Facial tracking isn’t an entirely new technology – we’ve seen it implemented in games a few times, or in tools like FaceRig, but Star Citizen will have it as a core component due to a collaboration with Faceware. You’ll be able to plug your webcam in and your in-game model will speak along with you.
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The video above shows off the announcement, which came during the official Star Citizen Gamescom presentation. It extends to the full face, and supposedly doesn’t even require a special webcam – any old webcam will do. Gurn in real life and you’ll gurn in-game.
That said, if you do want a fancy webcam to get the most out of this technology, Faceware will be creating a special one to go alongside it. It captures at 60 fps and is made to work in low light (such as if the only light is coming from your monitor). Currently, the only existing versions are prototypes, and the Faceware website is overloaded with Star Citizen fans, so I can’t do much more research.
Finally, it also introduces head tracking: tilt your head to one side, and your character and camera will do so in-game. This sounds awesome, but also, your monitor won’t move. I’m a bit confused as to how practical this might be, given you’ll then be looking away from your monitor, but hey ho, it’s interesting and technically impressive nonetheless.