This system is capable of capturing facial performances matching the acquisition speed of motion capture system and the spatial resolution of static face scans

Computer graphics have become more realistic over the years in mediums such as film and video games. Now, researchers from Microsoft's Beijing lab have taken 3D modeling a step further with a new technique

Microsoft's new system focuses on the human face, and surpasses even the most advanced computer graphics used in films like. With state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology and a motion-capture system, Microsoft researchers were able to create accurate 3D modeling of the human face down to the very last wrinkle.

Researchers first recorded 3D facial performances by an actor using a marker-based motion capture system. Using this recorded data, they performed a facial analysis to identify a set of face scans needed to reconstruct certain facial features. The idea was to determine the minimal set of face scans required in order to make the system faster without compromising efficiency.

Microsoft researchers then built "dense consistent surface correspondences" across these face scans, and combined the minimal set of face scans with motion capture data in the blendshape interpolation framework to reconstruct high-fidelity 3D facial performances. 

According to results, this system is capable of capturing facial performances matching the acquisition speed of motion capture system and the spatial resolution of static face scans. Real and synthetic data was observed to evaluate the system's performance.

GeekWire predicted that this system could be incorporated into Microsoft's Avatar Kinect in the future, which uses the Kinect to identify body position and facial expression to create an avatar on the screen that moves along with the person controlling it. If the user were to raise an eyebrow, the avatar would as well, for example.

The Microsoft researchers will present their new system at the SIGGRAPH 2011 computer graphics conference in Vancouver, B.C.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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