Meet the Digital Human

Meet the Digital Human

Creating a person with a realistic look, movements and behavior is a very complex challenge, which few developers, 3d designers or animators can afford not to accept due to the requirements and expectations of the current consumers. This article brings together the most important knowledge and materials necessary to create photorealistic digital humans.

Article outline

  1. Meet the digital human
    1. Digital human in movies
    2. Digital human in games
    3. Digital human for marketing
    4. Fully digital human
    5. The future of digital persons
  2. Photorealistic digital human

1. Meet the digital human

Digital man is a term under which we can imagine any computer-generated person evoking the feeling of a real person, especially through the following characteristics:

  • Photorealistic look
  • Realistic behavior
  • It gives the impression of a real living character

Digital persons are used in a number of fields. For the purpose of this article, we have divided the types of digital persons into 4 basic categories described in the following subchapters.

1.1 Digital human in movies

It is mainly the application of a digital human for the purposes of realistic visualization of fictional characters with human characteristics, especially in science fiction and animated film genre. The most common work here is to capture the real movement of real people. This method is used in most fields and will be discussed in detail in Chapter 2. For a clear idea of creating digital people for the film industry, see the attached video with informations about performance capturing method from the creating of Alita: Battle Angel movie.

1.2 Digital human in games

The application of the digital human in games combines the need to connect photorealistic visualization with realistic character behavior. Processing procedures are chosen according to the possibilities, requirements and needs of the game. Visualization and behavior (based on intelligence) are 2 different fields which are solved separately within the gameplay. Both areas will be described later within individual chapters - see chapter 2 for human visualizations and chapter 3 for human intelligence.

1.3 Digital human for marketing purposes

The digital human is predicted to be extremely popular with advertisers for the following reasons:

  • Any popular person can be digitized and his / her digital twin can be used for a value-added sales (for example, option of a personal encounter with a digital twin of a celebrity in virtual reality)
  • The behavior of digital people is either fully managed or at least controlled by the implementation team behind the person. So there is no risk of the well-known faux pas that many influencers have experience with and that hurts brands associated with their face.
  • Digital influencers do not need to sleep or promote their own interests. The knowledge, experience, presentation and performance of digital influencers is the sum of the skills of the entire implementation team behind them.
  • A digital person can serve as a brand figure. There are no risks associated with a change in the views and competencies of the person.

The above examples seem to be science fiction, however teh fact is that digital influencers are already beginning to become a reality.

Hi, I'm Lil Miquela. I'm not real, but I try to look so - I'm a digital human with over 2 million people who follow me on Instagram. #followme

Digital people can exist in a form of a layer in a graphics editor, a 3D model or even in a physical state. A similar scope maz be applied to providers of their intelligence. It can be an implementation team managing their accounts as well as a type of general or specialized artificial intelligence working independently.

1.4 Fully digital human

A fully digital human is a connection of a visual model with artificial intelligence (AI), through which a given digital character is able to interact with the external environment. The usability of such a digital human is enormous, limited only by the capabilities of the artificial intelligence used and the body in which it is embedded. For an example of a virtual digital person, see Sam in the following video:

Sam is a digital person with AI focused on communication. A fully digital person with general intelligence is still the music of the future.

1.5 The future of digital persons

There's continuous evolution and development of appliactions of digital persons in various areas such as influencing, communications, smart assistants and others. Just these mentioned areas are very close to currently rapidly growing e-commerce scene in which we can expect one of the first economically meaningful uses for digital persons. Another interesting field of effective use for digital people can be television and radio news, and in general all work positions in which people present pre-prepared materials.

The referee for the use of digital people is and always will be the type of use. Today, we can meet only digital people either without or only with highly profiled intelligence. A real revolution in the usability of digital people is expected with the discovery and implementation of general artificial intelligence.

2. Photorealistic digital human

Digital people have been needed in many fields on an ever-increasing scale. But, how to achieve their most realistic appearance? This chapter will try to answer that. I will outline here what methods, tools and devices are used to create photorealistic digital people. Specific fields for the use of a digital human do not play a big role here - the described principles apply in general.


We end here for today. This article is planned to be released continuously, chapter by chapter.

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