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GDC 2023 Highlights and Announcements

GDC 2023 Highlights and Announcements

03 April, 2023
Faceware at GDC 2023

GDC 2023 came and went as a huge success for our team, and for our many partners, customers, and friends! This was the very first show to which we were able to bring our flagship Mark IV head-mounted camera system, and additionally, we were able to showcase in person, for the first time, Faceware Portal with LIVE demonstrations throughout the week.

Faceware Booth

Faceware Portal is the next generation in facial animation, streamlining and advancing workflows for studios at unprecedented speeds for high volumes of performance capture data. With Faceware Portal, users can say goodbye to manual tracking with our new automated process. Our patented AI technology enables high-fidelity processing of facial movements from performance capture videos automatically. Click HERE to learn more about Faceware Portal and how it can fit into your workflow, or contact our team at sales@facewaretech.com to request a demo.


This year Optitrack’s #TrackTheGnar campaign brought a jaw-dropping LIVE demo with roller skaters and skateboarders flying across a half pipe on the show floor. OptiTrack continues to flex Motive software and it was a joy to see their stunning camera-to-marker range and 3D accuracy.


OptiTrack is the worldwide leader in 3D tracking systems through its 3D precision, low latency output, easy to use workflows, as well as a host of developer tools. Serving primary markets in drone and ground robot tracking, movement sciences, virtual production and character animation for film and games as well as virtual reality (VR) or mixed reality (XR) tracking, it remains the most widely used tracking solution on earth and is the favorite of world leading academia research and professional teams whose requirements are the most demanding in the world.


Vicon launched a first-hand look at their industry-leading Shōgun package, and the new, groundbreaking 26 megapixel motion capture camera – Valkyrie. Additionally, Vicon’s specialist VFX team presented to attendees the Shōgun Post’s native retargeting toolset and workflow for real-time character visualization in game engines. This included the calibration of performers with Shōgun Live, as well as the set-up of props for your characters; allowing both to be real-time streamed into Unreal Engine for pre-viz purposes, or even for real-time project needs. Some genuinely pretty cool stuff! Add on top of that our facial motion capture integration with Faceware Studio, and you have a fully rigged, top-to-bottom character in Unreal Engine ready to go!


Movella showcased live demonstrations of their renowned Xsens body motion capture technology, used by top-tier developers at studios like Electronic Arts, Konami, Ubisoft, and Bungie. Movella’s tried and true Xsens kinetic motion capture technology continues to enable accurate body capture at any time, anywhere – in either indoor or outdoor environments.

We were privileged to partner with our friends at Movella to do a cooperative demonstration of our Mark IV Headcam System paired with their Xsens MVN System. Pairing both of these systems together enables teams to generate high-quality motion capture data for both face and body; perfect for pre-visualization needs, or for live, real-time character performances. Something we’re seeing a growing interest in, particularly in the online streaming entertainment space with the rise of Vtubing and virtual influencers.

Also, for the first time, Movella demonstrated their recently announced OBSKUR live-streaming platform. OBSKUR is looking to provide users with a broadcast software platform alternative to existing options like OBS Studio, Streamlabs, or XSplit. The platform aims to enable content creators with user-friendly and innovative, new tools for delivering rewarding, interactive experiences during live streams on sites like Twitch or YouTube. Of particular note are features like: a 3D character creator for users looking to explore the world of Vtubing for the first time, a 3D environment customizer for streamer backgrounds, reliable recording to mp4 format even if your stream should crash, AND easy video source docking for quick scene switches. And that’s just to name a few tools that OBSKUR will bring to the table to differentiate itself as a unique, go-to platform for streamers.

A Hands on Approach (StretchSense & Manus)

When it comes to capturing all the intricate movements of the human hand, our partners at StretchSense and Manus are set to provide you with high-quality options that will deliver precise motion capture data to your character’s hand rigs. Both StrechSense and Manus were on the scene at GDC, demoing their latest technologies and their flagship hand-capture options. Attendees even got the chance to try out the tech for themselves, and feel the differences between the two systems. Frankly, we love them both, and we’ve built our software to be as cooperative and friendly as possible with their respective solutions. Oh! And we have to give a big shoutout to one of our community creators, Gabriellla Krousaniotakis, whose latest VCAM project was being showcased at the Manus booth on the exhibit floor.

