Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

FaceBuilder creates 3D head models directly inside Nuke

Originally posted on 26 July 2017. Scroll down for news of the commercial release.

Plugin developer KeenTools has released FaceBuilder, an intriguing new Nuke tool that generates accurate textured 3D head models from source photographs of live actors, directly inside Nuke.

The plugin, which is still in beta, promises to achieve the kind of results that would normally only be possible with specialist photogrammetry software or 3D scan data, in under five minutes of manual work.

Create accurate 3D reconstructions of live actors from source photos inside Nuke
Users begin by importing photos of an actor into Nuke, and adjusting a set of simple parameters like focal length and aperture on a readymade virtual camera to match the source images.

By placing pins in the viewport, they can then adjust the default facial geometry the plugin generates to match that of live actor. FaceBuilder projects textures from the source photos onto the final 3D geometry.

The demo above shows the process in action, creating models that would conventionally prove challenging with photogrammetry, including digital heads with facial hair or glasses.

It’s even possible to select which parts of the model you need for compositing into a particular shot – for example, the actor’s face or eyes – and only generate the corresponding geometry.

Updated 30 November 2018: FaceBuilder has now been officially released. You can download the assets and Nuke scripts used in the new demo video (above) from the plugin’s product page.

Pricing and availability
FaceTracker is available for Nuke 8 and above, running on Windows, Linux and macOS.

The software is rental-only, with an individual subscription costing $149/year, a node-locked studio subscription costing $299/year, and a floating studio subscription costing $399/year.

The plugin is available as part of the recently released KeenTools 1.4 installer, which also includes object tracking tool GeoTracker, and facial expression tracking tool FaceTracker.

Read more about FaceBuilder on the KeenTools website