05/14/2012 07:58 am ET Updated May 14, 2012

Light Stage X: Making A Digital Human Takes Lights, Camera, Action (VIDEO)

There's an awful lot of science that goes into producing cutting-edge movie magic. Have you ever wondered just how they make digital characters like Benjamin Button? Apparently, the trick is all in the lighting. Paul Debevec of the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies knows this well, as he won an Academy Award in 2010 for developing the Light Stage technologies, which helped in the process of creating the Na'vi characters in Avatar. He invited me to visit his beautiful and brilliant "Light Stage X" to be captured and converted into a photorealistic digital character. To see for yourself, watch the video above and/or click on the link below for a full transcript. And don't forget to leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Talk nerdy to me!


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Paul Debevec won an Academy Award for his work on Avatar. In fact, his Academy Award was specifically awarded for “the design and engineering of the Light Stage capture devices and the image-based facial rendering system developed for character relighting in motion pictures.”

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