Image Metrics Acquires Avatar-Creator Big Stage

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Facial-animation tech company Image Metrics has acquired software company Big Stage, maker of programs that allow consumers to instantly transform photographs into 3D animated characters for use as avatars in virtual worlds and games.

Image Metrics plans to merge Big Stage’s Portable You avatar-creation platform into its real-time video-driven animation technology and make a new product suite available in the third quarter of 2011.

This will allow online and mobile entertainment, social network and communications companies to provide their users with a simple, easy-to-use solution for integrating more realistic avatars into their consumer offerings. Image Metrics will also package and provide Portable You directly to consumers to allow them to customize their digital likeness and use it within their digital networks.

Big Stage was honored in 2009 by Forbes magazine as one of America’s top 20 Most Promising Companies.

“We are extremely pleased with the talent and technology coming from Big Stage,” said Image Metrics CEO Robert Gehorsam. “Their advanced yet easy-to-use avatar creation technology is the perfect platform to package with our facial animation technology for a complete life-like digital solution for both consumers and developers alike.”

Image Metrics has long track record of  providing facial animation solutions to video game and film companies  such as Activision-Blizzard, Double Negative, Microsoft, Moving Picture Company, Rockstar and Digital Domain.