Faceware Live offers real-time actor-to-rig facial capture

Faceware Live offers real-time actor-to-rig facial capture
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

July 18th 2013 at 11:09AM

Markerless software solution to serve pre-visualisation, live performance and desktop production role

Markerless performance capture specialist Faceware is set to debut a new technology that lets facial capture data be moved in realtime from actor to rig, to allow for instant visualisation on a 3D game character.

Named Faceware Live, the software solution will be available in Q4 this year and demonstrated for the first time at Siggraph later this month.

Faceware Live is a marker less system that can be used with an onboard computer video or webcam, Faceware's own Head-Mounted Camera hardware, or any other contemporary video capture device, streaming direct into Autodesk's MotionBuilder. The solution – currently available for Windows – promises to require minimal calibration before a performance can be seen live on any 3D character model.

“We’ve seen growing demand across a number of industries for realtime facial motion capture,” said Peter Busch, vice president of business development at Faceware Technologies. “Faceware Live is our revolutionary approach to meeting this demand. This product addresses the many challenges that arise in production and enables rapid content creation for anything from live stage performances to on-set pre-visualisation to a desktop tool for animators.”

The team behind the system, which tracks and solves fascial performance through image processing and data streaming tech, foresees it being used not just for pre-visualisation, but also in live performance and as a desktop production tool.

“We’ve designed Faceware Live so that the image processing component does all of the heavy lifting.  There is almost no work for MotionBuilder other than applying animation curves to your character,” stated Jay Grenier, Faceware's director of technical operations.  “This gives you an extremely stable and scalable solution for realtime facial animation.”

The software will be available to demo at Faceware Technologies’ booth (#809) at Siggraph 2013, which will run from July 23rd to 25th at the Anaheim Convention Center, USA.