Real-Time Facial Substitutions

What’s the latest creepy intersection between art, performance and technology? Real-time facial substitutions. I love it!

Experiment by Kyle McDonald (US)

Experiment by Arturo Castro (Spain)

Experiment by Jason Saragih (Australia) that applies facial tracking to cartoon characters

(via Kottke)


  • http://aalong64.blogspot.com Aaron Long

    Oh my god, these videos are terrifying. But I have to admit I’m impressed by this technology.

  • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

    Say what you will about CGI, but that last video is cool.

  • http://philauanimation.blogspot.com Geoff Beatty

    Looks like the makeup from Norman McLaren’s “Neighbours.”

  • Richard Tom

    Man, we’re going to look back on the Disney/Pixar era one day and go all like, “What a pile of s**t, man!”

    I am totally real serious.

    • The Brewmasters

      I’m glad you pointed out you’re “totally real serious” because it wasn’t evident from your immature and incendiary comment. It would be helpful if you presented your ideas in a thoughtful manner so other readers could think about and consider your opinion.

      • Nic

        It’s the same as saying how one day our kids are going to look back on our music and say how terrible it is.

        They were just goin’ for humor, lighten up and put down the thesaurus.

      • Richard Tom

        Well, it’s great to see that the Brewmasters (ugh) still gots it in the funnybone department.

        Obviously, OBVIOUSLY, I was joking. If you look around the internet (you were predictably late posting this, as it had been around for a few days prior to your posting it) you would see that the reaction of the average Joe is pretty positive. They seem to think that this technology will one day make real time facial animation possible in feature quality. One wag actually said nearly what I posted.

        You seem to love this technology! Good for you guys! No more looking back for Jerry, no more sneering at the future for Amid! Go team Brew!

  • Chel Traynor

    It’s like the floating heads in Face Raiders but better!

  • Dario

    I’m very concerned about this on the other side. One day I’ll be talking with my mom through Skype… but she could be Agent Smith.

    • NC

      I have to agree. I thought the same thing as I watched the videos. Not to inseminate any type of fear, but in this world where the Patriot Act still exists this technology can indeed go awry in the wrong hands. And I’m not just talking about Mars Needs Moms 2

  • http://www.oddballcomics.com Scott Shaw!

    Whatever you do, don’t let Robert Zemekis see this footage!

  • Toonio

    That Castro looks like the Star Wars emperor…

  • Nathan Strum

    Well… it’s definitely an improvement over the “young” Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy.

    • wgan

      that one was awful despite the piles of technologies they used on that piece of … face

  • http://dana-draws.blogspot.com Dana T

    It’ll be so wild to see how much this stuff will improve in the next 5-10 years.

  • Cath

    i might be paranoid but could this lead to replacing animators with actors?

  • John A

    The last example has the most immediate real world application possibilities. The faux 2-D loks like it could accomplish anything that Filmation and DIC ever attempted in a fraction of the time–Which is why I must take this time to plead with these engineers to do the right thing and take an axe to their creation right now.

    At the very least,for the good of all mankind and the animation industry in particular, promise me you will never, ever let an exectutive see this.

  • http://deptap.com Rajesh

    It’ll be scary to think about how abused this technology will be in 5-10 year with all the security cameras everywhere.

  • http://ericfleck.com Lurcheeeeeee

    Changing ones face… Wasn’t that a Flip the Frog cartoon? :P

  • http://www.mikescottanimation.com Mike Scott

    THIS is awesome. I want it. Anyone know if there’s any publicly available beta or something? MAN this could take a bunch of work out of lip-synching and getting natural motion-capture. I reckon mocap, usually requiring a bunch of hardware, will be available to the home user in time. Rad.

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com tony mines

    As with all new technologies, the first issue which must be correctly addressed is ‘think of the implications for porn!’

  • Robert Schaad

    Interesting and beyond its application in the occasional music video, commercial and/or film…comes off a little gimmicky.

    Also, this poses absolutely no threat to hand-drawn animation, which constantly reinvents itself (in creative ways).

  • swac

    Kinda sucks for special effects makeup people though. Lon Chaney’s probably rolling in his grave.