all about upper lid raiser – AU5

upper lid raiser - levator palpebrae superioris - eye bulge - anatomy

In FACS, upper lid raiser, or AU5, is the action that raises and retracts the upper eyelid; this movement causes the eyes to appear wider and reveal more sclera (the white part of eye). The appearance changes we see in upper lid raiser are the result of an increase in contraction of levator palpebrae superioris, an extraocular muscle that works to keep the upper eyelid elevated.


facial actions in context

upper lip raiser and nasolabial furrow deepener

Because of its name, upper lip raiser is considered the go-to action for lifting the top lip and tends to get overused in art and tech, acting as a replacement for nasolabial furrow deepener or a shortcut for showing teeth during smiling.

Despite its name, upper lip raiser is not the only lip-raising action! In fact, applying upper lip raiser to contexts better suited for nasolabial furrow deepener can be detrimental to the essence of a target expression.


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.