Post-Beta Updates: New Features, Subscription Tweaks, and Extended FaceRig Support
Hi Awesome People,
Dragos here, founder and CEO of Holotech. First off, THANK YOU to everyone who signed up for or participated in our closed beta! Now that we’ve had some time to pour over all of your feedback, we’d like to share a number of changes and updates we are making to Animaze (and FaceRig) as a result of the beta.
Extending FaceRig Support:
First of all - we are extending critical product support and customer support for FaceRig through December 31, 2021. Critical product support means that if any external factor (such as a Windows Update) causes FaceRig to be unusable for a large percentage of people, we will do everything in our power to fix it. In simple terms, we will make sure that FaceRig remains functional through the end of 2021. It’s incredibly important to us that everyone can continue using FaceRig without worrying about a sudden unexpected event disabling the program.
On the customer support side, you can continue to contact us through the usual channels (email, Discord, and Twitter are best) if you need help with FaceRig. Response time for issues relating to FaceRig may take up to 5 business days in some cases, but we are guaranteeing direct assistance through the end of 2021.
FaceRig Going Away Sale:
Many of you asked if FaceRig will go on sale one last time before we remove it from stores. The answer is yes! We are going to have a Going Away Sale on Steam with significant discounts on the base FaceRig software and all DLCs (including Pro and avatar packs) before Animaze launches. Stay tuned for more details on date and time.
Animaze Product Updates:
During our beta, we got a huge amount of valuable feedback from our testers. As a result, we are adding the following features to Animaze prior to launch:
New Features for All Users:
- Prop Placement Controls: Adjust props to make them fit your avatar just right. In addition to scaling and customizing the look of your props, you’ll be able to move props along the XYZ axes and rotate them in multiple directions.
- Streamlined Live2D Imports & FaceRig Conversions: Import any Live2D avatar made with Cubism 3.0 or higher (including avatars you used with FaceRig) directly in Animaze, without having to use the Animaze Editor. Most avatars imported this way will not require any updates or changes. In short, this means that virtually everyone with a Cubism 3.0+ Live2D model, whether originally made for FaceRig or some other software, will be able to use it in Animaze without any assistance from a Live2D artist. All you need are your Live2D runtime files. If you do need to debug or fix your avatar, we’ve built new features into the Animaze Editor allowing anyone to fix common issues.
- Embodiment, Tracking, and Calibration Improvements: We’re always working under the hood to improve the quality of the overall avatar experience. During the beta, you all helped us identify a number of issues and improvements relating to embodiment, calibration, and tracking. You’ll see better results overall when Animaze launches!
New Features for Basic Subscribers:
- Advanced Embodiment Controls: Fine tune how your avatar responds to your facial movements and customize a configuration that works best for you. Includes an auto-blink toggle!
- Secondary Render Window with Alpha Channel Transparency: If you prefer to capture an app window rather than use the virtual webcam when you stream, you can enable a secondary render window that displays your avatar and background without any visible UI. We will also enable the usage of Alpha Channel transparency, so you can have more reliable “green screen” effects without chroma key artefacts on a variety of avatars. Remember, if you are using the free version of Animaze you can still capture the regular app window (or a specific portion of the window) and send that to OBS or your preferred streaming software. You can also use a traditional green screen in any version of Animaze.
What’s included here is not an exhaustive list of changes, improvements, and new features coming to Animaze at launch. These are simply the most significant changes we are making directly in response to feedback from the beta.
Animaze Subscription Updates:
We received a lot of feedback on Animaze subscriptions, and understand that subscriptions are a frequently discussed and at times hotly debated topic. Before we share some changes that we’re making to our subscriptions from the beta, I’d like to highlight a few core principles of our approach to Animaze’s business model:
Free Access: Animaze is free to download, can be used forever without a subscription, and will improve over time as we roll out new features and content. It’s important to us that everyone, and especially those of you who have invested in FaceRig, can evaluate Animaze on its own merits and decide if a subscription is worth it to you. If not, you can keep using the free version of Animaze, FaceRig, or another product that fits your needs.
Affordable Pricing: Our subscriptions are amongst the lowest-cost offerings available, especially when you look at other avatar, artist, and content creator products. At $19.99/year, Animaze’s basic subscription nets out to just $1.67 per month.
Here’s a look at that annual cost compared to other subscription products you might use or be familiar with:
- 13% the cost of a Streamlabs annual subscription ($149/year vs. $19.99/year)
- 13% the cost of a Zoom annual subscription ($149/year vs. $19.99/year)
- 8% of a Photoshop-only annual subscription ($239.88/year vs. $19.99/year)
Subscription costs will be even lower for those of you that own FaceRig, since you’ll automatically get substantial discounts on Animaze subscriptions.
Consistent Updates and Communication: Animaze will receive much more consistent and meaningful updates than you’ve seen in the last few years of FaceRig’s lifetime. We’re already hard at work building new features, new avatars, new props, and support for new content formats. We’ll be sharing roadmap information and engaging in consistent dialog with the community to ensure we’re building what you want. We’ve had a great start engaging with thousands of testers during our beta!
With that said, here are the changes we’re making to Animaze subscriptions before launch:
Doubling Virtual Camera Session Time to 90 Minutes in Free Version: The free version of Animaze will allow you to use the virtual camera to livestream or video chat for 90 minutes at a time (increased from 45). After 90 minutes, you can simply restart Animaze to reset the timer back to zero. Remember, you can stream for an unlimited time by capturing all or part of the application window in your preferred streaming software, regardless of whether you are a subscriber. All subscribers have unlimited session time with the virtual camera.
60FPS Output Through Virtual Webcam Moved from VIP to Basic Subscription: 60 FPS output through the virtual webcam is now included for everyone who has a Basic ($19.99/year) subscription. This feature previously required the VIP ($99.99/year) subscription. As a reminder, 60FPS output is possible for all Animaze versions (including the free version) by capturing all or a portion of the application window.
Here’s what each Animaze subscription will look like at launch. Please note that the VIP subscription is now only for Commercial Rights. We’ve updated our requirements for who needs commercial rights to use Animaze - see below for the details.
Commercial Rights Requirements for VIP Subscription Reverted to FaceRig Rules: We’re reverting the Commercial Rights requirements to match what’s currently in place for FaceRig Pro:
Individual streamers and content creators who consistently make more than $500 per month from their channel (e.g. from subscriber, ad, and/or donation revenue) need commercial rights to use Animaze.
If you meet this requirement, you need an Animaze VIP subscription.
Here are the new Commercial Rights requirements in full:
We know you are eager to know when Animaze will launch. While we don’t have a launch date yet, we are working as hard as we possibly can to launch Animaze into Early Access on Steam before the end of 2020.
Stay tuned for more information, including a definitive launch date, in the coming weeks!
All the Best,
Dragos & the Holotech Team