Kinect motion-capture pioneer Jasper Brekelmans has released Brekel Kinect Pro Face, a new application for recording and streaming 3D facial animation data via Microsoft’s game peripheral.
The system is markerless, and requires no special makeup or calibration, unlike some similar technologies.
Export point or shape data
In addition to tracking head position and rotation and raw position data, Brekel Kinect Pro tracks 11 shape units and 6 animation units based on the Candide face model.
These animation units act as deltas from the neutral pose that can be used to drive morph targets on a 3D model, enabling the facial movements of the animated character to follow those of a live actor.
Stream directly to MotionBuilder
Data is recorded in FBX format, and can be streamed directly into MotionBuilder 2009 and above or Unity, the latter via a C# script. Reference audio and video are captured simultaneously.
If it works reliably, the system looks like an ideal solution for anyone from indie developers up to animators at larger facilities wanting to record quick-and-dirty reference data without leaving their desks.
Brekel Kinect Pro is available now for 32 and 64-bit Windows, price $99.
Updated 20 July: Miguel Benitez from mobile game developer Kaio Interactive has just posted a method of streaming data from Brekel Kinect Pro straight into 3ds Max, without the need for MotionBuilder. Read it here.
Visit Jasper Brekelmans’ website
(Includes download link for the trial version of Brekel Kinect Pro Face)
Download the full documentation for Brekel Kinect Pro Face