Facial Nuance

This is a recent port to Java of work that I showed as a SIGGRAPH97 technical sketch. It's an offshoot of our research in Improvisational Animation.

In that work, I showed how to make an embodied agent react with responsive facial expression, without using repetitive prebuilt animations, and how to mix those facial expressions to simulate shifting moods and attitudes. The result is real-time interactive facial animation with convincing emotive expressiveness.

The eventual goal of this work is to give computer/human interfaces the ability to represent the subtleties we take for granted in face to face communication, so that they can function as agents for an emotional point of view.

This port to an applet that runs on Web browsers (without any plugins) was the natural next step. I've set it up with an interactive interface that's cool to play with - the user can tweak various things to "play" the shifting facial emotions, much as one might play a piano.

- Ken Perlin