NMC Virtual Worlds : Aug 21, 2008 08:31am
So you think your avatar is pretty lifelike? Are you ready to cross the uncanny valley? Meet Emily.
The TimesOnline in the UK reports on Lifelike animation heralds new era for computer games.
Image Metrics, a company that specializes in realistic facial animations (they also do the animations in Grand Theft Auto), have notched up the realism of computer generated characters. Emily started with a video of an employee just talking:
then recreated the gestures, movement by movement, in a model. The aim was to overcome the traditional difficulties of animating a human face, for instance that the skin looks too shiny, or that the movements are too symmetrical.
“Ninety per cent of the work is convincing people that the eyes are real,” Mike Starkenburg, chief operating officer of Image Metrics, said.
“The subtlety of the timing of eye movements is a big one. People also have a natural asymmetry – for instance, in the muscles in the side of their face. Those types of imperfections aren’t that significant but they are what makes people look real.”
Watch Emily- is she real? She’s even got attitude The last frames peel away the valley. This is pretty amazing!
Originally published at NMC Virtual Worlds