Faceware Technologies, the leading provider of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, today announced the launch of the Faceware Live plugin for Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. The new integration will enable UE4 developers to capture facial movements with any camera and instantly apply those movements to characters in the Unreal Engine.
Faceware creates products for easier facial motion capture without markers with one single video camera. Faceware has been an innovator in the marketless 3D facial motion capture with full turn-key solutions for film, video games, and animation with real time and non-real time solutions—Faceware Live.
Collaboration that Works
Epic Games creates and develops the Unreal Game Engine Technology. Unreal Game Engine is one of the most widely licensed game engines in the video game industry. It is also licensed by notable entities in the fields of education, training simulation, construction simulation, virtual reality, and CG animation. Licensees include many universities, corporations, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, NASA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Unreal Game Engine Development can be done using OS X, Windows , or Linux computer platforms.
“Faceware Technologies has a long history of creating some of the most iconic and realistic faces in games and films,” said Peter Busch, vice president of business development at Faceware Technologies, “while Epic’s Unreal Engine is known for helping create some of the best-selling games ever. Integrating our real-time technology with their premier game engine was just a natural fit.”
The new Faceware Live plugin works like this: Unreal Engine users capture an actor’s facial movements using any video source, such as an onboard computer video or webcam, the Faceware Pro HD Headcam System, or any other video capture device. That captured movement data is then streamed instantly into the Unreal Engine to drive a character’s facial animation in real time. The facial movements display in real time via the Unreal Persona animation system.
The plugin was co-developed by Australia’s Opaque Multimedia (the company behind the Kinect 4 Unreal plugin (the UE4 integration with the Microsoft Kinect 2 sensor) and is ideal for quickly generating facial animation for animatics in the pre-viz process, or for creating facial animation for live interactive events, shows and concerts.
“The ability to combine the power of the real-time performance capture pipeline of Faceware Live, and the power and flexibility of Unreal Engine 4, gives developers an incredibly powerful tool,” said Norman Wang, the director of development at Opaque Multimedia. “Developers will be delighted to see how easily they can access the data from the Faceware plugin through the native Blueprint interface.”
Several unannounced projects that utilize the plugin will debut later this year.
When you consider the complexity of early motion capture technology with markers, Faceware is a company that made easy-to-use artist friendly products that are affordable. Motion Capture was once a technology only for big studios. Faceware has been using their technology in big Hollywood movies and in Video Games. I would be curious how this would help in NASA simulations or other military simulations in Unreal. Faceware Live allows real time markerless facial motion capture. It converts video into facial motion capture data that can be used to create quick animation within the Unreal Game Engine. This is great for pre-visualization, instant broadcast and for so many other possibilities. Exclusive Image Metrics Live Driver allows anyone to use the software to create a performance in real time with a one second calibration. When you consider the wide variety of clients using the Unreal Game Engine, this adds a new tool for populating worlds and simulations that will feel more life like. As virtual reality (VR) becomes more popular, there will be a bigger demand for on-demand real time tools. For example, Dallas architectural firm HKS has been using the Unreal Game Engine 3 for the company’s development process.
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 company’s Faceware product line has been utilized in the production of more than 130 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; Faceware Retargeter, a free plug in 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.
About Opaque Multimedia
Opaque Multimedia is an award-winning technology consulting and game development firm based in Melbourne, Australia. With a strong focus on adapting entertainment technologies to novel applications, Opaque Multimedia specializes in altering, extending and combining existing and emerging technologies and design techniques to solve problems in a range of domains.
Opaque Multimedia has significant expertise in Unreal and other game engines, especially plugin and renderer development; VR tools and applications; conducting research and interfacing with academia; and developer experience design. Opaque Multimedia extends entertainment technologies with designs and innovations from computer vision, bionics, robotics, artificial intelligence and data analysis to solve problems in a range of complexities and contexts.
Opaque works closely with some of the largest tech companies in world, including Microsoft, Google, Valve and NASA; partnering to develop innovative, cutting-edge solutions.