Making faces

Disney to demonstrate facial f/x in 'Project'

At Siggraph, Digital Domain’s Brad Parker reveals a myriad of digital techniques used to make actor Jeremy Irons’ face age and decay right before the audience’s eyes in “The Time Machine,” including Rigid Body Dynamics, and hair, skin and muscle simulation. De-aging actors by removing wrinkles is also a noteworthy advancement, observes DD’s Darin Grant, who says, “It’s like digital Botox.”

Cutting-edge work in facial effects will be demonstrated in Disney’s R&D effort the “Human Face Project,” in which the expressions of one actor are applied to another. Calling it a type of Performance Capture, Disney’s Lance Williams explains, “We tracked the face of a guy in his 60s and gave it to a guy in his 30s. We abstracted the actor’s performance and cross-mapped it to a very different face. We use computer vision techniques to guide a model that matches plate photography.”

Noting that ILM is also working on performance capture, Williams adds with a laugh, “Actors may be cheaper in the foreseeable future.”

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