Researchers Develop Ultra-Realistic CGI Skin
Researchers at the University of Southern California's USC Institute for Creative Technologies and Imperial College London have created a new method for rendering CGI skin that is almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Current high resolution scanning technologies allow the details of skin such as pores and creases to be captured only at the mesoscale. This new technique captured images of both the appearance and behavior of skin at the microscale, or below one tenth of a millimeter. Using this method, the team observed that skin becomes shinier when stretched and rougher when compressed. This data was used to create displacement maps of the skin at different levels of deformation. The maps were then blurred when stretched and sharpened when compressed to better replicate how skin appears in different states. The team then applied the technique to simulations of different facial expressions, with uncanny results.