Meet Emily -- Facial animations

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 27, 2008
Updated • May 22, 2018

I'm loosely following the technological advances in a few sectors that are not directly related to the topics I write about here on Ghacks. This includes advancement in new input technologies like Microsoft's Surface but also character animation and robotics.

Maybe once or twice in a year I come upon something that is so fascinating that I have to write about it.

Meet Emily is one of these occurrences. Some of you who follow this tech sector more closely might have seen the video already, for those who have not read on.

I do not want to spoil the fun and would like to ask you to view the video below and hear what the interview is all about, a description of the technology. Once that is done scroll down to read the rest of the article.

It's impressive is not it? The interview did look a bit unreal but not enough to convince me that Emily was in fact not a real person but a computer model. Here is another video making use of the facial motion technology of Image Metrics.

That's fascinating in my opinion. Game publishers have been among the first to become clients of Image Metrics but you also find television and movie makers as well as advertisement companies among them.

Image Metrics has uploaded a tutorial series to YouTube that demonstrates the functionality of the company's Faceware software. You can head over to the official company channel on YouTube to watch the tutorial and a full performance demonstration at GDC 2011.

The company has released apps for iPhone and iPad this year, named Mojo Masks, that enables you to put face paint masks on photos and videos. It is a fun application, free of charge, but it demonstrates at least some of the capabilities of the technology the company uses.

Meet Emily -- Facial animations
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Meet Emily -- Facial animations
Meet Emily is a tech demo, or better video, that demonstrates how powerful Image Metric's Faceware software is.
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  1. Bruno said on August 28, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    welcome replicants ! :D
    it’s very interesting, but I keep in mind that it’s just a sophisticated way to animate an electronic puppet, like Geppetto with Pinocchio.

  2. Kieran said on August 28, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Odd argument there Trans. I’m not even gonna start on virtual art being an ultimate chart but let me just say this.

    Eventually virtual art will represent human emotion in a way undistinguishable from a real person. In our perception, with no prior knowledge, we will be watching people. You can’t get around that. When that happens, you can no longer claim there to be any difference. Regardless of the social, ethical or philosophical considerations about this… it will be the case eventually.

  3. garbanzo said on August 28, 2008 at 6:46 am

    @ Transcontinental – this is no less ‘real’ than a video of a human actor. i had no idea as i was watching it that she was animated, so i had no reason to doubt her ontological status. i actually found myself getting upset that they weren’t showing any examples! then i was floored at the end when i realized what i had seen.

    this is very impressive. i had no idea animation technology had reached this state. granted, this was a low-res youtube video and i probably wouldn’t be so convinced watching an HD version, but still…

  4. Transcontinental said on August 27, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Amazing but will never move my emotion like the performance of a great actor. I dislike the idea of virtual emotion, virtual art, I’d say I feel it as the ultimate cheat.

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