By Jason Venter | 02-28-2013 | 9:30PM

When she passed away in early 1993 at the age of 63, actress Audrey Hepburn left behind a legacy that includes roles in such beloved films as Roman Holiday, Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Charade. She also was known for her humanitarian efforts with UNICEF. Now it’s time to add an additional role to her repertoire: chocolate spokesperson.

As reported on VentureBeat, Audrey Hepburn’s likeness has been captured for use in a commercial for Galaxy chocolate. You can read a detailed description of the process involved in creating a CG render of the actress at the Framestore site.

The article explains that the people responsible for the ad began by finding an actress that closely approximated Hepburn. They then filmed the footage necessary for the commercial, which takes place along Italy’s Amalfi coast. Next, they used FACS (facial action coding system) head scans to capture her mannerisms and craft a convincing illusion.

“The 3D team built the model of Hepburn,” the article notes, “making use of the star’s entire feature film catalogue, plus all available press and documentary photographs as reference. However, as there was no technical lens information or measurements available for such old footage, it was quite an inexact science, involving tirelessly tweaking to refine the model from every possible angle.”

Since the face they were working with was now an illusion, the team members also had to use tools that would allow skin to appear more natural than something that could be rendered in a raw CG render. Then, of course, there was the matter of perfecting her eyes and smile.

“Although the actress was cast for her eyes,” the article explains, “and originally the team had hoped to use the real eyes and build the cg face around them, as post-production progressed it became clear that recognition was key to the success of this ad and, close though the actress was, full CG was the only way to get it right.”

A team of four was required just to get her smile right. That’s a lot of effort to spend on a single ad, but the results do speak for themselves and they also perhaps provide a glimpse at the future. It’s not difficult to imagine the same sort of technology playing a larger role in future cinematic efforts and perhaps even video games. If you haven’t done so already, make sure to check out the embedded video for yourself and see what you think (it’s only a minute long).


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