FaceTracking with just your webcam!
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faceAPI (legacy version 3.2.6) from SeeingMachines.


The non-commercial API from SeeingMachines was the big stimulator for us to create FaceTrackNoIR in the first place. It offers very good face-tracking, with relatively low CPU-usage.

Unfortunately SeeingMachines stopped development of faceAPI, so no further new versions of this tracker will be released. For that reason we will focus our efforts on other trackers. Luckily, the current version also works on W10 and still gives satisfying face-tracking for most users.

If you have questions regarding faceAPI, please post them here: [discussion:faceapi]



Tracking facial features instead of IR-leds offers a great advantage: no hardware but a simple web-cam is required! So anyone can use faceAPI, almost instantly.


faceAPI is part of the free PluginPack that's available for download from SourceForge. You can find the latest version here: Download Plugins


faceAPI Settings

The engine state displays the current status of the faceAPI engine and can be one of the following:

  • TERMINATED: The engine is not yet created or has been destroyed (no resources allocated)
  • INVALID: The engine is in an invalid state and cannot be used.
  • IDLE: The engine exists but processing is inactive (not tracking).
  • INITIALIZING: The head-tracking engine is trying to acquire a new face.
  • TRACKING: The head-tracking engine is tracking a face.
  • SEARCHING: The head-tracking engine is searching for an existing face.

When the tracker is not running, the setting for the Internal filter of faceAPI can be changed. The values are High, Normal and Low. When choosing High, the output of faceAPI will be more stable, but less responsive.

Using the Enable axis checkboxes each of the 6 DOF's can be enabled or disabled. Disabled means, that the output value will not be sent to FaceTrackNoIR.

Known Issues and limitations:

Be sure to get good lighting

Lighting and web-cam need to be good. If you wonder if your webcam will work with faceAPI, then you can try the console executable in the pluginpack first. SeeingMachines recommends a Dual core processor or higher.

For face-tracking to work, the tracker needs to be able to find your facial features in the video-stream. We recommend indirect light, from up and above the webcam.


Limitations of non-commercial version

The most important limitation is the fact that the video-source cannot be selected. This means that faceAPI will always (try to) use the first video-source it finds (even if that's not your webcam). To bypass this problem you can either disable your other video-input device(s) or use software like ManyCam.


Tracker error(s)

In some situations the tracker gives a "black screen" and/or returns an error "-13". In most cases this is caused by other software using the webcam (like webcam utility software) or by a faulty codec. You can try utilities like Codec Tweak Tool to fix or remove broken codecs from you PC.