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Disney is using augmented reality to bring coloring books to life

Disney is using augmented reality to bring coloring books to life


Watch the animal you're coloring wobble on the page through a tablet screen

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A Disney Research team has developed technology that projects coloring book characters in 3D while you're still working on coloring them. The process was detailed in a new paper called "Live Texturing of Augmented Reality Characters from Colored Drawings," and it was presented at the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality on September 29th. That title's a mouthful, but it's descriptive: the live texturing technology allows users to watch as their characters stand and wobble on the page and take on color as they're being colored in. You can see an example in the video above: the elephant's pants are turning blue on the tablet screen just as they're being filled on the page itself.

Augmented reality has been used to bridge the gap between static pages and animated characters before, most notably through Crayola's collaboration with AR developer DAQRI on the company's Color Alive series. But those products don't allow for simultaneous coloring and AR usage: you have to finish your drawing before generating your 3D character using the companion app. If Disney's technology can make its way to the consumer market, it'll mark another step forward for coloring book technology. Of course, it's a little too early to start hyping this up with your children — this kind of live texturing is still in its infancy, and it could be a while before you're shopping for coloring books that have this capability.

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