KeenTools ships FaceBuilder 2.1 for Nuke and Blender
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KeenTools provides FaceBuilder 2.1 for Nuke and Blender

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 | Written by Jim Thacker

Originally published March 1, 2020. Scroll down for news about the 2.1 update.

Plugin developer KeenTools has released KeenTools 2.0, the latest version of its add-on suite for Nuke – and now Blender.

With the update, the Blender edition of FaceBuilder, the add-on for creating structured 3D head models from source photos, is being moved out of the beta version. and supports the Nuke and Blender editions with facial expressions.

Create accurate 3D reconstructions of live actors from source photos in Nuke and Blender
FaceBuilder, originally released for Nuke in 2018, promises to produce the results normally only possible with special photogrammetry software or 3D scan data.

Users first import photos of an actor and adjust parameters such as focal length and aperture on a pre-made virtual camera to match the source images.

By placing pens in the viewport, you can then adapt the standard face geometry generated by the plugin to that of the live actor. FaceBuilder projects textures from the source photos onto the final 3D geometry.

This demo video shows the process in nuke and creates models that traditionally prove to be challenging in photogrammetry, including digital heads with facial hair or glasses.

New in KeenTools 2.0: FaceBuilder for Blender and support for facial expressions
The KeenTools 2.0 update officially makes the Blender edition of the software, which was released in Open Beta last year, a commercial product.

The new features of the Blender edition include EXIF-based and manual photo alignment.

The update also allows any facial expression to be used as the basis for creating a custom head model, rather than requiring an image of the actor with a neutral expression.

According to the KeenTools blog post, "the results are not as accurate as the neutral-expression photos, but it is certainly much better than fitting a neutral model to a smiling face."

Nuke users also have the option to export from FaceBuilder to FaceTracker, the face-tracking add-on from KeenTools, and stability improvements for sister tools GeoTracker and PinTool.

Updated August 10, 2020: KeenTools has released FaceBuilder 2.1.

The update enables the use of source photos taken with different cameras – for example when using an online reference – with the software retrieving the focal length and sensor size from the EXIF ​​data of the images.

If EXIF ​​data is not available, the software will use an estimate based on the dimensions of all photos.

Pricing and system requirements
The full KeenTools 2.1 product suite is available for Nuke 8.0+. FaceBuilder is also available for Blender 2.80+. The tools run on Windows, Linux and MacOS.

All plugins are for rental only and cost $ 149 / year for a node-locked personal license, $ 299 / year for a node-locked commercial license, or $ 399 / year for a floating license.

New licenses from FaceBuilder include both the Nuke and Blender editions. FaceBuilder and FaceTracker are also available as a product package.

Read an overview of the new features in KeenTools 2.1 on the company's blog

Read a full changelog for KeenTools 2.x.

Tags: add-on, blender, create 3D head model from photo, EXIF, FaceBuilder 2.0, FaceTracker, facial expression, face modeling, face tracking, GeoTracker, KeenTools, KeenTools 2.0, neutral expression, new functions, Nuke, PinTool, plugin, price, system requirements

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