Real or CGI? Activision R&D shows of next generation of animation.

Alien Soup

Head Chef
Activision R&D Real-time Character Demo

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.​
You can find more detail on the rendering aspect here : Jorge Jimenez – Blog – Graphics Programmer Blog
This demo is running at 180 fps on current gtx 680 cards.​
Note: Yes, this is the same source data from ICT used by Nvidia at GTC, but rendered using a completely different tech.​


Creative Writer
On a similar note, an article came out today discussing the ageing action movie actors that are still in the business, and wondering where the new Van Damme's will come from in an age of computer effects that could very well provide enough action on screen to not need athletes and square jaws:

Geriaction heroes and the age of aged movie stars


Code Monkey
Staff member
I wouldn't be surprised that the next generation of actions stars are computer generated as gaming characters are becoming more common with youth pop culture versus traditional movie & TV stars. Ask somebody who grew up playing games like Halo about the Master Chief character and you'll get every statistic & background information possible but ask them who the 'old guy' is from the latest Die Hard movie and you'll likely get a blank stare.

It is only a matter of time before we start seeing gaming animation, and their characters, used for mainstream movies.