Behind the Scenes of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

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One of the year’s biggest games, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is an epic sequel to the Lord of the Rings gaming universe that promises to be even bigger than the original. Shadow of War includes action packed performances by Troy Baker, who not only acts but also directs the motion capture in the game using Faceware for the facial motion capture performances on set. We’re thrilled to see these great performances come to life in Shadow of War. Check out more in the behind the scenes video of the game with Troy Baker.

BALTIMORE RAVENS FIRST NFL TEAM TO LAUNCH AUGMENTED REALITY FACE PAINTING WITH FACEWARE INTERACTIVE

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Ravens also name Faceware Interactive Official Augmented Reality Provider

The Baltimore Ravens, in partnership with Faceware Interactive and Image Metrics technology, have developed a photo real, virtual, face painting experience that seamlessly integrates into the team’s mobile app (powered by YINZCAM). This experience, along with other new, in-stadium, augmented reality activations for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, is aimed at increasing fan engagement and excitement.

With over a dozen face paint looks to choose from, fans will be able to express their Ravens pride like never before. And, each look is shareable on social media and messaging platforms.

Later in the 2017 season, fans will also have access to the “Fan Mirror,” a full size, moveable, face recognition mirror located on RavensWalk, the M&T Bank Stadium concourse, or at special events. And finally, in 2018, in-stadium cameras will use facial recognition of fans in the stands and project face paint on them to the RavensVision boards.

The three, new augmented reality fan experiences expand upon the Ravens’ existing three-phase, $120 million self-funded stadium improvement project that will enhance the fan experience at M&T Bank Stadium.  That program also includes two, 4K ultra-high definition video displays, the introduction of SKYCAM into the game experience and the 2018 reveal of four new 4K, ultra-high definition corner video displays.

“We we want attending a game to be an amazing experience for our fans. We want to create lifelong memories. Our face paint executions are not only a cool way for our fans to show their team spirit, but they create those great memories,” said Senior Vice President of Ravens Media, Michelle Andres.
“It brings us great pleasure to bring our technology into the sports world,” said Peter Busch, Vice President of Business Development for Faceware Interactive. “Ravens fans will get to share their pride unlike any fan has ever done before, and to be a part of that is special.”
The Ravens have a three-year partnership with Faceware Interactive as the first-ever official Augmented Reality Provider of the club — the first of its kind in professional sports.
Access to this new feature is available for both iOS and Android devices and requires fans to download the Ravens mobile app or to update to the most current version. (Android update expected late Friday afternoon.)

About the Baltimore Ravens

Entering their 22nd year of existence, the two-time Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens have earned a playoff berth in six of the past nine seasons. Since head coach John Harbaugh’s arrival in 2008, Baltimore has posted the NFL’s fourth-most total victories (95), won the league’s second-most playoff games (10), advanced to an impressive three AFC Championship contests, and in 2012, captured the World Championship in Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens, who also won Super Bowl XXXV during the 2000 campaign, have made the playoffs in seven of the past 11 seasons – producing three AFC North Division titles during this time (2006, 2011 and 2012).

About Faceware 

Faceware Technologies is the most innovative and experienced facial motion capture technology provider in the world, and has become the gold-standard for facial motion capture and animation tools. Faceware’s hardware and software represent complete solutions for the interactive entertainment, film, video game, television, and commercial markets for clients such as Microsoft, 2K Sports, Electronic Arts, Sega, Sony, and more. Faceware Interactive is a division of Faceware Technologies, with a focus on bringing interactive experiences to companies across multiple industries.

About Image Metrics

Image Metrics is a world leader in facial analysis and detection software. Through patented algorithms, Image Metrics created its own platform to enable augmented reality experiences for the world’s most innovative brands. Their patented technology detects even the most nuanced facial expressions and was part of L’Oreal’s Make Up Genius and Nissan’s DieHard Fan applications. Image Metrics licenses its technology to its sister company, Faceware Technologies. More information can be found at image-metrics.com.
Contacts:
Michelle Andres
SVP, Ravens Media
Baltimore Ravens
 
Eric Schumacher
Neology Marketing Communications
Faceware Technology / Image Metrics
310-403-8456
erics@neologyconcepts.com
Patrick M. Gleason | Baltimore Ravens
Director of Public Relations
Under Armour Performance Center
1 Winning Drive, Owings Mills, MD 21117

Cloud Imperium Games and Faceware Bring Real-Time Character-to-Character Chat to Star Citizen

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First-of-its-kind facial tech lets players animate
their character’s face while playing the game


Los Angeles, Calif. – Aug 25, 2017 – Faceware Technologies, the leading provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions and Cloud Imperium Games (CIG), makers of the first-person universe space sim, Star Citizen, today announced a brand new feature coming to Star Citizen: real-time, player-driven facial animation. The new feature will track players’ facial expressions and movement, then reproduce them on their avatars in-game, allowing for the most immersive and realistic player-to-player communication. CIG is demoing the new feature at its Gamescom event at Gloria Theater happening Aug 25 at 9pm CEST in Cologne, Germany.

