LIPSinc., the producer of Ventriloquist for 3D Studio MAX, recentlyannounced that they had launched a new lip-synching program called Echo.Whereas Ventriloquist is a plug-in for 3D Studio MAX, Echo is a standaloneprogram which outputs in flipbook, dope sheet and function curve animationdata for animation platforms, interactive 3D game engines, and multimediaapplications. Timeline Studios, a company founded by best-selling authorMichael Crichton, is using Echo in the company's first title, slated forrelease at the end of 2000. Timeline Studio's Vice President, Rick Towson,has stated that Echo will save the company hundreds of hours oflip-synching time. Towson also commented that the output quality issuperior to the needs of the production, leaving them room for improvementand allowing them to provide a higher-quality finished product. Echo workson a voice recognition system called voiceDSP, which analyzes speech andautomatically outputs the corresponding mouth, jaw and lip-position data inthree dimensions. This data can then be exported in the desired manner. Astudio-quality product, LIPSinc. is offering customization of this product,which has a starting price of US$10,000.