Unreal Engine (Epic Games)

If you missed the State of Unreal, our friends over at Epic revealed their long-term vision for the future of content creation, distribution, and monetization on the Unreal Engine. Their goal being the creation of an open, connected economy that will enable all creators and developers to benefit in the metaverse. Certainly, a bold plan! And one that we will be paying close attention to here at Faceware to see how we can help bring Epic’s plan to fruition.

Additionally, a pre-recorded demo of Unreal’s new MetaHuman Animator was shared with the gathered crowd. Animator is looking to be a new feature set for the MetaHuman framework, which will enable users to reproduce any facial performance as high-fidelity animation on their MetaHuman characters. To quote our friends over at Unreal, “Photorealistic digital humans need high-quality animation to give truly believable performances.” 

As exciting and intriguing as the MetaHuman Animator was, it does look like the new feature set will come with some initial limitations. Chiefly, unlike Faceware Portal, MetaHuman Animator is specific to Unreal Engine only. Additionally, only MetaHuman rigs were shown off as part of the demonstration, so it is currently unclear whether this feature set will be usable with more stylized character rigs in Unreal. Nonetheless, it is a huge development for the team over at Unreal, and we absolutely must tip our hats to them.

Read more here to learn more about everything Epic Games and Unreal Engine announced at GDC 2023.


Meanwhile, our friends over at Unity gave us an in-depth look at their upcoming roadmap on their 2022 LTS and 2023 Tech Stream, including all the latest developments regarding the engine’s graphics, multiplayer game capability, and the Entity Component System (ECS). We’re excited to see how these features and updates are put into action by the talented Unity Engine userbase. Rest assured, we’ll be keeping an eye on any developments related to facial motion capture, and how we can continue to be best choice for animators and teams utilizing Unity for their facial animation pipelines.

If you’d like to discover for yourself how Unity lets you leverage the latest platform features across mobile, desktop/web, and XR; and how you, too, can leverage the power of Unity’s DevOps and Wētā Tools (Ziva, Speedtree) through the Editor, then check out the full Unity Roadmap Presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7YYC796PEs

Puget Systems

We were also delighted to see our friends at Puget systems just a booth or two away! Their latest PC systems for artists and developers alike were on full display, and we couldn’t help but drool over them a little every time we walked past. Which admittedly, was more than a few times. 

On the other side of their booth, attendees could also get a peek at some of the latest projects on which their PC systems were employed. This included Astro Project’s “Crip Ya Enthusiasm” music video for Snoop Dogg, which we are also extremely proud to have had a hand in – providing the team at Astro Project with our facial motion capture hardware and software for the music video shoot.

Customer Highlights & Sightings

GDC 2023 was at full throttle with more than double 2022’s attendees! With this surge of participants, we got to sneak a few peeks at projects being showcased on the floor by several Faceware customers. We also got to meet many of our users who also attended the event. Special thank yous to everyone who stopped by our booth on the exhibit floor! It was a delight to meet each and every one of you.

From games like Horizon Forbidden West and Call of the Mountain, to hardware solutions from our friends at Puget Systems, it was a welcome change of pace to see many of our Faceware friends and projects in-person. 

At the Sony Playstation booth, there were several demos available to all, including a hands-on look at the recently released Horizon: Call of the Mountain. Attendees could strap on the Playstation VR2 headset and dive right into the Horizon universe, experiencing the world of Alloy in first-person!

Many different universities were also in attendance at GDC this year, including some Faceware customers: NYU, Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), the University of Utah, and more! Many students exploring the show floor stopped by our booth, and gave us the opportunity to talk with them a little about Faceware, as well as their own particular projects and explorations in the motion capture space. It’s always a pleasure to see both students and faculty showcasing their latest work, and getting the chance to make these valuable connections at a show like GDC.

There were plenty of other Faceware affiliated projects we were able to see on the floor, including Horizon: Forbidden West (Guerilla Games), Deliver Us Mars (Keoken Interactive; Centroid Motion Capture), Hogwarts Legacy (Avalanche/WB Games), and many more! We are already super looking forward to next year, and seeing what new, upcoming games and projects that utilize Faceware will be on display.


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