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Eidos Uses ShapeSnatcher Suite to Create Virtual Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Host

(August 01, 2001)
Eidos Interactive is using Eyetronics' ShapeSnatcher Suite to create a virtual version of British TV host Chris Tarrant for the video game Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? 2nd Edition.

ShapeSnatcher Suite is an integrated software package that transforms an average slide projector and digital camera into a sophisticated 3D scanning and modeling system.

Eidos Interactive used the software to create a realistic 3D model of Tarrant's face that could be animated. The lip-synched virtual host will be made up of more than 20,000 polygons, enabling him to ask questions, give answers and utter the now-famous phrase, "Is that your final answer?" The game also includes a 3D audience and more than 1,000 new questions.

"ShapeSnatcher is extremely easy to set up and use," says Martin Alltimes, the game's executive producer. "You can obtain stunning results within a matter of hours and the quality of the textures and 3D geometry is second to none."

The first version of the game, which is the UK's biggest selling game of all time, did not include a graphical representation of Tarrant. ShapeSnatcher made it possible for the upcoming PlayStation 2 version to include the virtual host. "ShapeSnatcher allowed us to transform the original PlayStation title into a showcase next-generation console game," Alltimes says.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? 2nd Edition will be available in the U.K. this November. ShapeSnatcher is also being used to scan Jean-Pierre Foucault, the host of the French version of the game.

The ShapeSnatcher system is used in animation production, game development, research, engineering and retail to quickly create accurate 3D models from physical objects. The software runs on most PCs using Windows or Linux, as well as on SGI IRIX systems. Since it is a software solution, users can upgrade their computer hardware and digital camera as technology and project requirements dictate. The Eyetronics 3D scanning solution is extremely mobile and can be used anywhere to capture a person or object.

ShapeSnatcher supports popular 3D animation and CAD software packages, as well as standard graphics import and export formats. Using Eyetronics' ShapeReducer, large files can be reduced in size while maintaining quality for streaming over the Internet.

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