Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Here's Looking at You, Kid

There's another holy grail in CG along with real time rendering of high res 3D imaging, the modeling and animation of a realistic human face, something considered not doable, at least at reasonable cost, until now.

"The human face is a complicated thing—powered by 52 muscles; contoured by the nose, eyebrows, and other features; and capable of an almost infinite range of expressions, from joy to anger to sorrow to puzzlement.

Perhaps that is why realistic animation of the human face has been what Microsoft Research Asia scientist Xin Tong calls a “holy grail” of computer graphics. Decades of research in computer graphics have developed a number of techniques for capturing three-dimensional moving images of the human face. But all have flaws, capturing insufficient detail or failing to depict accurately a changing expression.

Now, researchers at Microsoft Research Asia, led by Tong and working with Jinxiang Chai, a Texas A&M University professor, have developed a new approach to creating high-fidelity, 3-D images of the human face, one that depicts not only large-scale features and expressions, but also the subtle wrinkling and movement of human skin. Their work could have implications in areas such as computerized filmmaking and even in creating realistic user avatars for use in conferencing and other applications."

Actors in hollywood better keep looking over their shoulder or better yet, looking at their computer monitors to see the competition, who knows, the next Idoru could be coming their way courtesy of tech and the artists who create them.

Click the picture below to read the paper explaining how the software works. Most interesting to be sure.

"Instant gratification isn't fast enough." - Robert E.
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