World of Warcraft is a groundbreaking MMORPG that brought countless gamers as close as they can get to living in a fantasy world. It was a game that united people from across continents and seas to complete daring quests and participate in epic battles. But what if we there was a way to take it even further and have your online avatar talk and react how you would do in real life? You’d think that the technology to do that would be some years away at the very least but it seems that the guys have at the EPFL Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory are already working to make it a reality with the potentially revolutionary software called Faceshift.

Faceshift is new real time facial recognition and animation tool that captures your facial expressions and uses it to animate your online avatar. It’s an interesting application that could have many different applications, especially in animation and in gaming. Faceshift uses a 3D camera, like the Kinect, to map facial features and capture every movement your head makes. When we first saw the video, we didn’t recognize right away that the speaker was already demoing the product as he discussed it. When we finally noticed that the animation in the background was actually mimicking his speech and facial expressions, we were blown away! These guys are definitely on to something special.

Aside from the aforementioned World of Warcraft, Faceshift is the kind of application that would fit well in other virtual worlds like Second Life or could be something used to spice-up Skype conversations. Budding animators in the crowd can also benefit from this as it could possibly make the whole process much easier to complete.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on Faceshift so be sure to check back for more news. In the meantime, what do you think of this facial recognition and animation tool? Share your thoughts in the comments!



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