Play With Nvidia's Lifelike Human Face Render

Play With Nvidia's Lifelike Human Face Render

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"Digital Ira" and Nvidia's FaceWorks software are pulling us out of the uncanny valley, one face at a time.

"Meet 'Digital Ira'. Ira represents a big leap forward in capturing and rendering human facial expression in real time, and gives us a glimpse of the realism we can look forward to in our favorite game characters," says Nvidia on the download page for its FaceWorks demo. Nvidia previously showed off FaceWorks earlier this year, but only as a video running on its stupidly powerful Titan video card. You can now download and fiddle with the demo yourself, and you won't need a graphics card from the future to experience the full effect. My mid-range GTX 570 ran the demo fine, and sufficiently "wow-ed" me.

You'll get to watch Ira go through a whole range of emotions, and there is a control panel to the side where you can tinker with him. You can change his location (natural light forest, well-lit street and dimly-lit street), minor details on the face (such as eye color, pupil dilation, shading) and turn on wireframes. There's also a button that makes him yell "take my money," which i'm sure is what Nvidia is hoping developers will do after seeing this demo.

You can also zoom in to a creepily close level, revealing stubble, eye veins and facial blemishes, as well as contort his face into horrifying disfigurations. We're not quite out of the uncanny valley yet, but we are definitely getting there.

All Ira's motions were acted out in a "light stage" at the Institute for Creative Technology at USC. The team there headed by Dr. Paul Debevec was able to photographically capture facial geometry, surface detail, and lighting information of the actor without any of the traditional tricks of face markers or special makeup.

Nvidia recommends GeForce GTX 670 and above for the best viewing of the demo. There is only a Windows 7 download, and it clocks in at around 300 MB.

Source: Nvidia

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Funfact: Ira means wrath in Italian.

Looks like it can be a lot of fun to play with but my graphics is pretty shite so I'll just be watching youtube videos of it for now.

I wholeheartedly disagree - Ira is the new King of the Uncanny Valley, holding court where it's deepest and darkest...

Seriously, I can't be the only one being creeped out by that abomination? Sorry, in my opinion we're still on the decline...

Aww boo, it doesn't run on AMD cards. It threw an error that I don't have a CUDA-enabled GPU (which is true, I suppose). Darn.

I am so going to check this out when I get home. I have always wanted a head to play around with.

Eruanno:
Aww boo, it doesn't run on AMD cards. It threw an error that I don't have a CUDA-enabled GPU (which is true, I suppose). Darn.

I guess you could say you're a little... Irate at this discovery?

TheCaptain:
I wholeheartedly disagree - Ira is the new King of the Uncanny Valley, holding court where it's deepest and darkest...

Seriously, I can't be the only one being creeped out by that abomination? Sorry, in my opinion we're still on the decline...

Irate it a little higher then that, All I can see is the skin being too smooth.

Great, we can render virtually photo-realistic human faces. Amazing. Wonderful. Stupendous.

Now we just need to work on making the clothes not look and move like the rubber clothes you put on a Polly Pocket.

Download link is failing for me :/

Lilani:
Great, we can render virtually photo-realistic human faces. Amazing. Wonderful. Stupendous.

Now we just need to work on making the clothes not look and move like the rubber clothes you put on a Polly Pocket.

Thats what gets me about this wierd fascination with "realistic faces". If this were used in an actual game, unless everything else in any given scene, was being presented in an equivalent level of detail, its gonna look very strange.

Example? Why is "Ira" bald? Likely because they cant make hair look so detailed, or because they cant make the hair and face look so detailed at the same time which is an even bigger problem

Carrots_macduff:

Lilani:
Great, we can render virtually photo-realistic human faces. Amazing. Wonderful. Stupendous.

Now we just need to work on making the clothes not look and move like the rubber clothes you put on a Polly Pocket.

Thats what gets me about this wierd fascination with "realistic faces". If this were used in an actual game, unless everything else in any given scene, was being presented in an equivalent level of detail, its gonna look very strange.

Example? Why is "Ira" bald? Likely because they cant make hair look so detailed, or because they cant make the hair and face look so detailed at the same time which is an even bigger problem

Exactly. The faces in LA Noire were impressive at times, especially the bloopers, but any reality that was brought by the facial expressions was compromised by the stiff and unmoving clothes. And same thing with the other animations. While the expression of the character might be spot on, at times the position of the body is so strange or unnatural it takes away all believability. That's not to say perfection is impossible, but like you said it's strange that it's not even crossing their minds that these photorealistic faces will have to exist in a world that's just as photorealistic to work. I guess that just goes to show this is less about improving the designs of games and more about proving whose graphics engine is the most powerful.

Finally, my love for Tali can be real.

Chances to work on a 8600 GS? zero.
isntead of stupidly detailed faces they could, you know, work on actually usable models?

Strazdas:
Chances to work on a 8600 GS? zero.
isntead of stupidly detailed faces they could, you know, work on actually usable models?

Well, Nvidia don't make game engines :P They make tech demos though, like this one. They also made a really awesome water one recently.

I don't expect to see anything close to this tech demo for a few years in games anyway, just due to the sheer processing power involved. It'd also have to either have a lot of work on making it less demanding too, otherwise we'll have to wait for a PC exclusive that has so much money to throw around that it can use it too (and let's face it, no platform exclusive title, even diablo 3 which was the best selling AAA platform exclusive across the 360/ps3/PC in 2012, would really warrant such heavy investment in the facial animations) .

TheComfyChair:

Strazdas:
Chances to work on a 8600 GS? zero.
isntead of stupidly detailed faces they could, you know, work on actually usable models?

Well, Nvidia don't make game engines :P They make tech demos though, like this one. They also made a really awesome water one recently.

I don't expect to see anything close to this tech demo for a few years in games anyway, just due to the sheer processing power involved. It'd also have to either have a lot of work on making it less demanding too, otherwise we'll have to wait for a PC exclusive that has so much money to throw around that it can use it too (and let's face it, no platform exclusive title, even diablo 3 which was the best selling AAA platform exclusive across the 360/ps3/PC in 2012, would really warrant such heavy investment in the facial animations) .

Yeah but such tech demo is quite useless, because this wont be anything a real engine can run unless the whole program will be generating one face.

 

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