Keith Kleiner at Singularity Hub brings an incredible story and video of Emily, a photo-realistic computer animation created by Image Metrics. Emily was animated by a new video motion capture technique that allows facial movement to be captured without physical markers and then transferred to a character rigging for software animation and rendering.
First, Image Metrics scanned actor Emily O’Brien to develop a custom template for her computer generated model. Then, eight animation artists built a custom rigging for her character in software. They captured O’Brien’s performance with video, motion tracked her facial movements, and then applied those tracked movements to the computer model. Because this process is more efficient than traditional methods, the 90-second animation took just one week to complete after the rigging was built.
The Uncanny Valley
This work definitely crosses the uncanny valley into photo-realistic animation that is nearly impossible to tell from the real thing. Check out the links above to Keith's site for additional behind-the-scenes video.