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Disney shows how it plans to end the 'uncanny valley'

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Video games and CGI movies have long suffered from dead-eyed animated characters, also known as the "uncanny valley." While body movement and facial expressions are captured with increasingly convincing details, the eye continues to seem faked and unsatisfactory.

This technical video from Disney Research shows how animated entertainments can feature more convincingly captured eye models in future. "Even though the human eye is one of the central features of individual appearance, its shape has so far been mostly approximated with gross simplifications," states Disney Research, which has published a paper detailing a new capture system.

"We propose a novel capture system that is capable of accurately reconstructing all the visible parts of the eye: the white sclera, the transparent cornea and the non-rigidly deforming colored iris. These components exhibit very different appearance properties and thus we propose a hybrid reconstruction method that addresses them individually while respecting their inter-dependencies.

"We believe that the findings of this paper will alter our community's current assumptions regarding human eyes, and our work has the potential to significantly impact the way that eyes will be modeled in the future."