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Early Access: Avatar SDK 'Expressive' update

Heroic Explorer
Hi everyone. I wanted to provide an update on the work we're doing to make the Oculus Avatar system more expressive, which we talked about at Oculus Connect 5.

For those of you who didn't catch the announcement, we're updating the avatar system with realistically modeled eye behaviors and lipsync, powered by the new OVRLipSync plugin.

  • We've based the eye gaze simulation on observed human behaviors such as micro-saccades, smooth pursuit and ballistic gaze shifting, including the ability to specify gaze targets in your scene.
  • The mouth movement builds on top of OVRLipSync and introduces differential blending between individual muscle movements for a cleaner read of what someone is saying, along with facial micro-expressions that give the avatar a more nuanced and believable performance.
In addition to facial expressions, we're also adding some new parameters for customization (eye, lip, lash, brow color) and updating our approach to translucency, to make it simpler to set up avatars to render correctly in your app.

As with the previous large update for Avatars (where we introduced PBR shaded assets and a new shader), we're keen to enable those of you who'd like to be on the bleeding edge to access an early beta.

We'll be shipping the first update in beta to our previous early access developers shortly, and I'd love to welcome any new avatar developers to participate as well.

Our beta updates will arrive on a regular cadence as we iron out the final kinks in the SDK and Unity / UE integrations, and we'll ask that any developers in the early access program hold off sharing expressive avatar footage beyond a dedicated forum group that we've set up.

If you'd like to be considered for early access, please private message me with:

  • The name of the app you're building
  • A short description of what it is, whether it's social or single player
  • Game engine
  • Target hardware platforms (Go, Quest, Rift)
  • Status (live, in progress, planned release timeframe)
  • The forum usernames / email of any additional team members you'd like granted access

Mike Howard

Product Manager, Avatars SDK