"Virtual Human Lab" undertakes precision facial scanning

December 24, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Virtual lab for high precision body measurements
A Light Stage for facial scanning provides accurate measurement and processing of information on the human body in a virtual body lab at Toppan.

Toppan Printing in Japan has launched a lab to capture accurate information about the human body and make it accessible via an API interface.

The “Toppan Virtual Human Lab” will undertake research and development on human body measurements using a Light Stage from the University of Southern California (USC) for high-precision facial scanning. This will use technology from the film industry to create data for the digitalisation of the human body such as more realistic avatars. 

The lab will record movement of the musculoskeletal system, take body measurements—such as hand and foot shape—and process the information into various forms. The research and development undertaken will enable an end-to-end service from measurement to production of 3D computer graphics, visual media, and other content.

Information related to people’s bodies and health is increasingly used for business but the burden on users, who have to register information for each service separately presents an obstacle to more widespread use of such data.

The lab is part of a “Human Body Information Platform” being developed by Toppan that provides a one-stop solution for registration, processing, and management of this information for a wide range of services. The lab appears to be providing generic data rather than measurement of specific individuals that would have significant data provacy issues in Europe. 

By providing the required functions and information via an application programming interface (API), the platform will contribute to business development, says Toppan. The data from the lab research will improve input methods for the Human Body Information Platform and expand a database of valuable information for individuals and businesses that supports the creation of new services.

The Light Stage is operated by controlling multiple light sources in a spherical dome to enable scanning of not just face shape but also tone and texture with a high degree of accuracy.

Next: capturing body data

Picture: 
A Light Stage installed at the Toppan Virtual Human Lab. © Toppan Printing Co. Ltd.

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