Hello Awesome People.
Here are the headlines of today's FaceRig update:
1. FaceRig will need to stay in Beta status (and with a discounted price) a while longer than initially estimated, as we need more time to add in all planned improvements.
2. A new FaceRig "Nextversion" experimental branch update just went live, with two new free avatars, free new props, a first iteration of the karaoke mode and more.
3. In regard to external licensed avatars: Two TF2 based FaceRig avatars are almost done (the Heavy and the Spy), though we don't have the final okay on them from Valve just yet (hopefully we will get it soon :D ). The Pewdiepie avatar is also almost ready (it will be first one to feature button triggered hand gestures).
And now the details:
Updated FaceRig 1.0 Release Schedule
We are approaching one year since we've first started the FaceRig project back on IndieGoGo
, where all our awesome backers helped us get the project off the ground. With your support, FaceRig has already brought a lot of smiles, laughs (and tears) to people all around the world before even being ready. We are working hard to ensure it will continue to do so, better with each program update.
Since its Public Beta on the 29'th of August, FaceRig has evolved quite a bit. Due to your testing efforts (and our fixing efforts) it is now more stable and more enjoyable. It has also gained new content and functionality. We've read and taken to heart a lot of your suggestions.
For FaceRig to be in line with our vision for the 1.0 iteration, we still need to focus on several key areas and features:
- A better interface, that better exposes all the program content and functionality in a more intuitive manner. For instance: thumbnail-based avatar browser. We do read all feedback, the good and the bad, and some of the bad can be corrected by tweaking the program settings, though most folks don't realize that.
- Better Virtual Webcam Compatibility (with more chat programs - especially 64 bit versions).
- Improved performance on lower specced systems (low and high level optimizations, offloading more CPU tasks on the GPU, and/or by offering better control over L.O.D. systems)
- The Special Actions Editor (the module that lets you customize special actions such as fire-breathing on a dragon being triggered by a certain expression, ears twitching on an anthro avatar, or shooting the Space Commander Shoulder Gun)
- The Time-Line Editor, allowing performance clean-up and touch-ups on a recorded performance, before exporting it as a movie.
- Better documentation and support of the custom content import process.
- More compatibility testing.
All these unfortunately won't be ready in December with a sufficient amount of polish. That means we can't (in good faith) put the 1.0 sticker on FaceRig just yet, because even if it is functional, it is simply not "there" as we had envisioned it.
Of course, if we were the "quick cash-in" type, we could have called it 1.0 anyway, rushed the above improvements, and sold it as finalized in December for Christmas, but that path just... feels wrong.
We are focused on quality, so we'd rather admit to estimating wrong, sell less in December, but do a better job developing the program overall.
Of course FaceRig will continue to be available just as it is now and will be improved, the only difference from the original plan is that it will still be called a Beta in December, January and February.
The immediate upside to this for the FaceRig Community is that the program will continue being discounted by 33% for a few months still, as we stand by our promise that while FaceRig is in Beta / Early Access, the 33% discount applies.
The version that we will have at the start of March will most likely be the official 1.0 "gold" version. Goes without saying that the improvement effort does not stop at 1.0, it continues just as much, but it also branches on to other platforms.
I hope you understand that keeping FaceRig in Beta for a few months to increase the quality is done out of respect for the FaceRig users and a hasty release this December would have generated more sales short-term but it would have been deceitful towards the FaceRig community. We all know what happens when a program is called "1.0" before actually being ready, just for the sake of releasing earlier for more sales.
We hope that calling it a Beta for two more months won't dim your enjoyment of the program, and we apologize if this change causes you any distress :).
2. The "Nextversion" Update.
Today's "Nextversion" update has a lot of stuff in it: more free content, new features such as the "first half" of the karaoke mode (that means kar. file support with lipsync done to the text from the kar file).
It also has Steam Workshop support ready : http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=333986126 .
Once you install this version, expect all custom content avatars to have to be recompiled again (we have changed the model version, so there will be the long waiting times upon their first load).
How to get this "nextversion" :
- Open Steam Client. Go to Library -> Software
- Right mouse click on FaceRig -> Properties
- Go to BETAS tab, click in the "Select the beta you would like to opt into:" drop down, select "nextversion"
- Close window. The FaceRig program will update to the "nextversion" branch.
The full change-log is here:
Change log FaceRig v0.88b (build 348 Holotech Studios - Nov 14 2014) - nextversion branch
- added news to Launcher. All news items are clickable and open a link to the original post.
- improved Export Performance feature (got rid off encoder artefacts).
- full screen camera feed does not stream if parental rating is set below 'Mature'
- added first iteration of Karaoke Mode. Supports:
- .kar and .midi files
- customizable playlist with repeat, shuffle, autoplay features.
- karaoke player (timeline with play/pause and seek features)
- animated lyrics
- avatar lipsync triggered by lyrics (based on word to phoneme to viseme dictionary)
- triggerable self lipsync feed. If the user would like to use he's own microphone feed for lipsync-ing, one can use the push to talk to override the karaoke feed.
- added tiger avatar 'Taj'
- added slug avatar 'Gamer Slug'
- added several new props:
- Crown King
- Jester Hat1
- Jester Hat2
- added smoke to props Cigar and Cigarette
- added red bloomy eyes to Halloween DLC avatar 'Ghost'
- added experimental DX11 support (use FaceRig_dx11.bat). We do not recommend using it just yet because it does not play nice with community created avatars (it simply crashes) it does not correctly display the input video feed ( but it does track correctly) and the hair looks odd. On the flip side, CPU occupancy is significantly better, as more work is offloaded to the GPU.
3. Licensed avatars:
Two TF2 based FaceRig avatars are almost done (the Heavy and the Spy).They are right now in tweaking mode and we don't have the final okay on them just yet. As soon as we receive permission we will post them and upload them for everyone to use (they will be free)
The Pewdiepie avatar is also almost ready (it is first one to feature button triggered hand gestures :D ).
We have more licensed avatars in negotiations, but unfortunately we can't offer more specific detail at this time. If you've followed our twitter feed lately you may have a clue on who they are though :D.
That's about it :).
Let us know what you think in the comment section, or at info[at]facerig[dot]com .
We wish you an awesome weekend :)
The FaceRig team.