February 2012 12:33:00 PM
Digimax announces new technology for synthesizing lip-sync character speech animation in real time
February 16, 2012; Taipei, Taiwan – Digimax Inc, a leading CG animation studio, today introduced a new technology framework for synthesizing lip-sync character speech animation in real time from a given speech sequence and its corresponding texts. The technology is a joint development project with National Taiwan University’s Multimedia Laboratory, and will be announced in publications by IEEE’s TCSVT (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology).
Speech and facial animation is crucial in bringing life to animated characters but is extremely time consuming, especially when taking lip synchronization into consideration. Although there are some methods proposed to ease the burden on artists to create facial and speech animation, almost none are fast and efficient.
Digimax’s latest technology starts from training dominated animeme models for each kind of phoneme by learning the character’s animation control signal through an EM-style optimization approach. The dominated animeme models are further decomposed to polynomial-fitted animeme models and corresponding dominance functions while taking coarticulation into account. The synthesized lip-sync animation can further preserve exaggerated characteristics of facial geometry. The synthesized animation control signal can be imported into 3D packages for adjustments, enabling easy integration into existing production pipeline.
This is the not the first time Digimax had received recognition from international research organizations. Since 2007, the Taiwan-based company has announced new researches and technological innovations at ACM Siggraph and other CG and animation exhibitions.
“Digimax is one of the very few animation studios in the Greater China Region with research and development capabilities,” said company chairman Helen Huang. “Continuously innovating and improving animation production pipeline is crucial to creating world-class original animated films and digital content. Otherwise, it would be like the 2D era, where most studios in Taiwan and Asia remained as contract manufacturers for their counterparts in the US and Europe.”