Activision may be perceived as a money-making machine that just throws out the same game every year, but the company is heavily invested in the future of gaming technology. Take for instance this new real-time face rendering tech the company unveiled at GDC.
Well, that's certainly unnerving. Here I thought Heavy Rain was pretty realistic, but this is in an entirely different league.
Here's how they did it:
This animated character is being rendered in real-time on current video card hardware, using standard bone animation. The rendering techniques, as well as the animation pipeline are being presented at GDC 2013, "Next Generation Character Rendering" on March 27. The original high resolution data was acquired from Light Stage Facial Scanning and Performance Capture by USC Institute for Creative Technologies, then converted to a 70 bones rig, while preserving the high frequency detail in diffuse, normal and displacement composite maps. It is being rendered in a DirectX11 environment, using advanced techniques to faithfully represent the character's skin and eyes.
For another example, here's a screenshot of another face created using the same tech:
For more examples and information on how Activision achieved this, check out their blog.