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Digital double stars in computer generated short

Glasgow’s DI4D has used its facial capture technology to create an animated short starring the digital double of actor, Neil Newbon.

The animation uses the company’s PURE4D 2.0 to reproduce every nuance of Newbon’s facial performance, without requiring a conventional facial rig.

Double celebrates acting, from its ancient roots, to its most modern, digital form and how actors are used in video games and animation.

It’s a journey Newbon is well aware of, having started out on the likes of Goodness Gracious Me, Hollyoaks and The Bill, before finding fame in the world of gaming.

He’s best known for voicing Elijah Kamski and Gavin Reed in Detroit: Become Human, Karl Heisenberg in Resident Evil Village, and Astarion in Baldur’s Gate 3. Winning numerous video game awards.

The film was developed entirely in-house by DI4D, to showcase the time and cost saving benefits of its tech, which has been used on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare lll, F1® 23 and Disney’s Haunted Mansion. 

“Double proves that it’s possible to produce high-end facial animation within a constrained budget,” explained Colin Urquhart, CEO and co-founder of DI4D.

“Acting lies at the heart of PURE4D 2.0’s approach, allowing studios to allocate more of their resources to talented performers, like Neil, who captivate audiences with their abilities. It’s this unique aspect that sets performance-driven animation apart from traditional pipelines.” 

PURE4D 2.0 combines performance data from a head-mounted camera, with high-fidelity data from a seated 4D capture system. Proprietary machine learning technology learns the actor’s facial expressions, which it says reduces subjective manual clean-up and significantly increasing consistency and efficiency.  

“Developing an entire film from conception to the final render has been an incredible opportunity for the DI4D team,” added Douglas Green, COO and co-founder of DI4D.

“Not only have we demonstrated the level of quality possible with a small team and budget, but we now have an even greater understanding of our client’s processes which can only help to improve our services further.” 

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