Drawing, sculpting, or replicating the human face is exceptionally complex due to its role in human recognition, where slight deviations can be starkly noticeable. Capturing not only the physical accuracy of features like eyes, nose, and mouth but also the personality and emotions that animate these features is a major challenge. In movies and art, particularly with CGI, achieving lifelike representations involves overcoming the uncanny valley phenomenon, where almost-but-not-quite-realistic human likenesses evoke unease.

3D scanning of human faces provides a precise and efficient solution for capturing the complex details and proportions of faces. This technology significantly aids in the creation of realistic drawings, sculptures, and CGI. With this idea in mind, back in 2016, we started creating this very extensive Face Scan Library.

Face Scan Library Introduction

Face Scan Library is our largest collection. Featuring over 1,150 individuals, with an average of 21 expressions each resulting in more than 24,000 unique scans. Diverse range of 496 male and 615 female models. This collection features a wide array of ethnicities including Caucasian, Black, Arab, Asian, Indian, and Hispanic, covering a broad age range from 18 to 80 years old. Models vary in height from 125 to 200 cm and weigh between 39 to 175 kg.

Additionally, we take great care in scanning our models while maintaining strict standards to ensure quality. All captured and processed data is correctly calibrated and scaled using standard industry practices as well as our own. Makeup, jewellery, and hair are removed or covered to reveal a natural look. The model’s true age, height, weight, hair color, and other details are recorded. While scanning we eliminate any color casts, external light pollution or any other variables that can affect the output.

Quality and Standards

This library is many years to making, in order to ensure quality over time we maintain strict standards regarding the studio space and the models look. Makeup, jewellery and hair is removed or covered to reveal a natural look. The model’s gender, age, height, weight, skin tone, hair color, ethnic origin and other details are recorded and displayed on each product page for your convenience. These details are set as a Browse page filters that will help you fine tune results. All captured and processed data is correctly calibrated and scaled using standard industry practices as well as our own.

Each scan is delivered as a raw 9 million polygon mesh in *.obj format, 8192x8192 pixels *.png texture, Linear Color *.jpg photo set and *.rcproj Reality Capture project file v1.3. To examine the product quality, you can download a sample scan here Free Scan Samples.

This high-quality standard guarantees consistent results across our entire collection. Making it ideal for any type of research, statistical analysis, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence applications. For example:

  • Digital Doubles and CGI. The entertainment industry, especially in movies and video games, developers can use the scans from this library to create digital doubles and CGI characters that require a high degree of realism.
  • Personalized Avatars. Using the detailed, diverse, natural-looking scans, fully automatic tools can be developed to generate personalized avatars for users in gaming, online platforms, and virtual meetings. These avatars can closely mimic the user's physical characteristics, providing a more personal and immersive online presence.
  • Training Generative Models. The detailed data on facial features, body dimensions, and expressions can be used to train generative adversarial networks (GANs) or variational autoencoders (VAEs). These models can learn to generate new, realistic human faces and bodies that do not exist in real life, respecting the diversity of age, ethnicity, and body types represented in the dataset. This has potential applications in creating diverse populations for virtual environments, gaming, and simulation training.
  • Healthcare and Medical Research. Accurate 3D models can contribute to medical research, particularly in fields such as plastic surgery, dermatology, orthopedics, or in the development of specialized medical equipment, where a precise understanding of human anatomy and variation is crucial.

What is FACS

Each model in this library comes with a set of specific FACS expressions. Facial Action Coding System (FACS) was developed by psychologists Paul Ekman and Wallace V. Friesen in the 1970s, 

it has become a vital tool in the study of facial expressions, enabling researchers to break down the complex combinations of facial muscle movements into individual components known as Action Units (AUs). Each AU corresponds to a contraction or relaxation of one or more specific facial muscles, and their combinations can describe nearly all possible facial expressions.

Among all the fields where FACS is utilized, we are interested in it from the perspective of digital double creation. Common approach includes capturing a set of core FACS expressions that represent muscle movements of the face. FACS expressions are designed by isolating individual muscles or groups of muscles. When these are combined and manipulated in post-processing, they can create a vast array of facial expressions and subtleties, providing a realistic and nuanced digital double.

