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Saving Face -- FaceStation's Sensor-Based Technology Makes Facial Capture Quick and Easy

Real-time Capture or Capture From Previous Videos By Denise Harrison
FaceStationLet's face it. Capturing a performer's mug for animated characters - shape as well as expressions - is tedious, and accurately portraying different expressions is a tricky job. The more accurate the capture, however, the easier on the animator.

That's the idea behind Eyematic's FaceStation, a software and hardware system that the company says allows animators to create and drive facial character animation in real time.

We had a chance to see the product when it was shown at SIGGRAPH this year.
My co-worker, Dave Nagel, who produces the highly successful www.CreativeMac.com, was our performer during the demo. It was so simple - Dave just walked up to the capture system, turned his face a few different directions and the system zoned in on the capture points with sensors - no markers or tape needed.

It is integrated with Discreet's 3ds max or Alias|Wavefront's Maya and the end-result demo we saw (available by clicking here, -- it's the one called "Leaving the Fold" by Shout Interactive) was just gorgeous. Yes, a lot of the beauty came from the animation software, but just check out the character's expressions! Remarkable. And it's captured from a simple digital video camera.

Besides real-time capture, the system includes Eyematic's FaceLifter, which lets you to lift the tracking data from previously recorded videos. The system ships with a high-end PC and video capture card, the digital video camera, and the software. Eyematic FaceStation also includes Eyematic Avatar Editor, a tool for creating custom avatars from a front and profile character image.

Eyematic FaceDriver., which is sold separately, is used for inputting to the animation software. With FaceDriver, animator can use the facial tracking data to drive facial morph targets, or to drive bones for use with the Skin or Physique modifiers.

For complete information on Eyematic and Eyematic FaceStation, visit http://www.eyematic.com or call 310-342-2944.

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Related Keywords:FaceStation, facial capture, animation


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