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Cubic Motion investment

Cheshire-based animation outfit secures £100,000 grant.

27th May 2010

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has awarded a £100,000 Grant for Research and Development to Cubic Motion to research a new technology that would revolutionise the way facial animation is created within the digital media industry.

Based at the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus in Cheshire, Cubic Motion specialises in providing animation services to the video game, TV and film markets by converting data streams, such as video footage, into 3D facial animation.

The Grant for Research and Development project will allow Cubic Motion to research a new technological approach, which will potentially allow real-time transfer of extremely detailed facial movements from video to 3D characters at production levels of quality.

This novel solution would dramatically improve the workflow and efficiency of facial animation and make new products possible.

If successful, the end product will be an important contribution to the supply chain for graphics and animation techniques in the region.

Dr Steve Caulkin, leading the research at Cubic Motion said: 

“A real-time system capable of generating animation to professional level of quality is a difficult challenge. The research team here at Cubic have a great deal of experience in this area, and whilst we've seen the emergence of limited-quality attempts at real-time processing, we believe that achieving the level of precision required for usable, professional results requires a fundamental breakthrough in technology."

Grant for Research and Development is part of Solutions for Business, the Government's package of publicly funded business support designed to help companies start and grow, helping entrepreneurs and business owners introduce innovative products and processes, including research trials and product testing. As part of the response to the current economic downturn, GRAND is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with £1.1 million, together with £1.2 million from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

Dr. Edwards Cubic Motion's CEO, said:

"We are pleased with this insightful support of the work we do here at Cubic. This is an important contribution to our research activity and indicates a willingness to help maintain the UK's position as a leading innovator in animation and visual effects."

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive, NWDA said:

“Cubic Motion’s project offers a level of innovation that if fully realised, could have commercial opportunities in a huge global industry.

“England’s Northwest is home to one of the UK’s largest gaming industries, at the cutting edge of design and development. The Agency is pleased to offer a Grant for Research and Development and wish Cubic Motion every success with the project.”

The NWDA is playing a crucial role in response to the current economic downturn, with a number of actions being taken to meet the needs of businesses during these financially challenging times.

To keep updated on the range of support being offered by the NWDA go to - www.nwda.co.uk/supportingbusiness

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Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Shelley Tattersall on 01925 400256 / 07500 128482 / shelley.tattersall@nwda.co.uk for urgent out of hours press enquiries please call 01925 400259.

ERDF in the Northwest

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the Northwest. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. ERDF in the Northwest is managed by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). For further information please visit www.erdfnw.co.uk

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) works to deliver economic success in England’s Northwest by building the competitiveness of its businesses, people and places. Utilising our technical expertise and strategic influence, we help the region’s 250,000+ businesses to develop and grow, as well as supporting international trade and encouraging inward investment.

For further information and to view previous press releases visit us at www.nwda.co.uk or www.erdfnw.co.uk

About Cubic Motion

Cubic Motion are specialists in products and services for performance-based facial animation.

Cubic is run by a mix of scientists, artists and producers - all with extensive experience in movies,

video games and television. Cubic Motion was founded in 2009 by Mike Jones, Doug Tate and

Dr. Steven Dorning. The team is led by CEO Dr. Gareth Edwards, co-inventor of the Active

Appearance Model. Research and development is led by Dr. Steve Caulkin. 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.

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