Star Citizen’s Face Over Internet Protocol (FOIP) feature was built with Faceware’s recently announced LiveSDK, which is powered by Image Metrics’ award-winning, real-time technology. Using Faceware’s soon-to-be-released facial motion sensor, this new feature enables Cloud Imperium and any Star Citizen to detect hundreds of facial movements in a variety of lighting conditions. Those movements are then instantly streamed onto the character’s face, in-game, a critical element in creating believable digital faces. The feature can also be used with the computer’s built-in webcam, though the quality of facial detection may vary.

“This is the first time any game has used this kind of technology to detect and stream the facial movements of players in real-time, and I believe it’s a revolutionary step in gaming,” said Chris Roberts, chairman and CEO of Cloud Imperium Games. “For the first time we’ll be able to deliver the full range of human emotion, not just voice. Our players’ facial expressions will be translated onto their avatars’ face. Combine that with a player’s voice correctly positioned in the virtual world, and you have the most lifelike player-to-player communication ever.”

Faceware’s technology has been used for over a decade to produce thousands of digital faces in some of the world’s most popular video games and films. Over the past two years, the company has been working hard to perfect its real-time technology. Star Citizen is the very first game to use this production-quality facial technology as middleware running in-engine.

“We’re seeing more and more interest in this sort of real-time animation, but Cloud Imperium is the first game company to take it to this level,” said Peter Busch, vice president of business development at Faceware Technologies. “I can’t wait to see the reaction of Star Citizen fans as they chat, in-game, about their next mission, their ships, or what they had for breakfast. Player-driven characters could change multiplayer games forever.”

# # #

About Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries
Cloud Imperium Games Corporation and its subsidiary Roberts Space Industries™ Corp. were founded in April 2012 by renowned game developer Chris Roberts (Wing Commander, Freelancer, Privateer) and his business partner and long-time international media attorney Ortwin Freyermuth. Operating from Los Angeles and Austin under Roberts’ leadership and using his long-standing relationships in the game space, Cloud Imperium quickly assembled a top tier development team for the creation of art assets, story elements, and an extensive prototype for Star Citizen. Once UK-based Erin Roberts joined in 2013 to contribute his extensive background in game production, the Roberts and Freyermuth added CIG’s international operations in Manchester, UK to develop the mission driven Squadron 42 which is set in Star Citizen’s first person universe. They added a fourth office in Frankfurt, Germany in 2015 to take advantage of the growing development talent in that region. Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are being marketed and launched via www.robertsspaceindustries.com. More information about the company, including jobs and contact information can be found at www.cloudimperiumgames.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 draws on research from its sister company Image Metrics and 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. www.facewaretech.com

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

“Faceware” is a registered trademark of Faceware Technologies, Inc. Star Citizen, Cloud Imperium, Roberts Space Industries and RSI are trademarks of Cloud Imperium Games Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner(s).

Faceware Honored to Receive postPerspective Award from SIGGRAPH 2017

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Our Faceware Interactive division is honored to be recognized by postPerspective as a winner of the postPersepctive Impact Award from SIGGRAPH 2017 for Faceware Live 2.5.

The postPerspective Impact Award honors innovative products and technologies for the post production and production industries that will influence the way people work. Seeking to recognize debut products with real-world applications, the postPerspective Impact Awards are determined by an anonymous judging body comprised of respected industry professionals.
“Faceware Live 2.5 is a game changer for the industry. With technology advancements in CG, VR/AR/MR, interactive marketing, and graphics processing, we’re seeing a growing number of inquiries for live CG performances and the ability to ‘drive’ digital characters in real time,” shares Peter Busch, vice president of business development at Faceware Technologies. “To deliver on that, the market needs face tracking technology that is completely stable and tracks facial movements across a range of different conditions. With Live 2.5, we’re taking another important step toward making that future a reality.  The quality of realtime, markerless tracking we can do now is absolutely mind-blowing.”
Congratulations to all the postPerspective award winners!

