FTI Delivers in 4 of the Top Grossing Games of 2014

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Forbes recently listed NPD Groups’s top 10 grossing games of 2014. Turns out, Faceware’s tech was used to deliver facial performances in 4 of them: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Destiny, Grand Theft Auto 5, and NBA 2K15.

NPD gathers US retail sales data only, which is an important qualifier here. Industry sales hit $13.1 in 2014, up one percent from $12.94 in 2013.

Here are the top ten video games of 2014:

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  • Madden NFL 15
  • Destiny
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Minecraft
  • Super Smash Bros (for 3DS and Wii U)
  • NBA 2K15
  • Watch Dogs
  • FIFA 15
  • Call of Duty Ghosts

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/01/19/the-top-ten-best-selling-video-games-of-2014/

 

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare kills with Faceware

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Digic Pictures uses Analyzer and Retargeter with stunning results.

We are proud to announce that Faceware customer Digic Pictures created the CG cinematics for Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty ®: Advanced Warfare, developed by Sledgehammer Games.  Digic used Faceware Analyzer and Retargeter for the creation of the CG cinematic characters, including Kevin Spacey.

Delivering a stunning performance, Academy Award® winning actor Kevin Spacey stars as Jonathan Irons – one of the most powerful men in the world – shaping this chilling vision of the future of war. Digic also leveraged independent cheek and jaw tracking to produce the cinematic results within their work.

 

Live 2.0 for Unity Launches

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Live 2.0, which allows users to stream their performances via video to a character in real time, adds further to its compatibility lineup with its latest client application for Unity.

The Live client for Unity is available in the Unity store (Unity 4.5 +).   The client application is free to download from the store, and requires Faceware Live 2.0 Server.  For a free trial of Faceware Live 2.0, request a 30 trial online.  For the Live client application for Unity, visit the Unity store:

via Unity Asset Store

FTI presents at the Directors’ Guild of America

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FTI was proud to present its facial motion capture products and processes alongside a panel of presentations at the Directors’ Guild of America. Joining VP of Business Development Peter Busch in his presentation was performance capture director Remington Scott.

The session, entitled “Facing the Future: New Developments in Facial Performance Capture”, consisted of the best-of-the-best in the industry, including Pablo Helman, VFX Supervisor, Industrial Light and Magic; Greg LaSalle, Digital Domain, and Tim Miller, Blur Studios. The presentation was hosted by the DGA Special Projects Committee and is available upon request.

 

Faceware Technologies Releases Faceware Live 2.0

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Upgraded real-time facial technology includes faster calibration, enhanced face tracking, Unity support and more

Los Angeles, Calif. – Aug 06, 2014Faceware Technologies, the leading provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced that it has upgraded and released version 2.0 of its real-time facial mocap and animation product, Faceware Live. Originally announced at Siggraph 2013, the first version of Faceware Live has been in testing at a handful of studios since last Fall. Demos of the upgraded solution will be available in Faceware Technologies’ booth #653 at Siggraph 2014, Aug 12-14.

“For the past 12 months, we’ve been vetting Faceware Live in a handful of studios, collecting feedback that has been invaluable in the evolution of the product,” said Peter Busch, Vice President of Business Development at Faceware Technologies. “We’ve rolled much of that feedback into the product, and are now ready to release Faceware Live 2.0 to any studio or content creator in need of real-time facial animation.”

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 can use either an onboard computer video or webcam, the Faceware Pro HD Headcam System, or any other video capture device, to drive the real-time performance. Under the hood is patented computer vision technology, called Live Driver, from our partner company Image Metrics’, which is capable of real-time facial tracking in nearly any lighting condition with any performer.

Upgrades to version 2.0 include:

    • Instant Calibration – With Faceware Live 2.0, calibration of any new performer takes only 1-3 seconds. There is no need for a lengthy range of motions or a complex character setup process. Performers will make a single “neutral” expression and with one button click, they are “found” by the tracking technology and their performance can be captured.
    • Improved facial tracking – Faceware Live captures nearly 180 degrees of motion, allowing the live talent to be freer in their performances. In addition, Faceware Live tracks 22 more facial points than version 1.0, significantly increasing the quality of the facial motion capture.
    • Consistent Calibration –    One area of real-time motion capture often overlooked is consistency in calibration from day-to-day with the same actors. Faceware Live features an entire interface to aid in this process by allowing the user to store and recall calibration frames as an overlay to the live feed, as well as the ability to toggle a grid for consistent camera and framing. Faceware Live also allows multiple actors to be calibrated at once by using Live’s multi-sync calibration feature.
    • Support for high frame-rate cameras – Studios looking to achieve ultimate quality and responsiveness will be eager to use Faceware Live 2.0’s unique ability to accept data from high-frame-rate cameras. The quality of facial motion extracted at higher frame rates allows for more believable performances in real time, which is critical for capturing areas of subtle movement and detail such as the lips and eyes.
    • Stream Multiple Characters – With version 2.0 of Faceware Live, there is no limitation to the amount of characters that Faceware Live can track at once. For example, studios can have multiple characters interacting with each other in front of a live studio audience, or in complex pre-viz sequences and game scenes.
    • Unity Game Engine Support – In addition to Autodesk MotionBuilder®, Faceware Live 2.0 now works in tandem with Unity, one of the most popular game engines on the market.  Real-time facial animation can be displayed in the Unity editor as well as live in the game itself. Future game engine support is planned. Faceware Live 2.0 streams facial data over TCP, allowing studios to custom integrate Faceware Live 2.0 into nearly any rendering environment.
“Faceware Live 2.0 is built on powerful technology that has been developed over 15 years of research and development,” said Jay Grenier, director of technical operations. “This focused development effort makes our technology rock solid, robust, and most importantly, stable. “

Use Cases:

Faceware Live is primarily designed for live broadcast events, instant content creation, facial research and study, and pre-visualization. However, the possibilities are endless.  Nestle recently used the technology to power a live marketing display for the Snickers brand in Korea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jdFFVPS1q0

The underlying Image Metrics technology is also being used in L’Oreal Paris’ virtual makeup experience, Make Up Genius, which recently hit #5 on the US Apple App store in June: http://youtu.be/G1z2Od5lIsA

Pricing and Availability

Faceware Live is available as a one-time license fee plus an annual subscription.  Demos of the upgraded solution will be available in Faceware Technologies’ booth #653 at Siggraph 2014, Aug 12-14.

