Video games look really good when there are vehicles moving, guns firing and buildings exploding. Something they don’t do as well are the little things. Like smoking, kissing, or...putting on a pair of pants.
From GTA to The Witcher, intimate, very human actions like clothing changes in games are never actually shown, because the animation is either too hard or looks like garbage (or maybe both).
That’s something a team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (via Motherboard) would like to change. They’re looking at overcoming the current obstacles in depicting this kind of interaction on the screen, which are generally down to the fact clothes are modelled via physics and characters are done by hand.
The solution at the moment is to designate “openings” in a garment, and have the clothes interact with the body underneath as it passes that opening. In the short term this stuff will benefit video games and Hollywood, but in the long term their research is hoping to teach robots the nuances of the world around them; presently a robot will avoid all collisions, but to put on a shirt a robot would have to collide with the shirt.
Wait, we’re teaching robots to put on shirts now?