March 28, 2007

Electronic Arts Liscenses Autodesk's HumanIK Middleware

San Francisco, Calif. - Autodesk Inc. has licensed HumanIK middleware to Electronic Arts, a leading game developer, for next-generation game development with in-game 3D character animation.
Autodesk HumanIK is a customized development library that enables animated game characters to interact more realistically with digital environments. Dynamically and accurately porting animation data from the authoring environment into the game engine gives developers increased flexibility in animating the game with more realistic, real-time results.
The HumanIK middleware has been used, along with Autodesk Maya 3D software and Autodesk MotionBuilder character animation software, in EA's Def Jam: Icon, FIFA Soccer 07, and NBA Street Homecourt titles.
Built from the HumanIK character technology found in the Maya and MotionBuilder software, Autodesk HumanIK middleware provides an inverse kinematics (IK) animation system. It lets game developers control the animation of a character's body and limbs at run-time, resulting in a higher level of realism in the game. Artists are empowered within the game authoring environment, as HumanIK delivers a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) workflow.
"Middleware solutions, such as Autodesk HumanIK, are a key element in helping game developers create titles faster and more cost-effectively than ever before," says Michael Arrington, analyst at Acacia Research Group. "Instead of reinventing the wheel with each new title, game developers can use established middleware solutions as a foundation and focus their efforts on developing the innovative technologies and compelling content that will distinguish their games in the marketplace."
Developed by EA Chicago, Def Jam: Icon is now shipping. The hip hopfighting game was designed to be more realistic than the franchise's previous titles, taking advantage of the increased capabilities of next-generation platforms. Players fight their way to the top of the game's social ladder while adding elements of realism via the latest hip-hop fashions and licensed gear.
Already available on Xbox 360, EA's NBA Street Homecourt is in stores. The game features the hometown courts of some of the NBA's biggest stars. Players start their journey as anonymous ballers and earn names for themselves as they go head-to-head with the NBA's best, and put their own hometowns on the map. Also now available, FIFA Soccer 07 received praise for its realistic advanced animation.