Brian Shrader's Siteseeing Blog

New advances in computer animation

Posted September 12, 2008 8:32 a.m. EDT

Those computer-genenerated images in film and TV don't always look that great.   Check out this clip of a new kind of computer animation from a company called Image Metrics.

More from the Design42day.com blog:

Researchers at a Californian company which makes computer-generated imagery for Hollywood films started with a video of an employee talking. They then broke down down the facial movements down into dozens of smaller movements, each of which was given a 'control system'.

The team at Image Metrics - which produced the animation for the Grand Theft Auto computer game - 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."

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WRAL's Brian Shrader blogs about cool video clips and other interesting Web sites. If you have any video you would like to share, please let us know.