The specific number of FACS expressions can be anything from just a few to over a 100, depending on the level of detail required and the complexity of the character being created. More advanced projects might use a larger number of poses for even greater fidelity and expression detail.

Expressions featured in the face scan library:

The full list of FACS, that we usually scan, has 60 FACS expressions. However, capturing that many unique and often difficult to perform expressions for thousands of people is not feasible. Back in 2016 we selected 20 expressions that we decided would create a very optimal set that can be used to produce good results in most of cases. And as any compromise it has its flaws and limitations. From time to time we do scan bigger sets of expressions that you can find in our store. But for now, this is the set we stick to in production.

AU 0
01 Neutral
Neutral expression, eyes open. This expression serves as a relaxed base shape from which all expressions are constructed.
  AU 0+25+43
02 Neutral-Eyes Closed
Neutral expression with eyes closed and lips slightly open.
  AU 12
03 Smile-Mouth Closed
Relaxed smile with lips closed.
  AU 6+10+12+25
04 Smile-Mouth Open
Wide smile revealing teeth.

AU 27
05 Jaw Open

The jaw fully opens as the face remains completely relaxed.
  AU 4+6+7+9
06 Face Compression

The entire face is compressed, with the eyes, nose, mouth, and cheeks all drawn tightly together.
  AU 14
07 Mouth Wide

The mouth is stretched as widely as possible with jaw closed, lips are sealed
  AU 4+9+10
08 Snarl

The nose and upper lip are pushed upwards as much as possible, while the lower lip remains thick and conceals the lower teeth.
AU 28
09 Lips Roll In

Lips rolled inward and completely covering the teeth. Jaw in neutral position.
  AU 22+25+50+61
10 Look Left-Phoneme CH

Teeth clenched, lips formed into a funnel shape, eyes looking left.
  AU 5+18+25+50
11 Phoneme OO-Brow Raise Eyes Open Wide

Lips shaped into an "OO" with eyes wide open and eyebrows raised.
  AU 18+63
12 Pucker-Look Up

Lips puckered as if for a kiss, eyes looking up.
AU 50+64
13 Phoneme OH-Look Down

Lips in an OH shape, eyes looking down.
  AU 81+62
14 Chew Look Right

Jaw open as wide possible with mouth closed. Eyes looking right.
  AU 13+44+50
15 Phoneme Hard FV-Eye Squint

Eyes squinting while pulling the corners of the mouth upward and backward. Top teeth slightly visible.
  AU 6+12
16 Happy

Happy expression. Sincere wide smile with visible teeth, a subtle lift of the lower eyelids, and faint wrinkles at the corners of the eyes.
AU 1+2+5+26
17 Surprise

Surprised expression, usually in happy manner with eyes open wide and brows raised.
  AU 4+6+7+9+10+25
18 Pain

Pain expression.
  AU 9+10+15+16
19 Disgust

Disgust expression.
  AU 4+5+10+14+21
20 Rage

Rage expression.
AU 4+5+10+14+21+26
21 Scream

Scream expression.

Technical Information

Every face scan product you download will be in a *.7z file format. It will also include additional files not found in any other product category in our store, such as photo sets and photogrammetry project files, enabling you to create your own high-quality textures. Please refer to our Face Scans Product Guide for information on how to unpack and use these files.

What’s Next?

Even though 1,100 might seem like a large number, it is just a small fraction when considering the vast diversity of human faces. Therefore, we will persist in our scanning efforts, aiming to accelerate the process and expand our library, offering you more options to choose from. One challenge we face is increasing diversity. Currently, the majority of our models are Caucasian, primarily because our studio is located in Ukraine. It was challenging to find varied ethnicities even before the rusian invasion, and it has become even harder now, as most foreigners who could, left the country. Nevertheless, we are committed to staying and will continue operating our studio in Ukraine for as long as possible, supporting our incredible team there.