Wednesday, August 08, 2012

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Damien Fate Gets His Head Into Second Life -- Literally

I told you about the SL service that converts photos of your real face into a mesh-based head you can put on your avatar, but top SL content creator Damien Fate went a step more, and decided to give it a whirl. Here's Damien's (rather damn handsome) flesh and body head, now atop his avatar:

Damien Fate real head

Above right, the photos he took and sent to Franz Strzelecki, the head head-maker. The mesh head, Damien just explained on Plurk, is "imported straight to SL, no rigging or fancy stuff." (He did blend his skin in Photoshop.) Looks pretty good, if pretty morose (though there's a reason for that.)

Damien's take, as a 3D content/avatar creator himself:

"Pros: Super quick turnaround, eyes aren't attached, so they could be rigged, decent-ish starter mesh. Super cheap (L$500). Cons: Terrible texturing, [it] basically just cut out my face from the front pic and nothing else. The mesh doesn't really match up too well, in my opinion. Mouth has no interior, my head has a weird lump in the 3D model." But for under $2, all in all not a bad result.

And yes his avatar looks emo, but as I noted, there's a reason for that: "Instructions were to not smile for the picture, so if I look depressed -- it's only on the outside." Which is sort of ironic, since avatars are often seen as windows into the soul. Due to the technology's limitations, Damien can now use his avatar to show other SL users what he really looks like in the real world, but with this, he can't show them how he really feels.  


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Damien Fate

Time to be brave!

I should also note that the tweaked version I did for SL was literally just 10 minutes or so 'for fun' - not really top quality stuff but a little better than the delivered product IMO.

Jo Yardley

Very interesting.
I've always wanted my SL avatar to be just like me in RL.


And i brought the face of Paul Breitner (ex german soccer star of the 70ies 80ies) to cloudparty by the same way. ;)
Also a work of few minutes.

Arcadia Codesmith

It strikes me as deep in the uncanny valley to have photo-sourced features locked in a fixed expression.

I know there's been some interesting work to map expressions from a webcam onto an avatar, but I don't know how feasible that would be for Second Life -- there's an awful lot of subtlety and nuance to human facial expressions, and how that would work with custom meshes is beyond my modest understanding of the topic.

foneco zuzu

Understandable concept on Cloud, not on SL, where the big and main marketing tool should be:
Get a reason to evade from Real World, let your imagination be the rule!

Adeon Writer

As a rule of thumb, the phrase "Second Life should be about" is for subjective opinions only. :)

Adeon Writer

And now for my opinion: the head is good, but the default avatar skeleton has idealistic, rather than realistic, proportions. Putting a realistic head on the cartoon body is what causes a level of uncannyiness.

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