What if you could chat with your friends as your favorite animated character, or even have your characters in MMOs like World of Warcraft mimic your own expressions? Well, indie developer Holotech studios is currently developing on something like that with their new FaceRig software. Right now the studio is working on having the program integrate with video apps like Skype and Google Hangouts so that you can use one of the avatars from their character packs for your online interactions. Holotech describes it as “digital cosplay,” and in their video they show three different characters you can embody: a steampunk-looking fox, a horned demon, and a big-eyed anime girl.
According to their video, it appears that the software works quite well translating your expressions from a webcam feed to the digital character, and each character even had slight differences to give them individuality. For example, when they were singing karaoke with the demon, sparks shot out of its mouth every time a “la” sound was made. One plan the studio has is to have real-time voice pre-processing so that you sound like more like the character. They also have plans to develop more character packs, as well as allow their user base to develop their own in the future, too.
This is a pretty awesome concept, something I don’t think anyone thought would really be possible for us non-Hollywood regular joesto use, even a few years ago. It’s amazing what some of these small companies are doing with their talent, and I really hope to see them succeed. Can you imagine future MMORPG games working with studios like this to integrate these ideas into major titles, further immersing you into the world? I’m pretty excited to see where the future takes us.
FaceRig was recently greenlit by Steam for distribution, and is currently is currently on the Indiegogo crowdfunding site until February 5. Although they have already met their goal by more than double, you can still donate if you’re interested. If you donate even as little as $5, you are guaranteed a copy of the software. The more you donate, the more perks you get, such as free access to all future character packs, extra copies, mobile copies, etc. If the idea is something you’re more interested in, check out their website and Indiegogo pages, linked above, as well as their concept page on Steam Greenlight. You can also chat with them through Facebook or follow them on Twitter!