Happy New Year everyone! I have an exciting new technology to share with you. I recently came across an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign for FaceRig. I am now one of the funders as well because this is so great! It is a program that lets you embody a characters face and head, with total freedom of expressions and emotions in real time. All you need is their software and a webcam. They plan on supporting Kinect and other tracking devices. It will be usable with Skype, Twitch, or other webcam services. You could even record it for a movie. Check out their promotional video.

They are leveraging image-based face and head tracking SDK by Visage Technologies. Super interesting possibilities with their virtual eyewear try-on app. Check out their video.

 

23 Comments
  1. This could be just what businesses have been looking for. I’m sensing more Geico like ads coming our way with this new technology that is more available now. I think this is really neat and I can’t way to see how people use it.

    • Totally agreeing with you there, fairydust007! Especially with how they’re able to get that far with just a simple webcam too! Imagine for a moment on how this software could be integrated with other motion sensor cameras such as the Microsoft Kinect for the Xbox 360! That will really augment the accuracy of the face tracking software, and it may very well compete with other well-known software such as FaceShift.

  2. The images of the video seem very fun and if they are a perfect example of the performance of the software, we are facing a very interesting proposal. It is important to help small developers to create their own projects, and this is a prime example of that. In many cases big companies appropriating the ideas of smaller creatives, who for various reasons don’t have the funds to bring their projects to fruition.

    In the era where Skype took the lead in the field of personal messaging, this appears as a fun option and surely will add many followers. There is always time to have a good time with friends, even if we expose ourselves to a ridiculous face.

    • Valid points you’ve mentioned BloomTech, especially on how this would help smaller development teams get a shot with the powerhouses. And since this has potential to be used in a myriad of ways for film and even video game production, the possibilities are endless! I think big studios are starting to realize the talent of these lesser-known companies, but the major challenge is whether or not those small studios can integrate with the rudiments that companies like Pixar probably have scripted for themselves.

  3. It’s really cool how it works but it seems it needs more development because at time in that video, it looked really awkward. It would really make it easier for small time people how can’t invest lots of time or have the knowledge to do this but other than that, it just seems like a fun toy. However I can see lots of possibilities with this technology.

    • I agree that the development stage is still a work in progress, blackbagel. And comparing this with other Facial tracking software, it may not be up to snuff. However, seeing how this is only done with a webcam, it raises questions on whether or not the accuracy could be augmented with other integrations (i.e. the Kinect for Xbox 360 that could be used with the PC given the proper SDK drivers and such). Because if so, the level of depth that can be captured from things such as that would really collect more minute and detailed facial expressions. Of course, only time will tell, and I hope this software is implemented and released before 2014 ends!

  4. You know, a week or two ago I found this same video on YouTube. I’ve had some experience with several facial markerless motion capture software such as Faceshift, and this particular software has potential!

    Of course, it still needs to be in development, and hopefully there will be more news for this, because I’m currently saving up for a Kinect for the XBOX 360 to test out products like this. It’s not only useful for potential ad commercials, but it can definitely be a useful medium in 3D game production and workflows without a doubt!

    I’m currently in the processes of developing my own workflow with being a 3D Generalist, and if this product ever gets released at a reasonable price range, I will definitely invest in something like this. It definitely will make one-man animation production possible if they put in the work for it. Faceshift already has potential, and this software has that chance as well to save hours from doing 3D facial morphs and other technical details that take too long to do manually.

    It can even help save on rendering hours as well I bet, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Thanks for the posting this, and I hope their project goes well!

  5. Technology just keeps on getting better. Imagine all the fun possibilities being able to impersonate the faces and expresions of various characters. What’s even more exciting is that the program will be supporting Kinect and Skype. Very interest times ahead for sure. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. This technology has tremendous potential. Aside from expanding the interactions in consumer-powered virtual worlds (i.e. MMORPGs and Second Life-like systems), this may also be conscripted as assistive technologies for people unable to perform facial expressions due to brain injuries. I also see therapeutic horizons for the device given that they could be used to rehabilitate stroke survivors. For $5, this is certainly worth supporting.

