LIV is now the official search tool for third-person capture

Meta is deprecating its Quest mixed reality capture tool and officially supporting LIV instead.

In this industry “mixed reality” actually has two related but distinct meanings. One meaning is the apps and games you use on a headset that combines real and virtual. The other meaning, what LIV does, is to create a real person or avatar on the flat screen visuals of a VR game to better represent what it feels like to be inside it. The result can be used in trailers or live streams, and is the next best thing to putting a headset on someone’s head.

LIV has been helping developers, YouTubers and broadcasters create this type of mixed reality look since 2016. It was used to create many of the trailers for the original HTC Vive launch titles, for example.

As of 2019, Meta has had its own competitive Mixed Reality Capture tool for the Rift and Quest as well. But today Meta announced that it is deprecating this tool and making LIV the official successor.

LIV used in a VR game trailer (Broken lip)

The initial focus of this partnership will be to enable the capture of high-quality third-person footage of mixed reality Quest games through a computer and external camera.

LIV already supports recording footage of full VR games this way, but Meta has now funded LIV to add support for capturing Quest mixed reality games with this method as well.

This funding also brings support for Quest’s hand tracking, scene understanding, spatial anchors, and dynamic closure to the app, so apps that use these features can also capture high-quality desktop footage.

All this is available in LIV SDK 2.0. The beta is available today for Unity and will come to Unreal Engine later this year. By the end of the year, the company aims to release a stable non-beta version for both engines.

The company claims that “tons” of new Quest apps are adding support for LIV, including Gorilla Tag and Racket Club.

Sometime in the coming weeks LIV also plans to release the Quest Creator Kit, a Quest SDK that will allow creators to capture standalone visuals in Quest without a PC. First-person views can be stabilized and have a wider field of view than a headset, similar to the Meta Quest Developer Hub cinematic mode, and third-person footage will also be supported.

LIV used in a mixed reality game trailer (Rocket Club)

LIV notes that the Meta partnership will not remove anything from the existing PC VR offering, and the LIV PC app will continue to be distributed through Steam. He also says there’s no exclusivity contract here, so this work can be used to support other mixed reality headsets when the market conditions to do so make sense.

LIV is also sticking to its promise to “never” charge developers or creators for using its capture tools and SDKs. The startup says it survives on funding from investors like HTC Vive and Palmer Luckey, and has a commercial license for larger businesses, in addition to the funding it now receives from Meta.

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