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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.”

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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 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.
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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).

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.

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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).

Faceware Helps Bungie Bring New Faces to Destiny: Rise of Iron

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lord_saladin_2016-09-22_02-02-58-pm 1324x745Los Angeles – Sept 20, 2016Faceware Technologies, the leading innovator and most experienced provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced that video game developer, Bungie, Inc., has used Faceware’s ProHD Headcam System, along with its Analyzer 3.0 and Retargeter 5.0 Studio Plus software packages, to enhance the facial expressions and emotions of Lord Saladin and the new Iron Lords in Destiny: Rise of Iron.

Destiny: Rise of Iron is a major expansion for Bungie‘s first-person shooter, Destiny. Releasing today for PlayStation®4 and Xbox One, Destiny: Rise of Iron features an all new cinematic story campaign set within The Plaguelands, a brand new location on Earth. Under the command of Lord Saladin, players will face a new faction of Fallen Devils, the Splicers, while unravelling the mystery of the Iron Lords. Rise of Iron features new weapons, armor, and gear, as well as a new cooperative three-player Strike, a new mode and maps for the Crucible competitive multiplayer, and an all new six-player cooperative Raid.

Destiny: Rise of Iron also brings new levels of photorealism to the game characters in the new story campaign and cutscenes. Faceware Technologies’ markerless motion capture system was previously used on Bungie’s Destiny. With this expansion, Bungie’s animation team upped the ante, using Faceware’s ProHD Headcam System to enhance the performance capture of their live actors. They then applied that new level of detail to the performance of the Iron Lords using Faceware’s Analyzer 3.0 Studio Plus and Retargeter 5.0 Studio Plus software packages. The result is a visually stunning set of characters that invest players ever more deeply in the world of Destiny.

We’ve worked closely with Bungie over the years and they never cease to strive for the very best. That commitment shows in the characters they’ve created for Destiny: Rise of Iron,” 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 to bring their game characters to life.”

Faceware’s software products identify the movement of an actor’s face from video and apply that movement to a computer-generated character. Together with its head-mounted and stationary cameras, Faceware’s technology is being 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.

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

Information on Destiny: Rise of Iron can be found at Bungie’s official website: https://www.destinythegame.com/ca/en/rise-of-iron

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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

About Bungie

Bungie was founded in 1991 with two goals: develop kick ass games that combine state-of-the-art technology with uncompromising art, captivating storytelling, and deep gameplay, and then to sell enough copies to fund our ongoing quest for World Domination. Over the past twenty-five years, Bungie created a bunch of fun games, including the Halo franchise, the Marathon Trilogy, and the first two Myth games. Our independent, employee-owned development studio is located in Bellevue, Washington, the base where we launched our most ambitious project to date: Destiny.

More information on Bungie can be found at www.bungie.net.

ANIMATION VERTIGO PARTNERS WITH WORLD-RENOWNED FACEWARE TECHNOLOGIES INC.

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AnimationVertigo_logo

Industry Leading Motion Capture Firm, Animation Vertigo, Adds Powerhouse Faceware Tech To Growing Roster of Best-In-Class Vendors

LOS ANGELES – September 12, 2016Animation Vertigo, a U.S.-based outsource management company that provides high quality motion capture animation to entertainment industry leaders, is proud to announce its partnership with Faceware Technologies Inc., the leading innovator and most experienced provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions. Faceware Tech joins a growing roster of Animation Vertigo’s hand-picked and vetted partners, further establishing the company’s stellar reputation as a leader in the motion capture industry with access to best-in-class partners and vendors.

“Faceware Tech is one of the most respected firms in the industry that has pioneered marker-less facial motion capture for games, films, commercials and movies,” said Marla Rausch, CEO of Animation Vertigo. “Through our strategic alignments, we are continuing to stay cutting edge in the industry and look forward to delivering unparalleled motion capture animation services to our clients with these partners by our side.”

