NVIDIA’s new FaceWorks technology is a leap forward in making computer-generated images look more lifelike. In an onstage presentation, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang prefaced the amazing demo with a brief discussion about the evolution of realistic face imaging and the “uncanny valley”--or those occasions where an artificial image is so lifelike that it’s creepy.
NVIDIA developed the technology behind FaceWorks with Paul Debevec and the Institute for Creative Technology (ICT) at USC in California. The group built a “light stage” that is, to hear Huang describe it, a room-sized sphere equipped with 156 cameras with white LEDs that can capture light from all directions simultaneously.
A person inside the light room makes about 30 facial expressions, and from there, they can “extract” how a person moves and expresses emotion. That data is whittled down to about 32GB of data and is further compressed into about 400MB that is comprised of 3D meshes that an NVIDIA TitanGPU processes.
The results are incredible; for a video demo, NVIDIA made a “digital Ira”; although there’s still something not quite right about the eyes (seriously, what is that?), when the digital man speaks, it’s uncanny how realistic he appears.
If you want to see more, go ahead and download the sample demo here.