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This is beyond cool. It’s a new form of webcam to animated avatar technology, courtesy of Yasue Mitsukura and the good people at Keio University in Japan.
The system uses an ordinary webcam to track minute changes in the user’s face, which are then mirrored in detail by an animated avatar.
According to Mitsukura (via Diginfo) the system is actually superior to kind of motion capture technology used by big film and gaming projects.
Systems using motion capture with markers on the face aren’t convenient for ordinary users. In that sense, until now, there hasn’t been technology for moving a model freely in real time.
Mitsukara reckons the new tech could be a potential boon to amateur CG filmmakers. Its biggest potential though is probably in gaming. Just imagine the possibilities for fully immersive MMORPGs. You could learn a lot more about a character if you could see their facial expressions. Relationships formed in online universes could also be a lot more honest.
That said, if the technology was applied to co-operative war games, s@#t could got a lot more real.