Back in March at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang cracked out “Digital Ira”, an animated demonstration of its so-called FaceWorks technology. It was an impressive display and while not 100% life-like, it represented a substantial leap forward in gaming fidelity. Now you can have a play with it yourself.
The 309MB setup file can be downloaded directly from NVIDIA and you’ll need a CUDA-capable graphics card with support for DirectX 11. If you’re wondering if your hardware fits the bill, a simple guide is any 400-series card or later, though NVIDIA has a handy list of compatible GPUs on its website if you want to be completely sure.
According to the demo description, you’ll be able to watch Ira “immersed in three different lighting environments” and “adjust his skin rendering to see the effect of sub surface light transmission through his skin”.
As for FaceWorks, the technology was developed in conjunction with the Institute for Creative Technology in California. It’s based on motion data captured using a special “light stage”, rather than conventional dots and markers.
I’d try the demo myself, but I fear my 620M mobile GPU would implode. Please don’t let that put you off checking it out!