Human beings are amazing complex. There’s millions of pieces to the puzzle that is a human body and representing that digitally is amazing difficult. Our ability to identify what’s real and what’s not is pretty amazing, with CG often easy to identify when even the smallest details aren’t quite right.
Often its developing our limitations that make things more believable. Creating a highly detailed 3D model of a human is pretty easy these days. So is capturing and applying a high-quality texture map. What has been deficient is the programming in a model that limits the finer motor movements of how we move to accurately reflect our physical limitations.
Check out this absolutely stunning video of Snappers Advanced Facial Rig which features programming to limit micro-movements in movements of a human head. When you raise your eyebrows, they raise, but that forces the skin on your forehead to wrinkle. When you smile or frown, the muscles under the skin mean those movements move other parts of your face, like your cheeks and lips. When you breath your nostrils contract and expand, as does your throat. All of this detail is shown off in this amazing clip.
The Facial Rig is developed for Maya and the Unreal Engine and earlier versions of the technology have already made it into games and CG for films and TV shows. The video goes for 3:53 and I couldn’t take my eyes off it.