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Random sample of face space. Video: Josephine Jasperse

The Varieties of Human Facial Expression

Facial expressiveness can be defined as a space of all possible facial expressions. The Varieties explores face space by enumeration of all possible facial muscle contraction patterns. Our research showed that 6 muscle on/off contraction states on each side of the face produced clearly discernible expressions. This defines face space as having 4096 (212)* possible facial expressions. In the video registration a simple visualization of binary counting up from 0 to 4095 shows in rapid succession all the expressions on Elsenaar’s face.

It is interesting to note that the facial hardware allows for a very rich set of expressions, but humans mostly appear to use a rather limited subset.

Sound is produced by the actual electric impulses entering the body.

* Technically the procerus muscle could be added expanding face space to 8192 (213) possible expressions.


year: 1997
duration: 32:17
co-author: Remko Scha
tags: face space, computational somatics