You're correct that tools exist to do facial feature extraction to generate facial meshes (and other kinds) using multi-camera setups. An example of this technique (with a different kind of focus) is here >>1088
. But afaik, they are still fully proprietary and highly expensive. Addmittedly I haven't looked into this area for a year or two so maybe good opensauce systems exist now, let us hope so. Certainly the all-in-one '3D' cameras are more numerous to choose from now. And as you suggest, collections of images can potentially stand in proxy for such a method, though the 'registration' part of the process is both tedious and error-prone.
>To fit in the huge eyes, the face would also have to change anyways
Fair enough. As much as I like Alita, I think Rodriguez ( >>4502
) went just a touch overboard with the design. But really, the critique is only because the rendering otherwise is so good and so realistic that it triggers a bit of a 'wut' in me (and others). As a counter-example, here's work by an artist that I think has found a near-perfect balance between kawaii-eyes and facial realism, though in an artistic style.
One pretty famous example of your pool of artists
idea that has actually been carried by a very multi-talented guy is Ricky Ma's avatar effort >>153
. The very fact he created a small furor among women's advocacy groups as a 'creepy stalker' shows just how good a job he's done with it. Hopefully /robowaifu/ can manage to produce many, many examples that will do just as well (or even better)! :^)
-Update: Welp, I've attempted six times now to post this pic for you, obviously nuJulay won't cooperate atm. I'll try to do it again for you ITT later on Anon. The artist is named Ivant Alavera.