NaturalMotion, the developers of 3D animation technology based on Dynamic Motion Synthesis, have announced morpheme, a new animation engine for next-generation game development, to be available in October 2006, and supporting development for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
The new engine will feature a flexible and unique 3D authoring tool chain designed to give animators more creative control over the look of their final in-game animation by allowing them to author and preview blends, transitions, and logic in real time. NaturalMotion will showcase morpheme during SIGGRAPH 2006 in Boston, aboard the Lady Christine, an ocean cruiser moored at Boston Harbor.
The morpheme engine is made up of two core components: morpheme:runtime and morpheme:connect. morpheme:runtime is a run-time engine optimized for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, and ships with full source code, as well as support for customizable blend nodes, rigid body dynamics, IK, and euphoria. morpheme:connect is a 3D authoring application that allows animators to graphically author blend trees and transition logic (based on Hierarchical Finite State Machines), modify and edit parameters through sliders, and view the results in real time. morpheme:connect includes 2D and 3D viewports for authoring and visualization, support for live game pad control, script support (Lua), euphoria support, and is fully extensible through plug-ins .
morpheme is designed as a flexible and open system and does not require the licensing of any other product. It is also designed to seamlessly integrate with other 3D animation software and middleware technologies, such as physics engines.
“morpheme is about raising the quality of in-game animation by providing intuitive, graphical control and a flexible programming framework,” commented Torsten Reil, CEO of NaturalMotion. “With morpheme, animators and programmers can work hand-in-hand to create in-game animation that truly reflects the quality of the source data. morpheme is also designed to run fully integrated with our flagship DMS technology, euphoria, which allows players to experience unique moments every time they play a game.”