posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:08 AM
Two things grabbed me right away...In the part where she said
What do you think?" the mouth movements did NOT match
the audio at all and although the facial movements generally
looked real, the specular highlighting and rendering on the face was
"Too Perfect" and "Too Smooth", so more crows feet around the eyes
and some tiny skin blemishes and more irregular colour ramps
on the cheeks would have put her over the edge into ultra-realism.
I also suggest using a bump map to "frizz up" her hair more
so it doesn't look too rendered with specular highlights...
Ironically I do know the hair PROBABLY WAS REAL but the lighting
in the scene made the hair LOOK ARTIFICIAL.
More irregular edges on the lighting diffusion and more small gouges,
bumps and imperfections that have tiny shadows that move about
on the wall behind the actress (induced by "Faked Camera Shake")
would also "Sell" the animation more.
In modern film-making, actors eyes are highlighted by shining
"Spotties" (small lights) into the eyes so that light is reflected
back out from the iris and retina...the effect created is similar
to using a star-point lens filter that is pointed at a bright light
where streaks of light eminate from the point light source
in a usually 5 point star-like pattern.
Thus I suggest the eyes have a moving shimmer effect that
emulates the wetness of the white-parts of the eye surface
and then a moving or rotating tiny star-like pattern overlaid
onto the pupils and iris that emulates light being reflected out
of the inner eye from a point spotlight source. This would make
the eyes seem more realistic and life-like.
The corners of the mouth need more cracks and wrinkles
as the lips close and open and the lips should slightly purse
as certain vowel sounds are made and the front part of the
lower lip should very slightly protrude outwards just a
smidgen more than the upper lip to make mouth movements
more natural looking. There should be a slightly moving dimple
on the middle of the chin that moves and wrinkles in time
to the movement of the lips. One corner of the mouth
should also be slightly more indented or have larger crows feet
than the other to give more asymmetry in lower facial features
so the mouth and chin doesn't look too perfect.
The hair also doesn't flick around enough...truly NATURAL
hair that hasn't been stiffened by hairspray moves, waves about
and bounces slightly during head movements. Again knowing that
the animated face was painted onto a real actor, the unmoving
overly stiff hair made the CGI look "More Fake".
Another issue during film-making, is when gaffers (lighting people)
fill the background with spot or diffuse light that causes a slight glow
around the outside edges of people which causes the foreground and
background to "Separate Out". Emulating this moving, shimmery,
irregularly edged glow would also "Sell" the CGI into being
more realistic looking.
On top of that, in order to make the VIDEO look even more
"Real", put ground-bars that roll from top to bottom in a regularly
timed manner. Ground bars are a 50hz/60hz electrical
disturbance that shows up as very slightly darkened horizontal
lines about 3 to 20 pixels wide, separated by an inch or two
that slide from top to bottom of a TV screen which is caused
by a video connection that hasn't been properly isolated from
other electrical sources. The modern human eye is so used to
seeing ground bars in improperly isolated video connections,
that it is one of the factors that the human visual system
uses to measure "Realness" in a video. Even expensive
DV cameras get ground bars because of radio frequency
interference or improperly grounded AV connectors.
So put in those barely visible ground bars...
After about 2000+ hours of 2D and 3D computer animation,
I think I can make a professional opinion as to
how and why moving images look real or not!
I hope this critical look helps the 2D and 3D animators out there....