Paul Debevec: “Achieving Photoreal Digital Actors in Film and in Real-Time”

October 21, 2013 | Lisbon, Portugal

Speaker: Paul Debevec
Host: INESC-ID Distinguished Lecture Series

Abstract: Somewhere between “Final Fantasy” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, digital actors crossed the “Uncanny Valley” from looking strangely synthetic to believably real. This talk describes how the Light Stage scanning systems and HDRI lighting techniques developed at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies have helped create digital actors in a range of recent movies and research projects. In particular, the talk describes how high-resolution face scanning, advanced character rigging, and performance-driven facial animation were combined to create 2008’s “Digital Emily”, a collaboration with Image Metrics (now Faceware) yielding one of the first photoreal digital actors, and 2013’s “Digital Ira”, a collaboration with Activision Inc., yielding the most realistic real-time digital actor to date. The talk includes recent developments in HDRI lighting, polarization difference imaging, and reflectance measurement, and 3D object scanning, and concludes with advances in autostereoscopic 3D displays to enable 3Dis teleconferencing and holographic characters.