Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2019

Realistic people in virtual worlds - A movie as a true experience

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Winning team of the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI (f.l.t.r): Dr. Oliver Schreer, Peter Kauff and Ingo Feldmann.

©  Foto: Fraunhofer / Piotr Banczerowski
 

Winners of the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2019:


Ingo Feldmann, Fraunhofer HHI
Dr. Oliver Schreer, Fraunhofer HHI
Peter Kauff, Fraunhofer HHI

 

Walk-in movies, games or training sessions: virtual realities are on the rise, allowing users to immerse themselves in scenes. While the physical setting can now be modeled very realistically, people in such VR worlds often appear artificial, their movements unnatural.

Ingo Feldmann, Dr. Oliver Schreer MD and Peter Kauff of the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI, have now developed a novel technology to meet this challenge. It allows humans to be placed into a VR setting who look lifelike and move smoothly and naturally. The data rate required for this feat is a staggering 1.6 terabytes per minute. In the summer of 2018, the researchers set up a dedicated studio on a film site in Babelsberg and to this end founded the production company Volucap GmbH together with Babelsberg Studio, ARRI, Interlake and UFA.

The technology can be used anywhere where authenticity is crucial − for example, with people from social life but also in the fields of fashion, sports, and training and education. In an ongoing project, historical scenes, such as speeches by Cicero at the Roman Forum, are being reproduced.

Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize

Since 1978, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has annually awarded prizes for outstanding scientific achievements by its employees that have system relevance and a poten­tial to directly and decisively help solve societal challenges and safeguard the future of Germany as a business location. More than 300 researchers have won the award to date. This year, four prizes are awarded, each worth 50,000 euros.