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Faceware Technologies Launches Faceware Interactive Division

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New division, Faceware Interactive, creates facial mocap technologies that enable virtual humans and characters to interact with people in real time.

Faceware InteractiveLos Angeles, CA – July 20, 2016 – Faceware Technologies, the leading innovator and most experienced provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced FACEWARE INTERACTIVE. The new division is focused on the development of software and hardware that can be used in the creation of digital characters with whom real people can interact. Faceware will be showcasing some of its early work in this area at SIGGRAPH 2016, Booth 322.

Faceware’s software technology identifies the movement of an actor’s face from video and applies that movement to a computer-generated character. Together with its head-mounted and stationary cameras, Faceware’s technology is used successfully in award-winning movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Walk, and top-grossing games like Grand Theft Auto III-V, NBA 2K10-2K16, Destiny, Batman: Arkham Knight, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and DOOM.

Now imagine those characters interacting with people in real time, or someone acting “through” virtual humans or avatars in real time, like virtual puppeteers. The use cases for this are numerous, and include:

  • Live performances that incorporate digital characters. Digital characters can be “puppeted” in real time, allowing interaction with live audiences and people.
  • Person-driven avatars in VR and AR. Users can stream their own personas into digital and virtual worlds—perfect for training applications as well as interactive chat functionality.
  • Digital characters interacting in real-time on kiosk screens in theme parks and shopping malls.  
  • Animated content that can be created instantly anywhere. Believability of the characters will be driven by the live and interactive nature of the performances, e.g. kids can meet and talk to Elsa from Frozen or have a conversation with Bart Simpson.
Faceware technology is enabling Grace VR

Faceware technology is enabling Grace, a CG virtual reality music experience that combines bleeding edge rendering in Unreal, with full performance capture and mind-blowing 3D spatial audio.

Faceware, and its sister company Image Metrics, have been developing technologies that enable just those types of experiences. The first of these efforts can be seen in Image Metrics’ L’Oreal’s MakeUp Genius app and Nissan’s DieHardFan app, the panel at RTX Australia (which let fans interact with characters Yang and Ruby from the animated web series RWBY in real time), and in the VR games Paranormal Activity from VRWerx, Grace from MacInnes Scott and Here They Lie VR from Sony.

In order to focus more effort in this growing area, Faceware formed this new division in the company and is investing in research and development of both software and hardware to further enable interactive experiences in the public and professional space.

“By now, we’re all familiar with watching digital characters in movies and games. To us, interacting with and through those characters so people can connect on a deeper level is the logical next step,” said Peter Busch, vice president of business development at Faceware Technologies. “We have much of the underlying technology in place and early efforts point to a promising future full of growth. While we can’t share product information yet, we’ll have some exciting news to share in the near future.”

See Faceware Interactive at SIGGRAPH 2016To find out more about Faceware’s technology and how it can be used to create live, interactive content, visit Faceware at SIGGRAPH 2016 (Booth 322), go to www.facewaretech.com or contact sales@facewaretech.com.

 

# # #

 

About Faceware Technologies

Faceware Technologies Inc. (FTI), established in 2012 after years as part of leading facial tracking and augmented reality company Image Metrics, is dedicated to meeting the needs of professional animators in the video game, film, television, and commercial industries. The company’s Faceware Facial Motion Capture product line has been utilized in the production of hundreds of video game titles, feature films, music videos, commercials, television shows, and stage plays, and is the leading facial animation solution provider for clients such as Double Negative, Digital Domain, Blur Studios, Activision-Blizzard, Rockstar Games, Microsoft, 2K Sports, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, Sony, Bethesda, Motion Theory and Moving Picture Company. Faceware’s product consists of the Faceware GoPro and Pro HD Headcam and Tripod Capture Systems; Faceware Analyzer, which allows clients to analyze and process their own performance videos; Faceware Retargeter, an Autodesk plugin which allows users to create facial motion capture data at a much faster rate than traditional methods; and Faceware Live, the real-time facial capture and animation solution.

 

© 2016. Faceware Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. “Faceware” is a registered trademark of Faceware Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner(s).

Analyzer 3.1 Released

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This minor release of Analyzer includes around two dozen fixes and improvements that resolve most of the initial issues users are seeing with Analyzer 3.0. If you were having intermittent issues Parameterizing then this new build should fix that for you. Release notes are listed below.

