I wonder when a real life actor will contract out their virtual avatar for use in games, movies all the time? I mean making a new business out of 'virtual acting with a formal 'data set' of them self that can be used over and over.
Think about it, as game graphics get better and better it will take more and more time to make really high fidelity avatars with believable detail and human qualities. So why not scan a live actors faces in super high detail, motion capture the expressions and emoting, and then motion capture their body in all forms of motion (walking, sitting, fighting, etc). All that data, the deep scan and tens of hours of motion capture, is then made into a complete data-set and contracted/licensed for used in games, movies, etc.
Why would an actor do this? When it makes financial sense for all parties. The actor and their agent, manager, publicist all profit from just a few days work done in the past each time the data is used. It is a re-usable profit generating system for that actor. Therefore, the actor can appear in games or movies without lifting a finger; but they also still have control of choosing to appear in projects they want since it all under contracts. Also, they are already doing it Kristen Bell was in Assassins Creed 2. The Godfather games had many of the actors too. But it shouldn't be so specail the whole process should be easier so that teh heavy lifting is done so actors can pop in do some voice mo-cap and leave to work on other projects.
If you want Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) in your game you get the whole data set that can be used in-game with only a few restrictions like nudity, sex, extreme violence. Of course, special contracts could be set up for 'extremes like nudity, etc if that is what is needed. You get a contract for the virtual Kristen in the same was a the real actress, it is negotiated up front, perhaps part of the contact is to see the finished product. So its not like just anyone can buy the data set and use it how they like, its is all negotiated and managed like the real actress with over site, but the actress is not on set or even on call.
Let's, say for Uncharted 5 Naughty Dog wants Kristen Bell be Drake's sister in five cut-scenes that are not too physical or interactive,. but the game studio really need something special for those few scenes. So, Naughty Dog outlines the games plot, script, and role Virtual Bell would play and sends it off to Kristen Bell's agent. Bells agent and Bell agree and sign a contact that "Virtual Bell" with 6 hours of studio voice with mo-cap from the real Bell for $??0K and back end residuals for each game sold. The contract stipulates what she can wear (or not wear), what physical actions are restricted (no sex, no shooting or violence that includes gore). When the contracts are signed Naughty Dog gets the data set and voice time for a decent price, which sounds weird when they could just get any actress and "doll up" the virtual face and body. But remember for games the graphics fidelity needed is high, so do you pay some guy to make a character over a few months? No you get a REAL actress! You get her face, her smile, her walk, her hair flip and all her other subtle movements and facial expressions; and you get dozens of hours of the real actress doing mo-cap that totally captures that her. It saves time and money and you don't get sued by someone saying, "That looks like me!!!" No! It looks like Kristen Bell because we paid her, we used her data, and here is the documentation.
Someone like Kristen Bell might choose to only appear in four games each year, but someone like Don Cheadle or John Leguizamo could appear in 15 games. Maybe, some really good interesting C-List actors might appear in even more games. Just as Nolan North seems to be in every other game as a voice, maybe Steve Buscemi could be in dozens of games as supporting characters just as in real movies he is a supporting actor.
However, there is one other advantage for actors who do this. That advantage is archival, in a sense the real actor making a digital actor is creating a achieve of themselves at a certain age, with a certain look, and even a certain physically look. Today a movie actor might say, "Damn we really need 'this actress' for this bit part , but we needed her when she was 25 not now at 40!" Well if you have the data set that actress at 25 is still available. That face, that smirk, that way of moving her hands when she talks fast is all captured; but more importantly it is captured for that actresses profit even years later. Have you ever seen Helen Mirin at age 20?
Smoking hot folks! Even in here sixties she is a beautiful woman and a fantastic actress, but imagine if we had that data-set of her at 20...she could make a great deal of money digitally acting if she had that data. Also, any directors cuts that happen 25 years later can be tweaked because that actress has a data set that can be used to fill-in.
That is why I think digital actors being everywhere is inevitable. There is just too much money to be made and too much utility in having a huge data set made of yourself if you are a top tier actor. And even B-level actors would find profit in contacting their data for a low cost. read