When I wrote the Sci-Fi Dark Fantasy novel God Seed back in 1996, I included a scene where two characters meet in cyberspace. One of them had the latest in avatar-generation software, something that could adjust the emotional presentation on the avatar’s features (if there are any; not possible if your avatar is a chrome sphere) according to what the user was experiencing at the time. I called it VERM. Visual Emotional Realtime Mapping. Translating human experience and “emotional feelings” into a digital construct. Not a particularly ground-breaking concept but I like it.
Abruptly, such concepts are now very much creeping into present day reality.
Kyle McDonald and Arturo Castro have developed a face substitution app, that allows you to overlay another face onto a real-time video feed of your own image.
This is a spin-off from the original technical demo for face substitution technique posted by Arturo Castro. The application works in real-time and it’s developed using the opensource framework for creative coding openFrameworks: openFrameworks.cc
Most of the “magic” happens thanks to Jason Saragih’s c++ library for face tracking web.mac.com/jsaragih/FaceTracker/FaceTracker.html. The face tracking library returns a mesh that matches the contour of the eyes, nose, mouth and other facial features.
That way the mesh obtained from a photo is matched to my own face in the video. Applying some color interpolation algorithms from Kevin Atkinson’s image clone code: methodart.blogspot.com/ gives it the blending effect that can be seen in the final footage.
I’m also using Kyle McDonald’s ofxFaceTracker addon for openframeworks github.com/kylemcdonald/ofxFaceTracker which wraps Jason’s library for easier use.
The original tech demo by arturo castro can be seen here: http://vimeo.com/29279198
– from Kyle McDonald vimeo page
Video of Face Substitution in action