This update can be downloaded from our website in the ‘Downloads‘ section if you have a current Faceware Subscription. As always, if you have questions or need any assistance please email us at support@facewaretech.com.

3.1 Release Notes:

  • Improved and fixed several issues that were causing some users to not be able to Parameterize
  • Fixed an issue where you sometimes couldn’t create a new Job from an Image Sequence
  • Fixed an issue with Trimming that was occurring in certain languages
  • Fixed an issue where the Start and End time were not displaying properly with Image Sequences
  • Fixed an issue where the Height and Width of the image was not being saved properly when rotating your input video
  • Fixed an issue where the wrong error string was displaying if your .FWT file already existed when creating a new Job
  • Fixed an issue where AnalyzerBatch was not checking for an existing FWT folder before creating a new Job
  • Fixed an issue where Trimming in AnalyzerBatch was sometimes failing using drop-frame time-code
  • Fixed an issue where AnalyzerBatch would sometimes crash after ExportLandmarkPositions finished
  • Fixed an issue where the End time in Trimming was not displaying properly
  • Fixed an issue where NewJob in AnalyzerBatch was not displaying the correct exit code
  • Trimming in New Job has been optimized to work more quickly
  • Start and End time in Trimming will now update properly when selecting a new input video
  • Optimized the CountValidFrame command in AnalyzerBatch
  • Parameterization in AnalyzerBatch will now initialize the Web Service URL before attempting to contact the server
  • Fixed an issue where the CountValidFrame command in AnalyzerBatch was not working properly with a list of videos
  • Fixed a crash when specifying a directory path instead of a file path for the FWT parameter in AnalyzerBatch NewJob
  • Fixed an issue where AnalyzerBatch NewJob was not reporting the correct error when using an unsupported video codec

Analyzer 2.6 and Retargeter 4.6 Software Updates

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We heard your feedback – check out what’s new…

We’re excited to announce the release of Analyzer 2.6 and Retargeter 4.6.  These new versions include a lot of highly requested features, improvements, and bug fixes.  We heard your feedback and have added some great new functionality that will make you faster, more efficient, and produce even better results than before.

Check out the highlights below and watch the new release videos on YouTube:

For full release notes, visit the change-logs here:

New Version Highlights:

  • 2015 Retargeter Plugins are now available for Maya, 3DS Max, and MotionBuilder
  • Head Rotation can now be automatically applied with AutoSolve
  • Optional, independent Jaw and Cheek Tracking groups have been added
  • ‘Track’ is now available in AnalyzerBatch for Fully Batchable PRO Tracking
  • New Batch Commands in Retargeter for 3DS Max and Softimage
  • Over three dozen bug fixes, improvements, and new features
Have any questions?  You can always find us at ‘support@facewaretech.com‘!

Faceware Tech Partners with Binari Sonori to Offer New Video-Based Localization Service

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New service provides simultaneous video and voiceover capture to
significantly increase the quality of localization in video games

Los Angeles, CA – April 29, 2014 –Faceware Technologies, the leading innovator and most experienced provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced that it has partnered with pioneering localization service provider, Binari Sonori, to launch a new video-based localization service. The service uses Faceware’s professional headcam systems to capture video of a voice actor’s performance at the same time that the audio is being captured, providing both actors and animators with time-saving video reference for localization. The service launches today.

Animating the facial movements, and in particular, the lip movements, of digital characters speaking multiple languages can be a very laborious task. If the English audio track is not synced correctly between languages, it requires many time-consuming and costly adjustments. By introducing video-based motion capture into the initial stages of the process, Binari Sonori is now able to provide perfect facial performance and audio reference to international actors. This, in turn, guarantees that facial animation and localized performances sync perfectly in any language.

How the service works:

  1. English-speaking actors use Faceware’s headcam to record their facial performances while their voices are recorded in Binari Sonori’s U.S. studio.
  2. The facial performance video is then used as reference for actors recording localized audio in different countries.
  3. The developer then completes animation using Faceware’s video-based facial motion software.  The facial movement that is created by the software is based on the video performance, ensuring that both the game developer and audio-localization facility are syncing to the same facial movements.
  4. The localized audio tracks are then applied to the animation.

