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The New Face of Hollywood (14 Aug 2004)
Photorealistic digital faces-ones that can pass for real in still pictures or on the big screen-are among the last frontiers of computer graphics. Until recently, digital faces have looked fake when examined closely and have therefore been relegated to quick cuts and background shots. The problem is that we're extraordinarily sensitive to how human faces should look; it's much easier to fool people with a computer-generated T. rex than with a digital human. But advances in rendering skin, lighting digital scenes, and analyzing footage of real actors for reference are now allowing artists and programmers to control the texture and movement of every tiny patch of pixels in a computerized face. The Sony team hopes that audiences will be unable to tell the difference between Tobey Maguire and his digital double-perhaps the first time such verisimilitude has been achieved.
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