Free 30-day trials are available from the Faceware website

Free Trial

For pricing and sales information, contact sales@facewaretech.com. For general product information, please visit the Faceware Live page.

 

© 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 wins 2014 Develop Award

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FACEWARE WINS 2014 DEVELOP AWARD

Faceware is proud to announce that it has been awarded a 2014 Develop Award for Creative Contribuition: Visuals Category for its contribution to Grand Theft Auto V.     The highly- acclaimed, peer nominated award is the second for Faceware and first for its work with Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive.

James Batchelor July 9th 2014 at 11:00PM 

20 companies take home prizes from this year’s awards ceremony.   Games development stars from around the UK and Europe descended upon Brighton tonight to honour the winners of this year’s Develop Industry Excellence Awards.

More than 175 companies attended the event – the biggest attendance yet for these awards. The expanded array of 25 prizes went to 20 different companies, with Rockstar North the big winners of the night.

The Grand Theft Auto developer took home the special Studio of the Year prize – one of five new categories – as well as Visual Arts and In-House Studio. There was an extra gong for the seminal GTA V, with Faceware Technologies bagging the award for Creative Contribution: Visuals thanks to its work on Rockstar’s epic.

IMAGE COURTESY: CENTROID3D

Sony also fared well, with the platform holder and its studios picking up two awards – Publishing Hero and New IP (for Media Molecule’s Tearaway) – as well as the Development Legend award for PS4 lead architect Mark Cerny, as announced earlier in the summer.

There were also a few surprises on the night, most notably the special Services to Video Games prize, which was awarded to Lynne Kilpatrick for her hard work in pushing for the UK video games tax credits.

Other winners included Oculus VR, EA DICE, TT Games, Unity, Team17, Vlambeer, Space Ape Games and Abertay University’s Dare to be Digital.

 A full list of winners can be viewed here:

http://www.develop-online.net/news/develop-awards-2014-and-the-winners-are/0195032

To See our 2008 Develop award for technical innovation as Image Metrics:

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/develop-awards-2008-field-led-by-rockstar-with-four-awards–lostwinds-named-best-new-ip–nintendo-s-wiiware-makes-it-publishing-hero

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.

# # #

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).

Bungie’s Destiny® to Use Faceware

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Bungie chooses Faceware’s facial mo-cap products
to help breathe life into Destiny’s characters

Los Angeles – March 18, 2014Faceware Technologies, the leading innovator and most experienced provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced that video game developer, Bungie, Inc., has chosen to use Faceware’s Professional Facial Motion Capture Product Line to add lifelike expressions and human-realistic emotions to Destiny’s characters.

Destiny is the next evolution of first person action genre, developed by Bungie and published by Activision Publishing, Inc. Players can personalize and upgrade nearly every aspect of their custom characters a nearly limitless combination of armor, weapons, and visual flair. Destiny is set to release September 9th, 2014.

Faceware’s markerless motion capture system was previously used on Bungie’s Halo: Reach. The product line uses video to capture every detail of an actor’s face, and computer vision software to transfer that performance quickly to digital characters, giving Bungie’s artists a detailed first pass to which they can then add greater detail to their characters. The ease with which Faceware translates real performances into digital performances is one of the main reasons Bungie decided to use the technology on Destiny.

“When we develop a game at Bungie, our goal is to fuse brilliant technology, beautiful art, compelling stories, and deep gameplay into games that audiences worldwide want to play,” said Dave Lieber, Cinematics Supervisor at Bungie, Inc. “Faceware has been used on Academy Award-winning movies and some of the highest grossing AAA videos games of all time.” There’s a reason for that: their products are production proven, easy to use, and indispensable to any team wanting to elevate the realism of their character performances without being locked into a particular capture pipeline, rig or art style.”

“Bungie’s artists have the flexibility to build upon a real-world performance, and easily add their own artistic touch, as desired,” added Pat Jandro, Bungie’s Lead Facial Animator.

“Bungie has produced some truly amazing titles over the years. They are one of the best in the business,” said Pete Busch, VP of Product Development at Faceware Technologies. “All of us at Faceware are honored that Bungie has chosen our products yet again. We can’t wait to see what they create for Destiny.”

Faceware provides an entire Professional Facial Motion Capture Product Line, which is a start-to-finish facial mocap tool suite built to capture, analyze and transfer human emotion into digital facial performances. The product line includes Faceware’s hardware products, the Professional Headcam system and theGoPro® Headcam Kit, and Faceware’s software products, Analyzer™ and Retargeter™. The product line is now being used in everything from mobile games, such as Camouflaj’s Republique, to AAA video game titles, such as Grand Theft Auto III-V, NBA 2K10-2K14, Crysis 2 and 3, Halo: Reach, and now, Bungie’s Destiny.

For more information on the new partnership, visit www.facewaretech.com or contact sales@facewaretech.com. Information on Destiny can be found at Bungie’s office Destiny website: http://www.destinythegame.com/.

 

# # #

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.