Computer animation technology

In a day or two, I might read that this was a hoax. If not, this is… I don’t know. Amazing falls a little short. Emily is a computer graphic illustration produced using a new modeling technology that enables the minute details of a facial expression to be captured and recreated. For the first minute and a half of the video, before they revert back to the source (the real actress), Emily’s face is being simulated by the technology. [via Podcasting News]

I’m nearing the end of Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near and this bit of CGI magic brought the following paragraph to mind:

“The Web will provide a panoply of virtual environments to explore. Some will be re-creations of real places; others will be fanciful environments that have no counterpart in the physical world. Some, indeed, would be impossible, perhaps because the violate the laws of physics. We will be able to visit these virtual places and have any kind of interaction with other real, as well as simulated, people (of course, ultimately there won’t be a clear distinction between the two), ranging from business negotiations to sensual encounters. “Virtual-reality environment designer” will be a new job description and a new art form.” (pg.314)

And if you missed my chat with Michale Spooner, give it a listen and think about the job description, Virtual Reality Designer. [Michael, it’s time to talk about your CGI work and what lies ahead.]

Recommended reading: Idoru by William Gibson.

“Early in the next century, Lo/Rez is more than just the hottest rock band in the world, it’s a business. The enigmatic guru-like guitar hero Rez has announced that he will marry Rei Toei, the most popular musician in Japan. But she doesn’t exist. She’s an idoru, a massively-complex computer program designed to create and perform music in concerts.”

Combine the AI predicted by Kurzweil with CGI about 10,000 times better than the example above and… and I don’t know what. But Kurzweil thinks he does. I plan to live long enough to experience this. Whew! I’m all tingley.

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