Works with your webcam to turn you into a real character
Windows 10 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7
FaceRig is an application that will map the facial expressions of a user onto a virtual three-dimensional avatar in real-time. The program is designed to be used with streaming video services such as Google Hangouts and Skype. The concept is that you can actually become a virtual computer-generated character during video conferencing sessions to help protect your anonymity or even roleplay. FaceRig was created by experienced game developers who wanted to extend in-game avatars to the real world.
FaceRig uses the webcam in a computer or laptop to automatically track facial features while running. The webcam detects key points on your face such as the eyes, eyebrows and mouth. It then correlates those points to positions on a dynamic three-dimensional mesh. The mesh is textured to form the avatar people will see online.
FaceRig can work with a few different streaming services. The application does this by capturing the data stream as it is being broadcast. FaceRig re-encodes the data replacing the webcam image with the rendered avatar. It can even modify your voice to make it match the avatar better.
Something else you can do with FaceRig is to create prerecorded animations. You can talk into the camera to make various expressions and then record them to a video file. That file can be uploaded to websites like YouTube or even inserted into other videos using editing software.
Users have access to a very large library of avatars within the basic FaceRig package. Most of the avatars are different types of animals. You will also find avatars such as demons, wizards and fantastical monsters. Anime avatars are plentiful with many being generic archetypes of characters. A few odd avatars are available like a cheeseburger. A final library of licensed video game and pop culture avatars exists as well.
If you do not see an avatar that you like, then FaceRig allows you to make a custom one. You can do this using a variety of free tools and applications. It takes a little time and practice although it allows for infinite options. The avatars can even be given special gestures to perform such as sticking out a tongue or throwing up hands. Those gestures are activated using the keyboard and mouse instead of motion tracking.
There are a few drawbacks that come with FaceRig. The first is that you need a relatively good webcam and computer to use the software correctly. Another issue is that there are glitches within the application. Synchronization between the webcam and avatar can fall apart over time. You might even see graphics glitches when attempting complicated expressions.
FaceRig is a program that is always being improved. New features, voices and avatars are being added all the time. The developers are actively taking feedback from the user community. This includes making the application compatible with a larger number of online streaming services. This has made FaceRig one of the most versatile and unique applications of this type available today.
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