An in-depth video about the service can be found online (in the view above)

“I’m really excited about this new service,” said Andrea Ballista, account manager and co-founder of Binari Sonori. “It gives us a simple yet elegant solution that allows actors around the world to mirror their performances, saves artists time in the animation process, and helps game studios drive up the quality of localization without adding any time to the process.”

“We’ve been talking to Binari Sonori for many months, and have tested the service internally,” said Pete Busch, vice president of business development for Faceware Technologies. “It’s now ready to roll out globally, and we can’t wait to see the results on actual productions.”

For more information on the new service, go to www.facewaretech.com or binarisonori.com.

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About Binari Sonori

Binari Sonori was founded in 1994, at the dawn of the new media age, to offer translation and audio services to developers and publishers looking to distribute digital content on an international level. The company swiftly became an important player on the global localization market, developing a wide array of audio services (casting, dubbing, pre and post-production) and distinguishing itself through its ability to effectively blend organizational, technological, and creative services. Customers include Bandai Namco, Capcom, Fisher Price, Microsoft Game Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Square Enix, Ubisoft and others. For more information, visit www.binarisonori.com.

 

About Faceware Technologies

Sherman Oaks, California-based Faceware Technologies Inc. (FTI), which spun off from Image Metrics in 2012, is dedicated to meeting the needs of professional artists in the video game, film, television, and commercial industries. The company’s Faceware product line has been utilized in the production of more than 85 AAA video game titles, feature films, music videos, commercials, television shows, and stage plays, and is the most innovative and experienced facial animation solution provider for clients such as Double Negative, Digital Domain, ILM, Blur Studios, Activision-Blizzard, Rockstar Games, Microsoft, 2K Sports, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, Sony, Bethesda, and Moving Picture Company. The Faceware Facial Motion Capture product line consists of the Faceware Headcam kits and systems; Faceware Analyzer, which allows clients to analyze and process performance videos automatically with little to no user input; and Faceware Retargeter, a Autodesk plug-in which allows users to create facial motion capture data at a much faster rate than traditional methods.

© 2014. Faceware Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. “Faceware” is a registered trademark of Faceware Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner(s).

Faceware Tech Launches New Indie Facial Mocap Package

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Faceware offers complete facial mo-cap
package for less than $3,000;
upgrades pro versions of software and hardware

Faceware is best known for its professional tools, which have been used in Academy Award-winning movies such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and top-grossing video games such as Grand Theft Auto III-V, Red Dead Redemption, Killzone:Shadow Fall, NBA 2K10-2K14, Sleeping Dogs, Crysis 2 and 3, and Halo: Reach. With the launch of the Indie Faceware Mocap Package, Faceware is bringing its powerful tools to a rapidly growing segment of the video game market: developers of mobile and indie games.

FTI_WEB_GPHMC_ROW1

The Faceware Indie Facial Mocap Package is geared towards budget-conscious development teams that still demand a superior level of realism in their characters as well as animation teams seeking their own internal performance capture solution.    It includes all the technology users need for facial performance capture and animation: a lightweight and performance-enabling GoPro Headcam Kit, which includes a GoPro® Hero3+ Black camera mounted in front of an actors’ face with Faceware’s industry-leading design.   The facial performance capture kit also includes a one-size-fits-all helmet and a variety of camera-mounting options; a license of Analyzer 2.0 Lite, which allows users to automatically extract facial movements from any video source; and a license of Retargeter 4.0 Lite, which allows users to automatically apply/solve video performances quickly onto their digital characters.

“The games market is undergoing tectonic shifts as new platforms emerge. With that shift, we’ve seen downward pressure on production budgets. Yet at the same time, gamers continue to demand quality games with good stories and believable characters,” said Peter Busch, vice president of business development at Faceware Technologies. “With the new Indie Facial Mocap Package, we hope to give animators at every budgetary level the tools to create and add more realism to their characters, no matter what platform they are created those characters for.”

Faceware has also launched upgrades to two products in its Professional Product Line: the ProHD Headcam and Faceware Analyzer Pro.  The HD Headcam Pro system upgrades the current Professional Headcam system with a new option for an HD camera head with 1080p30 or 720p60 HD-SDI output and simultaneous 480i 29.97fps SD composite output.  Other enhancements include polished fiberglass helmets, slimmer belt systems, and an optional zero-frame delay HD wireless system.

