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.