Facial animation: experiments of the 90s

The experiments of this chapter are a part of researches for realism of the end of the 80s, the beginning of the 90s

The data basis acquired by digitalisation laser brought an incredible realistic rendering but their structure too heavy did not allow them to become integrated directly into a software of this time, and their usage in animation seemed little credible. We showed that they could be used.

The used software is always our RODIN basic software, to which we added the developments allowing the facial animation. The section "articles" exposes our software approach, based on modellings with surfaces B-Spline, at first in 1988, then in 1990 by adding textures of skin.

1988: in the animation "Pygmalion" we disposed of the data basis of a head of a mannequin obtained from a digitalisation laser, we used the geometrical data x,y,z as a single surface B-Spline.

It is then that in 1990 we discover the existence a new system of digitalisation laser in a laboratory of the C.N.R.C in Ottawa allowed to digitize a real face (with closed eyes at this moment). This time, the data contain not only the geometrical coordinates but also values of intensity corresponding to a remarkable texture of skin. Thanks to these data, it was possible to restore a 3D face of an impressive realism .

1990: The animation " Masques et Bergamasques " uses the laser databases of the CNRC, it demonstrates maybe for the first time that these can be modified in view of a facial animation: opening of the mouth, movements of eyebrows, lips.

1992: Of return in France, we have been able to continue our experiments with a system Cyberware. In spite of some fantasies, two rather demonstrative animations generously received two first prices of research in 1993 and 1994.

animation de bases de données laser, Imagina, 1993

animation de bases de données laser avec des capteurs, Eurographics, Oslo 1994

Once again, the evident limits of our tries did not prevent us from imagining all the developments which could come, we were convinced that the construction of a 3D realistic movie was not any more an utopia.