Nvidia's cool human head demo now available to download

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference in March, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled the "Digital Ira" demo: an impressively realistic real-time simulation of a human head, complete with detailed facial expressions and lip synchronization, running at full tilt on a GeForce GTX Titan.

It was impressive, but demos are no fun if you don't get to play with them first-hand.

Well, now, just about anyone with a GeForce GPU can do that. Digital Ira is available to download from the "Cool Stuff" section of Nvidia's website. The thing is a 309MB download, and it requires Windows Vista or better, a CUDA-enabled GPU with DirectX 11 capabilities, and up-to-date drivers. Sorry, Radeon users; you'll have to sit this one out.

Acccording to Nvidia, "All Ira's motions were acted out in a 'light stage' at the Institute for Creative Technology at USC. The team there headed by Dr. Paul Debevec is able to photographically capture facial geometry, surface detail, and lighting information of an actor without any of the traditional tricks of face markers or special makeup." In March, the company also noted that the demo involved "over 8,000 instructions per pixel" and "161 filtered texture fetches per pixel." The raw data purportedly amounted to 32GB for a "few expressions," but Nvidia's FaceWorks tech was able to reduce that number to "a very manageable 300 megabytes."

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