Facial animation tech company Image Metrics has a new acquisition in Character-FX, adding a facial rigging toolset for Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max to its portfolio.
Character-FX was founded by the aptly-named John Riggs, who developed the toolset's proprietary automated weighting transfer system. According to the company, it shifts a character's facial movement rapidly, and can be applied to any character based on criteria like joints and blend shapes, or a combination of the two.
The terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed, but Image Metrics says it will now integrate Character-FX into its Faceware animation suite in order to streamline and reduce avatar creation costs for its customer base. It's not the first collaboration between the two technologies; they were used together to animate a recreation of basketball coach John Wooden in an NCAA commercial that aired during the National College Basketball Championships.
"The Character-FX rigging process was designed to create a highly flexible character model, in a way that fits with any production environment," says Riggs. As part of the acquisition, Riggs gains the role of avatar development director at the company.
Image Metrics CEO Michael Starkenburg adds: "Image Metrics is dedicated to providing our customers with the technology they need to efficiently and cost effectively create incredible character performances. This acquisition allows us to take another step in that direction."