Gamescom 2017: Star Citizen demos ‘real-time, player-driven facial animation’

If you skipped out on the Star Citizen Gamescom presentation, you missed out on some pretty good stuff. You also missed out on an hour of awkward preshow and a loooong wait when one of the demo machines crashed mid-show, true, but there was plenty of good stuff too go around, headlined by Cloud Imperium’s collaboration with Faceware. Anybody remember SOEmote? Yeah, it’s that: “real-time, player-driven facial animation.”

“The new feature will track players’ facial expressions and movement, then reproduce them on their avatars in-game, allowing for the most immersive and realistic player-to-player communication. […] Using Faceware’s soon-to-be-released facial motion sensor, this new feature enables Cloud Imperium and any Star Citizen to detect hundreds of facial movements in a variety of lighting conditions. Those movements are then instantly streamed onto the character’s face, in-game, a critical element in creating believable digital faces. The feature can also be used with the computer’s built-in webcam, though the quality of facial detection may vary.”

Seen as a demo during the presentation, it looked pretty cool, if the crowd’s gasps and claps are any judge, though I found the moving-camera bit a tad nauseating to watch without my being at the controls myself. Will facial animation catch on this time? Guess we’ll see.

Source: Press release
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123 Comments on "Gamescom 2017: Star Citizen demos ‘real-time, player-driven facial animation’"

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Space Captain Zor

Just FYI, this feature has been planned for since as early as 2013. It was talked about in an episode of Wingman’s Hangar back in the day. Source.

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Toy Clown

I have a hard time understanding the negative comments I’ve read here. I think Star Citizen is doing amazing things with this MMO. To me, they’re creating that holodeck from Star Trek for the gamers. I see the future of gaming with the SC creation in that here’s a game that’s getting us off our butts, so to speak, and getting us animated while we play. I suspect that one day there will be full-sized simulators coming our way with motion sensors connected to our entire bodies. How neat it would be to actually have to run to get our characters to run! Talk about the full exercise regime!

I hope SC keeps bringing innovative features to the game. I enjoy seeing the creative minds at work here doing things I’ve never seen before. I’m happy to see them reaching for the stars (so to speak) in new gaming tech.

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Melissa McDonald

VR fulfils many of the things you speak of. I just hope their VR support is real and not merely “on the roadmap”.

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Adam Harrington

(DISCLAIMER: I can only skim come of the stuff you guys cover. So if I repeat, forgive.)

Too much baggage on it for VR and this. I mean someone below said the helmet would destroy the whole faceware.

Then people wouldn’t use it because the turning of the head. The entire thing hits too home if VR would make me have to do a workout I don’t need when I come walking in the door if I was having shoulder pain.

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Melissa McDonald

SOEmote became very popular for making machinima videos, I predict this will be very appealing for that purpose. Heck, I will probably try my hand at making one :)

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Melissa McDonald

So… they made Ser Davos?

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veldara
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veldara

There is a distinct lack of focus and the feature bloat that this game is experiencing is symptomatic of that problem. I find it worrisome that for veteran developers to fall prey to this rather surprising. It’s pretty much game development 101 at this point that the team should focus on the core gameplay and add on to it after release.

Skoryy
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Skoryy

I’m left wondering at what point did we pass fundraising for an actual game on our way to fleecing the whales with new shinies. Can someone drag Curt Schilling from whatever right-wing radio green room he’s camping this week and have him explain to Chris Roberts what happens when the economy goes splat and the funding dries up?

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Victor Morales

Oh you mean when a Governor sinks your video game company for political reasons… Stop already with the comparisons. Anyone with a brain knows this is a scam at this point. They have had soooo much money pumped into it and its still not out.

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Ket Viliano

If we are gunna talk 38 Studios, it would do well to remember that Wells Fargo handled the 78 million bond raise, and only disbursed 55 mm. Shilling was cleared, so he did not get the money, who did? That missing 23 mm has to be around somewhere.

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Melissa McDonald

Wells has been a disaster in 2017, that might be your answer.

Solaris
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Solaris

I’m not a whale in any sense but I’ll take all these shinies!

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Lethality

In a few years, when Star Citizen might launch, all online games will be expected to have this kind of tech. So, it’s a good move.

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Melissa McDonald

quite recently I was lamenting that SOEmote, similar tech in EverQuest 2, didn’t get an HD reboot in EQN. Looks like my prayers were sorta answered here, although the guys in the video stream made some weird faces lol.

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Adam Harrington

Great job, Davos Seaworth’s eyes have gone wacky-ass from not wearing eclipse glasses. Wonderful.

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Melissa McDonald

I should have read down before posting :)

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Adam Harrington

You know I’m just messing with ya about the topical right? :P

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Adam Harrington

Great minds. Mine was also topical though. ;)

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Adam Harrington

Topical as in, was in the news. And no I was not sending that last one so I could go “hey chick, looks like we got something in common so I am gonna be creepy…”.
I’m terrified to post anything because everyone might take it the wrong way.

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Adam Harrington

I kid I kid. :P

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kidwithknife

To be fair, it may be the case that this tech can be added pretty easily and isn’t taking away dev resources from the things that are holding the game’s release back. It’s not as if the bottleneck at Cloud Imperium is face rendering or something. Not a great PR moment though, and I can’t say I’d be terribly interested in this feature even if I were interested in SC.