Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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FACS: Facial Action Coding System

Last week Fast Company did a little event to celebrate their 100 Most Creative People in Business issue. As part of it, Ed Ulbrich of Digital Domain spoke of his company’s work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

I knew none of this, but apparently Benjamin’s face is all computer animation, a serious triumph and something many in film thought couldn’t be done. The way Digital Domain accomplished this was by mapping Brad Pitt’s face using something called the Facial Action Coding System (FACS): “The most widely used and versatile method for measuring and describing facial behaviors. Paul Ekman and W.V. Friesen developed the original FACS in the 1970s by determining how the contraction of each facial muscle (singly and in combination with other muscles) changes the appearance of the face.”

In case your curious, here is a list of facial behaviors and some corresponding photos. Also, if you care to sift through a heavy-duty flash site, here is some more info on how they made Benjamin Button.

June 18, 2009