Saturday, 1 December 2007

Changing the Face of Science

One of my favourite sites on the web is called Face of the Future.

Face of the Future is an EPSRC funded public engagement project aimed at exploring the latest advances in facial computer vision and graphics, and what they mean for society. The project has developed a number of standalone interactive exhibits, online demos and a lecture presentation aimed at engaging the public with the technology and the social implications of the technology.

The face transformer is a very cool little applet that can change your face so that it looks older, younger, like a different ethnic group or into a particular art style.

The concept behind it is fairly simple, although I'm sure it's quite difficult to implement. People of different ages and races have slightly different facial features. The team behind the face transformer has collected this information and created "average faces" for the different groups of people. When you upload a photo of yourself, you tell the program where your eyes and mouth are, and it morphs your face towards the average face of the group into which you are transforming. Your skin colour, eye shape, hair line and general facial shape will change depending on what you are morphing into.

Here is me at the start of the process - a very cheesy Movember shot, as Afro-Caribbean, as an older gentleman (hi Dad, spot the family resemblance!), a chimp, a child (with a bit too much facial hair), a Modigliani painting, a Bottelcelli and an East Asian.

More photos can be found on my photo site here


  1. Thanks for this post and the link to the Face Transformer. I became a scary-looking caveman.

    Jim Purdy