Celebrities now have another reason to shy away from paparazzi photographers. Scientists have created a new technique for creating controllable digital versions of celebrities using only a set of paparazzi photos to reconstruct faces and create convincing expressions.
The system, developed by researchers at the University of Washington, uses a collection of candid photos to recreate faces rather than fancy camera rigs or laser scans. Once the face is extracted from the photos, it can be controlled like a puppet and made to mimic the movements and expressions of someone else found in a separate video.
Here’s a demo video by the scientists that shows various famous faces created from photos and matched to video footage of other people talking:
So in the future, it may be easy to create a convincing CGI version of anyone saying anything you want using a collection of photos and a video. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of applications emerge once this type of technology arrives in the hands of the general public.