FaceWorks demonstration at GTC

Geeks3D mentioned this keynote at the GPU Technology Conference, where NVIDIA’s CEO shows their technology called FaceWorks. After talking about the uncanny valley and avatar rendering uses, came the live demonstration, which seriously raises the bar in terms of face rendering and animation.

The quality is incredible, the gap from photo realism is getting very narrow, and some expressions are really convincing. The transitions and frozen expressions feel weird though, so I am wondering how it would look running freely for a moment, with all the rapid subtle moves we show even when staying idle. The avatar as a mean of communication is certainly very appealing. It would be interesting to see if when facing this rendering, we would react to the expressions displayed.

The demo itself starts after 8 minutes.

Reading list on skin rendering

Skin rendering is really not my thing. Yet. I have too much figuring out rendering of opaque materials already to deal with ones exhibiting sub-surface scattering. But I got trapped reading one article and then another.. and before I knew I had a list I wanted to note for later reference.

Many links missing, as I’m not done checking the major techniques mentioned in the presentations, but perfect is the enemy of good after all.

Watch Dogs

Ubisoft made an impression at E3 by unveiling this video of its upcoming game, Watch Dogs. The mood definitely reminds the original Deus Ex.

Although I am not a fan of violent games, I like the effort put to make it not only look, but feel real: in particular the scene of the random guy trying to get his girlfriend to talk to him after getting shot is quite strong and disturbing.

On the rendering side, there is a lot to notice. Many materials completely nail it (look at that leather coat!), and the faces look really good, especially when back lit.

State of the art in real-time realistic skin rendering

Jorge Jimenez posted yesterday the last results of his research on skin rendering: Separable Subsurface Scattering. He provides a very impressive real-time demo, which, some point out, does runs on actual current hardware (it ran, slowly, on my low-end laptop). So even though he provides the following video of it, you should definitely try the actual binary. Oh, and the source code is available too. :-)