The “Magic Bench” designed by Disney gives a unique opportunity to sit next to an animated character from our childhood. Isn’t it cool?
The actual interaction with animated characters is happening in the 3D dimension and people can feel they are sitting with them. The bench can sense the person’s presence and offers different options how the communication will look like.
Users are able to see themselves on a video screen that is located in front of them, and any cartoon character can appear. The scene is captured by an RGB camera, An RGB camera delivers the three basic color components (red, green, and blue) on three different wires. This type of camera often uses three independent CCD sensors to acquire the three color signals. RGB cameras are used for very accurate color image acquisitions, and a Microsoft Kinect. The room is designed in three dimensions on the video screen, allowing the users to move behind and in front of the characters.
For example, a movie video shows an elephant that goes and sits on a bench.
The bench system uses haptic feedback to experience the whole thing. So for instance, if the elephant makes a sound, the bench will start to vibrate.
Animated animals also can even react if people will try to touch them. Have you ever seen the “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” cartoon? Well, that will look pretty much the same. “The bench itself plays a critical role,” says Moshe Mahler, a principal digital artist at Disney Research. “Not only does it contain haptic actuators, but it constrains several issues for us in an elegant way. We know the location and the number of participants and can infer their gaze. It creates a stage with a foreground and a background, with the seated participants in the middle ground. It even serves as a controller; the mixed reality experience doesn’t begin until someone sits down and different formations of people seated create different types of experiences.”
Disney Researchers presented the Magic Bench at SIGGRAPH 2017, an annual conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques, that was held in Los Angeles on July 30-August 3.
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