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ImageMetrics Facial Animation Tapped For UT3, GTA IV

50°
341w ago - Animation software company Image Metrics has revealed that its proprietary facial animation solution was used to animate characters in games including 2K Games' Top Spin 3, Epic's Unreal Tournament 3, and Rockstar's Midnight Club Los Angeles and Grand Theft Auto IV.

The company says its animation solution animates faces without the need for markers or makeup, and is able to translate human movement onto the faces of game characters.

For example, for Top Spin 3, Image Metrics produced 10 minutes of facial animation, focused mainly on reaction shots for the tennis title. The company also held a two-day recording session at Epicıs North Carolina studio to create the necessary video for Unreal Tournament 3, and provided performance capture animation for six characters in all cut scenes.

Epic Games president Michael Capps commented, "It was critical to maintain our high level of cinematic quality while reducing the amount of manual animation effort. We chose Image Metrics to be our partner on Unreal Tournament 3 and were quite pleased with their effort and the end result."

Video can be seen below:




 

Lost Planet for PS3 requires 5GB Installation

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341w ago - Capcom was kind enough to send us a pre-release copy of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition for our PlayStation 3. Surprisingly, just like Devil May Cry 4, Capcom also requires a 5GB installation that can take up to 15-20 minutes.

Only this time, there isn't much to read on-screen, and it's pretty much pointless to sit in front of the TV watching it install so very slowly.

While we are confident that the 5GB installation is worth it, will this be a Capcom requirement for all of their PS3 titles? Perhaps.
 

Special PlayStation Store Update - GHIII Content FREE!

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341w ago - Sony will be releasing a special update to the PlayStation Store later tonight. A new song for Guitar Hero III has been released and the content is free, but only available for a limited time.

The song is Aerosmith's "Dream On"and the file is 16.1MB.

This update has been made available due to the announcment of the new Guitar Hero game, Guitar Hero III: AeroSmith which is a game similar to Rock the 80's on the PS2.

For all PlayStation 3 owners with Guitar Hero III this download will added to the store at 11:59p.m. PST and will only be available for till February 18th, 2008.
 

Opinion: PS3, Blu-Ray, & Sony As Global Infant

50°
341w ago - In a fiery opinion piece, game designer/author Ian Bogost examines NPD chart trends to suggest that Sony's lack of unified message on PS3, Blu-ray and the 'average consumer' is rendering ineffective its pitch to users.

Sony is a global conglomerate which is significantly different from its hardware competitors in the video game industry. It makes consumer electronics ranging from telephones to computers to GPS units.

It publishes video games, movies, and music. It also maintains an army of support businesses, including banks, insurance providers, facility management companies, staffing services, and packaging providers.

The business strategy makes sense: control as much of the market for both electronics and the media we use them for. That's why Sony purchased CBS Records and Columbia Pictures in the late 1980s; they wanted to own part of the content people played on their Walkmans and VCRs.

The problem is, Sony's corporate subsidiaries don't work well together, on a scale far worse than other multinational conglomerates. The company is more feudal state than networked global multinational.

Sony, Divisions, & Co-Ordination

I'll give you just one example from a previous life consulting for Sony Pictures Entertainment. The first installment of Spider-Man...
 

GDC 2008 Predictions

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341w ago - With the Game Developer's Conference of 2008 get ready to launch on Monday, it's a busy week ahead. With that in mind we've decided to bring you the predictions and expectations:

- Insomniac Games "Special Presentation" (possibly Resistance 2)
- Dark Sector (first look and hands on with multiplayer)
- Interstellar Marines
- Echochrome
- GT5 Prologue
- Secret Agent Clank
- God of War Chains of Olympus
- New Warhawk DLC
- Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
- King of Fighters XII
- Star Wars Force Unleashed
- Prototype
- Street Fighter IV

And that's just for starters. Some other things readers can possibly look forward to include EA's Mirrors Edge and Battlefield Bad Company, as well as Steel Monkey's 2 Days to Vegas and Fantasy Lab's Danger Planet.

However I do have some disappointing details about GDC that may ruin some of the excitement for you. Apparently Sony will be keeping a low profile this year at GDC. This means that people can expect such games as Killzone 2, The Getaway, Motorstorm 2, and possibly even Home to not make an appearance.

When I spoke with SCEA, they told me that they were not planning any full-scale media events for GDC, however their plans were not 100% nailed down yet.
 
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