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Pendulum Announces New Facial Performance Division, Alter Ego, At SIGGRAPH

Pendulum's AlterEgo team will be presenting their technology at SIGGRAPH along with examples from some of their recent projects at the Vicon booth (#1101) on Tuesday August 12 at 12:15 p.m., Wednesday August 13 at 12:15 and 4:30 p.m., and Thursday August 14 at 11:10 a.m.

The AlterEgo team, armed with their most recent innovation and Vicon's new T160 cameras will be giving a demonstration of an unprecedented high-res real-time facial mocap visualization technology, during each of their presentations.

Creation of lifelike and emotive digital characters is one of the most technically complex and arduously sought after facets of the digital animation pipeline -- and of the entertainment industry as a whole. Of course, one of the greatest barriers to achieving compelling 3D characters is the implementation of believable facial performances.

This is an area in which leading 3D animation studio, Pendulum, has focused a great deal of R&D. To this end, they set out to develop a set of proprietary software tools with which they could create the kind of high-end characters that their clients and the studio's owners/directors, Rob Taylor and Mike McCormick, wanted for their productions. The resulting technology, along with high-quality full-performance motion-capture data, like that provided by their long-time production partner, Vicon House of Moves, allows Pendulum to create some amazingly believable facial performances.

They've been evolving this technology for use on a wide range of production pipelines, from high-resolution characters like their "Emotional Old Man" piece, their award-winning MARK ANTONY short, and pre-rendered game cinematics like SEGA/Secret Level's upcoming GOLDEN AXE: BEAST RIDER and the diverse characters of THQ's STUNTMAN: IGNITION cinematic trailers, as well as real-time game-engine based productions, such as the 70 minutes of in-game cinematics they created for Konami's anticipated SILENT HILL V and THQ/Volition's upcoming sequel, RED FACTION: GUERILLA.

Named from the patented software at the heart of their process, the AlterEgo group will offer their services to clients from throughout the film, games, and broadcast arenas. Coupled with high quality facial mocap data, the technology at the core of AlterEgo's services allows them to deliver high-end facial performances at remarkable speeds, transforming extensive amount of mo-cap data into realistic and accurate facial performances. The team's expertise conforming to their clients' diverse pipelines allows them to work directly with real-time engines like UNREAL 3 as well as more traditional pre-render pipelines like Maya or XSI.

This flexibility increases AlterEgo's cost-effectiveness and throughput, while providing an unparalleled solution for leading game developers, filmmakers, and whoever is seeking high quality facial animation.

For more information about AlterEgo go to http://www.studiopendulum.com/alterego.

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