CGI Lets You Swap Faces With Someone Else In Real Time & The Possibilities Are Daunting — VIDEO

Over the last decade, CGI has had a multitude of successes and failures, ranging from the cartoonish wolves in the Twilight series to an emaciated Matt Damon in The Martian. At this year's Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia, the next evolution of CGI will be presented featuring a technology that lets you put someone else's expressions on your face. Yeah, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

In an effort from innovative researchers at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, and Stanford University, a computer program has been created to transfer the facial expressions from one on-camera actor to another on-camera "target actor," in real time. While real time CGI is not new, instantaneous hyper-realistic transfers is ... meaning a warm reception from the 8th AMC SIGGRAPH and a lot of "oooh"s and "ahhh"s from us.

OK, so how does it work? It works by doing an initial scanning of each actor's face independently. The technology calibrates each face, recording the way it looks from various angles, and expressions. Then it takes the live video feed from the first actor, who is active, and transfers their expressions onto the other actor, who is inactive.

Still wondering what the big deal is? Essentially, the moving face is pasted over the inactive face and the program renders them together. And you should care because this technology creates such a realistic transfer that it has the power to completely transcend CGI as we know it. In the presentation video, the researches explain how this program could be used to aid real-time translations. Rather than watching a dubbed translation where the mouth and audio do not match, this program could be used to override the movement of the mouth to match the translation. TL;DR: new computer program can film you staring blankly at the camera and put someone else's talking face over yours, (on the computer screen) and it will look like it's you talking.

The range of a realistic innovation like this has the potential to change the way we film, the way approach broadcast television, the way we appear in video calls, and, of course, all sorts of criminal catfish-esque charades. Watch the full video here:

Matthias Niessner on YouTube

Images: YouTube (3)