Movie aficionados dream of seeing long gone actors in new movies, sport fans would give an arm and a leg to watch a match between Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali, history buffs would love to arrange a talk show with Spartacus and Marcus Licinius Crassus. What may seem like a Westworld-inspired fantasy is already a technically feasible reality, made possible by rapid advances of facial animation technology that allows a digital avatar of a known personality to perform within the entertainment and game environment.
The Green Caesar, a portrait of Gaius Julius Caesar made of green slate, kept in the Antikensammlung Berlin
In a few years the facial animation technology will power a whole new entertainment industry based on the extensive facial digital rights management system, reviving popular personalities for eternal life in the brave new virtual world. For this to happen many of legal, privacy, ethical and commercial challenges and concerns have to be addressed. Yet the technology is already here, the potential market is huge and multifaceted. Just imagine a TV news channel with animated anchors who do not require seven-figure salary.
“By 2024, we may all be interacting with digital humans in some way or other, whether its via headsets, films, TV, games, live performances and broadcasts, or by directing digital assistants in our homes in real-time,” said Andy Wood, Chairman of Cubic Motion, computer vision company that empowers producers to create digital human personalities.
Among the report’s findings:
- Facial capture technology is rapidly involving through innovative hardware and software implementations, based on different approaches, modalities and scanning techniques.
- Facial digital rights management is by far the largest and commercially the most promising market segment the will generate billions of revenue in perpetuity.
- Facial rendering from historically available media is both technically and creatively challenging segment, particularly attractive due to lesser impact of digital right constraints.
The report provides detailed year-by-year forecasts for the following segments of facial animation technology market:
- Facial digital rights management, licensing and distribution products and services
- By verticals: entertainment, security, education, etc
- By technology: rendition, capture, archiving, conversion, animation
- And more…