Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 2 (Feb 2000)

News & Products - 2/00

FamousFaces is a facial animation program from a relatively new company, Famous Techn ologies, that allows users to animate dialog and facial expressions based on an actor's performance. The software, now in use at a number of special effects studios, allows for the efficient creation of lifelike motion and lip-synched audio.

Version 1.5, now shipping, offers the addition of multiple input support, with which motion capture, video, puppetry devices, voice recognition, or a combination of all these can be used as input for facial animation. Other additions to the program include real-time game animation, plug-in support for LightWave 3D (Softimage, 3D Studio Max, and Maya are already supported), and added support for Kaydara's Filmbox. Also new is the ability to animate data from motion-capture sources including 2D and 3D systems from Motion Analysis, Phoenix, Vicon, and Xist.

Larry Stanton, vice president of technology for Netter Digital Entertainment in North Hollywood, California, says the studio is currently using Version 1.5 of Famous Faces for two CG projects. "It's a great program and it fills a couple of holes that LightWave didn't have tools for internally, and we're getting some pretty fantastic stuff out of it," he says.

FamousFaces 1.5 requires Windows NT and a 133mhz Pentium processor with 32mb of RAM. A 300mhz Pentium II or higher with 128mb of RAM and an OpenGL accelerator is recommended. The cost of the program is $4990.(Famous Technologies; San Fran cisco; 415-835-9445;