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Turbo Squid & face2face Announce New 3D Toons for Mobile Phones

Turbo Squid announced the launch of a new series of 3D mobile content in conjunction with face2face animation. face2face animation has launched its AniTones Mobile Character Player through the Turbo Squid Mobile Content Portal, which enables users to experience high-quality streaming animation on mobile phones. As part of the AniTones launch, face2face animation has created its first 3D animated comedy series for mobile phones, introducing the first in a series of characters who will provide serialized episodic content.

We decided to launch AniTones with Turbo Squid, given their direct connection to the 3D community, said Eric Petajan, founder/chief scientist of face2face. Given the early adoption curve for 3D mobile devices, we believe Turbo Squid offers access to a targeted audience for sophisticated mobile content.

The comedy series features talking animated characters with clever, insightful and sometimes risqué comments. The humorous content is delivered to mobile consumers over-the-air in small packages for playback on the AniTones mobile character player developed by face2face. Customers will receive the AniTones player at no cost when they purchase face2face animations from www.turbosquid.com.

AniTones content is created using the face2face AlterEgo facial capture process to provide natural facial movements and near-perfect lip synch. AlterEgo is advanced video analysis software that automatically converts ordinary digital video into animation motion instructions, or Facial Animation Parameter (FAP) data, as specified by the MPEG-4 standard. Professional writers and comedians provide voice and facial movements while face2face animators provide the character models and background animation.

Turbo Squid launched a Mobile Development Forum in December 2004 with the goal of building a bridge between the content creators and the mobile development community to support the emerging 3D personalization market for mobile phones.

Turbo Squid has been distributing high quality 3D content for the videogame, film and architectural community for years, stated Brian Gaffney, president of Turbo Squid Studios. Mobile devices, such as the Series 60 phones, support realtime 3D rendering for games and animated graphics. When we were approached by face2face to host and distribute their AniTones talking animated characters, we were immediately on board.

face2face animation not only has experience in designing engaging animations for CBS Sports and other broadcast affiliates, but also has experience in telecommunications and wireless, said Gaffney. They really know the platform for which they are producing content. This makes a difference in their production quality and in the product delivery.

The AniTones MPEG-4 Face and Body Animation (FBA) standard is used to compress animation data into very small streams (a few kilobits/second) along with compressed audio and the 3D content. The AniTones player decodes and renders the 3D animation and audio streams on Symbian, Series 60 phones today, with other mobile platforms soon to follow.

Founded in January 2000, Turbo Squid is dedicated to the management and distribution of digital products and other relevant content for 3D and 2D designers and creative professionals. Turbo Squid provides a global market for digital products by enabling individual and corporate users to list, promote and sell their content to users around the world. In 2003 Turbo Squid was named as the exclusive publisher and worldwide distributor for the Discreet Certified 3ds max Plug-in Program. Turbo Squid is a privately held company with financial backing from Advantage Capital Partners, The Eastman Kodak Company and Intel Capital. More information can be found at www.turbosquid.com.

face2face animation inc., based in Summit, New Jersey, is the premier provider of facial motion capture and performance animation for the production of content for television, film, Internet, gaming and wireless platforms. face2faces technology enables life-like lip synch and facial movements for characters that are created automatically from any digital video source. The company was founded in 2000, as a Lucent Technologies venture, capitalizing on core technologies that were developed by Eric Petajan at Bell Labs. For more information, visit www.f2fanimation.com.

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