This is as Easy as it gets

HF-logoOn August 14th, the High Fidelity team issued a blog post featuring the first number by AKA, the company’s informal group of singers of Emily, Ozan and Andrew. While light-hearted in nature, the video further demonstrated HiFi’s work on facial expression and gesture capture.

I wrote about the video and post as a part of a quick update on HiFi, and noted at the time that “executive producer” (and HiFi co-founder) Ryan Karpf would be providing more information on what went into the video and session.

Ryan Karpf, HiFi co-founder and "executive producer" for AKA's cover of "Easy"
Ryan Karpf, HiFi co-founder and “executive producer” for AKA’s cover of “Easy”

Keeping to his word, Ryan did just that on Tuesday August 26th, releasing a video on how it was all done (embedded below), together with a brief blog post inviting those already in the Hi Fi Alpha testing programme to consider submitting their own videos … assuming, that is, they have the hardware.

Ryan’s piece explains how the team put together the music video and overcame some stumbling blocks, although I admit I’d probably have a better chance of understanding Brad Hefta-Gaub’s explanation of a server crash issues had he been speaking Klingon (which is probably why I’m not in the Alpha)! Fortunately, Ryan is on-hand to offer a single-sentence translation into English. The video also reveals how the team were unable to film the song as a single “live” performance, as had been hoped, but in the end had to rely on traditional post-recording editing to produce the finished piece.

As well as being informative, Ryan’s video is also somewhat hypnotic … I confess to becoming quite captivated by the level of conversation going on between his eyebrows even before he presents us with more exaggerated facial movements to underscore a point! 🙂

It’ll be interesting to see how this work develops, and whether the HiFi team really do get to the point of being able to record a completely fluid and “live” performance; I rather suspect they will. But even without this, the Easy video tends to demonstrate how much more engaging something like a musical set could be when one can see more of the performer’s facial expressions and actions when playing a musical instrument reflected in their avatar.

In the meantime, and for ease of reference (and because I like it and find myself singing along with Emily), is the music video itself, complete with Chris and Ryan’s “outtakes”.

 

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7 thoughts on “This is as Easy as it gets

  1. That is one of the fun parts of using faceshift, the eyebrows seem to be really on their own planet even if you try to tweak the software. I use a XBox Kinect (original model 1414) with faceshift and it works very well for streaming facial animations. Eyebrows be damned either way, HF is really nice and I am glad they showcased this video and the how to.

    I will say one of the developers posted this on Reddit a while back if anyone reading this wanted to contribute to HiFi: http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/27tizr/who_wants_help_building_and_testing_out_high/ci47ush

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    1. “eyebrows seem to be really on their own planet” – that is a marvellous description!

      Thanks for the feedback on this – and I’ve been meaning to cover the HiFi worklist, etc., but as Ciaran Laval did so recently, I didn’t want to appear to be treading on his toes 🙂 .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I love to find some funny way to describe something, saves on frustration!

        I added the link I did about getting into HiFi because me personally, I do not feel everyone has to be a genius at coding or building etc to be a part of HiFi. Now you will not get a world ready to roll 100% like SL is but you do get a chance to be a part of something amazing that helps shape the world.

        Without ideas a world will shrivel and you do not have to be able to commit code to commit to a dream and find others willing to help open the door at the end of the rainbow. It is a wonderful community of all kinds there and that is probably the most I can really say about it.

        Also I am not sure if it was listed anywhere in these articles about the video but the guy playing the guitar and other part of the HiFi band, Ozan Serim, actually worked for Pixar before HiFi.

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