Anybody here ever heard of "FaceRig"? It uses your webcam to enable a 3D avatar to mimic your facial expressions, lipsync, etc... It can also be used to alter your voice and can be linked to videochat programs and even be used to record vids for youtube and such.(Like for instance if you are doing a review of a game and don't want your real face in it, you could use any of the dozens of possible avatars, I got the DLC too and can chose between 93 different ones.)
I caught it during a Steam sale on the 31st. Bit pricier now but not too bad. DEFINITELY fun to play around with!
The program is still relatively cheap at $14.99. The more expensive "Pro Upgrade"($64.99) doesn't change the program, it only changes the license so you can use it for stuff that makes more than $500 a month instead of only stuff that makes under that.
Anyway, if a person has the base program during the next couple weeks they can enter a contest to win the Pro Upgrade. I'm DEFINITELY trying for it!
Steam page(where they are selling it, the program site will just link you back there for the purchase anyway): http://store.steampowered.com/app/274920/
Full contest rules: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0ciRKrWV2vsU3h6MFdEMkw2MkU/view?pli=1
Program site: https://facerig.com/
For my entry into that contest I'll be having an older member of the Phoenix Warriors telling the new recruit the story of how and why their organization was originally founded. In my stories that is Theran he is addressing, but in the vid it will be the viewer.
This fellow is the older member of the Phoenix Warriors who is telling Theran the story, at least in my FaceRig video for that contest anyway. He is an edit of one of the avatars that came with it. I'm a long way from being able to make my own from scratch.
I'm thinking of making his hair a bit more gray though...
Unfortunately I can only change the overall hair color instead of adding streaks of gray.
I need to memorize the script better and tweak the lipsync before the vid will be completed though.
It needs more editing before I upload it to my dA, but there isn't enough time to do so for using it as the script in that contest. This is what he will be telling the viewer:
How the Phoenix Warriors were founded:
So youâ€™re the new recruit then? Well, we will start at the same point I was started at when I joined up. To help you understand both what it is we do and why we do it I will tell you the story of how our organization was founded.
The physical world we see all around us is actually the place where all six Planes of Existence intersect. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Light, and Darkness mix and mingle at this point and the balance between them is what allows our world to exist. Unbalance the mix even slightly and the physical world begins to crumble, unbalance it in a large way and reality itself begins to come apart at the seams.
You know of our continent, Aria, of course, and of the Homeland of the Dragons to the north, right? Well several thousands of years in the past, before the Phoenix Warriors were founded, there used to be a third continent as well. It was to the west of here, as large as our Aria, and it was ruled by two vast empires. The names of those empires faded from history long ago, but the destruction that the war between them inflicted upon our world remains to this day. It is what led to the foundation of the Phoenix Warriors and the appointment of the first five members.
The continent was split down the center by a crevasse almost a mile wide. This crevasse was open to the ocean to the southeast and while narrowing towards the northwest the sides met barely a mile from the ocean on that side. This natural boundary divided the two empires and served well to keep aggression to a minimum for centuries, but as all empires do they eventually became greedy and tried to expand beyond it.
It started out as mere border skirmishes, but grew to be far more devastating. For many years they researched combat magics, particularly favored among the mages of both sides were the Elementals, due to their innate destructive potential. Of particular terror to sailors attempting to cross the divide was fire, so Salamanders were often used among the defenders on both shores. As the tensions between them built the battles expanded in scope, going from minor skirmishes to nightmarish scenes of carnage, leaving the ground devastated and infertile for miles around afterwards.
Even as things spiraled out of control and war became a way of life the crevasse remained a point of heavy contention between them. The summoned Salamanders remained pivotal in its defense so as a major assault was in the planning stages it was decided to try an experimental spell, one that would require a large number of Elemental Mages working in concert. Rather than taking only a small fragment of the Plane of Fire as is obtained through the Salamander Summoning spell, they would try to summon a huge section of the Plane of Fire into a single summons. In doing so they hoped to temporarily leave the area completely devoid of the fire energy required to summon the Salamanders to defend against the fleet with.
As the fleet launched the spell was cast, it workedâ€¦far too well. What they had neglected to take into account was the effect of tearing a large part of one of the very foundations of reality out from its realm and dropping it in another plane of existence. Reality began to warp, in the area where the summons manifested it became overloaded with fire energy and the very fabric of reality started to burn. Elsewhere, where the fire energy was taken from reality started to freeze and became brittle, crumbling at even the slightest touch or hint of movement. The border between was as sharp as a knifeâ€™s edge.
