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VWN Product Reviews: Facial Expressions Babies to Teens: A Visual Reference for Artists

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Site Shop > Facial Expressions Babies to Teens: A Visual Reference for Artists




A counterpart to the other facial expressions book by the same author, Babies to teens starts at birth and carries forwards to age 19, whereas the other book deals with ages 20 to 90.

It is predominately a huge collection of physical human faces, photographed in a huge variety of expressions and emotional states.

The author has not missed a trick, and each emotional state or simple expression is shown by a wide variety of ages from young adult through to honoured elder. It is shown by both genders across that age range, and also by a variety of head sizes, shapes and differing ethnicities for each gender, giving enough material to be able to perhaps predict computationally how a given head structure will depict a given expression.

Additional photos focus on people wearing hats and couples kissing, while illustrations show skull anatomy and facial musculature, greatly aiding occlusion techniques, and those trying to bone a realistic human face for 3D animation.

Kids are a nightmare for model creators, and for animators, because they are never ?still-. They are there one minute and gone the next. Their emotional state is just as fleeting, flicking through emotional changes with scant seconds of notice. This book houses more than 2,500 photographs of fifty babies, kids, and teens demonstrating every human emotion through facial expression, in the hope of aiding the capture of such poses.

A dedicated age-progression gallery shows each of the models as they age, separate to the other photo lists, showing how the same face changes with time, as a boon to those model making child avatars.

At the end of the book is an attempt at creating pictographic visemes. That is to say, a kind series of photos of lips pronouncing each and every one of the phonemes used in human speech.

All of the photos are clear and usable, and as they are head-shots only, are expanded in the book, to show the fine detail. Additionally, all photos are taken from multiple angles, giving the full 3D effect of the head, and as the side shots were taken at the same time as those front on, the data is suitable as input into 3D photo rendering applications to generate a full model.

At the very end of the book, beyond the visemes, is a section on sequential data, showing some photos on the transition from one emotional state to another ? how the face looks when caught in between two emotional states. For anyone working on animation sequence files, especially animation blending, this sort of data is a gold mine.

One of the problems with this tome, as opposed to the first, is the visual quality. Showing how hard it can be to get kids to sit still for even a millisecond, more than a few of the photos are fractionally blurred, as the subject shuffles in their seat as the photo was taken. They are still usable, but not perfect material. Additionally a fish-eye lens was used, exaggerating features slightly in the full face shots. The side on photos were taken normally, and it might be better to use them to build up 3D models rather than the full face shots, if lampooning was not your intent.


Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists

The first book in the facial expressions series, dealing with adult faces only. Covering a range from 20 - 90, it looks at just about every possible discrete human emotional expressive state with regards to the face only. Both genders and a range of ethnicities are covered for the full age range, along with visemes for visual recognition of spoken phonemes.

 

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