The first-stable FaceBuilder release for Blender

A week ago we released a major KeenTools update, including the first-stable FaceBuilder version for Blender. The main new feature is the support of facial gestures in FaceBuilder, so neutral photographs are not required for FaceBuilder anymore (though they still give better quality).
To get the idea of what it’s all about — please watch the video-tutorial made by Sean Kennedy: https://youtu.be/L41ueRHE0HU.

Download the new version here: link.keentools.io/fbb-ba

We’re always craving your feedback, so, please let us know what you think here or anywhere!

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Something tells me adding a link to your post (like so: Keen Tools Website) would really help you to get people’s attention.
Maybe also a link to the download-page itself.

Putting the video inline might also help (though you might not be able to do that as a rather new user). You know how lazy people are (me included).

greetings, Kologe

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Hi Kologe! Thanks for the notice, I’ve added the link in the original post :raised_hands:

This is very cool. I hope people find this useful!

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Thanks a lot!

Hey, amazing work! You make it look so simple that it makes one wonder why this along with the tracking hasn’t been done before. That is until one start developing it…

I tried the beta (or alpha, can’t remember) version the other week.

What I noticed is that no matter how hard and many times I tried to build the face with Facebuilder in Blender, or in Nuke, it wouldn’t track properly. I did manage to get the silhouette of the face to match but especially the cheeks always slid. I followed all the guides you guys posted in Medium, and great documentation btw, not many developers do write ups at all. Thank you.

It was obvious that this wasn’t a tracker issue since this is not a simple 2d point tracker, but a much more complicated geometry tracker. Parts of the model matched but any part that deforms just slid under the geometry. So I figured that something with my geometry must not match and I should 3D scan the actors face and see.

Turns out I was right. When I 3d scanned the face of the actor in my sample footage and edited the initial model that Facebuilder starts with to match the 3d scanned face model, tracking was substantially better. Infact it matched almost perfectly. Had to add much smaller amount of keyframes in tracking.

One thing I missed was the ability to easily align your geometry to the 3d scanned face of the actor.

I would love to see a mode in your software that eases this process. Some sort of a ICP / Shrink wrap / Projection algorithm maybe.

Also I would like to share my opinion on your choice of platform for the tracker and other products, if you don’t mind.

Your tracker is amazing but it being tied to a 10k usd software as a plugin is a bummer. You could sell a lot more if it wasn’t nuke exclusive.
I am sure that you have done extensive market research before dedicating so many work hours to develop this. I coded in openCV and PCL to align and match live point clouds from different 3d scanners at one point so I can imagine how hard developing this must have been.

10k usd for Nuke is quite frankly not worth it anymore. It was only ok when Flame was much more expensive and hardware exclusive, and Fusion/Resolve studio was 1k usd each.

Blenders new found popularity and its open source nature could be a much better market for you guys. You can easily take a lot of market share away from even pfTrack which has similar but outdated tools.

Again, loved your tools. Amazing work

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Hi there, Mgt!

Thanks a lot for your detailed comment! Honestly, it’s incredible to see such constructive feedback :). So let me answer all your questions in order.

First of all, your issue with model building looks very interesting. Can I ask you, please, to send us your project and assets via [email protected] email? Of course, we can sign an NDA, if it’s necessary. We’re currently working on improving the new deformation model, so that could definitely help us a lot.

Speaking about all that ICP / Shrink wrap / Projection algorithm. Yes, unfortunately, we don’t have it right now and it’s in our plans. You can try using Wrap3 to wrap the scan you’ve got with FaceBuilder topology. After that, you can import the geometry into Nuke and connect it to FaceTracker.

Regarding platforms — we’re working hard on it. The Nuke was chosen from the beginning because it was the tool we knew and used ourselves.

Once again, thank you so much for your great feedback!