Facial animation tech specialist Image Metrics has aquired avatar creation company CharacterFX.
As part of the deal, the Character FX founder John Riggs has joined Image Metrics as director of avatar development.
The CharacterFX offering provides an integrated facial rigging tool-set, which Riggs authoured for Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max. The solution lets developers create character facial rigs using a proprietary automated weighting transfer system conceined to rapidly shift a given character's facial motion, for what promise to be high-level life-like movements.
Image Metrics has acquired CharacterFX with a view to integrate the tool into its popular animation suite Faceware.
"It takes a great computer-generated character and a great performance driving it to make a scene feel real and believable. To create facial animation that features these elements, Image Metrics has developed a unique technology for capturing the soul of an actor's performance, and the addition of the Character-FX technology will massively accelerate our ability to create and animate great character models," said Michael Starkenburg, Image Metrics' CEO.
"Image Metrics is dedicated to providing our customers with the technology they need to efficiently and cost effectively create incredible character performances. This acquisition allows us to take another step in that direction."
Riggs brings with him over 15 years as a 3D animator working in the video game, television and film industries.
Image Metrics and CharacterFX have already worked closely together, in a collaborative advertising project for the National College Basketball Championships.