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Image Metrics Expands Team

Image Metrics came to GDC to show off its facial animation solutions (with new rigging) and to host a tech talk on its services titled "End Helmet Tyranny" tomorrow from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in room 2000. However, it's also assembled a new team of industry professionals with extensive experience bringing videogames and its technology to market.

Art Santos has been hired as a European sales manager, with Ric Neil and Eric Peterson joining recent hire Gordon Bellamy in the Santa Monica office to improve the company's developer relations within the videogame industry. Dario Ahdoot will focus on developing the company's performance transfer technology into a self-service solution for film and vfx studios. Nick Ramsay and Beau Teora have been named technical account managers, handling client services for Europe and North America, respectively. "We're pleased to add these new team members' valuable expertise in response to Image Metrics' on-going growth, including a new facial animation project for SCEA's GOD OF WAR III videogame and signing Double Negative as our first self-service performance transfer beta client," said Michael Starkenburg, Image Metrics CEO. "Our new team members all possess a deep understanding of the unique workflow challenges our customers face when creating games and visual effects. Their unrivaled experience in helping to develop successful products will enable our customers to tell better stories through believable facial animation."

As software development manager, Ahdoot will lead the Santa Monica product development team, which is focusing on Image Metrics' self-service performance transfer solution that is currently in beta. He was most recently at Vicon/House of Moves for 10 years, where he worked as software development manager for the entertainment market. Ahdoot's vast experience has given him expert insight into how companies are integrating animation into their pipelines, which is a central element of Image Metrics' product development plans.

Image Metrics self-service performance transfer solution, now in beta, will enable select studios to incorporate the power of Image Metrics' facial animation technology into their internal pipelines for increased creative control, cost-efficiencies and production speed.

Prior to Image Metrics, Neil was head of production at D2C Games, a casual games startup. He has worked at AMD in the console gaming division, where he managed the technical relationships with the game development studios, and has also led the creative effort behind NFL FEVER for Microsoft Game Studios. Prior to Microsoft, Neil led the MADDEN and JAMES BOND franchise production teams at Electronic Arts.

Before Image Metrics, Peterson was president and director of business development at Gizmondo Studios Inc. Previously, Peterson was the CEO and owner of Fever Pitch Studios/Warthog PLC and one of the founders of Digital Anvil Inc., which was sold to Microsoft in January of 2001.

Santos, Image Metrics' new European sales manager, has more than 10 years of experience helping game publishers, developers and enterprise companies worldwide to bring new technologies to market. He has worked as director of sales with DemonWare in Ireland. He also worked at GameSpy, where he closed deals with top publishers including Activision, Electronic Arts, Take 2, Microsoft, THQ and Ubisoft. Before working at GameSpy, Santos worked on the sales team of Ingram Micro.

Ramsay joins Image Metrics as a technical account manager for Europe. In this role, he will work closely with Image Metrics clients on all facets of their facial animation projects. Ramsay comes to Image Metrics from Autodesk Media & Ent., where he worked as product specialist in software and systems. He has also worked as a 3D animator for videogames.

Teora is Image Metrics' new technical account manager for the North American market. Like Ramsay, Teora will assist clients with his deep understanding of current production processes and challenges. He brings with him expertise in both videogame and film production, having worked at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging, Threshold Animation Studios and Eidos Interactive.