Published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Language & Speech, the new technique tracks in real time facial expressions and head movements during a video conference and maps these movements to models of faces – producing a 'cloned' face.
These facial expressions and head movements can be manipulated live to alter the apparent expressiveness, identity, race, or even gender of a talker. Moreover, these visual cues can be manipulated such that neither participant in the conversation is aware of the manipulation.
Developed by Dr Barry-John Theobald of UEA's School of Computing Sciences, in collaboration with Dr Iain Matthews (Disney Research), Prof Steven Boker (University of Virginia) and Prof Jeffrey Cohn (University of Pittsburgh), the new facial expression cloning technique is already being trialed by psychologists in the US to challenge pre-conceived assumptions about how humans behave during conversations.
For example, it is well-known that you move your head differently when speaking to a woman than when speaking to a man. The new software has helped show that this difference is not because of your conversational partner's appearance, but instead due to the way they move. If a person appears to be a woman but moves like a man, others will respond with movements similar to those made when speaking to a man.
It is also likely to have application in the entertainment industry where life-like animated characters might be required.
"Spoken words are supplemented with non-verbal visual cues to enhance the meaning of what we are saying, signify our emotional state, or provide feedback during a face-to-face conversation," said Dr Theobald, lead author of the new paper. "Being able to manipulate these properties in a controlled manner allows us to measure precisely their effects on behaviour during conversation.
"This exciting new technology allows us to manipulate faces in this way for the first time. Many of these effects would otherwise be impossible to achieve, even using highly-skilled actors."
The work is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
'Mapping and Manipulating Facial Expression' by Barry-John Theobald (UEA), Iain Matthews (Weta Digital Ltd, New Zealand), Michael Mangini (University of Notre Dame, US), Jeffrey Spies (University of Virginia), Timothy Brick (University of Virginia), Jeffrey Cohn (University of Pittsburgh) and Steven Boker (University of Virginia) is published in the June edition of Language and Speech.
Simon Dunford | EurekAlert!
Snake-inspired robot uses kirigami to move
22.02.2018 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Camera technology in vehicles: Low-latency image data compression
22.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences