During my last semester as an undergraduate student, I worked on my bachelor’s thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. The topic of my thesis is “Self-avatars in virtual reality: Automated validation of body shape and animation with sparse markers” and was offered to me by our group leader Betty Mohler. By this time, I had already been active for one year in her group and was happy to work on this interesting topic. The following is the official abstract of my thesis, which generally describes the idea:

Especially in virtual reality, it is worth the effort to provide a personalized avatar in order to represent the own body. Although it is possible to manually create such an avatar from a 3D scan of every user, this is only feasible for special scenarios. A 3D scan requires not only expensive hardware, but also takes some time for calculation and optimization of the results depending on the desired quality. The main goal of this thesis is to make first steps towards realistically including high-resolution self-avatars into realtime applications for virtual reality and also to develop tools for further optimization of this approach. In doing so, it is built upon an already existing procedure to generate avatars from body measurements and statistical information about human bodies.

You can read my full thesis here, but it is in German.

The source code of the Unity project is available here on GitHub. Note that FinalIK (plugin for inverse kinematics) is a commercial product, so I had to exclude it from the project.

Feel free to use any of the offered materials in your own work with the following (BibLaTeX) citation:

@inproceedings{2017-Schirm-SelfAvatars,
  author      = {Johannes Schirm and Betty Mohler and Anne Thaler},
  title       = {Self-avatars in virtual reality: Automated validation of body shape and animation with sparse markers},
  booktitle   = {Virtuelle und Erweiterte Realität},
  year        = {2017},
  month       = {Nov},
  series      = {Berichte aus der Informatik},
  editors     = {R. Dörner and R. Kruse and B. Mohler and R. Weller},
  pages       = {201--202},
  publisher   = {Shaker},
  address     = {Aachen, Germany},
  doi         = {10.2370/9783844056068},
  isbn        = {978-3-8440-5606-8},
  issn        = {0945-0807},
  department  = {Research Group Mohler},
  event_name  = {14. Workshop der GI-Fachgruppe VR/AR},
  event_place = {Tübingen, Germany},
  url         = {https://www.johannes-schirm.de/research/thesis/bachelor-self-avatars-in-virtual-reality/},
}