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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.

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!

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

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/

Faceware Helps Barbie Reach 2 Million Subscribers and 23 Million Views

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Barbie’s vlog hits new milestone

Mattel’s Barbie vlog, created by CounterPunch together with House of Moves and Faceware Technologies, reached a major milestone today with 2 million subscribers and 23 million views. The vlog has reached this impressive number in less than 2 years but even more impressive is that each animated episode is created with less than 5 days of production.

How you might ask? Check out the Barbie vlog case study to find out how we helped CounterPunch and House of Moves bring Barbie to life with rapid production.

Faceware’s Peter Busch To Key Note Largest VR & AR Conference in Australia and New Zealand

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Faceware VP of Business Development, Peter Busch will be delivering a key note address for the Magnify Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Business Summit to be held on May 8, 2017.

Over 30 recognized VR and AR experts from around the world will discuss cutting-edge research and best practices for VR and AR. The event will bring together top industry professionals through panels, round table discussions, interactive workshops, and demonstrations. Held annually, the summit will discuss a variety of topics in finance, film, television, tourism, gaming, investment, and China.

For more information about the summit, please visit: http://magnifyworld.com/

Faceware Technology Used in ABC’s New Sitcom Imaginary Mary

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Faceware’s Creation Suite Pro Complete System Provides Realism for Mary’s Spunk!

ABC’s live action/CGI hybrid stars Jenna Elfman as Alice, a fiercely independent career woman whose life is turned upside-down when she meets the love of her life–Ben, a divorced father with three kids, played by Stephen Schneider.

The real fun begins when Alice’s imaginary friend from her childhood returns as sassy and sharp-tongued Mary. Zoic Studios created the animated character voiced by Saturday Night Live alum’s Rachel Dratch, using Faceware’s Creation Suite Pro Complete System which includes the Faceware ProHD Headcam, Analyzer 3.0 Studio Plus, and Retargeter 5.0 Studio Plus software.

Using this complete System, Zoic was able to quickly shoot the facial motion capture completely marker-less and create the quality facial animation used for the live action ABC network show.

VP of Business Development at Faceware, Peter Busch, notes that unlike other motion capture solutions, “rather than limiting the quality of the data by tracking points on the face, our technology tracks textures and features to create highly detailed output. This enables our software to handle anything from stylized to photo-real characters.   Markers inherently can also cause many technical issues during performance capture—plus, if you think what it takes to create convincing CG animation for the face—two key elements are the eyes and it’s the quality of lip sync—you can’t put markers on the eyes or on the inner lips. It’s great to be part of an ambitious project that harnesses these unique capabilities to create an interactive CG character for Prime Time TV.”

For more information about the development of Mary, visit: http://abc.go.com/shows/imaginary-mary/cast/mary

To watch the Pilot or catch up on Season 1 episodes, visit:
http://abc.go.com/shows/imaginary-mary/episode-guide