A well-animated face can be the difference between empathizing with a game character and looking at a glassy-eyed marionette. That's why this mocap tech demo so strangely moving.

The video above is a demonstration of the current animation pipeline from a company called 3lateral (who were responsible for rigging the faces in Ryse and Grand Theft Auto V) and Cubicmotion. It's not a render, just what the playback window in Maya looks like during the preview. Here's a video of them messing around with the rig manually:

Technology aside, there's just something so eerie and touching about demos like this — watching a formless head give a really impassioned, heartfelt monologue while floating in space. It goes beyond just a behind-the-scenes video and becomes a strange form of art of its own.

via prostheticknowledge

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