SAMPLE PROFESSIONAL HD HEADCAM VIDEO

EXPORT NEW DATA TYPE FROM ANALYZER

Faceware Analyzer Pro now includes the features of batch/script capability and export landmark positions, which gives users the ability to export the X,Y positions of the landmark (Marker) positions and is great for quality control, shader integration, and/or facial research and study.

For more information on the new package and product upgrades, visit Faceware at GDC 2014 (Booth 735), go to www.facewaretech.com or contact sales@facewaretech.com.

Faceware Technologies Forms Partnership with Vicon

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Faceware Technologies Forms
Partnership with Vicon

Mocap and motion tracking companies partner to provide studios with greater flexibility in the
facial and full-performance motion capture process

 Los Angeles – January 28, 2014 – Faceware Technologies, the leading innovator and most experienced provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced that it has entered into a global partnership with Vicon, the motion capture technology specialists for the entertainment, defense, life sciences and engineering industries. The partnership will focus on providing mocap studios and service providers with more hardware and software options for capturing, analyzing and retargeting facial and full-body mocap data.

In the first phase of the partnership, Faceware has made its software products, Analyzer and Retargeter, compatible with Vicon’s Cara head rig when used in a single-camera configuration. Studios capturing facial performance data using Cara will now be able to process and retarget that data onto 3D characters using Faceware’s products. The Cara integration is complementary to Faceware’s own Headcam options. Faceware and Vicon have also started discussing additional integrations between their hardware and software solutions.

“Vicon is one of the leading providers of motion tracking hardware and software for entertainment,” said Peter Busch, vice president of business development for Faceware Technologies. “Their systems complement ours, and in many cases, are used alongside our software and hardware products. The main goal of this global partnership is to simplify the mocap process by making sure that studios and really anyone using both Vicon systems and our software products are not hindered in any way.”

Faceware’s software product line includes Faceware Analyzer™, a facial tracking software application that converts any video of an actor’s performance into facial motion files, and Faceware Retargeter™, a plug-in for Autodesk animation tools that utilizes the data created in Analyzer to help animators create facial animation through a quick and intuitive pose-based workflow. Both products are now fully capable of processing the information captured by the Vicon Cara headset just as if the information were captured by Faceware’s own head-mounted cameras.

Cara is Vicon’s pioneering facial motion capture system that enables film and games studios ofany size to bring characters to life through advanced facial tracking and capture. Offering improved efficiency and performance, it sets the standard for affordable, accessible and high-quality character realism.

“Cara’s modular design gives users complete flexibility when dealing with the captured data and opens up the performance capture market to a whole new range of potential customers,” said Phil Elderfield, entertainment product manager, Vicon. “By partnering with Faceware, customers can seamlessly integrate Cara with Faceware’s Analyzer and Retargeter software.”

A number of resellers and mocap service providers use both Vicon systems and Faceware products, including Audiomotion, Metricminds, The Imaginarium, Crescent, and the Sony Visual Arts Services Group.

For more information on the new partnership, visit www.facewaretech.com or contact sales@facewaretech.com.

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 About Faceware Technologies

Sherman Oaks, California-based Faceware Technologies Inc. (FTI), which spun off from Image Metrics in 2012, is dedicated to meeting the needs of professional artists in the video game, film, television, and commercial industries. The company’s Faceware product line has been utilized in the production of more than 85 AAA video game titles, feature films, music videos, commercials, television shows, and stage plays, and is the most innovative and experienced facial animation solution provider for clients such as Double Negative, Digital Domain, ILM, Blur Studios, Activision-Blizzard, Rockstar Games, Microsoft, 2K Sports, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, Sony, Bethesda, and Moving Picture Company. The Faceware Facial Motion Capture product line consists of the Faceware Headcam kits and systems; Faceware Analyzer, which allows clients to analyze and process performance videos automatically with little to no user input; and Faceware Retargeter, a Autodesk plug-in which allows users to create facial motion capture data at a much faster rate than traditional methods.

 About Vicon

Academy Award®-winning Vicon is the world’s largest supplier of precision motion tracking systems and match-moving software. It serves customers in CG animation, film, visual effects, computer games, broadcast television, as well as engineering and life sciences industries.

Vicon is a subsidiary of OMG (Oxford Metrics Group – LSE: OMG), plc., a group of technology companies that produces image understanding solutions for the entertainment, defence, life sciences and engineering markets. Other holdings include: 2d3, a manufacturer of specialised image understanding software for defence applications; Yotta, a provider of software and services for infrastructure asset management; and OMG Life, a new consumer subsidiary.

