Do you have a wild imagination and love to draw? If so, the latest project from Meta AI's Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) team may just be what you need to bring your drawings to life! The FAIR team has recently announced the release of Animated Drawings, an open source project that aims to help creators and developers easily create their own drawing-to-animation experiences or products.
The project started in 2021 when the FAIR team decided to use recent advancements in computer vision to create a fast and intuitive pipeline to animate the human-like figures found in character drawings. The idea was to use object detection models, pose estimation models, and image processing-based segmentation methods to quickly create a digital version of the drawing. This could then be deformed and animated using traditional computer graphics techniques.
But there was a problem: character drawings, at the scale needed to train a computer vision model, are quite hard to come by. To solve this problem, the researchers created the Animated Drawings Demo, a publicly-accessible web-based tool where creators could upload their drawings and receive an animation starring a character in the drawings - all in less than a minute.
The response to the Animated Drawings Demo was incredible, with users uploading over 1.6 million images in just a few months. Interestingly, many of the images uploaded weren't even amateur drawings - they were pictures of company logos, stuffed animals, anime characters, pets, and a variety of other things that people wanted to animate. This sparked a desire for more comprehensive tools with transparent backgrounds, support for different skeleton types, multiple interacting characters, sound effects, background scenery, and text overlays.
Instead of extending the demo to support all the new feature requests, the FAIR team decided to release an open-sourced version of the models and code used by the Animated Drawings Demo. This move has the potential to inspire other developers to create demos and experiences that utilize animation assets from user drawings.
The Animated Drawings project is an excellent example of how open source technology can be used to lower the barrier to entry for people who want to experiment with animation and create their own drawing-to-animation experiences. The project provides a starting point for developers to build on and extend the project, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration within the open source community.
So, if you're itching to bring your drawings to life, check out the FAIR Animated Drawings project and start exploring the possibilities! Who knows - your drawings could be the next big thing in the world of animation.