Based out of Nevada, California and Texas, Faceware Tech is one of the leading facial motion capture solutions in the industry. The company’s facial motion capture software and hardware have been used in hundreds of video games, commercials, music videos, feature films and stage play productions..

“Our decision to work with Marla and her team at Animation Vertigo was a natural fit,” said Peter Busch, VP of business development for Faceware Tech. “We have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline, and Animation Vertigo’s client roster is one of the best in the motion capture world. We look forward to leveraging this partnership and continuing to raise the bar for our clients.”

The motion capture industry is constantly evolving, and Animation Vertigo is at the forefront with new projects and innovations. To stay up to date with the latest on Animation Vertigo, please visit the company’s Facebook page or website.

About Animation Vertigo

Animation Vertigo is an outsource management company that provides high quality and reliable solutions for motion capture and animation needs. The company’s production center is located in Manila, Philippines, tapping into tremendous talent, resources and artists. Animation Vertigo has an unmatched reputation for delivering professional, experienced and timely motion capture solutions to its clients. Visit www.animationvertigo.com for more information.
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.

 

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NBA 2K16 SCORES A SLAM DUNK WITH FACEWARE

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CG_SocietyThe success of sports games relies on engendering a sense of reality – not just in the ebb and flow of the sport itself, but in selling the player on the fantasy that they really are in the sneakers of their favourite players.

To capture that sense of authenticity in its famous basketball series, 2K relies on the fidelity of Faceware…

Video game facial animation has come a long way, from the first twitch of Mario’s moustache to the near-Hollywood production levels of titles like Grand Theft Auto and Halo. Today’s characters can emote with a visual fidelity that’s long since leapt over the Uncanny Valley and entered the realms of true-to-life realism.
But dramatic impact isn’t just the domain of narrative-led action titles. A sense of believability is also key to the next generation of sports games – games like NBA 2K16. Not only must these games accurately reflect the strategy and physicality of the sport that they emulate, but also the intensity, the passion, and the all-out drama experienced by the players.
 
That’s where Faceware Technologies comes in.
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“I’ve been working on the NBA series for six years now, and our end goal hasn’t changed in that time – we just want to get better and better at selling the emotion of basketball,” begins Anthony Tominia, performance capture stage manager at 2K. “We’re working on 2K16 now, and we want everything to be as realistic as it possibly can be. That means everything from mo-capping the basketball itself to realistically representing the real-life players in digital form.
“This year we’re trying to get more expressive emotions; better-looking lip sync in our story mode; distinct reactions that mirror what happens on the actual court – Faceware Technologies is an important contributing factor to all of that.”

Capturing every wrinkle

2K has used Faceware’s hardware and software solutions for it facial performance capture for many years, and utilised them once again to bring NBA 2K16 to life. For Tominia, the technology was nothing less than integral in capturing the raw kinetic energy of the sport.
 
“Basketball is a story, and emotion helps you to tell that story,” he says on his team’s approach to NBA 2K16. “Those physical facial expressions add to the drama of the game. The player might get irritated if they miss a shot, or reach for the skies when they make that last-minute alley-oop, and seeing that makes your actions all the more engaging. We really wanted to delve deeper into those little narrative movements this time and sell what’s happening on an emotional level.
“So, in 2K16 we’ve really exploited our rigs to the extreme so we can match every nuance of the person,” continues Tominia. “We’re making sure that not only does each digital character look like their real-life counterpart, but they also show the signature emotion of that person. When you look at Shaquille O’Neal this year it’s not just a representation of him – it has every tic, every subtle nuance that makes his face uniquely ‘O’Neal’. It’s not just a celebratory face, it’s Shaq’s celebratory face, based off his real-life performance. And that’s thanks to Faceware.”
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Custom software

Faceware’s technology was used to capture the facial performance of over 30 different NBA athletes, including O’Neal. Actions both on the court and off were recorded, with players undergoing full performance capture for their in-game animations and also recording dialogue for the My Career story mode. Once this acquisition was complete, it was time to transplant the performances into the game.
 
