Synthesizing realistic facial expressions from photographs

Frédéric Pighin, Jamie Hecker, Dani Lischinski, Richard Szeliski, David H. Salesin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We present new techniques for creating photorealistic textured 3D facial models from photographs of a human subject, and for creating smooth transitions between different facial expressions by morphing between these different models. Starting from several uncalibrated views of a human subject, we employ a user-assisted technique to recover the camera poses corresponding to the views as well as the 3D coordinates of a sparse set of chosen locations on the subject's face. A scattered data interpolation technique is then used to deform a generic face mesh to fit the particular geometry of the subject's face. Having recovered the camera poses and the facial geometry, we extract from the input images one or more texture maps for the model. This process is repeated for several facial expressions of a particular subject. To generate transitions between these facial expressions we use 3D shape morphing between the corresponding face models, while at the same time blending the corresponding textures. Using our technique, we have been able to generate highly realistic face models and natural looking animations.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationSIGGRAPH 2006 - ACM SIGGRAPH 2006 Courses
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)1595933646, 9781595933645
StatePublished - 30 Jul 2006
Event2006 ACM SIGGRAPH Courses, SIGGRAPH 2006 - Boston, United States
Duration: 30 Jul 20063 Aug 2006

Publication series

NameSIGGRAPH 2006 - ACM SIGGRAPH 2006 Courses


Conference2006 ACM SIGGRAPH Courses, SIGGRAPH 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Katrin Petersen and Andrew Petty for modeling the generic face model, Cassidy Curtis for his invaluable advice on animating faces, and Joel Auslander and Jason Griffith for early contributions to this project. This work was supported by an NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow award (CCR-9553199), an ONR Young Investigator award (N00014-95-1-0728), and industrial gifts from Microsoft and Pixar.


  • Facial animation
  • Facial expression generation
  • Facial modeling
  • Morphing
  • Photogrammetry
  • View-dependent texture-mapping


Dive into the research topics of 'Synthesizing realistic facial expressions from photographs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this