New animation group wants to deliver hassle-free, affordable animation solutions

Former Image Metrics trio establish new venture, Cubic Motion

Three former executives from the 3D facial animation specialist Image Metrics have formed their own animation studio.

Cubic Motion is the brainchild of founding trio Steven Dorning, Doug Tate and Mike Jones. Their previous employer, Image Metrics, is a group specialising in ‘markerless’ motion capture animation systems. The group is perhaps best known for its Emily advertisement (pictured), a promo where the subject – for some – passed the uncanny valley test.

Let’s take another look:

Yet Cubic Motion, based in Manchester, England, intends to deliver new methods of ‘human capture’ and character animation to mass-market projects. Co-founder Doug Tate states that developers “should have access to greater flexibility in capture and animation methods.”

“Performance-driven animation shouldn’t mean facing tough integration challenges,” he said. “We’re working closely with audio and traditional motion capture partners, as well as our early customers, to ensure that anyone working with Cubic Motion has a hassle-free experience”.

Tate also wants to rid the concept that high-quality animation should be cheap. “The very highest quality facial animation achievable in video games should be available at a price point that makes manual key framing uneconomic,” he says. “The days when performance driven animation was seen as a high end solution, affordable to only the best funded projects, are over”.

Cubic Motion is currently working on closed development projects with early clients, though the group’s services will be open to all by July.

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