Facerig: Avatar for $15
Real-time face animation for your mobile or PC, for gaming, chats, and film recording…
Facerig by HoloTech Studios
At some point, every furry has asked themselves this question: Why can’t I be a red panda with goggles? Isn’t modern anthropomorphic science up to the task?
Yes, yes it is.
FaceRig, now on Indiegogo, is a real-time animation software application for your webcam or mobile device, which transforms the user’s facial into the actions of an on-screen character. We deeply respect the FaceRig’s team’s decision to go with a fuzzy red panda as their main example character, and will honor their wishes here. They use the term “Digital Alter-Ego Framework” to describe their project, which is a bit wordy but, useful.
Still shots don’t do FaceRig justice, because the product’s really about motion and voice, so…watch the video. Experience the panda. Because when the actress’s “digital alter-ego” wiggles its little nose, you’ll melt.
What else, what else…FaceRig’s main focus is on chatstuff, Skype and GoogleHangouts, the livestreaming channel TwitchTV, and such. FaceRig’s a general interaction tool, and that covers a lot of ground. It also records to video, and with the ability to add props, voice alteration, music and sound effects, and custom backgrounds (which, happily, affect the ambient and direct lighting on the digital avatar), provides a fair amount of utility for making films. Initially the program plans to launch with 10 characters–we’ve seen the red panda, Anime girl, some sort of devil, and a scary military fellow for narrating real-time shooters. Their ongoing business model assumes occasional new characters as purchasable add-ons at a reasonable price. Users can presumably develop their own, but your mileage may vary.
We are also promised a karaoke mode, which Satan Himself is modeling at left. Merry Christmas!
The big open question for this project is, “What’s next?” Unfortunately, as some of my friends pointed out, the dev team isn’t really working the stretch goals angle–and stretch goals aren’t just a cheesy way to get more money, they build energy and help your fans evangelize….”well, with just $4,000 more we could get PAWS!” sort of thing. The team talks a lot about where they’re heading, but with few seriously concrete details–expand to include input from LEAP Motion, Kinect, Neuroband, and other commercially available sensors, expand the what-all Facerig tracks. Neat stuff, and there’s talk of mapping out proper stretch goals, but at launch, no, not yet.
On the subject of the crowdfunding elements of the project–damn, this should have been launched on Kickstarter, it’s a solid product. It’s been pointed out to me that it’s an international campaign and seems to be launching a beta version instead of a final product, and Kickstarter doesn’t like to pay for salaries/overhead and test batches. And a minor note from a crowdfunding aficionado, nice navigation! I haven’t seen anyone use anchors to guide the reader like this, it’s a good touch.
Holotech Studios, the project’s developers, have some useful partners. They’re working with Visage Technologies, a team that helped create some of the current face and body digitizing standards. Check out their page for interesting wire-frame models and a fun aside about virtual eyewear modeling. They’re halfway to goal as of day 3, and currently the #1 “new project” on IndieGogo, so glad to see IGG’s mythical “GoGo Factor” is working for someone. Good luck!
Follow @Furstarter on Twitter for dailyish updates from the world of fur-funding! Note: Images used above are included to promote the work of crowdfunding artists, and are owned by the original creator.
Bersl December 21, 2013
I threw my money at the screen, and for once, it was accepted. :D
Corbeau December 21, 2013
Hah! Crowdfunding, a simple 47-step process…
Deeg December 22, 2013
I fear buyer’s remorse might be high for this. It looks like what they are doing is passing the costs of the license on to the buyers, and basically just generating a software front end for this already available tech.
1). Lag. I suspect there’s a reason why the model only emotes and not speaks. I wonder if the streams were post-production synchronized as well. Synchronization to voice might not possible for a live stream.
2). Glasses. Can face-rig track consistently through them? I have my doubts, and more than a number of folks wear them.
3). Models. The idea that you can just rig all those ‘existing’ models is probably very labor intensive. It’s alluring, I admit – that red panda is dreadfully compelling.
However, there’s other crowd funding projects ongoing now that could forward the interests of the fandom with fewer nagging doubts.
Corbeau December 22, 2013
Thanks for the feedback, Deeg! Every time I look at a video game or tech product I’m faced with the reality that I’m an analog dog in a digital world, and I don’t know what questions to ask/answers to look for in a tech product. Appreciated!
Atrius97 May 4, 2014
Since this video came out, they have videos showing people:
Wearing Glasses while being tracked: Works perfectly.
Using a shitty camera in a badly lit room: Works fairly well.
Talking, (Voice Changer included): Syncs up, and works perfectly.
A Video of a Fan Made Model being used: Rigged up and working.
Customization: Sliders, Skins, and Custom Models galore.
Corbeau May 12, 2014
AND there’s a wolf avatar now, too!
Blackwolf420(Matt) September 17, 2014
Just got an early access copy of face rig yesterday pretty simple easy to use but fairly demanding on resourses from your computer. I can run it fine on my desktop but it will crash within moments of startup on my laptop.(mind you my desktop is a custom built gaming rig). Avatars a pretty easy to customize. So far furry wise there are a few different avatars Theres; Fluffo (the red panda featured in the video),Moon Moon (more like a feral style wolf), Danny (Male anthro wolf),Kathy (Female anthro fox, Doge (Domestic dog), Machy (Domestic cat). All of these avatars you can easily change a base furcolor and a highlight furcolor all to custom shades. individualy change each eyes color. It is actually a pretty functional program for still being in dev. As I said I only just got the beta of the program yesterday and so far I’m liking it.
Just also saying that all facial feature trackers can be easily calibrated with with an auto cal. option.
Don October 9, 2014
Hello, just wondering if the whole thing could eventually work from an Ipad?
Corbeau October 18, 2014
You know, I don’t know, I just review Kickstarter projects here :)
facerig crack January 2, 2016
As a lot of of you could know, our exit from Early Access and the release
of FaceRig 1. was set to take place at the finish of June
provided that there were no upsetting bugs left.