To make the next steps of the process more streamlined, the 2K team dived into the Analyzer and Retargeter scriptability.
 
“The great thing about Faceware’s script interface is that it’s really simple, so we can easily develop scripts that make our job easier,” explains Tominia. “In this case, we wrote a bunch of Python scripts that allowed us to automatically solve everything that little bit faster. There were over 232 lines spoken by each of the 30 players, and we found that we could easily batch, through Analyzer, 232 lines per player without having to even touch the data.
“We did the same thing with Retargeter,” he continues. “In our pipeline the Python script does the retargeting, creates play blasts and saves those files immediately for review. The process doesn’t have to be manned, so we could capture all day, then leave the system to analyze and retarget overnight. We would then just come in the next morning and quickly identify which files needed the most touch up and pass those on to the team. The speed could not be better.”

Speed and power to rival LeBron

The ease of use of the software, along with the custom development done to streamline the pipeline, meant that after analyzing and retargeting the data, clean-up time on NBA 2K16’s animation was down to three-four minutes per second of data.
 
“At the end of the day, this kind of work will always rely on the touch of a human animator to flesh the capture out – that’s just a matter of fact,” begins Tominia. “However, in our line of work we want to get as far into the pipeline as we can before a human has to touch that data,  and Faceware delivers excellent results in that regard. Four minutes per second wasn’t really that much time, because there was nobody touching the file until that point, and that’s a huge advantage in a production such as this.”
Combined with the raw power of Faceware’s solutions, this speed makes for a particularly lethal combination. “Last year for NBA 2K15, we recorded 120 hours of facial animation – that’s massive amounts of data,” says Tominia. “In comparison, most feature films are two hours long and have a maximum of three CG characters on screen at any time, so that’s just six hours. But we did 20 times that in the space of a year.
 
“When you put that into context, it’s insane,” he marvels. “A keyframe animator might be able to give you five minutes of animation a day, and that’s pushing it. That would take one animator nearly four years of nonstop work to achieve, and if you’re paying them $30 an hour it’s going to total up to an incredible amount. Really, there’s no number of animators on the planet that could be assembled to put out 120 hours of animation in a year. But Faceware’s tech enables that, so you’re making an incredible amount of savings, both in time and money. Faceware really is just so good at what it does – in my experience, its solutions are the fastest that are out there.”
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Working as one

When you’re depending on a solution such as Faceware to complete work of such high quality, you need to ensure that you have the support in place to keep things running smoothly. With this in mind, 2K has developed a strong and lasting relationship with Faceware, one that keeps the development of the series on schedule even during challenging times.
 
“If you have any questions or run into any problems with anything, from scripting to hardware, it’s as easy as picking up the phone and calling Faceware – they’ll have your answers straight away,” beams Tominia. “A great example of this was when we were shooting scenes with multiple helmet characters, and the director decided that we needed four more within two days. We’re up here in Novato and Faceware is down in LA, but we picked up the phone, told them what we needed, and they got the extra cameras built and sent here in time.”
Faceware also went as far as to build a custom camera for the NBA 2K team – one that could capture data at the higher, non-standard framerate the team utilises for the game’s production.
 
“When it comes to the amount of help Faceware extends, it really feels like you’re dealing with a small company, but that’s not the case,” says Tominia. “I know Faceware deals with a lot of people and works with many different companies, but you really wouldn’t know. It’s impressive that they can make you feel like you’re their only customer, even with all that other stuff they have going on.”

The next level

The end result of this collaborative relationship is some of the most convincing facial animation in modern sports games. Every wince, every cheer, every determined glance towards the net has been captured in absolute detail, and all of it, no matter how subtle, feeds into that all-important sense of raw emotion.
“Faceware really has given us limitless volume in our facial animation,” concludes Tominia. “What we’ve achieved with NBA 2K couldn’t have been done without its solutions.”

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).

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/.

 

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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.