The Digital Emily Project: Achieving a Photorealistic Digital Actor

Oleg Alexander, Mike Rogers, William Lambeth (Image Metrics), Jen-Yuan Chiang, Wan-Chun Ma (USC Institute for Creative Technologies), Chuan-Chang Wang (Next Media Animation), Paul Debevec (USC Institute for Creative Technologies), "The Digital Emily Project: Achieving a Photorealistic Digital Actor", IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, July/August 2010. PDF


For more than three decades, computer graphics researchers have been working to create a photorealistic digital actor. In the Digital Emily project, Image Metrics and the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies (USC ICT) animated a digital face using new results in 3D facial capture, character modeling, animation, and rendering. The project aimed to cross the “uncanny valley” that divides a synthetic-looking face from a real, animated, expressive person.1,2 The key technologies included a fast high-resolution digital face-scanning process using USC ICT’s Light Stage capture system and Image Metrics’ video-based facial-animation system.
The project generated one of the first photorealistic digital faces to speak and emote convincingly in a medium close-up.

Accompanying Videos