Speech Graphics Could Have Quickened Star Wars: The Old Republic Development

By William Usher 3 years ago discussion comments
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Speech Graphics announced that they will be showing off their new proprietary muscle-based 3D lip-synching technology at the upcoming Game Developers Conference. They also mention that this tech could have vastly shaved off animation and lip-syncing time for a game like Star Wars: The Old Republic.

With BioWare's title sporting more than 260,000 lines of hand-animated dialogue in several different languages, it's no wonder the game nearly breached the $100 million dollar budget mark. The Speech Graphics guys and gals think that their middleware could have easily shaved off a lot of time spent syncing voices to lip movements using their new development suite.

With Speech Graphics the tech uses automatic synching from audio to replicate as realistic-as-possible mouth and lip movements for video game characters.

Michael Berger, CTO and co-founder of Speech Graphics commented in the press release, saying...
“Speech is one of the most difficult things to animate convincingly, as the combination of fluidity and accuracy in natural speech is just so hard to capture in facial animation. People are very sensitive to this when you get it wrong because we are all focused on faces."

“With our technology we’re aiming for robust high quality, even better than what you can achieve with motion capture. And because it’s audio-driven, it’s at a price point that makes it scalable to huge amounts of speech.”

Scalable price points are great. Especially for non-AAA titles. However, Speech graphics' CTO Michael Berger does not go on to give any price points, which is kind of scary.

This isn't the first kind of lip-syncing middleware out there but it does boast the most precise lip-to-sound ratio out there for pinpoint synching.

Speech Graphics will be available as a licensed product later on this year. The software will be demoed at this upcoming GDC in San Francisco, California this March.
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