Faceware improves markerless mocap solution
March 21, 2013

Faceware improves markerless mocap solution

SHERMAN OAKS, CA — Faceware Technologies (www.facewaretech.com), which offers markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, has unveiled Retargeter 4.0, an upgrade to its Faceware software. The upcoming release focuses on automating more of the facial motion capture process, as well as simplifying creative collaboration. Retargeter 4.0 is a lightweight plug-in to Autodesk Maya, 3DS Max, Softimage and MotionBuilder. It is part of Faceware’s professional product line. 
The Expression Sets feature is 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 a project. Expression Sets define the style and look of the universal shapes and movements of a character to drive AutoSolve.
AutoSolve combines the data from IMPD files generated from Faceware Analyzer, along with pre-defined facial poses or Expression Sets. AutoSolve can automatically create animation on a video performance with the simple click of a button, giving artists a first pass in a matter of minutes that they can then fine tune through the Retargeter pose-driven workflow.  
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 use 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.
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.
The release 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 Maya 2010-2013, 3DS Max 2010-2013, MotionBuilder 2010-2013 and Softimage 2010-2013.