"We haven't used FaceStation yet on any of our products, but I am assessing it," says Mike Swanson, manager of technical art for LucasArts Entertainment Company in San Rafael, California. "Creating facial animation to audio sync is an arduous task that usually takes weeks-this could be done by a single animator in a third of the time using FaceStation."
The suite consists of FaceTracker, which recognizes faces in real time in a standard video signal; FaceLifter, which works with pre-recorded videotape or digital video files of human actors; FaceDriver, a plug-in to software packages such as 3ds max and Alias|Wavefront's Maya that applies the facial motion data to a 3D scene; and Avatar Editor, which helps users quickly create 3D characters that can be used with FaceStation.
FaceStation requires a Windows-based workstation with 512mb of memory running either 3ds max or Maya. A standard video capture device and camera are also necessary. (Eyematic; www.eyematic.com) -Jenny Donelan