GoPro Headcam Kit Quick Start Guide

Brian Genna -

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Thank you for choosing the Faceware GoPro Headcam Kit. This kit will allow high quality, quick, and simple video based facial capture for use with Faceware Analyzer and Faceware Retargeter.

Getting Started

  1. Unpack your camera: We have included everything you need to get started. Inside your GoPro box, we have added a battery charger, an extra battery, and a 32 GB memory card to the already included accessories. We recommend fully charging the batteries before beginning any capture. You can plug the camera in via the USB port or place a battery into the external battery charger. When the status light on the charger turns green, charging is complete. Setting up your camera is also intuitive with the included instruction manual. More help on the web can be found at http://gopro.com/support and http://www.youtube.com/GoProTutorials.

  2. Prepping the headmount (helmet): The headmount is constructed to be adjustable to fit any size head. There are knobs that control the lateral width, the depth, and the circumference of the headmount for a perfect fit. There is also firm padding installed. We have also included 3 thicknesses of soft padding that can be interchanged per the preference of the wearer. The long strips can be placed in front, wrapping across the forehead from brow to brow. The double T piece is for the top of the head padding. The rectangle shaped pieces can be placed side by side in the back. All are held in place with hook and loop to be easily interchangeable.

  3. Setting up the boom arms: We included 3 camera bars to give you options based on the shots you need to capture. The single-side drop arms provide the actor with the greatest field of view when performing by dropping out of the eyeline down the jaw. They can also be flipped over to rise up to the forehead then come down, if certain actions require more room for hand or prop movement around the bottom of the face. The hoop is designed for maximum stability, especially if stunt work is needed. They are easy to install and adjust. Just loosen the hand bolts of the right angle blocks on the helmet mounting joints. This allows you to position the block as well as slide the camera bar into the brass spacers of the camera block. Make sure the boom arm is fully slid into the brass spacers and the brass spacers are flush inside the camera block. Position the boom arm roughly in front of where the actor’s face will be and tighten off.

  4. Setting up the camera mount: The camera mount simply and securely holds your GoPro camera in front of the actors face. The back plate with the Faceware logo of the camera mount can be removed by placing two fingers on either side of the logo and pulling up to bring the plate out of its grooves. After sliding half way up, the plate will become free and can be removed. The GoPro camera needs to be removed from its waterproof housing and the bare unit can now be placed inside the mount by lining up the lens protrusion to the lens hole and pushing forward. Once the camera is in, the back plate can be re-secured by replacing the plate halfway down the back and sliding the side tongues back into the groves by pushing down from the top. Next step is to loosen the bar clamp with the included 2.5mm hex ball driver. When mounting to the single arms, you only need to partially loosen the clamping bolts, then slide the mount onto the end of the bar. When in place, tighten down the bolts until the mount is secure. If mounting to the hoop, the bolts need to be loosened all the way, separating the bar clamp from the mount. Place the hoop into the bar clamp, line the bar clamp back up to the mount, and thread the bolts back into place. And same as the single arm, when in place, tighten down the bolts until the mount is secure. Be sure never to over-tighten the camera mount, all adjustments should be hand tightened until snug.

  5. Framing the camera: When the kit is assembled, you can now place it on an actor’s head. Remember to slide the headmount back a bit if the forehead is covered. There needs to be room for the eyebrows to move up and down. Make sure the headmount is not tilted or askew. Then tighten down the strap using the knobs on the top, the middle, then the back. Do not over tighten. For some head shapes, it may help stability to keep the top knob loose all the way and tighten from the back, then the middle. Now the camera can be framed. Slightly loosen both hand screws on the mounting block where the bar attaches to the headmount. Then slightly loosen the camera mount on the bar with the 2.5mm ball driver. You now can position the camera. We recommend swinging the camera so the lens is straight out in front of the nose of the actor. This allows the actor to keep their eyeline over the top of the lens, but also provides the best view for the animator working with the footage. Take a minute to check framing; off center footage can be slightly more challenging for an animator to work with. You can visually check the framing using the free GoPro app for iOS or Android. This has a delay, so it may be easier to frame by plugging a monitor into the micro HDMI port on top of the camera for a real-time view. When you are satisfied with the view, first tighten the hand screws on the mounting block and then the camera mount using the 2.5 mm hex driver. You are now just about ready for facial capture!

  6. Recording: You can press the record button on the camera, or you can use the included remote control to start and stop the camera. The easiest way is to use the GoPro app. It gives you start / stop control, a preview of the image, and access to camera settings. When done, pop out the card or plug the camera into a USB socket to pull off the video files. They can directly be placed into Analyzer, or you can edit them to length first using you post pipeline of choice.

Additional tips

  • Set your camera to Medium FOV on 1080p or 720p modes. This will eliminate the extreme fisheye look and give you more of the face in frame.
  • Set your frame rate to what you plan on animating at in multiples of 1 or 2. It makes animation much simpler down the pipeline. A multiple of 2 doubles your tracking frames (eg. 48 fps for film, 60 for TV and games) and makes things much easier to keep in sync.
  • Manage your power. Turn off your camera when not in use for extended periods of time. Always keep the spare battery on charge. Battery life is typically around 1 - 2 hours per full battery charge.
  • Wash your helmet padding every few uses for sanitation. It is machine wash safe in gentle mode.
  • The chin strap is not recommended to be worn covering the chin. It makes animating the chin difficult and is limiting for the actor. Wear it slightly loose under the chin toward the neck as a safety catch to prevent the helmet from being knocked off accidently.

We can be contacted at support@facewaretech.com for any further help.

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