Faceware and the Virtual Reality Pipeline
With virtual reality growing more in demand by the month, so too are faster and more streamlined development solutions. Faceware’s Creation Suite Pro Complete System is perfectly positioned to help studios meet the challenge. VP of Business Development, Peter Busch, explains why…
Why is believable facial performance important in virtual reality?
The key to an engaging experience – especially in a new medium such as VR – is connecting users with a powerful story by drawing upon the emotional, character-driven, and nuanced performance from the faces of the characters. Players need to feel emotionally absorbed in the experience as they’re so absolutely immersed in it.
How does Faceware help deliver believable performances in VR?
Using Faceware ProHD headcams and Analyzer 3.0 and Retargeter 5.0 software, studios are able to capture the entire facial performance, including micro expressions, and display those subtleties in convincing ways.
We believe the best facial animation comes from the combination of cutting-edge technology and an intuitive artist-friendly workflow. 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.
How seamlessly does Faceware fit into the VR pipeline?
Our facial motion capture products have been battle tested on hundreds of published projects across six continents. Throughout this time, we’ve designed them to seamlessly integrate into any industry pipelines – including VR. Our 15-year roots as a service company mean you can trust our core product methodology, which respects the dynamic pace of any production thanks to a robust, artist-friendly feature set; our products are designed to be intuitive and get the job done at the quality you need.
Our head-mounted camera systems capture optimal video for use with our facial motion capture software that plugs in to most popular character animation packages used in VR, such as the Autodesk suite of animation software.
Our technology also easily syncs with any body mocap system, while the facial performance capture technology allows for markerless performance recording. Our pixel-based approach samples and tracks the entire face, including subtle eye movement that gives soul and emotion to any character. We have an intuitive pose-based workflow that most artists refer to as their “assistant animator.” The software features allow artists to easily manipulate, change, and embellish the results with ease. All of this feeds in seamlessly to a VR pipeline, resulting in truly immersive, emotive experiences.
What steps should a developer should take when using Faceware within a VR pipeline?
If the developer is familiar with Faceware, then facial animation for VR will be similar to what they already produce for mobile, desktop, or console games. What changes is the user perspective and 3D environment – the developer needs to take that into consideration when developing the game. However, the ultimate output of Faceware’s technology is always facial movement, which remains consistent throughout.
Are there any tips or tricks that can help the Complete System better integrate into a VR pipeline?
Complete Systems easily integrate into a VR pipeline without issues. However, it is important to hire talented actors to draw upon their acting skills in imaginary worlds like VR, delivering the best facial performance possible.