Project Deidre (II)

Animating Human Facial Expressions

Daniel D. Hung and Heji Kim
CS 790 Independent Research Under the Direction of Bruce Land

Animating Human Facial Expressions


The core result of this project is the ability to create believable animations of human facial expressions employing a polygonal facial mesh. Using localized motion cues such as raising or lowering the eyebrows or lip corners, we produce the six universal emotions: happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, fear, and disgust. The facial cues can also be combined in new ways to produce a wide variety of different emotions. To bring realistic detail to our model, we have modeled the hair, eyebrows, the eyes with pupil and iris, and a pseudo-tongue.

Introduction: Syn-Thespians

Animating human faces is one of the greatest challenges in computer graphics, and has been the target of numerous attempts. Humans generate various expressions through subtle and not-so subtle motions of various facial muscles and the jaw. The greater difficulty lies in not generating recognizable facial expressions, but having the viewer believe in them; humans are the harshest possible critics due to their intimacy and familiarity with the human face.

A Syn-Thespian is a synthesized digital actor, actress, animal, or acting-thing. A large number of applications for syn-thespians lie in the entertainment industry. But just as synthesized voices are used in commercial applications over the telephone, syn-thespians may find much work in human computer interaction applications especially with the rise of virtual reality. Just as a human thespian must communicate effectively with various facial poses, the same is true for syn-thespians. Animating the expressions is one large step toward the creation of syn-thespians.


Maintained by: Heji Kim and Dan Hung.
Last updated: 4/20/96.