Realistic modeling for facial animation [pdf]

Yuencheng Lee′, Demetri Terzopoulos′ and Keith Waters*

′University of Toronto
*Digital Equipment Corporation
ACM Siggraph 1995

radial wireframe
Figure 1. Radial wireframe


A major unsolved problem in computer graphics is the construction and animation of realistic human facial models. Traditionally, facial models have been built painstakingly by manual digitization and animated by ad hoc parametrically controlled facial mesh deformations or kinematic approximation of muscle actions. Fortunately, animators are now able to digitize facial geometries through the use of scanning range sensors and animate them through the dynamic simulation of facial tissues and muscles. However, these techniques require considerable user input to construct facial models of individuals suitable for animation. In this paper, we present a methodology for automating this challenging task. Starting with a structured facial mesh, we develop algorithms that automatically construct functional models of the heads of human subjects from laser-scanned range and reflectance data. These algorithms automatically insert contractile muscles at anatomically correct positions within a dynamic skin model and root them in an estimated skull structure with a hinged jaw. They also synthesize functional eyes, eyelids, teeth, and a neck and fit them to the final model. The constructed face may be animated via muscle actuations. In this way, we create the most authentic and functional facial models of individuals available to date and demonstrate their use in facial animation.