Rosenberg: High Resolution FACS Scans

Greg Maguire (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formData set/Database


The Facial Action Coding System (FACS) is a comprehensive, anatomically based system for describing all visually discernible facial movement. It breaks down facial expressions into individual components of muscle movement, called Action Units (AUs).

This confidential database of Action Units was performed by Dr. Erika Rosenberg, the world renowned expert in FACS and protégé of Paul Ekman its senior author. Dr. Rosenberg has taught FACS to psychologists, behavioural scientists, and animators for the past 30 years. During this period, she has gained the ability to pose each Action Unit and their common combinations to a very high fidelity.

The original photogrammetry was captured at Gentle Giant Studios in Burbank, California, USA. A 145 x 36MP Nikon camera array with prime lenses was used to capture this very high resolution database.

Database processing:
The 145 colour calibrated images were generated into a 3D model with Agisoft Photoscan. Each 50 million polygonal model was stabilised and wrapped with a unique topology using tools written by the Humain team. Zbrush was used to remove extraneous hair on eyebrows and eyelashes. Each wrap was meticulously cleaned under the supervision of Dr. Rosenberg for authentic reproduction of each Action Unit and their common combinations.

Humain uses this database to retarget Action Units to other characters.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBelfast
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 20 Mar 2019


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    Maguire, G., 28 Jul 2019

    Research output: Non-textual formSoftware

    Open Access

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