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Date/Time: 6 December 2016, 11:00am - 12:45pm
Venue: Ballroom H, Level 3
Location: The Venetian Macao

Title: Achieving Photoreal Virtual Humans in Movies, Games, and Virtual Reality

Paul Debevec
Senior Staff Engineer at Google VR

Summary: In less than two decades, the ability to render a photorealistic animated human face has gone from being nearly unfathomable to something which will soon be taken for granted. Somewhere between “Final Fantasy: the Spirits Within” in 2001 and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2008, digital actors crossed the “Uncanny Valley” from looking strangely synthetic to believably real. This talk describes how the Light Stage scanning systems and HDRI lighting techniques developed at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies have helped create digital actors in a wide range of recent films. For in‐depth examples, the talk describes how high‐resolution face scanning, advanced character rigging, and performance‐driven facial animation were combined to create “Digital Emily”, a collaboration with Image Metrics (now Faceware) yielding one of the first photoreal digital actors, and 2013’s “Digital Ira”, a collaboration with Activision Inc., yielding the most realistic real‐time digital actor to date. A recent project with USC's Shoah Foundation is recording light field video of interviews with survivors of the Holocaust to allow interactive conversations with life-size automultiscopic projections.

Presentation Language: English

Bio: Paul Debevec is a Senior Staff Engineer at Google VR and an Adjunct Research Professor at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies. Since his 1996 Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley, Debevec’s publications and animations have focused on techniques for photogrammetry, image‐based rendering, high dynamic range imaging, image‐based lighting, appearance measurement, facial animation, 3D displays, and virtual reality. He has worked with Microsoft, Interval Research Corporation, Next Media Animation, Dassault Systems, and OTOY. Paul received SIGGRAPH's first Significant New Researcher Award in 2001 for his contributions to image-based modeling and rendering and a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award® in 2010 for his contributions to the Light Stage facial capture systems, now used in over 30 major motion pictures. Paul chaired the SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival and in 2009 was elected to the SIGGRAPH Executive Committee, and served three years as Vice President of ACM SIGGRAPH ending in 2014. Debevec is an IEEE Senior Member, a Co-Chair of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Science and Technology Council, and serves on Academy's Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee used in movies including Spider‐Man 2, Superman Returns, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Avatar, Tron: Legacy, The Avengers, The Avengers, Oblivion, Gravity, Maleficent, and Furious 7.