Meet Emily, life-like animations no longer a futuristic phenomenon

Meet Emily, life-like animations no longer a futuristic phenomenon

Emily is a gorgeous woman whose life is dedicated to acting. She welcomes people to websites, does commercials, and helps users to navigate through new online tools. Best of all, she never complains. She always works, even outside office hours. Yeah, those life-like animations is everything a start-up could ask for. Everybody prefers charming Emily instead of the boring presentations by geeky founders.

Emily has been developed by Image Metrics, and “will set a new precedent for photo-realistic characters in video games and films” (and web sites, I assume).

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xVELyPvYsU]

The researchers at Californian-based Image Metrics made Emily by breaking down the facial movements in a video of an employee. They then broke the facial movements down into dozens of smaller movements, each of which was given a ‘control system’. The goal of this process is replicate human imperfections and the timing we tend to have when telling something. “Ninety per cent of the work is convincing people that the eyes are real,” Mike Starkenburg, chief operating officer of Image Metrics, said to the Times.

It takes one hell of a processor to generate these computer images. But maybe in a few years, every start-ups has its own virtual life-like character that guides new users through sites and tools.

[Via Spotlight Effect (Dutch)]

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