Earlier today we introduced Apple's 3D Avatar App which covered a basic overview of the new application in the works. Now a second patent application has surfaced and it actually shows that the app is already running on an iPad! We have the screenshot to prove it. The new patent application focuses on how the app will work with color palettes and more. The big news however is that the new 3D Avatar App is in its final stages of development and that's very cool. Evidently phase-one of the application is geared for the younger crowd, but other editions could be in the works as discussed in our first report today. One of the 3D characters in this Avatar App that we illustrate in our report has an Apple T-Shirt on. It makes you wonder if Apple is planning to debut this 3D Avatar app alongside a cool new Apple based game of sorts to kick this off just right. At the end of the day, Apple is in the final stages of a great new app for the iPad.
Apple's Patent Background
Some electronic devices can display three-dimensional models that a user can control as part of an electronic device operation. For example, gaming consoles can display avatars that represent a user, and the user can direct the avatar to perform specific actions in the game. The avatars can be constructed from the combination of assets such as a body, a head, eyes, ears, nose, and hair. To enhance the user's gaming experience, a user can personalize the avatar by selecting specific assets. The user can further personalize the avatar by changing colors of specific assets. The displayed avatar, however, is typically colored using a color palette by which a color of the palette is associated with each pixel of the avatar. Because palettes typically are limited in size (e.g., 256 colors), the palettes may not allow for progressive transparency or gradients in color. In addition, there is no easy approach for uniformly changing a range of colors to a new range of colors.
An electronic device can display a three-dimensional model, such as an avatar. The avatar can be constructed from several assets, each of which can have several colors. In particular, an asset can include variations of colors (e.g., gradients, or blended colors) that provide an aesthetically pleasing avatar. To personalize an avatar, a user can select and change some of the displayed colors of individual assets. For example, a user may wish to change a first or indexed color of an asset to a second or destination color.
However, in order to maintain the aesthetically pleasing color gradients of the asset, this change may include not only changing the indexed color to the destination color, but may also include changing each individual color of an initial color gradient associated with the indexed color to a new, replacement color of a different color gradient associated with the destination color.
The electronic device may first identify the particular colors of the asset that are part of the initial gradient and that should change in response to a corresponding user instruction to change a color of the initial gradient to a destination color. When an asset is defined (e.g., created by an artist for later use by a user to create a personalized avatar), one or specific colors of the asset may be identified as an indexed color that may be selected by a user for a color changing operation. In addition, an index threshold may be defined for each indexed color that may describe a range of colors relative to the indexed color (e.g., a color gradient or a color similarity associated with the indexed color). Then, other colors of the asset that are within the range defined by the index threshold of an indexed color may be identified as colors that may also be changed along with that indexed color (e.g., to maintain the aesthetically pleasing color gradients of the asset).
To efficiently change these identified colors when a user wishes to change an indexed color of an asset, the encoding of each asset pixel having one of the identified colors can be modified. In particular, the encoding of each pixel can include a color index that may indicate whether the color of the pixel can be changed for a particular indexed color. The color index of a pixel can be encoded in any suitable color model including, for example, a red, green, blue (RGB) model or a hue, saturation, value (HSV) model.
Once each pixel of an asset has been encoded with a color index, the color indexes can be used to identify and change the color of appropriate pixels of the asset when a user wishes to change an indexed color of the asset to a destination color. For example, when a user selects a destination color to replace an initial indexed color of an asset, all of the pixels of the asset having a color related to the indexed color may be identified (e.g., according to the color index of each pixel). Then, a transformation may be applied to the initial color of each of the identified pixels to generate a replacement color for each of the identified pixels. Each of the replacement colors can be related to the destination color, and may provide a similar gradient or blending with respect to the destination color as the initial colors may provide with respect to the indexed color. In some embodiments, a HSV model can be used to generate the replacement colors.
New App Shown on an iPad
Apple's patent FIG. 1 shown above is an illustrative display of an avatar constructed from several assets and displayed on an iPad; patent FIGS. 2A and 2B are illustrative views of an avatar constructed from several assets and displayed by an electronic device. The three-dimensional 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.
Apple's patent FIGS 3 & 4 shown below are illustrative views of eye assets; Patent FIG. 5 is a schematic view of a palette-based approach for coloring an asset.
Apple's patent FIGS. 6 & & shown below are illustrative displays of the new iPad's 3D app interface for defining colors of an asset that can change.
Apple's patent application was originally filed in Q3 2010 by sole inventor Thomas Goossens of Apple Paris.
Notice: Patently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn't be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables. Apple's patent applications have provided the Mac community with a clear heads-up on some of Apple's greatest product trends including the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iOS cameras, LED displays, iCloud services for iTunes and more. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
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