Faceware: Facial Mocap for Professionals and Indies
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Looks cool,what's the method for rendering animated substance?(Flipbook?)

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Faceware: Facial Mocap for Professionals and Indies
4 September, 2015
Interview

At SIGGRAPH 2015 we spoke with Peter Busch, Vice President of Business Development for Faceware Technologies. He told us about their facial motion capture hardware and software, their free 30 day trial, and how they have systems for both professionals and indies.

Faceware

We’re a facial motion capture and software provider. Our technology is video-based, meaning you shoot video of an animator or an actor, and then we can extract the motion of their face from that video and apply that to a character, either in real-time or for pre-rendered content such as a tool for animators.

The way our technology works is we use the features of your face as markers, and with facial recognition technology we can find your face on a frame of video, and we can extract the motion of your face from every frame of that video. That motion – the way you’re emoting, blinking, making dialogue, and your facial expressions is then analyzed, extracted, and applied to a character.

The other benefit of our technology being video-based is we can analyze your eyes. So we can analyze your eye direction, blinks, and squints and apply that straight onto a character. This is important because so much emotion is shown through the eyes and faces have always been one of the most important aspects of storytelling.

Hardware

We also develop hardware products such as a head mounted camera, because some people want to capture the face and body together. We also have an indie system for those people who are in the indie budget starting at around $2,500 for a complete system, which includes software and hardware, and a GoPro camera.

We have software licenses that range from $400, to complete systems costing up to $30,000. We have everything for the indie world all the way up to the professional world.

SIGGRAPH Showcase

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SIGGRAPH is one of our big shows. Our company has been around for 15 years and we’re in 46 countries, so to stay relevant in the industry we attend Game Development Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, and SIGGRAPH. We’re showcasing all our products, but specifically for real-time. We have a plugin into the Unreal Engine, which allows you to stream animation from a webcam or a DSLR, or a head mounted camera that allows you to stream the motion of your face straight into the UE4 Engine, which is exciting for a lot of applications.

Game Industry

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60% of our clients are in the video game industry. Hundreds of titles have used us, but some notable games are: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and NBA 2K10 to NBA 2K16.

Feature films

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We’re next feature film we’re in is The Walk, which will be releasing October 9, 2015 in the United States. It’s photoreal face replacement with Joseph Gordon Levitt.

Our company makes sure that visual effects in feature films are photoreal and believable. We take that same experience and apply it to the gaming world. The same tools allow game developers to really push the quality of believability in what they’re doing.

Product Marketing

the-crew-80lvOur website is our main marketing tool and we have resellers around the world that will sell into specific territories. We also do direct sales. Our software is just a software license and then an annual license each year. Our hardware is just a straight purchase. We also bundle those together as complete systems. Our web is the mail tool. We have a whole support knowledge based tutorials. We have free character rigs and free performances as a resource database for people.

We have a very hands off evaluation. The thing about animators is that they never want to be told or sold anything. They want to try it out themselves and make sure that it works. So there’s a 30 day free trial, and we can always extend the trials too because we know how important any new tools are in your process. We know our products work and are good, we don’t make false promises.

Competition

It’s a tight space, some of the publishers have their own home-grown systems. They’re harder to support over time. There are other companies and solutions that are connect-based, so you’re constrained to hardware. You’ll see our products are very intuitive in their design and we have a lot of experience. That’s what separates us from our competitors.

Favorite Games

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Grand Theft Auto 5, Red Dead Redemption, and the NBA 2K games are classic, and Call of Duty is amazing with the in-game cut scenes with Kevin Spacey. It’s fun when you’re playing through to start seeing the faces that our software helped to create.

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Peter Busch, Vice President of Business Development, Faceware Technologies

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