Think L.A. Noire Has Impressive Facial Animations? Check This Out

It's true that work that Team Bondi has done animating the faces of real life actors in Rockstar's L.A. Noire is nothing short of astounding, but Janimation's facial recognition technology creates virtual faces so real you can almost smell their stinking breath.


Kotaku reader and Janimation employee Trevor Hykes passed along this incredibly impressive technology demo, demonstrating how the company's technology translates the movements of an actor's face onto that of a virtual construct.

The end result is downright uncanny. I just hope this clip isn't indicative of the limits of their tooth-rendering technology.



This is completely against the point of Team Bondi's efforts, however.

This takes an actor and translates the movements of his muscles into a facial rig that then is put on a fictionally created character. It uses a traditional motion capture set up of dots on the face.

Bondi's work is more interested in capturing the whole actor as opposed to just the emotions of the face so that we move beyond "voice acting" in CGI and instead move to simply...acting. This doesn't capture the actor as well as L.A. Noire does, in my opinion.

Also, the fact that it is a super high-poly face that couldn't possibly run in a real-time game environment makes it much less interesting. This is meant for film or pre-rendered graphics, and at that point, who gives a shit? Sure, it may look good but you can do whatever you want with a pre-rendered scene provided you have enough time to set it up. I'll be impressed if they can get this running in real time, in engine. Get it working in the Unreal Development Kit and then call me.