Faceware technologies has announced that it is to offer unlimited access to its Faceware software and hardware products to students, minus the cost associated with the rental or the option head-mounted camera system, if required.
Making this technology available to students learning the craft of 3D facial animation for use in the videogame, film, television and commercial industries has been a major objective for the company for some time. “With our new Educational Program, schools will have the ability to train student animators in this cutting-edge form of animation within our industry leading tools prior to launching graduates into a fast-paced production environment,” said Ron Ryder, CEO of Faceware Technologies.
The program has been tested at a select number of universities, including the University of Portsmouth where the first student production to use Faceware’s Professional Product Line was created, titled Stina and the Wolf. Using Faceware’s software, the student-run production completed four minutes of detailed facial animation with only a handful of junior animators and one senior animator in four weeks. The clip can be seen below, and following that, the full press release.
FACEWARE TECHNOLOGIES ROLLS OUT NEW EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
Students Can Now Create High-Fidelity Facial Performances Free of Charge
SANTA MONICA, Calif., August 1st, 2012 – Faceware Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of 3D facial animation software and hardware for the video game, film, television and commercial industries, today announced that it is rolling out its Educational Program to educational institutions around the world. The new program, which is currently being tested by a select number of universities including the UK’s University of Portsmouth, will allow students to create high-fidelity facial animation with the Faceware Professional Software Products, free of charge. Faceware is showcasing the first student project created with its technology, Stina and the Wolf, in booth #1129 at Siggraph 2012.
“Creating detailed and convincing animated facial performances is arguably one of the toughest challenges any animator faces in the 3d world,” said Ron Ryder, CEO of Faceware Technologies. “With our new Educational Program, schools will have the ability to train student animators in this cutting-edge form of animation with our industry leading tools prior to launching graduates into a fast-paced production environment.”
The Faceware Professional Product Line consists of software and hardware technology to handle every step in the production of high-quality facial animation: video performance capture, performance analysis, and facial animation creation. Faceware’s Analyzer and Retargeter software are free of charge; however, studios and commercial clients must pay a processing fee for the analysis for the captured performance.
With the Educational Program, Faceware is waiving the processing fees to give all students access to free and unlimited use of Analyzer and Retargeter for educational purposes. The only cost associated with the program is for the rental of the optional head-mounted camera system (HMCS), if needed.
Giving free and unlimited access to Faceware software products allows students to take advantage of the Company’s extensive knowledge and research in computer vision techniques in facial and gesture recognition, and to draw on the Company’s vast experience in providing facial animation on groundbreaking projects such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Wolfman, the Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, Halo: Reach and many others.
“The animation industry continues to evolve, and keeping students not only informed about, but trained on, the latest tools is immensely important to the long-term health of our program and the success of our students,” said Alex Counsell, Senior Informatics Officer at Portsmouth’s School of Creative Technologies. “Faceware’s suite of tools is arguably the most proven, advanced and easy to learn facial animation technology on the market. Just look at what we did in a matter of weeks for our Stina and the Wolf trailer and the benefits of Faceware become clear.”
The first student production to use Faceware’s Professional Product Line is Portsmouth’s Stina and the Wolf. Using Faceware’s software, Portsmouth’s student-run production completed four (4) minutes of detailed facial animation with only a handful of junior animators and one (1) senior animator in four (4) weeks. A clip from the movie can be seen here: http://vimeo.com/46285003.
Educational institutions interested in Faceware’s Educational Program should fill out the inquiry form online at www.facewaretech.com/education. For more information on the technology and the company, visit www.facewaretech.com.
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About Faceware Technologies
Santa Monica, Calif.-based Faceware Technologies Inc. (FTI), which spun off from Image Metrics in 2012, is dedicated to meeting the needs of professional animators in the video game, film, television, and commercial industries. The company’s Faceware product line has been utilized in the production of more than 50 AAA video game titles, feature films, music videos, and stage plays, and is the leading facial animation solution provider for clients such as Double Negative, Digital Domain, Blur Studios, Activision-Blizzard, Rockstar Games, Microsoft, 2K Sports, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, Sony, Bethesda, Motion Theory and Moving Picture Company. The Faceware Professional Product Line consists of the Faceware Head-Mounted Camera System (HMCS), the 5th generation facial performance capture hardware; Faceware Analyzer, which allows clients to analyze and process their own videos without IP or content going offsite; and Faceware Retargeter, which allows users to create facial animation at a much faster rate than traditional methods.
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