Friday, February 18th, 2011 Posted by Jim Thacker

Facial tech behind Splice coming to online avatars
Image Metrics’ film reel (pre-Splice)

Facial animation specialist Image Metrics has acquired avatar-creation firm Big Stage. Big Stage’s technology will be used as the basis of a new Image Metrics product line: its first consumer release.

Image Metrics’ technology, which includes a proprietary markerless facial capture system, has been used on movies including Splice and a number of triple-A games, including Red Dead Redemption and God of War III.

Image Metrics Inc, a leading provider of facial animation technology for the entertainment industry, has acquired
Big Stage’s premier platform for consumer avatar creation services. Big Stage was honored in 2009 by Forbes magazine as one of America’s top 20 Most Promising Companies. Its software allows consumers to instantly transform photographs into realistic 3-D, animated characters to represent themselves in virtual worlds, video games, video clips and online communities.

Image Metrics plans to merge Big Stage’s “Portable You” avatar creation platform into their existing real-time video-driven animation technology and make a new product suite available in the third quarter of 2011. This will allow online and mobile entertainment, social network and communications companies to provide their users with a simple, easy-to-use solution for integrating more realistic avatars into their consumer offerings. Image Metrics will also package and provide Portable You(TM) directly to consumers to allow them to customize their digital likeness and utilize it within their digital networks for a richer and more interactive experience.

“We are extremely pleased with the talent and technology coming from Big Stage,” said Image Metrics CEO Robert Gehorsam. “Their advanced yet easy-to-use avatar creation technology is the perfect platform to package with our facial animation technology for a complete life-like digital solution for both consumers and developers alike.”

Read more about Image Metrics

Read more about Big Stage