killer smiles: a fine line between creepy and beautiful

serial killer smiles - Ted Bundy - Rodney Alcala - compared to James Franco and Willem Dafoe

Pre-serial killer considerations, I simply intended to study what causes people to perceive certain smiles as creepy. From observing trends in art, social media, ranking systems, and pop culture, I identified two main types of “creepy smiles”: Type I, which I coined The Grinch Pinch and Type 2, which I coined The Muted Shark. Types I and II typically contain all or many of the following features:

bias in emotion tracking

AU23 - lip tightener - Facial Action Coding System - FACS

We seem to subscribe to the popular oversimplification that machines are less biased than humans; however, if you are familiar with the ways in which machines are trained to read and focus on different aspects of data, you will know: It's just not that simple. Machines are not free of bias if they are trained by humans.

leveraging facial muscle variation

zygomaticus major dimple

Anatomical variation is a surprisingly ignored consideration for face tracking/facial mocap in tech and entertainment. Simplified anatomy diagrams are often accepted as universally applicable to all faces and few further questions are asked. The reality is: FACIAL MUSCLES ARE HIGHLY VARIABLE.

frontalis variation

frontalis shapes illustration

The frontalis muscle (forehead muscle that elevates your eyebrows) does not always follow the prototypes presented in anatomy diagrams. Frontalis shapes are widely variable, and this variability is a major contributor to age and expression-based wrinkle formations and brow shapes.