last update: 2008-10-30
What is it?
This was my very first contact with anything done in 3D. hAiR (capital A and R for Augmented Reality) is an awesome little program that let's you try on different hair-styles in real-time! It was written during the summer course Augmented Reality in 2005 (here is the link there (German)).
I did not write it on my own, but had two cool guys besides me: Marc Breisinger and Raphael Wimmer. We came up together with idea and code - and it was a lot of fun (you guys rock!). The original project page is here, but it was thought mainly for intern use :/
How does it work?
The computer tracks your head via a webcam on top of the screen ... well not really, it tracks the helmet you have to wear on your head. This helmet has special optical markers in a certain arrangement attached to it, which are easy to find and track for the program. Also, hAiR has stored a set of virtual hairstyles. These hairstyles are then projected on top of your head in the video-stream from the web-cam. The final, augmented video-stream is displayed ont the monitor in front of you. hAiR mirrors the videostream horizontally to create the illusion of a real mirror. Besides the helmet, there are also three 'brushes', sticks with bigger cylinders with optical markers, to change the color or size of the hair style or to draw new strands out of your hair. Also, there is a journal that holds a set of optical markers that are associated with a certain hairstyle. See the video below to see all that in action.
Closed. The final status was a prototype version (so pre-alpha) that works without any known bugs. We stopped developing after the course was finished, since we deem the concept proven.
Give me the technicals!
hAiR was written completely in plain ANSI-C. The tracking and controlling of the camera, including the obtaining of the video-stream, is done by the AR-Toolkit, a great piece of software. We also use the AR-Toolkit-Plus to utilize special, coded optical markers instead of the default-stuff. Another fundamental library is OpenGL, prepared by GLUT. OpenGL is niiiice. If you don't know, what you want to learn today, OpenGL is definitely a good bet ;) Oh, the actual hair-styles are VRML-models imported by the AR-toolkit. Since all this stuff is compilable for most major Systems, hAiR runs on Windows and Linux alike. We haven't tested it with MacOS, though :/
So, you read all that and saw one or two screenshots, that might well be faked and think this program was as likely written as Martians built the pyramids. So, here is the proof, a video of me interacting with the system (notice especially the last few seconds of the video!):
|hAiR.mov (13 MB)|
Or watch it right here (with somewhat messed up video - thnx YouTube!)
NOTE: The binaries are not downloadable here. They would be of little use, anyway: You need the markers and to see anything (If you really want to see hAiR for yourself, take the markers from the original project page). If you want the source, please ask me through eMail - perhaps there will be a scientific paper someday about hAiR, so I can't just publish the source here.