From: DexX

Check out this stuff! I have no idea about facial motion capture, but I’m thinking Gollum maybe! Check it out!

My company, Beam Software, has a facial motion capture and voice recording system called Famous, and apparently it is being used for facial mo’cap in tLotR. One of the top Famous guys is going over the NZ for a couple of weeks to explain it all to them. The website is Ta! 🙂

(tip: check out their Client List, look at the bottom name!)

After checking out the site, I found out a bit more:

FAMOUSFaces™ provides an intuitive interface for animating faces, allowing you to quickly and easily animate dialog and facial expressions.

FAMOUSFaces™ is a standalone program running under Windows NT 4.0 which works seamlessly with 3DStudio Max2-3, Maya, SoftImage and Lightwave 5.6, enabling you to use specialized animation tools with your existing polygonal or Nurbs models. Famous may be launched from within your Favorite animation package, allowing facial animation to be integrated into a larger scene for final rendering.

The key to the usability of FAMOUSFaces™ is the “Clustering” process which allows intuitive 3D painting of the mesh to define areas of the face that may be moved independantly and blended to create complex expressions. Individual Clusters or whole target poses may be driven by separate motion Channels.

Motion Channel input sources range from an inexpensive 2D video camera tracker, through to voice recognition software, and live 3D Motion Capture hardware.

Current supported systems include Vicon, Motion Analysis, Xist, Phoenix, Kaydara Voice reality and FAMOUSFaces vTracker. You can even load in audio and video files and hand animate Clusters using easily defined target poses and the integrated Keyframer.

A high degree of control over the face’s behaviour is made easy in the design of the interface. Exaggeration and directional skewing of facial movements can be controlled by direct manipulation.

FAMOUSFaces™ open architecture even allows you to write expressions describing how Clusters respond to Channel inputs.

In keyframing mode, motion data can be adjusted to perfect and customize moments during the animation. Unlike other animation packages, FAMOUSFaces™ keyframer interpolates changes to motion capture data from the keyframes the user sets.