Long time to get a photorealistic character finish It is not at all difficult, as opposed to making their faces and expressions feel as natural as they look. Realistically and consistently animate a character’s face It is still a pending subject for many studies, but very important steps are being taken in order to achieve that realism that everyone expects.
An example is the work of Ziva Dynamics, a studio specialized in VFX with their own technology based on Unreal Engine with which they have been able to create their own hyper realistic facial animation system. In this technical demo you can see that it does not even take a lot of work, this technology is capable of animate modeling based on the actress’s movements in real time, and the result is absolutely incredible.
This technology not only uses motion capture to convey the expressions of the actress to the model, but also use thousands of reference data to polish facial expression to the extreme through a complex AI system. Best of all, it has been developed with the intention that it can be valid for all types of characters regardless of gender, ethnicity or even species, opening the possibility to see this type of finish in alien characters (even more difficult to animate).
Ziva Dynamics is not exclusively dedicated to the entertainment industry, it also works in film and television productions, where this technology can also be used, but it seems specially designed for video games. Hopefully, in not many years from now, video games will be able to offer that level of realism in terms of facial animations. The Last of Us Part II, Red Dead Redemption II or Detroit: Become Human are great recent examples of facial animation, but what do you think is the video game with the best facial animations of the moment?