This algorithm is unlocking the mysteries of Tom Hanks

University of Washington This rubbery, alien facsimile of Tom Hanks’ face may look like a bad waxwork — but it’s actually a computer generated digital model created by a machine learning algorithm. The model was created by researchers at the University of Washington who wanted to answer the question “what makes Tom Hanks look like Tom Hanks?”, his appearance, his mannerisms or the way he moves? To do so, they created a digital model from a number of images available online — unlike traditional facial capture technologies, the model does not require the participation of a particular subject. With enough visual data, the algorithm can also animate the model to deliver speeches.  The system uses a number of technologies; 3D face reconstruction, facial tracking and alignment, texture modelling and puppeteering. Thousands…

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