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Face Plus Documentation

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Summary

Face Plus is a plugin for Unity Pro 4.3 - 4.6 and MotionBuilder 2014 which enables developers to create high quality 3D facial capture and animation, in real time, using just a webcam or recorded video.  Leveraging blendshape technology and Mixamo's unique rigging and animation algorithms, Face Plus empowers game developers to be even more ambitiouswith storytelling and bring compelling, emotionally rich characters to life in record time, at extremely low cost.

 

Features

Features for Unity Plugin

  • Record facial animation in real time with your webcam.
  • Use a pre-recorded video to record facial animation.
  • Automatic blendshapes and 1-click configuration for Fuse characters.
  • Facial Calibration presets for fine tuned control.
  • Immediately usable .anims
  • Record audio and video simultaneously.
  • Blendshape and Joint-Driven animation options.

Features for MotionBuilder Plugin

  • Record facial animation in real time with your webcam.
  • Use a pre-recorded video to record facial animation.
  • Automatic blendshapes for Fuse characters.
  • Offset and Gain settings for fine tuned control.
  • Exportable .fbx animations.

 

System Requirements

  • Mixamo Indie or All Access level plan
  • Unity Pro 4.3 to 4.6 or MotionBuilder 2014

Note: Face Plus is not compatible with Unity 5 or Motion Builder 2015.

Windows

  • Windows 7 / 8
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Fast computer and video card.
  • Open CL 1.1 + Compatible Video Card
    • Intel HD series 4000 +
    • NVIDIA GeForce series 400 +
    • AMD Radeon HD 5000 +

Mac

  • OS 10.9.2  - 10.9.x  (OS 10.10 is not compatible)
  • Open CL 1.2 Compatibility
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Fast computer and video card.
  • Open CL 1.2 Compliant Hardware
    • iMac 2012 +
    • MacPro 2010 +
    • MacBook pro mid-2011 +
    • MacBook Air 2012 +

  

Face Plus for Unity

Installation

  1. Check that your system meets the minimum requirements.
  2. Download Face Plus for Unity from www.mixamo.com in the My Software section of the user menu.
  3. Extract the .unitypackage from the .zip.
  4. Open any "standalone" platform Unity Project and import the package by using the File Menus to select Assets > Import Package > Custom Package.

Interface

After Face Plus is installed the interface can be accessed via the File Menu options Window > Mixamo Face Plus.  This will open a new pane which can be docked anywhere within the Unity interface.  The main Face Plus window is divided into six regions:

  • Login
  • Configuration (only shows up once logged in)
  • Calibration (only shows up once logged in)
  • Recording (only shows up once logged in).
  • Example Scenes
  • Support

Login

At the top of the Face Plus window is the login region.  By default this will include two fields, the first for your e-mail and the second for your password and a button to login.  You must be logged in with your Mixamo account to use Face Plus.

After logging in only your e-mail will be displayed and the Recording, Calibration and Configuration regions will become active.

Configuration

Configuration for characters involves attaching scripts to the game objects of the character so that the Face Plus plugin can access and manipulate the blend shapes.  For Fuse characters we have included a one-click button labeled "Configure Fuse Character".  Pressing this button will allow you to select a character from your scene and will automatically attach scripts with correct references for any Fuse character.

For non-Fuse characters you'll need to manually attach the scripts "Face Plus Shaper" and "Face Plus Connector" to the character game object and select the head, eye, and mesh for the required fields.

Calibration

Once a character has been configured you can create a calibration preset for that character.  A calibration preset is a mapping of the relationship between your facial motions and the characters blend shapes.  To begin press the "Create a Calibration Preset" button and choose a character.

To calibrate look at your screen and make each of the required faces beginning at the top.  After making the face listed, press the 'set' button to save the relationship settings.  When you create the facial expression keep in mind that it will be used as the maximum value for that blend shape.

After setting all of the facial expressions click the Save button.  The preset will be saved as a .txt file.  It is recommended that you create a different preset for each actor/character combination and name it accordingly in a format such as ActorName_CharacterName_FacePlusPreset.txt.  This is because different actors and characters have different features and the mapping between them is unique.

To use a calibration preset just assign the .txt preset asset to the "Preset" field of the Face Plus Shaper script component on your configured character.

