Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Media, Art, and Text

First Advisor

David Golumbia


The topic of this dissertation is the anatomical, psychological, and cultural examination of a human face in order to effectively construct an anatomy-driven 3D virtual face customization and action model. In order to gain a broad perspective of all aspects of a face, theories and methodology from the fields of art, engineering, anatomy, psychology, and cultural studies have been analyzed and implemented. The computer generated facial customization and action model were designed based on the collected data. Using this customization system, culturally-specific attractive face in Korean popular culture, “kot-mi-nam (flower-like beautiful guy),” was modeled and analyzed as a case study. The “kot-mi-nam” phenomenon is overviewed in textual, visual, and contextual aspects, which reveals the gender- and sexuality-fluidity of its masculinity. The analysis and the actual development of the model organically co-construct each other requiring an interwoven process. Chapter 1 introduces anatomical studies of a human face, psychological theories of face recognition and an attractive face, and state-of-the-art face construction projects in the various fields. Chapter 2 and 3 present the Bezier curve-based 3D facial customization (BCFC) and Multi-layered Facial Action Model (MFAF) based on the analysis of human anatomy, to achieve a cost-effective yet realistic quality of facial animation without using 3D scanned data. In the experiments, results for the facial customization for gender, race, fat, and age showed that BCFC achieved enhanced performance of 25.20% compared to existing program Facegen , and 44.12% compared to Facial Studio. The experimental results also proved the realistic quality and effectiveness of MFAM compared with blend shape technique by enhancing 2.87% and 0.03% of facial area for happiness and anger expressions per second, respectively. In Chapter 4, according to the analysis based on BCFC, the 3D face of an average kot-mi-nam is close to gender neutral (male: 50.38%, female: 49.62%), and Caucasian (66.42-66.40%). Culturally-specific images can be misinterpreted in different cultures, due to their different languages, histories, and contexts. This research demonstrates that facial images can be affected by the cultural tastes of the makers and can also be interpreted differently by viewers in different cultures.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2013