【2010-09-13】New Techniques for Acquiring, Rendering, and Displaying Human Performances From Spider-Man to Avatar, Emily to Benjamin: Achieving Photoreal Digital Actors

Poster:Post date:2010-08-17

Title: New Techniques for Acquiring, Rendering, and Displaying Human Performances From Spider-Man to Avatar, Emily to Benjamin: Achieving Photoreal Digital Actors
Prof. Paul Debevec, USC ICT
Time: 16:30-18:00, Sep 13 (Mon), 2010
Place: Room 103, CSIE Building

Somewhere between Final Fantasy in 2001 and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in 2008, digital actors crossed the "Uncanny Valley" from looking strangely synthetic to believably real.  I will describe some of the key technological advances which have enabled this achievement. Two technologies from our laboratory, High Dynamic Range Lighting and the Light Stage facial capture systems, have been used in creating realistic digital characters in movies such as Spider-Man 2, Superman Returns, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Avatar.  For an in-depth example, I will describe how high-resolution face scanning, advanced character rigging, and performance-driven facial animation were combined to create "Digital Emily", a collaboration between our laboratory and Image Metrics.  Actress Emily O'Brien was scanned in Light Stage 5 in 33 facial poses at the resolution of skin pores and fine wrinkles.  These scans were assembled into a rigged face model driven by Image Metrics' video-based animation software, and the resulting photoreal facial animation premiered at SIGGRAPH 2008.  I will also present a 3D Teleconferencing system which uses live facial scanning and an autostereoscopic display to transmit a person's face in 3D and make eye contact with remote collaborators, and a new head-mounted facial performance capture system based on photometric stereo.

Paul Debevec leads the graphics laboratory at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies in Los Angeles. His 1996 Ph.D. thesis from UC Berkeley presented Fade, an image-based modeling and rendering system for creating photoreal architectural models from photographs. Using Fade he led the creation of virtual cinematography of the Berkeley campus for his SIGGRAPH 1997 film The Campanile Movie whose techniques were subsequently used to create virtual backgrounds for "bullet time" shots in The Matrix.  Debevec pioneered high dynamic range (HDR) image-based lighting techniques in his animations Rendering with Natural Light, Fiat Lux, and The Parthenon and has led the design of HDR Shop, the first HDR image editing program. At USC ICT, Debevec has led the development of a series of Light Stage devices for digitizing the shape and appearance of human faces, for which he received a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award in 2010 with Tim Hawkins, John Monos, and Mark Sagar.  The recipient of ACM SIGGRAPH's first Significant New Researcher Award in 2001, Debevec co-authored the 2005 book High Dynamic Range Imaging, chaired the SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival, and is a member of the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee, the Visual Effects Society, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Last modification time:2010-08-17 PM 9:54

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