Among many others, Vicon and OMG global clients include:

Entertainment: Audiomotion, The Imaginarium, Quantic Dream, SEGA, Konami, Activision, Sony, Dreamworks, ILM and USC

Life sciences: Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre – Oxford, Headley Court, University of Western Australia, Adidas, Digital Human Research Centre – Japan, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Shriners, Marquette, UMich and Red Bull

Engineering: European Space Agency, BMW, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – South Africa, ETH Zurich, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, NRL, UPENN GRASP, MIT, Ford and General Motors

For more information about OMG and its subsidiaries, visit: www.omgplc.com, www.vicon.com, www.vicon.com/boujou, www.moves.com, www.2d3sensing.com, www.yottadcl.com or www.autographer.com.

 © 2014. Faceware Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.

“Faceware” is a registered trademark of Faceware Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner(s).

Retargeter 4.0.3 Released

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An update to Retargeter has been released today.  See release notes and information below.

4.0.3 Release Notes

  • Fixed an issue where some users in Europe could not install Retargeter
  • Fixed an issue where some users in Europe were unable to open a performance (“Bad Cast” Error)
  • Fixed an issue where some users were getting a MatLab error alerting them to an invalid Expression Set
  • Messaging has been improved when attempting to open a performance without an Expression Set

To try Analyzer and Retargeter for free – please request a free 7-day trial here.

Clients who have purchased licenses and wish to download the latest releases can email support@facewaretech.com and we’ll send you the latest versions.

Faceware Technologies Upgrades its Entire Professional Facial Motion Capture Product Line

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Faceware Tech adds major feature upgrades and new pricing options to Analyzer, Retargeter and Faceware Headcam Systems

Los Angeles, California – October 1, 2013 Faceware Technologies, the leading innovator and most experienced provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced that it has launched new upgrades to its Professional Facial Motion Capture Product Line, a start-to-finish facial mocap tool suite built to capture, analyze and transfer human emotion into digital facial performances.

Most recently, Faceware products were used on the billion-dollar success Grand Theft Auto V.

The new product line now includes two versions of Analyzer 2.0, Retargeter 4.0 and two Headcam options, an entry-level GoPro® Headcam Kit and more robust Professional Headcam system.   Each product has been crafted to help artists achieve higher quality results earlier in the animation process.  The new software versions also boast an updated pricing model with flexible options for fixed licenses and no longer a cost per second to export data.

“With the downward pressure on production budgets and increasing expectations for more realistic CG, the need to achieve better results earlier in the production process has never been greater,” said Peter Busch, vice president of business development at Faceware Technologies. “With this brand new set of software and hardware, we’re giving animators at every budgetary level the tools to automate the first 60 to 80 percent of the facial mocap process. By helping animators get farther in the process sooner, they can now focus on fine-tuning and adding the subtleties that define character performances.”

 

Analyzer 2.0

Faceware Analyzer™ is a stand-alone, single-camera facial tracking software application that converts any video of an actor’s performance into facial motion files for use in Faceware Retargeter™.  With the updated Analyzer 2.0, what used to take hours now takes minutes. Analyzer’s newly integrated core algorithms draw from  thousands of minutes of facial performance data taken from real actors from years of real projects in nearly any lighting and capturing condition.

Analyzer 2.0 is now available in a basic Lite version (starting at $795 per seat) and a full-featured Pro version. The entry-level Lite version allows users to automatically track facial movements that can then be applied to CG face models using Faceware Retargeter. Any data that is exported out of Analyzer Lite will be compatible with the Lite and Pro versions of Retargeter.

With Analyzer Pro, users also have the ability to add shot-specific custom calibrations, import/export global actor data, and auto indicate tracking regions. For team settings, Analyzer Pro also features server and local licensing options, and scriptable batch functionality.

7-days trials of Faceware Analyzer 2.0 Lite and Pro can be requested from the Faceware website: http://facewaretech.com/products/software/free-trial/

Retargeter 4.0

Announced just prior to GDC 2013, Faceware Retargeter 4.0 is a plug-in for Autodesk animation tools (2011-2014 Max, Maya, MotionBuilder and Softimage. See it being used on Max and Maya here) that utilizes the facial tracking data created in Analyzer to help animators create facial animation through a quick and intuitive pose-based workflow. This updated software includes several new features such as one-button automatic solving, advanced character Expression Sets, Visual Tracking Data, Shared Pose Thumbnails and Batch Processing.  These additions focus on automating more of the facial motion capture process, as well as simplifying creative collaboration.

