Celebrities get digital puppets made from paparazzi photos

Sponsored Links

Celebrities get digital puppets made from paparazzi photos

Typically, recreating a celebrity as an animated 3D character requires painstaking modeling based on motion capture and laser scans. In the future, though, all you'll need is a few limo-chasing photographers. University of Washington researchers have developed a system that creates digital face "puppets" by running a collection of photos -- in this case, paparazzi shots -- through special face tracking software. The digital dopplegangers (such as Kevin Spacey and Arnold Schwarzenegger) bear an uncanny resemblance to their real-world counterparts, but are sophisticated enough to mimic the expressions of virtually anyone else. Want the Japanese Prime Minister saying Daniel Craig's lines? You can make it happen.

The development has obvious advantages for games and movies, which could incorporate actors and political figures without requiring either in-person scans or expert artists. However, it could also be helpful for producing likenesses of the deceased, or chat avatars that reflect who you'd like to be. This could get creepy (it's easy to imagine obsessive fans holding pretend conversations with their idols), but the advantages will hopefully outweigh the drawbacks.

[Image credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic]

Turn on browser notifications to receive breaking news alerts from Engadget
You can disable notifications at any time in your settings menu.
Not now

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.
Popular on Engadget