This year at FMX, the group of artists known as the Digital Human League, started by Chaos Group’s Christopher Nichols, presented the team’s first research, and we interviewed Chris (see below).
Based on Lightstage data from USC ICT, the group is exploring photorealistic human faces and how to construct and render them. The work is open and the files are fully published in an effort to advance the state of the art and our understanding of how to produce realistic faces. This first publishing of their findings is just the start. The group is actively working already on the next stage and they see this first presentation as just the beginning of what will hopefully be a worldwide collaboration.
USC ICT is known for its pioneering work in facial scanning and has kindly donated time and effort into allowing the core digital files to be released for anyone to research and explore with further. Over a dozen other artists have contributed to the eyes, the hair and producing shader models that support the fundamental scientific work.
Seven years after the original Digital Emily was created, Emily O’Brien was generous enough to have herself scanned again, this time at much higher resolution and fidelity. This scan is the first subject used in the Wikihuman project. This data, along with work done by the Digital Human League, is now available for download.
After presenting at FMX, Chris Nichols sat down with Mike Seymour (also a member of the DHL) and they discussed the project, the first results and how they hope the community can all benefit. This interview formed part of fxphd’s BKD series and we are happy to offer it also free to everyone here via our blog.
The digital human pipeline aims to be informative and true to the maths of what actually happens, of course, in any real situation one may want to tweak the lighting or adjust for artistic interpretation, but our aim is to offer a clean solution that illustrates how the physics of light really works inside a Physically Plausible Lighting setup, as you will hear in the interview.
The files are available to download here.
(The model is provided in Alembic format). The Maya scene file supplied contains the model and shaders. Note: Requires Maya 2015 or above and V-Ray 3.0 for Maya or above. fxphd is working on a RenderMan version and you are encouraged to try the data in any suitable 3D renderer. You are free to use the data but not resell, under the license agreement it is free for non-commercial use.
For more information visit the DHL web site: wikihuman.org
Special thanks to Emily O’Brien who gave generously of her time and allowed ICT to provide her data for this project. Her contribution and generosity is greatly appreciated. Special thanks also to Paul Debevec and the incredible team at USC ICT, for their support and the Chaos Group for their leadership in the DHL.