Sega is reportedly test-marketing a software tool it developed to automatically animate facial expressions to match lines spoken by actors, also analyzing voice and expression to extract four emotional elements: happiness, sadness, anger and surprise.
According to Nikkei, Sega claims
the tool, called the Magical V Engine, can complete 70-80 percent of expression animation matching voiced lines, and that in its own tests, the software increased animation efficiency 100 percent.
The Magical V Engine works in conjunction with the main graphics program, synchronizing vowel sounds with the movements of an actor's mouth, eyebrows and eyes to match those expressions with an animated character's face as it analyzes a recording of the actor's voice.
Rather than voice actors synchronizing their performance against pre-existing animation, the Magical V Engine would allow the animation to follow the performance after it is recorded.