Physical Face Cloning

Project Members

Bernd Bickel (Disney Research Zurich)
Peter Kaufmann (Disney Research Zurich)
Melina Skouras (Disney Research, Zurich / ETH Zurich)
Bernhard Thomaszewski (Disney Research Zurich)
Derek Bradley (Disney Research Zurich)
Thabo Beeler (Disney Research Zurich)
Phil Jackson (Walt Disney Imagineering)
Steve Marschner (Cornell University)
Wojciech Matusik (Disney Research, Zurich)
Markus Gross (Disney Research Zurich)


Figure 1: Left: photograph and scanned 3D geometry of a human face. We use a physics-based optimization process to design the geometry of a synthetic skin in order to best match given target expressions. Right: final animatronic figure with fabricated skin.


We propose a complete process for designing, simulating, and fabricating synthetic skin for an animatronics character that mimics the face of a given subject and its expressions. The process starts with measuring the elastic properties of a material used to manufacture synthetic soft tissue. Given these measurements we use physics-based simulation to predict the behavior of a face when it is driven by the underlying robotic actuation. Next, we capture 3D facial expressions for a given target subject. As the key component of our process, we present a novel optimization scheme that determines the shape of the synthetic skin as well as the actuation parameters that provide the best match to the target expressions. We demonstrate this computational skin design by physically cloning a real human face onto an animatronics figure.


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Physical Face Cloning
August 5, 2012
Paper File [pdf, 930.08 KB]

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