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The technical work of the project will be carried out in two phases (18 month length each). The project goals will be achieved and assessed via four main scientific and technical objectives:

Simultaneous capture of high-resolution 3D video of actor face and whole-body performance

This will be achieved by developing an active multiple camera system for acquisition of actor performance at HD resolution and developing reliable methods for 3D video reconstruction without loss of visual resolution. For that purpose different sub-systems for the capture of whole body and facial performance will be developed.

Facial Reconstruction

Examples of facial reconstruction.

Representation of actor performance for interactive animation and realistic rendering

Automatic construction of a motion graph representation of captured 3D video will be introduced to enable interactive animation of the face and body whilst preserving the high resolution visual quality of the captured data for rendering. Performance analysis algorithms will be introduced to transform raw 3D video into a 4D model with temporally coherent structured representation. In the first phase of the project 3D video will be integrated into a conventional animation pipeline using skeletal motion controls with the added realism of captured actor performance. In the second phase of the project parameterised surface motion control will be developed and will be used for realistic dynamics and rendering.

Authoring tools for production of interactive content based on captured actor performance

An animation engine application interface will be developed to support both offline scripting and interactive animation. Captured actor performance will be re-sampled to produce new facial and whole body animation whilst maintaining video-quality rendering. Algorithms will be developed to control character interaction in the interactive environment and allow stylised motion for artistic expression.