DDE Update and removal


Hi All,

A few of you were asking about DDE support with the updated console. I asked after our meeting what happened to it and wanted to let you know that it has been removed. The reason for removal is to allow us to remain focused on our HMD work.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Hello again old acquaintances!

I hope this is only temporary focus based decision and that it will be reimplemented once the HMD sprints are over. But I fear the worst as why not just leave it in its state and getting around to reworking it later.

Not that happy of that decision if permanent. .

Especially since I didnt seem to have major issues with DDE at all, other than the restructure of the menu hiding the darn calibration button. which one expects from these things:

###So here are my questions:

  1. Is this temporary? If Not following questions apply.

  2. Will there be a system to replace it? If Not:

  3. So HiFi will focus on exclusively HMD experiences? If this is true, you may want to update the website to state it instead of

Whether from a laptop with a webcam or with a head-mounted display, High Fidelity’s free platform faithfully captures the way we move and communicate, creating the possibility for lifelike and emotional interactions.

And Under the Hood feature of Facial feature aware, all features which would no longer apply.

  1. If Exclusive HMD experiences is the target, how do you plan on competing against products that do these much better already? Especially if FB is working on something.

  2. How can you differentiate HiFi from other competitors HMD based VRW? “Openness and Free” isn’t too much of a deal for regular end users.

  3. How can you differentiate HiFi from WebVR platforms? They are catching up.

  4. How do you keep end users without more end users?

  5. How do you keep end users in without Content Creators?

  6. How can you keep Content creators in without end users?

  7. How HiFi will stay afloat?

To Be Blunt, I am upset if it is removed permanently, as it may be shown for me editing this same post upto 30+ times.

For me, it is one of the key points that made High Fidelity different and superior to all the other countless and growing amount of Social VRW platforms. It is something that made me tolerate all the Blender related insanity, and spending time getting avatars to work on HiFi, and the lack of a text chat and better social tools because it was a feature I saw that would bring Social VRW out of the woodworks and be a gateway for non-HMD users to migrate into HMD users over a long period of time. instead of attempting to get every user to be a HMD user.

With the amount of owners of FaceRig, I’d say there is an opportunity for a Social Platform to have facial tracking, especially for one based on close interaction and Peripherals. It has sold that many, even though it simply just runs on people just using it as a emulated webcam who just use existing communication tools like skype.

Keeping it also in mind, as next generation of HMD head sets may have sensor in the foam to check changes in expression, as well as mouth tracking: it would be good to have support for such input already in, and have avatars supporting it way before anyone else implements them. It would also allow for non-HMD users to a way to express and communicate with each other, without hand controllers and HMD head tracking.

As a Content Creator, without a feature to keep non-HMD users in, I just feel that High Fidelity is too risky of a time investment. Userbase is not a drive as of this moment, so instead so far I’ve been going by faith in the features. I just don’t see HMDs and Gesture driven controllers to be a major driving force for VRW until they become much more affordable: instead it will be the userbase. And for userbases to thrive there needs to be better social tools and social features that differentiate Hifi from the other worlds for both HMD and Non-HMD users alike.

If focusing on HMD releases, why has High Fidelity stayed so quiet with external HMD community PR: there is only a few months remaining before first units ship, yet it is relatively unknown in any of the HMD communities.

At very minimum give us much, much better Blendshape control support via scripts.

  • then give us the ability for the scripts to listen for local events from a third party app,
  • maybe we will see face tracking as a plugin instead of how it is now…

I’d be ok for creating expressions for a while with just hud buttons. Until someone figures out how to make a separate add on that interfaces with the script, sorta like faceshift.


I have mixed feelings on the removal of dde.For a while I had it working quite well then eventually it got worse and worse so i stopped using it. The insanely expensive faceshift always gave better results but I get the feeling that support for it will silently disappear one day too. Loss of facial capture would be a tragedy
I notice that support for the primesence cam was also removed…
should we look at other free alternatives?

if we can get a working solution it would be a huge selling point , like facerig is on steam


The facetracknoIr is simply a tracking tool to check Head rotation and positioning though. It doesnt do expressions


There must be a cheaper alternative to faceshift tho
can we use Facerig even?

We cant lets this die quietly -.- especially now were getting rolling with blender


You can even do the tracking in Blender, but not real time ones… :frowning:


What would it take for someone to develop their own, from scratch, for HiFi and the like?


I’m glad you asked, I hastily made some notes lol

this vid shows something else you can do using head tracking that i wanted an option for in hifi


So, what is the licensing on that code? And is that the code listing the entire facial-expressions tracking system? (Can’t be, it’s too short… :smiley: )

(edited to add)
And wow, the concept in that video you added on is worth having in HiFi, too!


When the camera was attached to the head with the DDE, that was quite easilly achieved. When it didnt move the camera any longer, it was a shame :frowning:


I can understand them pulling ddr to make the installer smaller but i think maybe a hidden download an extra thing option must be possible (experimental addons)


I didnt imo add much. The installer is still the same size as It used to be .


it was lacking a easy way to tweak its settings. If you spent time on your cam position and lighting It could work really well , but if u had a crappy cam and bad lighting the results were poor. But it was hard to find the sweet spot


Camera Quality will always affected it more than the lighting. There is no way around that issue.

But those have much, much lower barrier of entry than HMDs and most who use social platforms such as skype or hangouts tend to have an ok webcam. And by default, those running on Macs have a really good camera on them.

For example, Was tracking fine with my 30€ Lifecam-HD 3000, and on an Macbook Pro Camera with a backlit room instead of front lit (aka monitors being the only source of light). That and I am of darker asian complexion, so that should be making it even worse.

But regardless, a setting tweak would have also helped it tons and usability tweaks but now its simply just being moved to the sidelines if not behind the barn


it is under some sort of OSL: (CSIRO OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE LICENCE)


So, how does this OSL license effect commercial usage?


CSIRO grants to you a license to any patents granted for inventions implemented by the Software for academic, research and non-commercial use only.

In short no.


So, basically, HiFi can’t use it, since HiFi itself is essentially a commercial enterprise, even if the code they develop is meant to be open source. What we need is a face-tracking software that does NOT have a restriction against being used in or with something commercial.


Which is why I see the obvious choice being to continue with the dde method as it has been worked on for a year or if the devs have an alternative they should communicate that.


In any event, it would be useful to know WHY they’re dropping DDE support. Is it because it’s too much work to keep it supported? Is it because there’s some license issue that would cost too much for them to pay at the moment? Or some clause in the license that precludes them open-sourcing it? Is it because there’s something better in the wings they’ve simply not gotten around to telling us about? Something else?