Apple has filed for a patent (number 20200058172) for “systems, methods, and computer-readable media for placing an asset on a three-dimensional model.” It shows the company plans to further enhance its Anijomi and Memoji creation features.
Animojis allow a user to choose an avatar (e.g., a puppet) to represent themselves. The Animoji can move and talk as if it were a video of the user. Animojis enable users to create personalized versions of emojis in a fun and creative way, and Memoji is the name used for iOS’s personalized “Animoji” characters that can be created and customized right within Messages by choosing from a set of inclusive and diverse characteristics to form a unique personality.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that some electronic devices can display 3D models that a user can control. For example, gaming consoles can display three-dimensional avatars that represent a user, and the user can direct the avatar to perform specific actions in a game.
The 3D models can be constructed from the combination of several assets such as a body, a head, eyes, ears, nose, hair, glasses, a hat, or other accessories. The assets can be placed on and incorporated into the model (e.g., placed on and integrated into an external surface of the model), or placed adjacent to the external surface of the model. Apple wants to make it easier for a user to personalize a displayed model by selecting and moving specific assets with respect to the remainder of the model.
Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “Systems, methods, and computer-readable media are provided for placing an asset on a three-dimensional model. Each asset can be associated with a pivot point and with an asset normal. A contact point on the surface of a model where an asset is to be positioned may be identified, and a surface normal that may be perpendicular to the surface at the contact point may also be identified. Then, the asset can be placed on the model such that the position of the pivot point of the asset may coincide with the position of the identified contact point on the surface of the model, and such that the orientation of the asset normal may match the orientation of the identified surface normal.”