A High Presence Shared Space Communication System Using 2D Background and 3D Avatar


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E87-D   No.12   pp.2532-2539
Publication Date: 2004/12/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on New Technologies and their Applications of the Internet)
high presence telecommunication,  real-time rangefinder,  texture projection,  nonverbal communication cues,  

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Displaying a 3D geometric model of a user in real time is an advantage for a telecommunication system because depth information is useful for nonverbal communication such as finger-pointing and gesturing that contain 3D information. However, the range image acquired by a rangefinder suffers from errors due to image noises and distortions in depth measurement. On the other hand, a 2D image is free from such errors. In this paper, we propose a new method for a shared space communication system that combines the advantages of both 2D and 3D representations. A user is represented as a 3D geometric model in order to exchange nonverbal communication cues. A background is displayed as a 2D image to give the user adequate information about the environment of the remote site. Additionally, a high-resolution texture taken by a video camera is projected onto the 3D geometric model of the user. This is done because the low resolution of the image acquired by the rangefinder makes it difficult to exchange facial expressions. Furthermore, to fill in the data occluded by the user, old pixel values are used for the user area in the 2D background image. We have constructed a prototype of a high presence shared space communication system based on our method. Through a number of experiments, we have found that our method is more effective for telecommunication than a method with only a 2D or 3D representation.