Toppan launches virtual human lab for high-precision body measurement

Light Stage for facial scanning used as part of platform for accurate measurement

Toppan launches virtual human lab for high-precision body measurement

Toppan Printing (Toppan) (TYO:7911), a global enterprise in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, has launched the “Toppan Virtual Human Lab” to undertake research and development on human body measurement and wide-ranging applications for the data obtained. The lab will make use of a Light Stage from the University of Southern California (USC) for high-precision facial scanning.

With the rising demand for personalized products and services, information related to people’s bodies and health is increasingly used for business. However, the burden on users, who have to register information for each service separately, presents an obstacle to more widespread use of such data. Toppan is therefore creating a “Human Body Information Platform” that provides a one-stop solution for registration, processing, and leveraging of this information for diverse services. By providing the required functions and information through an application programming interface (API), the platform will contribute to business development by companies in wide-ranging sectors.


The Toppan Virtual Human Lab will record movement of the musculoskeletal system, take body measurements—such as hand and foot shape—and process the information into various forms. The research and development undertaken will enable an end-to-end service from measurement to production of 3D computer graphics, visual media, and other content. Based on this, the Human Body Information Platform will enhance input methods and expand a database of valuable information for individuals and businesses that supports the creation of new services.

As part of this initiative, Toppan has installed a Light Stage, which is operated by controlling multiple light sources in a spherical dome to enable scanning of not just face shape but also tone and texture with a high degree of accuracy. Use of the Light Stage will provide information that can be leveraged for the creation of diverse new applications with the potential to drive an array of related services. These include developing processing engines for creating photoreal avatars or running optical simulations of layers of cosmetics. Toppan plans to roll out an end-to-end solution from high-definition facial image photography to 3D computer graphic processing. Data output will be displayed online via an original viewer developed by Toppan, with a planned smartphone app. These and other initiatives will expand the use of the Light Stage beyond the film industry and open up possibilities for cutting-edge applications in such sectors as cosmetics, clothing, advertising, sports, and healthcare.

Dr Paul Debevec, adjunct research professor, USC

“Toppan will be receiving some of the world’s most advanced technology for human digitization, based on Light Stage systems which have won two Academy Awards and have scanned some of the world’s most famous and important people,” said Dr Paul Debevec, adjunct research professor, USC, who led the original development of the Light Stage technologies. “We have enjoyed working with Toppan many times since the early 2000’s, and we have every expectation they will develop important new capabilities with this technology.”

“In establishing a platform for information on the human body, we intend to enhance functions for measurement and enable the use of the data to help businesses generate new services matched to their targets and individuals,” said Jin Endo, executive officer of Toppan’s Business Development Division and R&D Strategy Office. “We will engage in co-creation with customers from wide-ranging sectors to expand the use of the Light Stage and explore innovative applications that stretch the imagination.”

Toppan is a global provider of integrated solutions in the fields of printing, communications, security, packaging, décor materials, electronics, and digital transformation. Serving customers in every sector of business and industry, Toppan’s global team of more than 50,000 employees offers optimal solutions enabled by industry-leading expertise and technologies to address the diverse challenges that businesses and society face in today’s rapidly changing market.


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