Posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
When the 3D animation company, Image Metrics, showed a promo video entitled The Emily Project at last month’s SIGGRAPH conference in L.A. it was only a matter of time before the buzz spilled online. As impressively demonstrated in the clip here—you see, Emily isn’t “real”—the company’s patented “Markerless” 3D facial animation technology is being touted as quicker, cheaper and altogether superior to the traditional motion-capture method used in many Hollywood films.
When we first started working on Emily, our goal was to create an exact replica of the real actress Emily O’Brien. Why? Because there was no other way to determine how close we had come to reality if we did not replicate a “real” person.
Unlike motion-capture, which uses “marks” on an actor’s face and body to produce an avatar as seen in numerous special features over the years, this process uses pre-recorded video and simply maps over it. At present, the company has worked primarily on video games, notably MGS 3, GTA IV and other Rockstar titles, but its interest and presence in feature films is on the increase (see 2007’s Harry Potter installment).
Let us know what you think of the video and the technology. For more videos, visit YouTube.
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