Recording

The recording region will show the current animation take you are working with and has controls to create new takes, find an existing take, start the recording scene and recording options.

Pressing the Start Scene button or the main Unity play button will initialize Face Plus and begin live tracking.  To record, you'll need to make sure your figure is first configured to use Face Plus.

To begin recording create a new take so the animation information can be saved then choose your settings:

  • Capture Mode
    • Realtime:  Captures live from your selected webcam.
    • Video File:  Select a video file to record from.
  • Microphone:  Choose a microphone to record audio simultaneously with your video capture, or leave as disabled to only capture video.
  • Camera:  Choose which webcam you want to record from.

Use the red record button to begin recording.  Press stop when you are done and the animation will be baked and saved as a .anim and audio as a .wav.

These assets can be used fully with Unity as any other .anim and .wav file would be!

Example Scenes

The Face Plus .unitypackage comes standard with three example scenes, each designed to show you a different setup.

  • Blendshapes Example Scene:  Features our character "Battery Boy" with custom made blend shapes to show how expressive a cartoon character can be made.
  • Fuse Example Scene:  Features our character "Petra" from our character creator application, Fuse.  All Fuse characters come with automatic blend shapes generated during auto-rigging.
  • Joint-Based Example Scene:  Features our character "Battery Boy" with a custom facial joint rig to show how a joint-based setup should be connected.

 

Support

Run into a question or problem?  We've included a link to the Face Plus Documentation directly in Face Plus so you can get answers quickly.  Having a problem that hasn't been covered?  Check out the rest of our community for FAQs, tutorials, and questions and answers in our forums.

 

Face Plus for MotionBuilder 2014

Installation

  1. Check that your system meets the minimum requirements.
  2. Download Face Plus for MotionBuilder from www.mixamo.com in the My Software section of the user menu.
  3. Navigate to your MotionBuilder 2014 binary folder - usually ~:\ProgramFiles\Autodesk\MotionBuilder 2014\bin\
  4. Extract the x64 directory from the downloaded .zip file into the MotionBuilder 2014 binary folder to merge the x64 folder.

Interface

After Face Plus is installed it will be available as a device in all MotionBuilder scenes.  To begin using Face Plus just open an Asset Browser window, click on the Devices tab and drag the "mixamo device" into the scene.

In the Navigator panel a new device called mixamo device will be available.  The Mixamo UI is spread across several tabs in the mixamo device and faceplus driver.

 

Mixamo Device

On the left side of the Mixamo Device you'll find status indicators.  These are labeled as:

  • Online:  Indicates whether you are logged in and connected to Mixamo.
  • Live:  When this is on Face Plus is actively tracking the face either through webcam or video.
  • Recording:  Sets the facial animation as recordable.
  • Model Binding:  

On the right side of the Mixamo Device you'll find two tabs, Main and Map.

The Main tab has the controls for your Face Plus input.

  • Login:  Sign in with your Mixamo account e-mail and password.
  • Camera Input:  Choose to use a webcam for live tracking and select the web cam you want to use.
  • Video Input:  Choose to use a pre-recorded video file for tracking and select the file you want to use.  Videos can also be set to be transposed (flipped on their side) and set as recording triggers.  A video that is a recording trigger will begin recording as soon as you press play.

 

The Map tab contains a node for each of the potential blendshapes that Face Plus can control with two settings per node, offset and gain.

  • Offset:  This can be used to set a constant offset for each blend shape.  For example, if you want your character to look more friendly you might want to use an offset on the mouth to give a smile.  The offset is applied on top of all recorded animation.
  • Gain:  Gain is essentially a sensitivity setting.  If you want to have more dramatic movement, the gain should be increased.  If you want to reduce the extremity of recording, the gain should be decreased.

 

FaceplusDriver

In the Devices tab the mixamo device can be rolled out to show the FacePlusDriver.  Double clicking will open the Face Plus Driver mapping.  This is a mapping between the mixamo device and the meshes that Face Plus should be recording.  

 

By default most Fuse characters should have the full range of blendshapes connected but you may need to manually come and connect or disconnect some depending on the type of facial recording you are trying to get.  For example, you could disconnect the Head_Joint and mixamorig:Head connection if you didn't want to record head movement.

 

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