back to article 'Cloned' CGI faces mimic people 'better than skilled actors'

Government-funded boffins have collaborated with others from famous movie industry labs to produce software which can "clone" a person's facial mannerisms. The cloned data can then be applied to a CGI head, either to let a computer masquerade as a real person or to enhance the realism of animated characters. “Spoken words are …


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  1. Piers
    Black Helicopters

    The research was funded by...

    The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and The National Science Foundation (ie by the UK and US governments).

    Why? WTF?!?

  2. Dave_H

    Hi Honey

    Video phone conversation

    "Hi Honey, it's only me. I've forgotten my cards, can you let me have my security details?"

    I wonder if this mimicing will work for our friends in Nigeria?

  3. Eddy Ito
    Black Helicopters

    Breaking news!!

    Headline: Superstar prosecutor and animation goo-roo achieves the seemingly impossible.

    The newest lawman, known only by his initials B.B., has a perfect conviction rate. To date every potential defendant has confessed to the crime, some even before meeting B.B. This success rate has elevated B.B. through the ranks and he has been appointed the leader of our society with the title of... Big Brother. We can all sleep well knowing that Big Brother is watching out for us.

    Seriously, it's a darn good thing we don't live in a constant surveillance police state or... oh, wait.

  4. Fred

    M M M M Ma Ma Max Headroom

    Is the lead programmer on this called Bryce by any chance?

    Beware the blipverts.

  5. Alex

    Fake video footage ?

    So now we can make videos of people saying and doing stuff that never really happened?

    And don't tell me - they started working on this just after Schwarzenegger's 'The Running Man' came out?

  6. Brutus

    Grand Pooh-Bah of the Second Orange Order

    Max Headroom, anybody?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I wonder how long...

    ...before these faces will included full biometric data to get past any security systems? After all, it will all soon be on file somewhere.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad News for Petulant Actors

    They're likely to leave them barricaded in their trailers, and use simulacrums for the "talkie" shots.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    As seen in terminator salvation

    They used fancy cgi to animate multiple arnies in terminator salvation, a shot of the factory here

  10. DutchOven

    Oh really?

    "Many of these effects would otherwise be impossible to achieve, even using highly-skilled actors.”

    Is this really saying that actors can't impersonate another person and adopt their manerisms?

    Or are they merely saying that it's impossible to make someone look like someone else using the current CGI and make up?

    Although I am not an expert, I have watched TV before and seen both of these things done... sometimes even both at once.

    Shocked. Shocked I was. I thought it must have been witchcraft and now that I know that it's "impossible" using current technology, I know it must have been.

    I'm going to go and get myself de-hexed, just in case.

  11. Mike

    @max headroom

    I was thinking something closer to "looker"

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the technology Jim Cameron's using for Avatar

    he seems to be very impressed with it thus far

  13. Eugene Goodrich
    Paris Hilton


    "Or are they merely saying that it's impossible to make someone look like someone else using the current CGI and make up?"

    Not just "someone else", but "any arbitrary someone else." There are bound to be some actors who look so unlike someone else that there could be problems.

    I myself was thinking of the dead actor factor. How wonderfully might Ed Wood have finished Plan 9 from Outer Space with this technology...

    Paris, because she can finish my plan 9 from outer space quite well without any need for this technology.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Poor Optimus

    He just won't believe it without pictures. Must have playmobile or it didn't happen.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahh I get it..

    The conundrum Hollywood Land faces in its superficial world of re-constructed humans.

    Q. How do you get the pretty people they want to put in movies or TV shows act as well as the people who can actually act?

    A. You overlay them with the mannerisms and acting of people who can actually act.

    In California's shiny, plastic world this would make perfect sense and correct what has always been a huge wrong in their eyes. That the world doesn't appreciate superficial beauty as a quality more important than the ability to do something has always shocked them.

  16. skeptical i
    Thumb Up

    Botox revenge.

    After injecting so much botox, silicone, collagen, and what- have- you into their faces, many actors can no longer portray emotion [as well] through facial expression alone. Can't say I'm sorry to see vanity- driven prima donnas (and prima donalds) being upstaged by high tech cartoons. The next round of SAG contract negotiations should be ... interesting.

  17. Stef
    Black Helicopters

    Another terror attack from Bin Laden

    handy for governments when they need to keep their people scared. Have video footage of their boogymen instead of dodgy tapes of them taking credit for x y or z terrorist outrage. No need to clean up the witnesses/actors afterwards either.

    black copters indeed.

  18. Dave

    @AC 19:07

    No, with this technology, you don't even need the 'Great Actor', just do a short interview with your 'Beautiful Person', make sure you pop a balloon when they aren't expecting it, upset them a little and you're done. No need for them to act at all, just wander round the set a little, do a full-body scan for the trickier bits, and overlay the genuine emotions from part A.


    When was the last time you watched a good film where you were totally able to suspend your disbelief? For me, the best films are always the ones where you don't know any of the actors, so that their previous behaviour doesn't colour the role, but now you can have a great actor that you can't recognise, by overlaying his/her acting onto an extra - no more type-casting!

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