Being able to drive facial animation without tracking markers is now possible inside the 3d animation software iClone 7 conceptualized by Reallusion by collaborating with Faceware Technologies, Inc.
The collaboration is designed to enable real-time facial tracking using as little as just a webcam to drive natural human expressions onto animated character faces.
Let’s look at how Reallusion and Faceware combined their technologies to get the new tool.
If one is already a Reallusion iClone user, then he’ll know that the software leans heavily towards the creation of animated characters and avatars. It already includes several methods for facial mapping and lip-sync, with real-time playback.
Meanwhile, Faceware has been offering facial capture hardware and software for several years (the tool has been used for video games such as Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and The Witcher 3, and in feature film visual effects and animation and VR projects).
Faceware’s partnership with Reallusion involves plugins for iClone that enable markerless capture using a single PC camera or Faceware’s proprietary head cameras.
Users just have to sit through a short calibration process designed to teach Faceware what your face looks like in a neutral pose. It then tracks and captures key facial features as you perform voice tracks and head actions. This capture can then drive an animated character or avatar, in real-time if necessary.
Reallusion revised iClone’s 3d character faces to 60 morph shapes – there had previously been 30 – to make the characters ‘Faceware-ready.’ The resulting animation can be motion edited and intensity adjusted through slider bars.
Characters and animation made in iClone are already exportable as FBX files to game engines or 3d applications like Unreal Engine, Unity, Maya, and 3ds Max.