From the University of Washington, there comes a really interesting project, a program that can animate a character from a photograph, leaving the rest fixed. This is Photo Wake-Up, software that captures the 2D image of a body and delivers the data to an Artificial Intelligence to animate it, as shown in the demonstration video:
The AI tries to imagine what the 3D image of that figure would look like, and is dedicated to making movements as if it were a picture of the Harry Potter film. For the solution, they have used a Microsoft program called SMPL, created together with the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany.
The system cuts the body that will animate and superimpose a three-dimensional skeleton that will be animated to obtain the desired effect, being even able to obtain hidden members in the photo, such as an arm and a leg, for example. This 3D animation model matches the silhouette of the photo and can be configured with a specially designed user interface so that the position of the skeleton can be altered to correct possible errors.
The algorithm also works with augmented reality, so it opens the doors to entertainment systems where paintings come to life or paintings in a tunnel of terror scares visitors with 3D figures that come out of the walls. You can see more details in this MIT article, as well as the project page at grail.cs.washington.edu.