Like Analyzer 2.0, Retargeter 4.0 is now available in two versions: a basic Lite version (starting at $395 per seat) and a feature-rich Pro version. Retargeter Lite allows users to automatically solve performances quickly onto their characters as well as reduce and smooth keyframes for optimal use. With Retargeter Pro, users have access to several additional features, including custom poses to improve solving, intelligent pose suggestions, shared pose libraries, columnized keyframe solving, and script functionality. Users of Retargeter Pro also have the ability to backup and restore jobs and retarget specific objects or attributes.

After an extensive beta period, Retargeter 4.0 is now available for use by animators everywhere. 7-days trials can be downloaded from the Faceware website: http://facewaretech.com/products/software/free-trial/

Faceware Headcams

With over eight years of development, the Faceware Headcam systems capture crystal-clear video reference of any acting performance that is ideal for use in Faceware’s software products. Two main hardware options are now available for rent or purchase: the entry-level GoPro® Headcam Kit and the Professional Headcam System.

The GoPro® Headcam Kit offers a one-size-fits-all helmet with three camera- mounting options and includes everything budget-conscious users need for facial performance capture– including a license of Analyzer 2.0 Lite and Retargeter 4.0 Lite. It can also be combined with the GoPro® iOS, Windows, and Android app for remote start and stop as well as remote monitoring and easy camera framing.

The Professional Headcam System (from $300 rental per day) is a sturdy, professional-grade system that offers multiple helmet, padding,  lens, mounting bar and capture options for ultimate adaptability on-set. With a unique drop-arm design, easy access to CCU settings, and maximum stability, the system captures high-quality facial data in any size volume, looking in any direction.     The entire system is lightweight for long-term actor comfort– weighing in at just 15 ounces for the camera, mounting arm and helmet and 27 ounces for the camera belt, CCU, battery, and cabling.   There are options for rental or purchase of the Professional Headcam system.

For more information, visit www.facewaretech.com or contact sales@facewaretech.com.

# # #

About Faceware Technologies

Sherman Oaks, California-based Faceware Technologies Inc. (FTI), which spun off from Image Metrics in 2012, is dedicated to meeting the needs of professional artists in the video game, film, television, and commercial industries. The company’s Faceware product line has been utilized in the production of more than 85 AAA video game titles, feature films, music videos, commercials, television shows, and stage plays, and is the most innovative and experienced facial animation solution provider for clients such as Double Negative, Digital Domain, ILM, Blur Studios, Activision-Blizzard, Rockstar Games, Microsoft, 2K Sports, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, Sony, Bethesda, and Moving Picture Company. The Faceware Facial Motion Capture product line consists of the Faceware Headcam kits and systems; Faceware Analyzer, which allows clients to analyze and process performance videos automatically with little to no user input; and Faceware Retargeter, a Autodesk plug-in which allows users to create facial motion capture data at a much faster rate than traditional methods.

 

© 2013. Faceware Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. “Faceware” is a registered trademark of Faceware Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner(s).

 

Director James Cameron on Captain Harlock: This Movie is Already Legendary!

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September 27, 2013– Earlier this month, Space Pirate Captain Harlock was released throughout Japan featuring facial animation produced entirely with Faceware. Prior to the release,  a special screening was arranged with Harlock Director Shinji Aramaki and director James Cameron, who is famous for his movies Titanic and Avatar.  After the screening, Cameron gave the movie high praise, saying,

This is truly an unprecedented movie.”

This movie is already legendary. With its overflowing imagination and magnificent visuals, this movie is one that the world has never seen before. Harlock leads the way to a world of new ideas.

As expected from the words of this world-renowned hitmaker, anticipation for the movie has spiked even more.     Faceware was key in the success of the emotionally-driven feature; utilizing a similar-approach to Cameron’s Avatar; using full performance motion capture.

