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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Facial capture and animation system that creates Unreal images

Image Metrics has bridged the Uncanny Valley, developing a superior facial capture and animation system that creates
facial animation with far greater accuracy, as much as seven times faster than keyframing, and they only need video files and a facial rig and 3D model to get started. One of the latest production companies to take advantage of the new technology was Rockstar Games, producing faces for the ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ game scenes.

The eyes, even the tongue are returned fully animated, captured from the actor without any markers and no set up time, all at the location of the clients’ choice, and essentially no limitation to movement. Performance can be captured at the same time as body motion capture or separately during voice over. Working in Maya, Softimage|XSI, Houdini, 3ds Max, LightWave 3D, or Motion Builder, finished facial animations are returned to the studio in the same file format received, ready to be dropped right back into the pipeline. And with a client list including EA, Digital Domain, Rhythm and Hues, Rockstar, Konami, Capcom, Epic, Sony and others, it seems Image Metrics is on to something big.

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