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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

 

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© 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).

How Hasbro Animated Mr. Monopoly’s Facebook Live Broadcast in Real Time

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Facebook Live is proving to be a powerful tool for for sharing moments in real-time — but what happens when the user is actually a cartoon? Hasbro recently used a trio of different technologies to allow an animated Mr. Monopoly (the game’s top hat wearing, mustachioed mascot) to share a live announcement, interact with commenters, and answer questions in real time.

Last week’s live video, which announced the Monopoly Ultimate Banking Game that replaces paper money with bank cards, used not one but several different technologies to create the animation in real-time. The video included facial expressions as well as full body movements and personalized interaction with viewers.

Related: Sonic the Hedgehog hits theaters in 2018, mixing live-action and animation

“In the Monopoly Facebook Live broadcast, Mr. Monopoly was brought to life with the help of a combination of physical motion capture, facial motion capture, and real-time rendering,” Rebecca Hollander, the Monopoly brand’s director of marketing, told Digital Trends in an email. “What you see and hear from Mr. Monopoly in the video is completely live and the character also spoke directly to fans, answering questions and acknowledging their comments during the broadcast.”

Mr. Monopoly’s whole body movements were created using a wearable motion capture device from X-Sens. The system captured the real character’s movements using a series of sensors, including arm and leg bands and a cap. As the actual person moved around inside Hasbro’s Cake Mix Studios, the animated Mr. Monopoly moved around the cartoon stage.

A wearable created the larger motions, but what about the facial expressions? Faceware Live 2.0 was used to analyze a video of the announcer to translate onto the animated character. The system quickly calibrates the person’s facial features, identifying where everything from the lips to the eyebrows are. Then, the system continues to follow those facial markers, translating them to the animated character. Unlike the wearable, the facial expressions are monitored with video and a computer system.

While X-Sens and Faceware was used to capture the motion, the Unreal game engine helped put it all together, mixing the motion of Mr. Monopoly with the animated Scottie the dog in the “video crew.”

“A challenge with using animation with a live broadcast is that there are many layers of technology that have to work together to deliver a quality final product,” Hollander said. “There are also many moving parts that come together to make it work, for example, creating an engaging script and understanding how facial and body movements translate into an animated character on screen. It was also important for Mr. Monopoly to answer questions and engage in real time to give an authentic experience to our fans.”

Hollander said the 80-year-old brand is continually looking for ways to stay fresh and relevant — and Facebook’s live feature was a good way to do just that while engaging with fans in real time.

Along with the release of the new game with bank cards, the live announcement also included a new sweepstakes where participants can win up to $20,580 (the amount of cash inside a traditional Monopoly game).

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