Welcome to your trial of Faceware Analyzer. The purpose of this article is to get you up and running with the basic features of Analyzer as quickly and painlessly as possible so you can get to generating your own facial animation and so that you can experience what Analyzer has to offer at its most basic level. The features used in this quick start tutorial are available in both Analyzer Lite and Pro.
*Note - This article assumes that you have already installed Analyzer as per the specifications in the System Requirements & Installation guide.
*Note - For demonstration purposes, we will be using a video from our Performance Library. Feel free to download and use one yourself or use any facial video that you already have on hand that you wish to create animation from.
Step 1: Creating a New Job and Autotracking
- Start Faceware Analyzer. You will be given a prompt to choose either the Lite or Pro version. For the moment, it is not important as the features that we will use in this tutorial apply to both Analyzer Lite and Pro, so select either one.
- Open the "File" menu on the menu bar and select "New..." to open the New Job dialog. Alternatively, you can press CTRL+N or select the New icon from the toolbar. You will see this:
- At the very top of the New Job dialog, there is an empty field called "Input Video File." This is where you will place your video file. You can click the button to the right of the field to browse to the location of your video and select it, or you can simply drag your video from your explorer window into the dialog box.
- The top sections of the New Job dialog will now be populated, like in the image below:
The job name will be taken from the video file name, but you can change it if you wish. The job location directory is where the files will be created and stored for this job, and a preview of your video should appear on the right.
*Note - If your video is rotated, then find the Rotate Image field about halfway down the dialog and select the appropriate rotation value to orient your video correctly. You can see the resulting orientation in the preview area.
- At the bottom of the dialog box, there is a section called "AutoTrack Options."
Check the box that says "Run AutoTrack." If your video is from a head mounted camera, then next to "Select Tracker," you can choose one of the headcam options. If not, or if you're not sure it's correct, keep the Static Cam option selected.
- Once you're ready, click the "Create" button at the bottom of the dialog. Analyzer will take several minutes to first create your job and then to track it using the AutoTrack feature. Note that if your video is of low quality or contains elements that might obstruct the face, then your resulting tracking quality may suffer a bit.
Step 2: Checking Your Tracking Results
Once your job is finished being created and tracked, the Analyzer interface will look like this:
You will see the points (referred to as "landmarks" in Analyzer) fitting to the mouth, eyes, brows, and nose. You can scrub the timeline or use the playback controls in the bottom right of the Analyzer interface to check out the tracking results. Once you are satisfied with what you have, we can finish this job and get it ready for animation.
*Note - There are several steps that can be taken to improve the quality of the tracking that are described in detail on this knowledge base, as well as features limited to Analyzer Pro only. For purposes of this quick start tutorial, we'll go directly to the end of the analysis process.
Step 3: Finishing Your Job and Getting it Ready for Animation
The final step in the analysis process is the "parameterization" process. This converts the tracking data (stored in your chosen folder as a .fwt file and accompanying project folder) into a performance file (.fwr) that can be used in Faceware Retargeter. Parameterizing a shot is simple:
- Once your shot is finished, either click the "Parameterize" button in the top right hand corner of the Analyzer interface or hit the F12 key to open the parameterization dialog box.
- In the parameterization dialog box, there are several options, but for now, just hit "OK" to start the process.
*Note - You must have an active internet connection during parameterization. This is the only part of the tracking process that requires an internet connection. At the beginning of parameterization, Analyzer will connect to our server to verify your credentials (entered when you first ran Analyzer) for security purposes. If a firewall or other program is blocking Analyzer or if you fail the credential check, then you will be unable to parameterize.
- The parameterization process will take a few minutes, largely depending on the size of your shot. Once it is finished, a confirmation window will appear.
Now you have a performance file ready to go. It will have been created in the same location as your tracking files (the location you chose at the beginning during new job creation) as a .fwr file. In the next section, we'll introduce Retargeting so you can get your tracking results onto a rig.
*Note - This is only a small representation of Analyzer and its functions designed to demonstrate its basic functionality to a new user. Please visit the Analyzer section of our knowledge base.
*Note - For detailed information on how to track with Analyzer Pro to get the most accurate results possible, see this article: Analyzer Pro Tracking