    • Oh! That is an excellent suggestion – helping with facial expressions. This technology does have many potential benefits and if it can help with medical issues in the way you suggest, all the better.

      From games to movies and medicine there is a ton of potential benefits from this type of technology.

    • Wow, I had no idea the potential of this technology stretched to the medical field! In that case then I must say this can be more useful than I first thought!!!! It’s amazing they are planning to use this in the medical field, I’m so happy this kind of things can be used for things like that 🙂 I think that must make the creator feel like it was worth the time he or she spent on this. I know I would.

  7. This looks awesome. I know many business people will benefit from this software. It also looks kind of fun to play around with.

    • Yep. Business and gaming. Education will be thrilled to be in control over the privacy of the instructors, and probably the social media.

  8. This is kind of old, I can’t believe I barely heard about this a few days ago when one of the YouTubers I watch, made a video about it. Anyways, it’s great, you could make your own movies and content with this kind of technology. Can’t wait to see what people make out if this!

  9. Cool! I wonder how accurate is that thing? Most of these demo videos (for FaceRig) they either undergo a bit of post processing. This would serve well for video chat services I think.

  10. Wow, FaceRig is absolutely amazing, and congrats on funding this venture. It has so much possibility. As a gamer, I can see my gaming world come alive with characters that will be more real than before. When I play a MMORPG all my friends and enemies will talk as their characters, that would be awesome. I can see this being part of program that lets you provide voice to characters so that you can make your own movie.

    • Yes, this would be amazing in games. It would contribute to the realism of games. They could add this into games such as battlefield or Arma, so it gives a realistic effect that you are shouting commands at your friends! It will give smaller indie developers a chance to use facial motion capture as well!

  11. Wow. Another crowd funding project! People really never run out of ideas. 🙂

    Actually, this pretty cool, especially for video games. You can actually see the face expression of your opponent and it like cosplay somehow, but less the bulky and costly costumes. This would actually be great for animated movies. With this, it wont be just voice acting for the animated cartoons, there would actually be real emotion in the face of the characters. I hope they make the classic Disney movies.

    Hey David, it would be really cool if you make a weekly round up for awesome crowd funding project you think would need mpre exposure or attention. 🙂

  12. Wow I never expected to watch the video to the end but this is amazing. I never thought someone would bother to come up with something like this, even though we’ve had the hardware for long enough to do it. I hope to see good come out of this, maybe it can be used for more realistic movies …who knows.

  13. This is actually pretty cool for just using a standard webcam. I’ve seen face tracking software before, and honestly, I’ve never seen one as fluid or fast as this one. The avatars themselves are even better because they are incredibly detailed! I wonder how much graphics processing power it takes to make such a model and manipulate it in real time. I think I’ll pick a copy of this up, now that it’s on Steam.

  14. I have been searching for a tool like this online. I do hope it gets better after this. Would be even cooler if there is an app to change the voice so that it will not match the character, or have the character appear as if talking while under water, talking in his sleep, talking with his mouth full, talking like a female child, or SINGING. So again, I hope FaceRig gets better after their crowdfunding success.

  15. I’ve seen this in use on Twitch.tv. Streamers have tried this out and to be honest it’s pretty damn impressive. I really like the idea, it’s pretty cool. You can download all these different avatars and just imagine the future mod support and people will make their own stuff I mean… It could potentially be fantastic.

    I think there are obviously still some quirks and stuff to fix and make this better but it’s already looking pretty damn solid.

  16. This is so interesting and it sounds like a lot of fun to try. I’d love to try this out, I think this would be really fun to try with the kids 🙂 Would be cool to be able to record a message using this technology and sending it to a loved one on a special occasion 🙂 I don’t think we will be seeing that very soon though, but would be so interesting if we did. Wonderful technology, wondering what other uses this has?

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