FAAVSP - The 1st Joint Conference on Facial Analysis, Animation, and
Auditory-Visual Speech Processing

Vienna, Austria
September 11-13, 2015

How to Create a Look-A-Like Avatar Pipeline using Low-Cost Equipment

Verónica Costa Orvalho

University of Porto, Department of Computer Science, Portugal

Creating a 3D avatar that looks like a specific person is time-consuming, requires expert artists, expensive equipment and a complex pipeline. In this talk I will walk you through the avatar animation pipeline created at PIC (Porto Interactive Center, www.portointeractivecenter.org) for the VERE (Virtual Embodiment and Robotic re-Embodiment, http://www.vereproject.eu/) European Project. This new pipeline does not require the user to have artistic knowledge, uses regular cameras to create the 3D avatar and a web cam to generate the animation. In this talk i will explain how we designed and created the look-a-like system at each stage: modelling, rigging and animation. I will also describe the challenge we had to overcome and the current status of the system. I will show some of our current avatar results, which could be used for example in games, interactive applications and virtual reality. I look forward to seeing you at the talk!

Verónica Costa Orvalho holds a Ph.D in Software Development (Computer Graphics) from Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya (2007), where her research centred on "Facial Animation for CG Films and Videogames". She has been working in IT companies for the past 15 years, such as IBM and Ericsson, and Film companies, including Patagonik Film Argentina. She has given many workshops and has international publications related to game design and character animation in conferences such as SIGGRAPH. She has received international awards for several projects: "Photorealistic facial animation and recognition", "Face Puppet" and "Face In Motion". She has received the 2010 IBM Scientific Award for her work of facial rig retargeting. Now, she is a full time professor of Porto University. In 2010 she founded Porto Interactive Center (www.portointeractivecenter.org) at Porto University, which is the host of several International and national projects as project coordinator or participant. She has strong connections with the film and game companies and provided consulting and participated in several productions like Fable 2, The Simpsons Ride. She has current and past close collaboration with film and game companies such as: Blur Studios, Electronic Arts and Microsoft. Her main research interests are in developing new methods related to motion capture, geometric modeling and deformation, facial emotion synthesis and analysis, real time animation for virtual environments and the study of intelligent avatars.

Bibliographic reference.  Costa Orvalho, Verónica (2015): "How to create a look-a-like avatar pipeline using low-cost equipment", In FAAVSP-2015 (abstract).