Microsoft Research : High-Fidelity Facial-Animation Capturing

Description : 

Facial Motion Capture is the process of electronically converting the movements of a person's face into a digital database using cameras or laser scanners. This database may then be used to produce CG (computer graphics) computer animation for movies, games, or real-time avatars. 

Because the motion of CG characters is derived from the movements of real people, it results in more realistic and nuanced computer character animation than if the animation were created manually. 

Digital video-based methods are becoming increasingly preferred, as mechanical systems tend to be cumbersome and difficult to use. Several commercial companies are developing already products that have been used, but are rather expensive. 

Microsoft introduced this new technology at TechFest 2012. High-Fidelity Facial-Animation Capturing presented a new approach for acquiring high-fidelity, 3-D facial performances with realistic dynamic wrinkles and finely scaled facial details. This approach leverages state-of-the-art motion-capture technology and advanced 3-D scanning technology for facial-performance acquisition. 

The facial animations thus harvested, find their use, in Movies, games, social networking Avatars etc. Hopefully this tech goes with the next generation of consoles. Take a look...

It is expected that this will become a major input device for computer games once the software is available in an affordable format, but the hardware and software do not yet exist, despite the research for the last 15 years producing results that are almost usable. 

*by andreascy*