Faceware Technologies unveils a major update to its facial motion capture techology, Retargeter

Expect a massive leap in Facial animations in games.

Posted By | On 23rd, Mar. 2013 Under News


Faceware Technologies has taken the lid off Retargeter 4.0, the next stage in evolution of its award-winning 3D facial motion capture technology.

For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Retargeter is a Faceware software used for capturing facial motion and reproducing it in rendered images. It’s been used in a copious amount of big name game releases, including Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed, God of War,Halo, NBA 2K,Red Dead Redemption, and Crysis 3 which is renowned for its visual presentation.

“In February, we announced that Retargeter 4.0 is coming. As soon as we did, artists began contacting us to find out more information,” said Peter Busch, Vice President of Business Development at Faceware Technologies. “So in an effort to meet their requests, we’re now disclosing more details. While I can’t reveal all of the features that will make it into the final release, I can say that every feature, especially AutoSolve, focuses on increasing the quality of your starting point and speeding the more mundane elements of hand animating so that artists can more quickly get to the part that matters: perfecting and polishing performances that set their CG characters apart.”

Here’s the list of new features included in Retargeter:

  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • 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.


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