world where every solid object has a 3D shape, but our eyes capture a 2D image of the objects. It is the magic of our brain that combines the 2D pictures to give us a perception of 3D world. However, we always require actual 3D models to visualize and understand the products better. There has been high demand of 3D models for enhanced viewing experiences in mobile applications, games, movies, VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality). Recently, Microsoft launched Mesh, a mixed-reality platform, that allows people in different physical locations to join and work in a collaborative 3D environment. The global 3D mapping and modeling market size is expected to grow to 7.6 billion by 2025 (CAGR of 15%). Technological advancements in 3D scanners, 3D sensors and depth cameras have also contributed to the availability of 3D contents. Many companies like Autodesk and Dassault Systems have built CAD tools to create 3D models for different applications.

Most of the processes in 3D modeling are still manual and requires expertise like Sketch to 3D conversion, defining and extracting constraints on 3D models, handling different formats, etc. As AI has revolutionized every sector, it has also stepped in 3D Modeling and design world to help designers and other key players at various steps of 3D design. Google’s 3D Scene Understanding enables to predict objects in 3D scene using advanced AI techniques based on Deep Neural Networks. Facebook’s Pytorch3D is an open-source highly modular and optimized library with unique capabilities, designed to make 3D deep learning easier with PyTorch. NVIDIA’s Kaolin is another library envisioned to help the research community working in 3D computer vision. One of the challenging problems in 3D space is to convert a 2D image into a 3D model as there is a high demand of 3D models.

In this multi-part blog series, I’ll share my experiences and learnings. In this first blog post, let me introduce you to the different approaches to convert a 2D image to 3D.

Image to 3D has been an important problem as it finds application in many areas, for example, 3D view of products on e-commerce platforms, more effective design brainstorming session with 3D view of objects, better visual of phone camera pictures, etc. Image in 2D representation lacks depth information and details about the background of the image. In the current scenario, 3D designers create 3D models using CAD tools using their 3D modeling skills. With the recent development in Deep Neural network-based generative models, there have also been multiple approaches for automation of Image to 3D conversion.

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