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LIPSinc Releases AniMeter Facial Animation Tool

(August 17, 2001)
Have you seen Ani? Attendees of the World Animation Celebration in Hollywood were besieged by that question last week, in advance of LIPSinc's announcement of the release of AniMeter, its latest facial animation application for creation of talking digital characters.

AniMeter was unveiled today in Los Angeles to attendees of SIGGRAPH, and is now available for purchase from the product website,

Designed in response to the demands of professional animators and animation project managers, AniMeter is a metered, batch processing application that uses the pre-recorded voice to generate facial animation data, including lip-synchronization and corresponding speech gestures for 2D and 3D talking digital characters. The product gives animators great results at first pass for automated lip-synchronization, while giving production managers more control over costs on a per/project basis.

``AniMeter frees animators from the tedious and time-consuming process of hand scrubbing the dialogue required to create basic talking characters,'' says Michael Zapata III, Head Mouth (CEO) of LIPSinc. ``Animators can now focus on the art of bringing talking characters to life. Further, the animators can purchase only the amount of dialog processing they need for a given project.''

According to a survey of computer animators, manually lip-synching a 60 second segment of dialog for a realistic, high poly 3D character can take as much as 80 hours to complete. At an average cost of $65 per hour for a skilled animator, 60 seconds of lip-synching for one character's speech can cost up to $5,200. At $200/per minute, AniMeter significantly reduces the time and cost of animating that 60 seconds of dialogue.

Where's Ani?

LIPSinc developed the character Ani Meter, an ace animation assistant known for her lightning-fast facial animation skills, to announce the product release. Like Ani, AniMeter functions as an animation assistant, rapidly generating the basic animation data for talking digital characters. LIPSinc has been conducting a ``missing virtual person'' search for Ani over the past few weeks, including reported sightings throughout the country. The Ani character will be revealed at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles, August 12-17.

How Does AniMeter Work?

The standard data generated by AniMeter can be used with a number of professional animation applications, including 3ds max(TM), Maya(TM), LightWave(TM), Hash Animation:Master, and others. Though optimized for American English, AniMeter has shown excellent results with numerous languages, enabling easy and inexpensive multi-language localization. AniMeter processing time is available in quantities of 90 seconds, 3 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes.

AniMeter in Action

Legend Entertainment is sold on AniMeter. They're using the application to develop the facial animation for talking 3-D game characters in the eagerly anticipated Unreal II title, scheduled for release early in 2002.

``Realistic talking characters are a large part of Unreal II,'' says Mike Verdu of Legend Entertainment. ``That, plus the fact that the game will be available in four languages, made it clear that we needed AniMeter to create the title.'' In addition to Legend, LIPSinc has licensed AniMeter to Anzovin Studios and formed an AniMeter distribution agreement with GAMEproducer, one of the leading technology resources for game developers.

For more information, visit

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