Faceware Technologies Announces Faceware LiveSDK

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New SDK will allow developers and creatives to create integrated real-time, markerless face tracking experiences in the entertainment space
Los Angeles, Calif. – July 27, 2017 – Faceware Technologies, the leading provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced an SDK for its real-time facial mocap and animation technology, Faceware Live. The Windows Native C++ SDK will enable developers and creatives to build their own real-time, interactive applications. SDK users can allow live player-to-player chat in games, live interactive displays and activations, and even integrate the SDK into their own production tools and processes. Faceware will be speaking about the capabilities of the SDK at SIGGRAPH 2017 (Booth 741) from Aug 1-3.
“With the rise in VR/AR/MR, interactive marketing, and the use of CG, we’re seeing a growing number of inquiries from many different markets,” said Peter Busch, vice president of business development at Faceware Technologies. “Rather than addressing each and every request, we’ve created a SDK to enable developers to develop the tools they need to meet their own needs. We’ve got some amazing use cases I can’t wait to talk about.”
Features of the new SDK include:
  • Windows Native C++
  • High-frame-rate tracking, with no visible latency
  • Over 100 APIs developers can use to track and animate faces in real time
  • Create facial animation in real time from a person’s face on video
  • Tracks 82 landmarks on the face and streams over 40 animation controls
  • One second camera-to-face calibration
  • SDK can track facial movement from a live camera feed, a video file (e.g .mov file), or an image sequence (e.g. .jpg)
  • Works with almost any camera or webcam, including head-mounted cameras
  • Easy to adjust camera settings for optimizing the user experience
  • Tools to multiply and adjust animation output values to match your characters
  • Simulate animation output for easy debugging and testing your character animation before use
“We’re really excited to put our real time facial tracking technology directly into the hands of developers,” said Jay Grenier, director of software and technology at Faceware. “Faceware Live has or is being used for a number of real-time applications, such as Hasbro’s live-streamed social media announcement for Monopoly and the recent Macinness-Scott installation at Sotheby’s ‘Art of VR’ event in New York. And now, with Faceware LiveSDK, the community is about to get a fantastic new tool to develop their own amazing applications.”

Availability

Faceware LiveSDK is will be available soon on a limited basis. Companies interested in using the SDK should 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. www.facewaretech.com

 

For more information, please visit:

© 2017. 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).

Behind the Story and Scenes of Star Wars Battlefront II

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Our calendars are marked for the November 17 release of Star Wars Battlefront II and we’re anxiously counting down the days! Working with EA on this epic saga has been extraordinary.  It’s always such a thrill to see our products in action, and this behind-the-scenes provides a spectacular look at the technology and talent of so many.

E3 Game Roundup

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E3 2017 – the biggest event in the gaming industry – may be over, but the anticipation and buzz on all the new games continues on! A recent article from gameindustry.com reported these incredible stats related to social media conversations about E3 news within the last week:

  • a third of people talking about E3 and its games on Facebook are women, with men making up 65% of the conversation
  • 78% are in their teenage years or early twenties
  • 2.9m people have been talking about FIFA 18
  • FIFA 18 and Call of Duty: WWII led the way with 3.7m views each on video coverage
  • COD beat FIFA when it came to activity on Twitter (No.1 with 25,000 RTs vs No.4 with 15,700) and Facebook (No.3 with 35,100 shares vs No.10 with 13,100)

Here at Faceware, we’re excited for so many of our partners on their upcoming title releases. Check out a few of the mind-blowing trailers in the articles below:

Bungie - Destiny 2

Monolith - Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

EA - Madden '18

Faceware Technologies Releases Faceware Live 2.5

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New update delivers enhanced markerless face tracking technology, preview characters, new animation tuning workflow and more

Los Angeles, Calif. – May 23, 2017 Faceware Technologies, the leading provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced that its Faceware Interactive division has upgraded and released version 2.5 of its real-time facial mocap and animation product, Faceware Live. The latest upgrades are the result of advancements in the consumer-grade facial tracking technology developed by Faceware’s parent company, Image Metrics, which has been used in successful apps like L’Oreal’s MakeupGenius and Nissan’s Die Hard Fan, and which now has been incorporated into Faceware Live.

Faceware Live produces facial animation in real time by automatically tracking a performer’s face and instantly applying that performance to a facial model. Faceware Live requires just a single camera for tracking purposes. That camera can be an onboard computer video or webcam, the Faceware GoPro or Pro HD Headcam Systems, or any other video capture device.

Use Cases for Live 2.5

  • Live performances that incorporate digital characters. Digital characters can be “puppeted” in real time, allowing interaction with live audiences and people.
  • Digital characters interacting in real time on kiosk screens in theme parks and shopping malls.
  • Creating facial animation content instantly for previz purposes.
  • 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.

Examples include Hasbro’s Facebook Live Announcement for Monopoly, the RWBY panel at RTX Australia, and the hugely popular Barbie Vlog.  

“With technology advancements in CG, VR/AR/MR, interactive marketing, and graphics processing, we’re seeing a growing number of inquiries for live CG performances and the ability to ‘drive’ digital characters in real time,” said Peter Busch, vice president of business development at Faceware Technologies. “To deliver on that, the market needs face tracking technology that is completely stable and tracks facial movements across a range of different conditions. With Live 2.5, we’re taking another important step toward making that future a reality.  The quality of realtime, markerless tracking we can do now is absolutely mind-blowing.”

