LOS ANGELES - March 29, 2010 - Image Metrics, Inc. (OTC BB: IMGX), a leading provider of facial animation technology and services for the entertainment industry, today revealed its work with creative production studio Motion Theory on an official 2010 NCAA March Madness public service announcement (PSA) that will air throughout the year to encourage NCAA athletes to commit equal effort to both studies and sports. Having previously collaborated with Image Metrics for the Black Eyed Peas' Grammy Award-winning " Boom Boom Pow" music video, Motion Theory enlisted the Company's expertise once more to create a photo-real digital head replacement of famous basketball coach John Wooden from the era in which he won 10 national titles at UCLA and became the first person to ever become a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both an athlete and a coach.
View the NCAA March Madness PSA here:
"When you recreate a younger version of a living legend like John Wooden, you need to communicate the iconic subtleties of expression that we remember and expect to see when he speaks," explained Brian Waddle, Image Metrics' executive vice president. "Following Image Metrics' work helping Digital Domain create an incredibly realistic digital double in 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,' we're thrilled to have contributed our expertise in creating believable computer-generated faces to the production of this inspiring spot. Image Metrics' performance capture technology was perfectly suited to replicate the intricate details and subtle nuances of Wooden's facial movements as he encourages NCAA players to invest in their futures as student athletes in this stirring PSA."
To recreate Wooden's likeness, Image Metrics and Motion Theory used archival photos and previous video footage from the 1970s to construct a head model of Coach Wooden from scratch. In just over eight weeks, Image Metrics created approximately 20 seconds of photo real facial animation that allows Wooden to deliver a new inspirational message in the commercial spot. The animation was generated using the Image Metrics-developed Wooden facial model and rig combined with the Company's proprietary performance capture technology. The animation was then lit and composited into the each of the scenes by Motion Theory. Image Metrics animation team then fine-tuned the final animation to exactly match Wooden's signature style and presence on screen.
"Our goal from the start was to create invisible CG on John Wooden so that it didn't get in the way of the storytelling, and Image Metrics led the way in helping us to deliver that engaging experience for the audience," said Grady Hall, Director at Motion Theory. "Image Metrics was able to bring John Wooden fully to life in just the right way. It's an amazing feeling to have produced a finished spot where uninitiated viewers don't notice the Coach is actually a CG head."
About Motion Theory
Motion Theory is a creative production studio that unites the efforts of directors, animators, designers, visual effects artists and writers, resulting in a deeply collaborative approach to creative development, filmmaking, design and innovative visual effects.
Motion Theory has delivered work for some of the world's leading companies, including IBM, Disney, Nintendo, Budweiser, Honda, Nike, Hewlett Packard, Tanqueray, Lexus, and Universal Music Group and partnered with top advertising agencies, including Wieden+Kennedy, Ogilvy&Mather, Goodby Silverstein&Partners, Leo Burnett and Young&Rubicam. Additionally, leading artists, including Weezer, Green Day, Beck, Adele and REM have sought out the studio's directors to create music videos.
The studio has been recognized for its groundbreaking projects, receiving awards from the AICP, Grammys, AIGA, Art Directors Club, Clios, and D&AD awards for outstanding direction, creative design, animation and multi-channel work. For more information, please visit www.motiontheory.com.
About Image Metrics ( http://www.image-metrics.com )
Image Metrics provides facial animation software and services to the interactive entertainment and film 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' works with all major names in the games and entertainment industries which include, Activision-Blizzard, Rockstar, Microsoft, 2K, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, Sony, Bethesda, DNeg, Motion Theory and Moving Picture Company. Image Metrics has offices in Manchester, UK and Santa Monica, California.
James Leahy, David Collins