Hand Engine 1.1.1 release puts user experience first

Hand Engine 1.1.1 close up

Today’s release includes new features and UI enhancements designed to make the user experience smoother and more intuitive for both new and experienced users of Hand Engine.

For example, Hand Engine now includes a Restore Session function, which is useful when you want to return to where you were during your last session, and will come to your rescue should the app close unexpectedly.

Our last update included a preview of our Express Calibration feature, which allows you to calibrate our gloves to a user’s hands in seconds. While still a preview feature, we have made it even simpler to get started and to tailor your performance by hitting the poses you care about. Each actor Profile can now use Express Calibration and calibrations can be stored for reuse. 

Hybrid-Express

Perhaps one of the more exciting developments in version 1.1.1 is the ability to use Hybrid Mode with Express Calibration.

Hybrid Mode is a pose detection feature that makes it possible to layer key pretrained, artistic poses over the top of your Express Calibration and blend smoothly between them.

A More Intuitive UI

User Interface updates in this release have been made in response to both customer feedback and an expert UX review.

We’ve made Hand Engine easier to use through better labeling, the addition of tooltips that appear on mouse hover, and placing some components in more intuitive locations.

The UI maintains its familiar look and feel, but users will find it easier to navigate than previously.

Here is the full list of updates and features added in Hand Engine 1.1.1:

Features

  • Restore session – Hand Engine automatically saves the session when it closes. The session can be restored on the next restart (File → Restore Session). It will always restore the last session
  • Improved Express Calibration (Beta preview)
    • Each Profile can use Express Calibration
    • Express Calibration can be saved to a Profile and accessed as required – no need to recalibrate
  • Hybrid pose detection mode can be run in combination with Express Calibration. See our Knowledge Base page: How to Setup Express Calibration Mode in Hand Engine 1.1.1
  • Playback speed can be controlled
    • In File mode file can be played back at different speeds (1x, 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x)
    • Limitation: speed can’t be changed during playback
  • Toggle to swap hand engine hands around in viewport (Settings->Preferences)
  • Added auto-setup: on selecting profile it will reinitialize last trained mode and turn preview on
  • It’s no longer required to manually turn on preview as it will automatically be turned on after training a glove
  • Odd numbers of devices by default set to left hand, even numbers of devices by default set to right hand by default. This is customizable. 
  • Capture Pose will check if preview is turned on to prevent user error
  • Added network source option of UDP data stream – in addition to TCP data stream

UI Changes

  • Capture button renamed to “Capture Pose” instead of “Calibrate”
  • Added tooltips to key components/ UI elements in HE
  • Added StretchSense favicon to browser tab to make it easier to recognize the Hand Engine tab
  • Added Export FBX button to File tab (removed Export tab)
    • Selected recording file can be exported from the same tab
  • Renamed “Auto Capture” to “Pose Calibration Timer”
  • Renamed “Auto Mode” → “Auto Advance Pose”
  • New flashing red icon to show when a recording is active (from within or outside HE)
  • Usability improved with pose library and file import / export buttons repositioned

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed keyframe generation in FBX to improve stability of exported FBX files
  • Load session file also restores remapping/retargeting of FBX (customer asset) files
  • Fixes to manage glove timecode packet to make it more stable
  • Uninstalling Hand Engine will also deactivate the license (no need for manual intervention)
  • Fixed delay in Hand Engine recording if recording is triggered from MotionBuilder
  • Prevent selection of the same profile for different devices when in group calibration. This will prevent duplicate poses added to the same profile.
  • Fixed calculation for computing remapping offsets for metacarpal joints

Known Issues

  • Express Calibration is not suitable for calibrating groups. Groups must either use Performance Calibration (greater accuracy, up to 6 gloves at once,15-20 min) or individually use Express Calibration (15sec per glove)

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