August 12, 2008
Image Metrics Launches In-House Beta of Its Award Winning Facial Animation Solution for First Time
Image Metrics, the leading provider of facial animation solutions to the entertainment industry, is offering visual effects and film studios access to a portion of its facial animation technology for the first time. The new performance transfer solution, now in beta, will enable select studios to incorporate the power of Image Metrics' facial animation technology into their internal pipelines for increased creative control, cost-efficiencies and production speed.
Using no markers or makeup, Image Metrics' facial animation solution captures actors' performances with video, and then analyzes that video with its proprietary performance analysis technology. Once analyzed, the performance data is mapped onto the CG model with Image Metrics' performance transfer solution. The entire process more quickly and cost-effectively captures the pixel-level details that bring faces to life.
The new performance transfer solution enables customers to manage that final step of the process in-house, increasing their creative control while benefiting from the efficiency and cost-savings that Image Metrics' facial animation technology offers.
"In today's competitive film and visual effects markets, it's no longer good enough to deliver lifelike animation - studios need to deliver superior CG performances faster and more cost-effectively than ever before," said Kelvin Duckett, executive vice president of Image Metrics. "The Image Metrics performance transfer solution gives our film industry clients more creative control over their characters than ever before, while ensuring that the process is cost-effective and as simple to incorporate into their projects as possible. The beta process will help us work closely with customers in real production environments to develop an offering that exactly meets their needs."
-- More Creative Control: With direct access to Image Metrics' new performance transfer solution, studios will be able to manage the creative process of applying the analysis data to the CG model and polishing the character's facial performance in-house.
-- Improved Speed and Cost Efficiency: Image Metrics' performance capture solutions automate the facial animation process by applying the actor's exact performance to the computer-generated character. This not only enables much faster animation compared to traditional methods; it also reduces the costs associated with longer production schedules.
-- Seamless Pipeline Integration: The in-house offering can be integrated with popular 3D animation applications, such as Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max, to fit within the studio's existing workflow.
Film industry clients will also continue to have the option to outsource the entire facial animation process to Image Metrics.
The performance transfer solution beta is open to a limited number of participants. Interested studios should contact Image Metrics for further details.
About Image Metrics
Image Metrics provides superior facial animation solutions to the interactive entertainment, film and television industries. Developed by a team of computer vision Ph.D.s, Image Metrics rapidly re-creates facial performances without markers or makeup, achieving levels of realism and fidelity that are unparalleled in computer graphics. Image Metrics' solutions enjoy widespread adoption by some of the best-known production studios in the entertainment world, including Digital Domain, Rockstar Games and Sony Computer Entertainment. Image Metrics has offices in Santa Monica, California and Manchester, U.K. Company investors include Saffron Hill Ventures.
KEYWORDS: Image Metrics, facial animation, performance driven animation, Siggraph, markerless facial animation, photo-real animation, film industry, VFX, visual effects