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Facial Recognition and Animation

The draw of Disney’s ‘Maleficent’ isn’t just about Angelina Jolie’s prosthetic cheeks anymore. In this video, the processes that generated 3D animated versions of the film’s fairy characters are explored in detail. Facial recognition and tracking technology mapped the actors faces, artists animated each line in the script to create scaled of their characters to integrate with live action scenes. So, what’s the Uncanny Valley again? It is a dip in human recognition and empathy for characters or figures whose features are meant to be human, like a puppet or a robot, that seem too human, or not enough. As the animated and live action scenes of Maleficent are meant to pass for one and the same, painting each characters expression with precise photorealistic skin texture, color and markings calls for a fine balance to avoid the uncanny valley. All that render time makes us uneasy, but the final product is well worth the wait.
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