If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Accelerated Keyframing

Capture-free process aims to cheapen facial animation.

Cubic Motion, a leading studio for human and character facial animation, today announced the launch of a new service for rapid animation of AAA human and character rigs. Cubic’s new pipeline is known as Accelerated Keyframing and delivers the single-frame level of control associated with the highest quality animation, producing results as good as, or exceeding that achievable with performance capture. Clients need only to send audio files and optional performance notes (or visual reference video) from which Cubic Motion will supply up to 30 minutes of animation per week, and more with advance notice. The animated data is produced on the original channels of the client’s rig and requires no adjustments to their pipeline, leaving them with artistic control. Costs for the service range from $400 per minute to $1800 per minute depending on rig complexity. A sample of character animation created with this process – a reimagining of JFK - can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/5se68bs

Mike Jones, Director of Production explained:  “We have a great deal of experience in performance-based animation and it works well in many situations, but we’ve also spent a lot of time talking with clients who have issues with facial performance capture. These include cost – not just the cost of animation, but the cost of casting, directing and filming great facial performance. Many game developers are used to working with voice talent, but this doesn’t always easily transfer to a full capture pipeline and developers often want to create great animation without the extra overhead of a capture pipeline. Moreover, sometimes a human facial performance just doesn’t ‘work’ on a character, no matter how clever the performance transfer – Art Directors often want full control of the character animation regardless of the actor’s performance. We all know that skilled key frame animation can look great and is the ultimate guarantee of quality...provided you have enough time and money...which has always been the barrier. We wanted to change this, and so we’ve developed an ultrafast workflow that transforms client’s options. Of course a client can always choose to keyframe everything in-house, but we think that up to 30 minutes of consistent AAA-quality per week, priced from $400 to $1800 per minute represents quality, reliability and value that will often be better than a client’s in-house options. Besides, you’re free to work with and modify the data any way you like after we ship it.  We ask people not to take our word for it, but to run a free test on their own assets.”

About Cubic Motion

Cubic Motion www.cubicmotion.com  is a unique studio specializing in products and services for world-class facial animation. Cubic is run by a mix of scientists, artists and producers - all with extensive experience in movies, video games and television. The studio uses advanced technical processes and expert artists to accelerate animation production from any data source, including video, audio and motion capture. Recent projects include EA’s Medal of Honor and Eidos’ Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Rates start at seven dollars per second for production quality animation. The company's advisers include Professor Chris Taylor FrEng OBE, Associate Vice President of Research at Manchester University, and Andy Wood, a games industry veteran and director of Peter Gabriel's Real World.  

GamesIndustry International avatar

GamesIndustry International


GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.