Faceware Technologies Unveils Retargeter 4.0 with AutoSolve
March 24, 2013 10:00 pm
New software upgrade creates quality markerless facial motion capture from video at unprecedented speed
Sherman Oaks, Calif. - Faceware Technologies, the leading provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today unveiled Retargeter 4.0, a major upgrade to its award-winning Faceware software. The new softwares key features, which include AutoSolve, Expression Sets, Tracking Visualization, Shared Pose Thumbnails and Batch Processing, focus on automating more of the facial motion capture process, as well as simplifying creative collaboration. The new software will be on display at this years Game Developers Conference in booth #1036 (March 27-29).
Retargeter 4.0 is a lightweight plug-in to Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Softimage and Autodesk MotionBuilder. It is part of Facewares Professional Product Line, a suite of facial mocap hardware and software used by some of the most successful franchises in AAA development, including Grand Theft Auto, Assassins Creed, God of War,Halo, NBA 2K, Red Dead Redemption, and many others. Faceware has also been used on Academy Award-winning feature films and Grammy-winning music videos. Most recently, Faceware Technologies products were used to create acclaimed performances in Cryteks Crysis 3, Square Enixs Sleeping Dogs, Yash Raj Films Ek Tha Tiger, and the upcoming release of Toei Animations Space Pirate Captain Harlock.
In February, we announced that Retargeter 4.0 is coming. As soon as we did, artists began contacting us to find out more information, said Peter Busch, Vice President of Business Development at Faceware Technologies. So in an effort to meet their requests, were now disclosing more details. While I cant reveal all of the features that will make it into the final release, I can say that every feature, especially AutoSolve, focuses on increasing the quality of your starting point and speeding the more mundane elements of hand animating so that artists can more quickly get to the part that matters: perfecting and polishing performances that set their CG characters apart.
Retargeter 4.0 Key Features:
An add-on to the Character Setup process, Expression Sets are a group of pre-defined, standard facial poses that are unique to each character in your project. Expression Sets define the style and look of the universal shapes and movements of a character to drive AutoSolve.
Combining the data from IMPD files generated from Faceware Analyzer along with pre-defined facial poses or Expression Sets, Retargeters AutoSolve can automatically create animation on a video performance with the simple click of a button, giving artists a great first pass in a matter of minutes that they can then fine tune through the award-winning Retargeter pose-driven workflow.
AutoSolve is a revolutionary step in facial motion capture, explains Busch. We are excited to give studios the opportunity with Retargeter 4.0 to really capitalize on the idea of rapid prototyping. Directors, artists, and producers will now be able to judge performance earlier in their production cycle-- making more effective use of facial budgets.
Retargeter 4.0 makes use of an improved IMPD file that contains the complex data needed for AutoSolve-- it also contains a helpful way to see the tracking information that comes out of Faceware Analyzer. This feature enables artists to better understand what is going on in the facial tracking process to better utilize Retargeter.
The command line abilities built into Retargeter 4.0 allow any function within Retargeter to be scripted, letting artists create a complete batch pipeline for facial animation. With minimal character setup and a little basic scripting, artists can easily set up and AutoSolve hundreds of shots overnight. Retargeter 4.0 will support a library of Mel, Python, and MaxScript commands.
Shared Pose Thumbnails
Sometimes there are multiple artists using Retargeter for the same character on a project. Retargeter 4.0 now gives artists the ability to add thumbnail images for every pose, so that other artists on the team have a reference for every shared pose and can find what they need faster. Artists have the ability to custom define each thumbnail, such as focusing on a particular area of a pose or showing the entire facial pose.
Pricing and Availability
Retargeter 4.0 is slated to launch in April following its beta program. The plug-in will continue to be free and will work with current versions of Faceware Analyzer. Users wishing to use the AutoSolve function will need IMPD files to be created with Analyzer 1.3. Upon launch, Faceware Retargeter 4.0 will be available for the following packages:
- Autodesk Maya 2010-2013
- Autodesk 3ds Max 2010-2013
- Autodesk MotionBuilder 2010-2013
- Autodesk Softimage 2010-2013
Where to See a Product Demonstration
The new software will be shown in demonstrations at Faceware Technologies Booth #1036 at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), March 27-29 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and will be discussed in Remington Scotts talk Performance Capture: Insights from the Edge on Wednesday, March 27th, from 11:00-12:00 in the West Hall (Room 3001).
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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 animators in the video game, film, television, and commercial industries. The companys Faceware product line has been utilized in the production of more than 80 AAA 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. The Faceware Facial Motion Capture product line consists of the Faceware Head-Mounted Camera System (HMCS), the 6th generation facial performance capture hardware; Faceware Analyzer, which allows clients to analyze and process their own performance videos without IP or content going offsite; and Faceware Retargeter, a free plug-in which allows users to create facial motion capture data at a much faster rate than traditional methods.
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