The beautiful “Saya” has taken the Internet by storm and it’s not because she has done some great feat. It’s simply because of her existence. Dressed in a school uniform and with eyebrow-covering bangs, Saya looks like the ideal Japanese schoolgirl beauty. However, there’s something about her that’s been freaking people out.
Saya Is Not Human
Saya is actually not a girl. She’s also not a boy although her assigned gender is female. For the sake of convenience, though, she will be referred to as a girl here and hopefully she does not eventually get involved in something similar to the “Hello Kitty is not a cat” issue last year.
She is a virtual character created by freelance 3D computer graphic artists from Tokyo.Saya is fully computer generated. Her incredibly lifelike appearance is bound to confuse almost anyone. The amount of details her images have can easily make people think that they are photos of a real human.
From the hair strands to the way the scalp is depicted, the detailing of the eyes, the expression of the eyes, texture of the skin, and even the appearance of her clothes all look real. It’s like the images were taken by a decent DSLR. If you compare the images to human portraits taken by top of the line smartphone cameras or standard digital cameras, you may even think that the images of Saya look more real.
The creators of Saya are Yuka Ishikawa and husband Teruyuki Ishikawa. They are both CGI or computer graphics artists. They slowly completed Saya on their spare time. It’s not one the jobs they were commissioned to do but just a product of their free time. A number of 3D modelling tools were used to create Saya. These include the Maya 3D software often used for producing visual effects for movies.
The Ishikawas have been in the business of making real-looking CGIs for many years and for them, Saya is one of their more difficult creations. They revealed in one of their tweets that it was particularly hard to achieve the perfect skin tone for Saya. There are many intricacies in the human portraiture that require a lot of attention and meticulous work.
In their tweets (in Japanese), they also said that it’s been somewhat difficult since they have been working on Saya in between jobs.
For those who have now become fans of Saya, it should be exciting to know that she will not simply be left as an image forever. According to the Ishikawas, there is a plan to give Saya her own movie, albeit self-produced. If there are interested producers, though, it’s not impossible for Saya to star in a major movie to be shown in mainstream Japanese theaters, or even internationally. There’s also a plan to create realistic-looking armor upgrades for Saya
CGI Tech Advancement?
If you are wondering how something like this is being featured on a tech blog, allow us to offer a justification. The idea here is that it’s not that we really need drastic improvements in technology to achieve impressive creations. The software used by the Ishikawas are not breakthroughs in 3D rendering.
It’s even unlikely that they used the most recent updated versions of the software they employed in creating Saya. Also, they didn’t have to make use of highly advanced machines like a quantum computer to make up for the intensive computing requirements of 3D development. It’s just mere ingenuity, creativity, and talent.
This is not to say that upgrades in 3D development software are unnecessary. Without a doubt, improvements and advances in technology are always worth pursuing. However, creating something impressive or something that has not been done yet does not always require technological advancement. Sometimes, the technologies at our disposal at present are just not fully utilized. Some functions, features, or capabilities of current technologies are yet to be discovered and exploited.
If you want to see more of the impressive works of the Ishikawas, be sure to drop by Telyuka.com and marvel at the kind of masterpieces this husband-and-wife tandem have been creating.