Together, research scientists from Loughborough University and the University of Manchester in the UK have developed a way to improve the precision and accuracy of 3D body scanning by a whopping 4500%. They wrote a free algorithm, called Gryphon, that can be used with any 3D scanner, and published a paper about their work, “A method for increasing 3D body scanning’s precision: Gryphon and consecutive scanning,” that details how they used the new code to take 121 measurements from 97 participants, and then compared them to today’s industry-standard data processing method.
The abstract of the paper states, “The fashion industry cannot use 3 D Body Scanning to create custom garment patterns because its measurements fail to meet ISO 20685:2010’s tolerances. To advance 3 D Body Scanning’s precision, we present Gryphon: an algorithm that removes the two most extreme measurements from five body scans; removing potentially erroneous data. We assess Gryphon’s precision against current industry practice, determine if consecutive and non-consecutive data capture influences precision, and determine 3 D Body Scanning’s inherent imprecision inherent. We analyse 97 participants over 121 industry-standard measurements for consecutive and non-consecutive data-capture through MANOVA statistical analysis. Under current industry practice, only one measurement meets ISO 20685. However, under Gryphon and consecutive scanning, 97.5% of measurements meet ISO 20685. We also prove that the body’s in-scan movement does not affect reliability. Ultimately, we offer the fashion industry, ergonomists, and practitioners an accessible method to increase 3 D Body Scanning’s precision at a level unavailable under previous methods.”
3D body scanning has many different applications, from fashion to medical, and achieving accurate scans is critically important for all of them. The team discovered through their work that the average margin of error for current 3D scanners, when the data is captured non-consecutively, is about 13.8 cm. Their Gryphon code is a simple data processing tool that basically finds errors in the scan measurements and then takes them out. The researchers said that once they used the algorithm alongside consecutive data capturing, the average margin of error dropped to 0.3 cm, or a 4500% precision improvement.
“When 3D body scanners measure people, the measurements can be so different from what you would take with a tape measure that the results cannot be easily used,” explained the lead author of the study Dr. Chris Parker, a Lecturer at the University of Loughborough’s School of Design and Creative Arts.
“In fact, 0% of current measurements meet the precision you might expect from an expert, and are too imprecise to design clothes. We change that. At the minute, practitioners who use 3D scanners need a lot of training to spot errors, remove them from the data set, and rescan the person—so mistakes are common. Because of this, 3D body scanning is slow and, in many ways, unreliable. If the 3D body scanning industry adopts Gryphon into their software, then they will make their measurements 4500% more precise than they currently are—and it can all be done through a simple software update. We hope this will speed up 3D body scanning, removing the need for highly trained operators to correct mistakes, and—ultimately—help 3D Body Scanning create custom garments for everyone—without the fuss.”