20 “Did You Know?” Facts About DI4D

Way back in 2003 our team at DI4D set out with a goal to bring life to facial animation. Twenty years later, we are the world’s leading 4D facial performance capture service, specializing in animation for digital doubles. 

We have continued to develop our proprietary technology through the years, pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible in our field. With bases in the UK and US, we provide a global service to a long list of partners across film, TV, games, the metaverse and beyond. These include Activision, MPC, DI4D, Digital Domain, Remedy, Warner Brothers, EA and many more.

To celebrate our 20th year, we thought it would be fun to share 20 “Did You Know?” facts about DI4D:

  1. The roots of DI4D can be traced back to our CEO’s academic research. Back In 1990, Colin Urquhart’s PhD research focused on the use of stereo images to reconstruct 3D data. It was the start of a passion for facial capture and animation that would lead co-founders Colin and Dug to launch DI4D 13 years later.
  1. Deep Roy, playing an Oompa Loompa in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) was the first use of 4D facial capture. This was the first project we worked on with film industry talent, testing 4D facial performance capture, a great test for our technology early on. This was the first time anyone had experienced 4D capture!
  1. We are an Independent Studio. We pride ourselves on being one of the only remaining independent facial capture providers in the industry – ensuring we provide services to meet each client’s needs, working with global brands such as Activision, Digital Domain, MPC, Electronic Arts and Sony Imageworks.
  1. DI4D’s PURE4D uses machine learning to capture high fidelity results with less time and effort. Combining machine learning, DI4D PRO and HMC capture, our PURE4D solution produces 4D data with both the highest accuracy and efficiency. 
  1. We specialize in animating digital doubles. DI4D is the world’s leading 4D facial capture company wholly specializing in digital doubles. 
  1. We helped create Rachael’s digital double in Blade Runner 2049. On one of our highest-profile movie projects to date, we provided DI4D PRO capture services to support Warner Bros and MPC on one of the most technically challenging VFX scenes. The movie went on to win the 2017 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
  1. We have studios in Glasgow and LA. In 2017, our co-founder and CEO Colin Urquhart relocated to Los Angeles to lead the US expansion from the Company’s office in Playa Vista, at the center of “MoCap Gulch. The L.A. office complements the technical and motion capture team who are based in Glasgow. 
  1. PURE4D was used for Codemasters’ F1® 2021 cut-scenes. Our PURE4D pipeline was utilized to drive the facial animation of five digital doubles and one digital character for the games’ cutscenes. The finished game contained one hour of facial animation, making it the largest video game project processed by DI4D at the time.
  1. DI4D PRO has a natural and unobtrusive set up, without the need for special markers, makeup or structured light projection. Our DI4D PRO pipeline was developed with production in mind, making the overall process easy for actors and the production team.
  1. Our technology delivers movie quality facial animation at scale for video games. Our proprietary PURE4D capture pipeline produces movie quality facial animation at a volume and consistency that is not possible with traditional facial animation approaches. 
  1. DI4D technology provides cinematic quality facial animation for the next generation of video game consoles. Our scope of work is not limited to movies. We also drive the animation for realistic digital doubles in video games and the metaverse.
  1. Our first ever DI4D HMC prototype was launched at SIGGRAPH in 2014. This was the world’s first HMC designed for passive stereo photogrammetry.
  1. We helped recreate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr for The March. We supplied Digital Domain with high-fidelity, 4D facial expression data captured with our DI4D PRO system to help recreate Dr King’s historic 1963 ‘March on Washington’ along with his iconic speech. 
  1. Our 4D capture pipeline means that we do not require a traditional facial animation rig. This makes post-production processes simpler than those  based on traditional FACs rigs. 
  1. We recently worked on Marvel blockbuster Venom: Let There be Carnage. Our work on the movie is an excellent example of the use of 4D facial capture, where DI4D PRO data played a key role in the transformation scenes.
  1. We worked on 4 episodes of Netflix’s series, Love, Death and Robots. An exciting collection that blends the genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror and comedy. The Helping Hand episode went on to win a Scottish BAFTA award for best animated short.
  1. We have a proven track record working on AAA games, delivering animation for the world’s most realistic digital doubles for games including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
  1. Our proprietary technology solutions are fully mobile – we can support projects at DI4D or on-location. Whatever works best.
  1. DI4D PRO is an excellent source of training data for machine learning. We are helping companies improve their projects by plugging into their pipeline for facial capture and animation test projects.
  1.  We captured Daniel Kaluuya’s facial performance to drive his digital double in the Xbox Series X|S trailer. The animation needed to be faithful to Daniel’s likeness and performance to produce a convincing end result. Read the full case study here.
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