Image-Metrics-_-Performance.jpg [ 21.6 KiB | Viewed 441 times ]
An animation company has finally managed to create a computer-generated human that most watchers can't distinguish from a real person. Forget the clunky CG characters in most animated movies today — in a few years, you could be watching animated films that are almost indistinguishable from "live-action" ones.
The video actually uses a motion capture of a human actor to create a life-like animation. Image Metrics, whose animations were used in the Grand Theft Auto game, has developed a sure-fire way of making human faces look believable: apparently it's all about the eyes, and the little assymetries of the human face. There's a lot more fine control over the details in this new system, according to chief operating officer Mike Starkenburg:
There's always been control systems for different facial movements, but say in the past you had a dial for controlling whether an eye was open or closed, and in one frame you set the eye at 3/4 open, the next 1/2 open etc. This is like achieving that degree of control with much finer movements... For instance, you could be controlling the movement in the top 3-4mm of the right side of the smile
My question is, how long is it before we're all having video chat with slightly idealized animations of our friends?
Shaf's take: Between this and the breakthroughs promised by James Cameron (on his film, Avatar), I'd say there's a good chance that all actors will eventually do at least one film in a motion capture suit.
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