Emotionally compelling…majestic…epic in every sense

Cameron further announced to us that this is a film he could revisit again and again and intends showing it further to some of his key creative people and senior executives of Lightstorm. The original work for Captain Harlock was created by legendary manga artist Leiji Matsumoto. Matsumoto is an established leader in the sci-fi world due to his works, including Galaxy Express 999, that have struck the hearts of countless fans worldwide.    The voice of Harlock is played by Shun Oguri.   In addition to Ogura voicing Harlock, actor Haruma Miura will make his voice acting debut as the assassin tasked with killing Harlock, Yama.  Also, Harlock’s steadfast space pirate crew will be voiced by Yu Aoi, Arata Furuta, and Ayano Fukuda. Harlock is picking up huge amounts of attention for being a monumental work that pushes the boundaries of Japan’s CG techniques. At a total production cost of $30 million, it is also Toei Animation’s most expensive movie to date.

Captain Harlock Official Site: http://harlock-movie.com/ (Japanese)

Faceware Technologies Unveils Realtime Product, Faceware Live, at SIGGRAPH 2013

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Faceware Live captures and transfers live facial performances to 3D facial rigs in real time

(Los Angeles, California–July 18, 2013) Faceware Technologies, the leading provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced a new realtime product: Faceware Live. The new software solution, which will be available in Q4, 2013, captures a live actor's facial performance with any video source, and instantly transfers that performance to a 3D character in real time. Faceware Live will be on display at this year's Siggraph, booth #809 (July 23-25, 2013).

Faceware Live captures facial performances of actors without markers using either onboard computer video or webcam, the Faceware Head-Mounted Camera, or any other video capture device, then streams that into Autodesk® MotionBuilder®. After a quick one-button calibration, Faceware Live tracks and solves the performance directly onto any 3D model. If the actor smiles, so too does the model, in real time. Faceware Live currently works on Windows®. Future versions of Faceware Live will support additional Autodesk products, operating systems and game engine technologies.

€œWe'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. €œFaceware 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-visualization to a desktop tool for animators.€

Faceware Live has many applications, including:

— On Set Pre-Visualization — Directors, actors, and creative leads can see their on-set facial performances streamed onto their digital characters instantly, which helps them gain an immediate understanding of how a live performance translates to the digital character. Faceware Live even captures highly accurate eye movement, allowing for a true indication of performance for real-world production tasks such as 3D camera blocking and placement.

— Live, Interactive Experiences — Digital characters can now interact live with real performers for an unlimited number of use cases, including broadcast television, corporate events, and tradeshows.

— Desktop Production Tool- Artists can produce animation instantaneously for rapid prototyping and content creation, all at their own workstation.

How It Works
Faceware Live consists of two simple components: Image processing and data streaming. In realtime, Faceware Live reads from a selected video source, running at any frame rate, and tracks and solves the facial performance to a set of animation values that are streamed from the application. Autodesk MotionBuilder accepts the stream of animation and applies it to a set of pre-defined controls. Using Faceware's Character Setup tool the animation can be easily mapped onto any digital character.

€œWe'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,€ said Jay Grenier, director of technical operations. €œThis gives you an extremely stable and scalable solution for realtime facial animation.€

Where to See Faceware Live
Anyone can demo the new software in Faceware Technologies' booth #809 at Siggraph 2013, July 23-25 in the Anaheim Convention Center.

For more information, visit http://www.facewaretech.com

About Faceware Technologies
Sherman Oaks, California-based Faceware Technologies Inc. (FTI), which spun off from Image Metrics in 2012, is dedicated to meeting the needs of professional animators in the video game, film, television, and commercial industries. The company's Faceware product line has been utilized in the production of more than 80 AAA video game titles, feature films, music videos, commercials, television shows, and stage plays, and is the leading facial animation solution provider for clients such as Double Negative, Digital Domain, Blur Studios, Activision-Blizzard, Rockstar Games, Microsoft, 2K Sports, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, Sony, Bethesda, Motion Theory and Moving Picture Company. The Faceware Facial Motion Capture product line consists of the Faceware Head-Mounted Camera System (HMCS), the 6th generation facial performance capture hardware; Faceware Analyzer, which allows clients to analyze and process their own performance videos without IP or content going offsite; and Faceware Retargeter, a free plug-in which allows users to create facial motion capture data at a much faster rate than traditional methods.

For more information, please visit:
Website: http://www.facewaretech.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/FacewareTech
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/facewaretech
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/2509306?trk=tyah