If you thought you have to be a Hollywood actor to see your avatar on screen, think again! Romanian startup FaceRig has just successfully raised an Indiegogo campaign at 307.015 dollars for their software, which enables anyone with a standard webcam to digitally embody any character they want.
Far surpassing their original goal of 120.000 dollars, FaceRig closed their campaign just two days ago thanks to the support of more than 14.000 backers eager to gain access to the early version of the software.
“The people reacted very well to what FaceRig is proposing, even though many aspects are not defined in detail just yet,” co-founder Florin Stanculescu told inventures.eu. Yet, he and his core team of five were confident they were going to raise the initial amount, he said.
The FaceRig crew went for an all-or-nothing crowdfunding campaign, because 120.000 dollars “was the absolute minimum that we needed to take the programme to a distributable, workable beta for early access,” Stanculescu added. “It made no sense wasting everyone’s time with a half-funded project.”
Animate your favourite character
FaceRig’s programme enables users to slip into the skin of animated characters simply by using a regular webcam. What’s more, the software makes use of facial recognition to animate the character in real life so that your avatar can smile, frown and laugh with you. The tool also does some magic with real-time voice processing to make you sound more like your character. And guess what! There’s a karaoke mode too!
In the team of two graphic and animation artists, two programmers and a technical engineer all have experience in the gaming industry. So far, they have partnered up with Visage Technologies, a Swedish company that has developed an image-based tracking technology, as well as with indie-powered Holotech Studios and its partners from the gaming industry to integrate real-time animation.
The priorities for the next months include FaceRig’s further development and release. Indiegogo backers are expected to receive access to the beta version in August and the team plans to go out with the final version in December. “Was there ever any doubt about what our priorities would be?” asks Stanculescu rhetorically. It doesn’t seem so. “We even had to turn down some very exciting conference invites. Until FaceRig ships we simply cannot (in good faith) allocate the project’s resources to anything other than FaceRig’s development,” he said.
The software will be sold worldwide, with an initial focus on English-speaking countries and Europe. Afterwards, the team plans to expand to the CIS space, Asia and South America.
Special thanks to the How to Web team for pointing us to this story.