from the the-all-seeing-eye dept
Over the last few years, computer vision and motion capture technology has really advanced at an incredible rate. Things that seemed like science fiction not too long ago can be purchased for very little and in your home today. Things like the Kinect and now the Leap Motion controller are getting people to rethink even the way they interact with computers. And this space is really still in its earliest days. So for this week's awesome stuff post (in which we highlight interesting crowdfunding projects we come across) we'll highlight two new projects that deal with computer vision and motion capture -- both of which work with merely a webcam, rather than any fancy hardware.
- First up is the FaceRig, which uses your everyday webcam to not only capture your facial expressions, but translate them into the faces of characters in an insanely realistic manner. Full disclosure: after seeing this video I plunked down some money. I have no idea what I'd use it for, but it's super cheap and it just looks awesome. It really wasn't that long ago that filmmakers who wanted to do motion capture work to create a computer generated character would have to do an astounding amount of work to match the characters to actors' actual facial expressions. And yet, here's a system that appears to be able to do it on the fly in a manner that looks incredibly good, at least from the demo they show.
- Next up, we've got the VMX Project, which is more of a platform for developers to be able to add computer vision to anything. They're offering it as a service, so rather than having to install software, developers can just use their API and add in computer vision features via (what they claim) is a super simple user interface. The concept of making computer vision more widespread and usable by developers, without each developer having to reinvent the wheel, or hire experts in computer vision, seems like a super powerful idea in driving this area forward.