The mages did not escape the devastation either but the spell was not something that could simply be cancelled or cut off. It drained the magic from them steadily, whether they fed it into the spell intentionally or not.
The area affected by the spell contrasted sharply with the surrounding unaffected area, and the contrast caused a severe instability in the bedrock which swiftly spread as fire energy from the surroundings rushed to fill the void in the Plane of Fire. The best way I can think to describe its effects is to liken it to water in the physical world; it was as though the area suddenly became dry as a desert with cracks forming in the bedrock and then was abruptly saturated with water once again which forced the cracks wider, causing the ground to collapse into an enormous sinkhole which grew wider and wider by the second. Reality, still brittle from the draining of fire magic, crumbled under the pressure, first cracking, then disintegrating, then breaking even further until not even atoms remained.
In a matter of minutes the entire continent was engulfed in the resulting mayhem and destruction. When the incoming fire energy reached the mages it had all the force of a tidal wave of fire and with their magic drained by the spell they couldnâ€™t even begin to defend themselves and were incinerated instantly. Even as their lives ended so did their spell, dropping the mass of fire energy back into the Plane of Fire on top of the energy which had just flowed in. The resulting surplus over flowed into the physical world at one single point, about a mile beneath where the spell had been cast, liquefying the rock in an instant forming a huge bubble of magma. The expansion of the magma beneath the crust, so close to the fissure in the tectonic plates caused a massive earthquake and an accompanying volcanic eruption. The continent, already weakened and damaged, broke apart completely and its remnants sank beneath the sea with not a single inhabitant surviving.
The aftermath caused worldwide earthquakes powerful enough to reshape both Aria and the Homeland of the Dragons, and storms capable of leveling what few cities the earthquakes spared.
These earthquakes and storms continued unabated, beyond the power of any spell to quell. It swiftly became apparent to the Phoenix that nothing would survive if this continued and that the best minds and mages among the races were at a loss as to what to do. Being a creature of pure magic and not using â€œspellsâ€ as such to control its power the Phoenix was able to accomplish feats that no other being could even dream of, but at a cost. Flying to the epicenter of the disturbance, directly above where the spell had been cast, the Phoenix looked deeply within itself and drew forth more power than it ever had before, so much so it wasnâ€™t certain it could survive what it was about to do. Carefully it examined the snarled mess of magical and natural energies surrounding it. Then, following its instincts and applying the energy it had drawn forth, it spent the next several days painstakingly smoothing out and untangling these energies, calming the quakes and storms in the process.
Once it completed its task the Phoenix slowly and painfully flew back to its nest on the Phoenix Mount, the one place untouched by the chaos thanks to the Phoenixâ€™s protection, where despite the fact it was only a couple years into its cycle the Phoenix once again expired and was born anew. As soon as it hatched it began making plans for how to prevent such a disaster from occurring again, the five races could not be trusted to remember the danger forever on their own after all.
Taking five pieces of its shell it forged them with its own life force into five medallions, each with the power to bond to a single personâ€™s bloodline and enhance that individualâ€™s magic reserves, greatly increasing the amount of power they could draw upon. Once bonded they could only be used by that person until that person died, and then could only be handled by that personâ€™s descendants, once again bonding to a worthy individual whenever it came into their possession.
You should recognize the medallions Iâ€™m talking about; after all you wear one around your own neck.
Anyway, as I was saying, once the medallions were complete the Phoenix began to scour the two remaining continents with its telepathy and empathy for those who would be worthy to have a medallion bestowed upon them. The traits it was looking for were a strong sense of righteousness, a desire to protect, not only those close to them, but all others as well, and the courage to stand up to anything or anyone for what they believe in. Finding one member of each race; Human, Dwarf, Elf, Dragon, and Goblin; who it believed worthy of the medallions it called them together and requested their assistance, upon accepting it granted them the mark of a Phoenix Warrior upon their back and the enhanced healing and magical reserves that go with such. Once the mark was placed on them they were each granted one of the medallions which then proceeded to bind with them and their bloodline. These were the first of our order.
Alongside them were many others who, while not quite worthy of a medallion, there being only five such in existence, were more than capable and trustworthy enough to stand beside them when trouble arose. These became the foundation of the Phoenix Guard.
The only survivors from that other continent were those refugees who had fled the continent completely to escape the war before the spell was cast, among them was the one mage who had realized the danger that spell had posed and fled when his warnings were not heeded which is the only reason we know any details of the events that occurred there leading up the disaster while the Phoenix told us what happened during and immediately following the disaster itself.