AMD announced a partnership with Mixamo on Face Plus, a real-time facial capture and animation plug-in for the popular cross-platform Unity game engine. The plug-in allows independent developer to deliver more realistic facial animation, it requires nothing more than a standard webcam and runs on a modest desktop PC.
The system works by offloading the heavy lifting of processing the images captured by the webcam onto the graphics processing unit (GPU) rather than the central processing unit (CPU.) Its highly-parallel nature, coupled with the fact that a GPU is designed specifically for this kind of work, means that the performance is boosted some thirteen-fold over traditional CPU-based systems.
According to AMD's testing, that means even indie devs on low-cost hardware can get in on the act: running the system on an AMD A10-4600M accelerated processing unit (APU), the team behind the software were able to capture 42 frames per second in real-time. Naturally, for smoother animation this figure can be boosted by using a more powerful computer with any OpenCL 1.1 or higher compatible graphics card being compatible.
'AMD is impressed with the results Mixamo has achieved in optimising its technology and is excited not only about the capabilities it brings to Unity developers today, but also the potential it could bring to new consumer applications,' claimed Manju Hegde, corporate vice president in charge of AMD's Heterogeneous Solutions Division of the release.