Facial Motion Capture for VFX and Games

by Aug 21, 2017Head

Facial Motion Capture

Facial motion capture is another topic of 3d animation, which definitelly can not to be overlooked if youre studio is serious about delivering stunning visuals. The topic is split into a few categories.

The first thing that needs to happen is video data capture of an actor must be aquired. This can be done with one or more video cameras or a head mounted system.

Secondly, the captured video is fed into software which solves and analysises facial features or tracker points onto a facial animation rig.

Lastly, a facial animation rig mixes and blends different Facial Action Units (FACS) of a facial 3d scan with topology suitable for character animation together to create facial expressions.

There are a number of technologies that exist that can help small indie game and vfx studios maximize the value they deliver to their clients.

Facial Motion Capture technology providers are:

  • Faceware
  • Faceshift
  • Dynamixyz
  • DI4D
  • FaceFX

Latest facial motion capture solvers all try to work withing the constraints of FACS based facial 3d animation rigs. Even thought on the surface facial control rigs may seem pretty simple, the underlying blend logic which mixes face morph targets can achieve virtually unlimited number of combinations.

But, behind all this great sounding potential is a sinkhole to which you must custom-tailor your system. For one, a feature-heavy facial rig of your 3d character may not be suitable for your type of game or VR application and, on the contrary, a rig too lite may not be suitable for your Visual Effects shot in a feature film.

We expect it will take a while for both fields to merge where a universal VFX quality rig may be used for both: games and film, as the overhead will be quite substantial.

Contact us to find out how we can help you customise your 3d character and digital double production pipeline.

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Best Regards,

Ruslan Vasylev

Ruslan Vasylev



Professional 3D Modeler with 17 years of combined VFX and Games experience, managing Vancouver-based 3D Scanning Studio,

Servicing Visual Effects for Film, Television, Games and Virtual Reality production studios.