Score another one for the proponents of digital cloning! Yesterday, in Los Angeles, Softimage unveiled its state-of-the-art Face Robot, a hot new software application which delivers realistic, lifelike facial animation for high-end film, post and games projects. Created to work with all major 3D applications and to be easily added to studio pipelines, the software promised to deliver high-quality or high-volume facial animation in less amount of time.
‘Believable facial animation is arguably the hardest problem in computer graphics today, and a huge challenge for 3D production,’ says Marc Stevens, VP of Softimage. ‘Face Robot is an important step for Softimage, building on our long-standing heritage of innovation focused on revolutionizing the way 3D animators work. We are very excited to deliver a new technology that truly empowers artists to bring human characters to life with unprecedented quality and efficiency.’
Face Robot software allows direct manipulation to various anatomical features such as the mouth, eyebrows and jaws. Because the tool gives animators more precision of control, they can sculpt finer nuances of an expression any time during the animation process. The software features a special soft-tissue ‘solver’ which provides facial tissue slides and deforms during formation of expressions.
Avid/Softimage’s Face Robot has built-in support for importing and exporting of Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya file formats. Other key features includes animation retargeting, SDK and multiple scripting languages, point caching with all major 3D apps, .C3D Motion file import and reference HD footage of actors performing facial expressions and phonemes.
Face Robot is expected to be available for purchase this month (Designer package is priced at $94,995 while the Animator hybrid environment is available for $14,995). More information, videos and background details on the technology are available at www.softimage.com/