SHERMAN OAKS, CA — Faceware Technologies, A provider of markerless 3D facial motion-capture solutions, has announced Retargeter 4.0, a major upgrade to its Faceware software. The new software’s 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 is on display at this year's Game Developers Conference in booth #1036.
Retargeter 4.0 is a lightweight plug-in to Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Softimage and Autodesk MotionBuilder. It is part of Faceware's 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,
God of War,
Red Dead Redemption, and many others. Most recently, Faceware Technologies products were used to create acclaimed performances in Crytek's
Crysis 3, Square Enix's
Sleeping Dogs, Yash Raj Films
Ek Tha Tiger, and the upcoming release of Toei Animation's
Space Pirate Captain Harlock.
Retargeter 4.0 key features include:
Expression Sets - 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.
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AutoSolve - Combining the data from IMPD files generated from Faceware Analyzer along with pre-defined facial poses or 'Expression Sets', Retargeter's 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."
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Tracking Visualization - 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.
Batch Functionality - 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.
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, 3ds Max 2010-2013, MotionBuilder 2010-2013, and Softimage 2010-2013.