Virtual clones take over SIGGRAPH

August 16, 2001 | Source: KurzweilAI

LOS ANGELES – What’s missing from Web sites is personality. That’s about to change.Pulse is previewing software for creating photoreal, 3D characters for use on Web sites. You can build a virtual character in just five minutes by taking a digital photo of a face, converting to a 3D model, and adding voice or text-to-speech for lip-synching, as we confirmed in a demo.

Uses include email, instant messaging, Web-site hosts or tour guides, e-learning, e-commerce and entertainment, using your own face or that of licensed celebrities. A free downloadable Pulse browser plug-in is required.

Taking it a step further, Eyematic is showing Eyematic Xpression, which lets you create 3D animated characters from a video camera.

It replicates facial and head motions in real time, along with lip-synched voice. Eyematic FaceStation, a version for creating professional animation for film and video, is also being shown. Both products are now available.

Haptek is previewing People Putty, a $40 program due out in Fall 2001, promoting it with a walk-in photo booth.

Pitching to Hollywood studios, Attitude Studio is promoting French virtual actress Eve Solal, using videos shot with full-body motion capture along with Maya software to create a Shrek-style virtual actor.

Hollywood is already into virtual actors big time. The biggest draw at the show: SGI’s presentation on the making of the movie Final Fantasy.