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Real-time controlled CGI puppets in Unreal Engine 5

Welcome to the uncanny valley

Gaming technology has been on the cusp of complete photorealism for years, but things seem to have taken a turn recently with Unreal Engine 5. I feel like every day now I’m seeing something from a game engine that is indistinguishable from real life. At first it was just Forza Horizon 5 screenshots, which didn’t freak me out as much, but now that we’re seeing an increased number of rendered human faces that are so lifelike, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not anymore. However, it’s actually not that bad.


Enter Ziva Dynamics’ ZRT Face Trainer, a software that allows game developers and animators to plug in their own face meshes and puppet them into dynamic expressions in real time. A video of the program’s demo running in Unreal 5 landed on Reddit, where it’s been doing some numbers and unsurprisingly freaking everyone out.

The Face Trainer’s website boasts some impressive stats, like a database of over 15TB of 4D scan data, over 72,000 unique training shapes, and puppets that can “run at real-time frame rates.” The software entered early access today, and there’s an application for the waitlist on the website for anyone who might be interested in the tech. With investment, the technology would be mature soon enough, and we are going to see that everywhere just like in movies.

In the meantime, Facebook have recently announced the Metaverse. Most likely, we will see the Face Trainer technology in the Metaverse. The movie, Free Guy appears to be in our real life very soon. Who’s not excited to see it happening? We could just meet everybody in the fantasy world without a step out of our home, especially we are in a pandemic. I believe it would be much more than expected.
Source: destructoid.com

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