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Activision's research and development team has been working hard as of late to produce what they are calling next generation character rendering. The company showed off the new technology at the Game Developers Conference and although the video clip on display is short, it shows a number of facial animations running in real time that are stunning.
As you can see in the clip below, the animations are extremely lifelike - perhaps more so than any others we have seen to date. Activision said they used source material from USC Institute for Creative Technologies and converted it into a "70 bones rig" using advanced techniques to deliver realism to the eyes and skin.
The company said the rendering was done on current hardware and as an example, an Nvidia GeForce 680 can pump out the visuals at 120 frames per second. Keep in mind of course that this is without anything else being rendered - not exactly how it would take place in a real game.
If you're thinking this looks all a bit familiar (and a little creepy), you aren't mistaken. A demo called Face Works was recently shown during Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference that actually utilized the same source data as Activision's demo. Nvidia said the technology used to power their demo required about half of a Titan graphics card's power to run - no small feat.
During Sony's presentation for the PlayStation 4 last month, the company showed a demo of an old man's face that featured an extremely high level of detail.