FaceTracking with just your webcam!

Manual (global options):


A while ago, the only way to 'tell' your computer what to do, was by moving your mouse and hitting buttons. Of course you could also use a joystick and/or similar devices, but you still had to use your hands (or feet).


Since the evolution of web-cam technology and gaming-consoles (and the accompanying software's), it is also possible to send data to your computer by moving others parts of your body: motion tracking was introduced.


The technology is simple: a web-cam sends a video-stream to the computer, thus providing a massive stream of 'raw-data'. Sophisticated software filters the video-images and locates 'reference points' (usually bright IR-lights). Using these anchors, the software calculates movement and position(s), relative to an artificial 'center'. This data can now be used to move your head 'in-game': a very natural way of moving compared to the old 'sticks and buttons'!

The beauty of FaceTrackNoIR is that the tracker-software uses 'facial reference-points' to do the math, so no LED-constuctions are required...




Looking at the picture on the left, you can see that there are 6 directions in which one can move his head. The Forward/Back, Left/Right and Up/Down movements obviously are self-explanatory, so we'll skip those. The rotations however, can cause confusion. Many games use the names mentioned in the picture:

  • Yaw = rotating your head to the Left/Right;
  • Pitch = tilting your head Up/Down;
  • Roll = tilting your head Left/Right;

Area's outside aviation often use their own names for Yaw, Pitch and Roll. Some call the rotations rotX, rotY and rotZ and that's where the confusion starts: which axis is X, Y, Z and which rotation then gets which name? There is no 'law' for this, so you may find several different versions...

The faceAPI is not specifically designed for aviation purposes, so it uses the rotX, rotY and rotZ names:

  • rotX = Pitch;
  • rotY = Yaw;
  • rotZ = Roll;

FaceTrackNoIR uses INI-files to save the settings 'per-game'. These files are stored in the 'Settings' folder per default. On startup, the last INI-file that was used is automatically opened.


The 'File' menu offers the following functions:

  • Open (an existing INI-file);
  • Save (the current INI-file);
  • Save As (the user will be asked for a new name);
  • Exit (Close FaceTrackNoIR);

From version 1.5 on, the INI-file (or 'Profile') can also be selected from the Profile-menu on the main-screen. The dropdown list shows the current profile. When 'dropped down' the list shows all .INI-files that reside in the Settings-folder, where the current profile also resides.


The 'Profile' menu offers the following functions:

  • Load (to load a file from a different location);
  • Save (the current INI-file);
  • Save As (the user will be asked for a new name);


The Preferences are global settings, which are stored in the Windows Registry. So they apply to all games/protocols. I think the description of these settings says it all?


Up to version 1.6:

The manual for FaceTrackNoIR up to v160 can be found here.


Version 1.7

A lot of things changed in v170, so a separate manual was made. You can find that here.