is using NAB 2003 to announce what the company describes as the industry’s first MPEG-4 facial animation plug-in for Apple’s QuickTime technology. The plug-in, available for download, is designed to enable QuickTime 6 developers and users to create and distribute facial characters with realistic lip-sync.
The company’s face2face player delivers 30 frames-per-second animation — with audio and background images — in a streaming file that’s under 14.4 kilobits per second. The face2face QuickTime plug-in delivers the same 2 kilobit per second stream through QuickTime, regardless of the platform over which the content is distributed, according to Eric Petajan, founder and chief scientist of face2face and chairman of the MPEG-4 Face and Body Animation group.
face2face animation also plans to extend its QuickTime plug-in support to its partnership with Kaydara, which markets the Kaydara FBX file interchange format. Through FBX, which has been integrated with QuickTime, the face2face player will enable animators to create facial animations directly from digital video output or semiautomatically generate a face model from a single image of a face, along with perfect lip-synch, Petajan said. Kaydara has also released
MotionBuilder Personal Edition
(PE), a Mac OS X version of their 3D animation software for budding artists, 3D enthusiasts, students, and freelancers.
Using the face2face MPEG-4 authoring tools, face models can be animated semiautomatically from regular digital video capture, and created from a still image of a face. The face2face player is a real-time animated textured mesh designed to be driven by MPEG-4 Facial Animation Parameters (FAPs). You can extract from digital video into the face2face MPEG-4 facial motion capture system, without markers or extra animation software, and render into the new face2face player.