Photos don’t move; we all know that. But with advances in digital animation, expect this to change. Computer scientists from Tel Aviv University and Facebook have just developed a technique that lets them take a picture of someone’s face and animate it.
The animated photos can show anger, shock, or joy. It can have details like teeth even when the person in the photo didn’t smile.
The research, recently published in Associate for Computing Machinery, discusses what they say is the most realistic manipulations of a portrait or selfie.
How it’s done
The process starts by scanning the facial features of the person looking at the camera. The team then does the same facial mapping to an actor expressing an emotion in a video (either shot in their lab/taken from a database). The facial movements are then applied to the original still photo, animating it into showing emotion.
After the researchers animate the original photo, they tweak the resulting video by smoothing out wrinkles and, if necessary, adding the subject’s teeth and tongue.
The result is a very short video of a person showing an expression. Even if the person in the photo had never made that face, the created product makes it look as if they had.