Human virtual character models, ranging in detail from Web-ready avatars to CG models used for FX in movies, are becoming more common and more interesting.
One of the most useful virtual models is the online favorite, My Virtual Model, a program that allows you to make a virtual duplicate
of yourself in order to try on clothes online. At Sears
there is a great section showing how My Virtual Model is used.
News at Seven is a fully automated approach to creating broadcast news developed at Northwestern University's Intelligent Information Laboratory.
The Courious Case of Benjamin Button represents the cutting edge of virtual humans in 2009. For more then half of the movie Brad Pitt's character is played by a CG version of the actor.
Beautiful human models are always in demand. If you are working on a virtual model that you are trying to enhance, I recommend taking a look at the research that was done on virtual beauty on the
Beautycheck website. Make use to check out the sections Virtual Miss Germany and Babyfaceness. There is some eye-opening information on what people perceive as beautiful in
both men and women.
Also take a look at the Digital Humans Laboratory at the University of Iowa for some interesting research.
In the above Benjamin Button CG Society article, the subtitle states "The Beginning of the end for the Uncanny Valley. " The uncanny valley is a term used in CG to describe human virtual characters that look almost human, but are just different enough to look creepy to real humans. Computer graphics has yet to find it's way completely out of the uncanny valley, but CG artists keep trying.