Reusable facial expressions that can be downloaded for virtual characters

Psychologists have revealed the downloadable facial expression plug in to integrate in the virtual characters to convey particular emotions.

Researchers have presented their paper in the Arxiv of Cornell University Library.

Basic expressions (Credit: Joost Broekens)

After a huge study Paul Ekman, (78) a psychologist from America, found that all humans share the same facial expressions for six emotions, which are anger, fear, joy, surprise, disgust and sadness. He developed the Facial Action Coding System or FACS that was helpful in identification of facial muscle movements related to each emotion.


Now animators used the same system to give computer-developed characters realistic expressions. That system helped in MPEG4 standard for encoding facial expressions in animated characters.

Researchers in this study tested the accuracy of six basic emotions as mentioned above and 4 blended emotions that are enthusiasm, furious, frustration, and evil. These facial expressions were rated by real human subjects. Those human subjects evaluated the expressions and their intensity from closeness, from a distance and from the side. This showed that the expressions were very much real with minor differences such as the slight combination of one expression with another. Researchers found that volunteers were able to rate anger easily and enthusiasm with a difficulty.

These realistic facial expressions could be used in a variety of researches and also by animators.

People may download the expressions from


Joost Broekens, Chao Qu, Willem-Paul Brinkman, (2012). Dynamic Facial Expression of Emotion Made Easy. arXiv:1211.4500 [cs.HC]

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