Saya lives entirely in the digital world. She was created in a Tokyo computer lab by the husband and wife graphic artist team of Teruyuki and Yuka Ishikawa. According to the couple, Saya isn’t quite done yet. They’re still improving the model to make her look even more lifelike.
The Ishikawas created Saya using 3D modeling tools and are still working on fine-tuning her skin and hair. In a tweet, the couple revealed, “This character ‘Saya’ is a [sic] being created as a CG character for the self-produced movie.”
Initially, the Ishikawas began working on Saya as a side project, but the overwhelmingly positive public response to Saya encouraged them to quit their day jobs and focus solely on completing the CG character. Now, they’re living off of their savings and also a bit of corporate support.
The Ishikawas designed Saya with so much care, precision and attention to detail that you’d think she was their own daughter. Not only do they focus on perfecting her physical appearance, but they have also designed her with a specific personality in mind.
One day, the Ishikawas hope to have Saya interact with humans as if she were a real person. Look, Saya seems nice and all, but this is quickly spiraling out of control. Pretty soon we won’t know who’s human and who’s been created in a Tokyo computer lab.
7. Saya Could Be Your (Digital) Shoulder To Cry On
Teruyuki said, “It will be interesting to see how she is received as people become aware of her.” Fortunately, the Ishikawas don’t plan on using Saya to take over the world (or pull pranks on people — although that would be pretty funny), but they do think that Saya could provide significant emotional support to those in need.
For now, the Ishikawas are working on making Saya’s movements more realistic. “One of the most difficult tasks we face is making Saya’s movements appear natural and spontaneous,” Mrs. Ishikawa said. To do this, the couple has brought in a real-life Japanese girl to simulate Saya’s movements using motion capture technology.
The Ishikawas create some pretty darn impressive digital masterpieces. Here’s another project that they debuted in 2014. If you claim that you could tell he’s not real, you’re a liar. This guy’s got sunspots, circles underneath his eyes, and peach fuzz.
OK, one last look at another Ishikawa project to prove that this Japanese couple is outrageously good at creating lifelike digital characters. Now all that’s left is to await the impending computer takeover of humanity.