Apple’s TrueDepth camera system in the iPhone X is used to help authenticate users for Face ID. However it seems that in a pinch, the TrueDepth system could also be used for motion-capture and even 3D animation, thanks to a discovery by VFX artist Elisha Hung whose video you can check out above.
Unlike Siri and Touch ID in which Apple took a while before opening it up to third-party developers, Apple has given developers access to the same facial mesh system used by the Animoji feature. As Hung demonstrates in the video above, that information can be taken and transformed into a format understood by 3D editing software, which in turn results in a rather crude 3D animation.
Of course probably isn’t the most well-suited for higher-end productions, but if for whatever reason you need a quick capture of an object to render in 3D, or maybe for 3D animation, with the right tools the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera should work in a pinch. We’re not sure if this was an intended effect of the TrueDepth system, but it is a wonderful discovery.
We expect that we’ll probably come across more apps and maybe even games in the future that could take advantage of this.
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