The complexity of the human face makes it a challenging subject for modelers. Facial modeling has been an active area of research in the computer graphics field for more than two decades. It benefits from and can contribute to the larger field of human body modeling. Facial modeling is also relevant in other fields, such as medicine and engineering. It is, in fact, a multidisciplinary effort.
A facial model is a mathematical abstraction that captures to some degree of accuracy the form and function of a face, whether human or otherwise, in a way that makes the model useful for specific applications. State-of-the-art facial models for computer animation attempt to represent the geometry, photometry, deformation, motion, etc., of the various organs and features associated with the face, as well as with the rest of the head and neck. These models rely on data from various sources (shape, color, elasticity, control, etc.). Typically, the models are designed to produce meaningful facial images.