Manga – the Japanese comic phenomenon that fascinates young and old also in the western world new gets interactive! At CEDEC 2013 (Computer Entertainment Developers Conference) Japanese researchers of Shirai Lab at the Kanagawa Institute of Technology presented a new HID system, that lets you step inside a Japanese manga comic with the help of the kinect camera (what else?!). In fact it is an immersive posing role playing game that reflects the personality of the player who acts out the part of the hero, using pre-installed speech bubbles, backgrounds, effects and all the other elements that comprise manga and lets you create your own personalized manga comic on the fly. Absolutely amazing!
For a story created in advance, you take up your desired pose. Then, the shader runs in real time, converting the image to manga style. The biggest feature of this system is, it observes a person’s posture, chooses a background to match, and synthesizes the two.
When you complete the experience, you get a print-out like this, to create an original manga. There’s an advertisement on the back, and because people aren’t likely to throw away a manga with themselves in it, this is considered a very effective means of advertising.
For example, manga-style smartphone pictures are very popular right now. But the main feature of this system is, you can put yourself into a manga story by moving your whole body freely.
The real-time manga shader still has room for improvement, so we’re working to enhance the image quality. Then, there’s the issue of layout. We’ve made great progress on layout with text in the right places, and interactive stories. Some aspects of this research can be applied to e-books and interactive e-books.
As an industrial application, a customized version is on show at Manga Kingdom Tottori. That’s being experienced by hundreds of people every day. So, commercial applications have also advanced quite a lot.