Upgrades to Live 2.5

Version 2.5 upgrades include:

  • Advancements to Face Tracking Technology – Face tracking is even more stable than before, and better able to detect different types of faces (different skin tones, heavy facial hair, glasses, etc) in different lighting conditions. Once detected, Live 2.5 captures 180 degrees of motion with significantly less jitter than before.
  • New Animation Tuning Workflow– Animators can customize the live streaming animation to, for example, amplify or suppress a specific motion, such as an eyebrow raise or smile.  These fine tune adjustments are done on a pose by pose basis.  Those animations (and all settings) can be saved to a profile. Animators can even isolate controls to pinpoint certain areas of the face that require extra attention.  Lastly, Animators can simulate data without need for a live camera feed, which significantly helps in the character setup process.
  • Command Line Calibration – Animators can now trigger the calibration and toggle via command-line for improved automation in your setup.
  • Animation Preview Characters – Live 2.5 now includes animation preview characters, which animators can use to determine how certain types of motions might look on various facial structures.

Nearly 20 other improvements have also been included in this upgrade. A full list can be found here.

Support

Technical articles and videos can be found in the Live section of Faceware’s website: http://support.facewaretech.com/live.

Availability

Faceware Live 2.5 is available free-of-charge to current Live customers starting today. New customer should contact Faceware sales pricing and information at sales@facewaretech.com. For more product information, please visit the Faceware Live page.

# # #

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. 

For more information, please visit:

Website: www.facewaretech.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FacewareTech

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/FacewareTech

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/facewaretech

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/FacewareTechnologies

Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/facewaretech

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/2509306?trk=tyah

© 2017. 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).

Injustice 2’s Facial Animation Is So Good It’s Uncanny

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Article excerpted from Kotaku.com – Injustice 2’s Facial Animation Is So Good It’s Uncanny

Authored by Mike Fahey

Injustice 2’s story mode features a strong script voiced by top voice talent, but the real stunner is the way the in-game faces move when acting out the dialogue. Can you make out what Harley Quinn is saying in the animated GIF above? Hint: she’s talking about Gorilla Grodd.

Each new snippet of video shown during Injustice 2’s relentless media barrage leading up to today’s launch was accompanied by people arguing over the character’s faces. Some loved the more realistic look the sequel was going for. Others found it off-putting or weird. Comparing shots of Injustice: Gods Among Us Harley Quinn . . .

. . . to Harleen from Injustice 2 . . .

. . . I can see where some might be worried about the new direction. I was a little concerned myself, but those concerns quickly faded as I played, replaced with a deep admiration for what the animators accomplished.

Here’s a scene between Batman, Robin (Damien Wayne) and Wonder Woman from early on in story mode.

See Robin’s smirk? The hint of sadness and concern in Wonder Woman’s eyes? It’s not just animation, it’s acting.

And these aren’t just the cutscenes, either. Though the lighting changes between scripted scene and battle can be a little jarring, the same facial animations present in the cinematics carry over to gameplay. Check out this clip of Catwoman, taken from the customization screen.

Just as bad animation can severely cripple a video game’s ability to tell a compelling story, good animation draws the viewer into the narrative, adding emotion and nuance. Injustice 2 has very, very good animation.

Now about that hair . . .

Faceware Brings DC Heroes and Villains to Life in Injustice 2

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NetherRealm Studios’ Injustice 2, the action-packed sequel to 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us, releases today.

The game is already earning accolades for its top notch facial animation, created with Faceware’s award-winning facial motion capture hardware and software solutions including the Faceware ProHD Headcam System and Analyzer 3.0 and Retargeter 5.0 software.

As gaming industry media outlet Kokatu’s Senior Editor notes:

Just as bad animation can severely cripple a video game’s ability to tell a compelling story, good animation draws the viewer into the narrative, adding emotion and nuance. Injustice 2 has very, very good animation.

Using Faceware’s hardware and software solutions, NetherRealm Studios was able to quickly capture high quality facial motion capture data on set and use the resulting data in Analyzer 3.0 and Retargeter 5.0 to create the vaunted facial animation for Injustice 2.

VP of Business Development Peter Busch explains:

Our facial recognition technology is able to capture a great deal of nuances from the brows, to the eyes, nose, cheeks, and mouth by tracking textures and features, rather limiting the quality of the data by tracking points of the face, in order to create highly detailed output. This enables our software to handle anything from stylized to photo-real characters. Together with other features like timecode support, capture, trimming, pose libraries, and a technological core drawing from over 10,000 minutes of facial performance data and users in almost 50 countries, Analyzer and Retargeter are the most powerful tools available for facial animation. Our decades of facial motion capture technology research and experience has created a streamlined and flexible workflow – one that enables teams to scale and create high-quality, high-volume animation, all while staying within budget and maximizing artists’ creative control.

For more information, visit: https://www.injustice.com/