06.06.2011 08:00 AM
Image Metrics lets you create your own 3-D avatar

Santa Monica, CA-based Image Metrics, a provider of facial animation technology, has released PortableYou, new software that lets professionals and novices create customized 3-D avatars from facial photos. These animations can then be shared across social networks and other connected platforms.

PortableYou provides simple, platform-agnostic Web APIs as well as render and translation services for using avatars across multiple applications while leveraging precreated content such as still images, videos, virtual worlds and video games. Customized avatars created through the PortableYou platform can also be used for virtual advertising and promotions.

The software was made possible due to Image Metrics’ acquisition (in February 2011) of a company called Big Stage, whereby Image Metrics has integrated its real-time, video-driven facial animation technology with Big Stage's avatar creation platform. It is now available directly from Image Metrics and can be provided either on-site or as a hosted solution.

Other applications for PortableYou include promotional/advertising content, video games and virtual worlds, e-cards publishing and personalized photography.

PortableYou avatars made from photographs or other materials are automatically output in the correct format and topology of the intended environment. End-users can also create one avatar and then use it across any PortableYou-enabled application.

Other benefits include:

  • A PortableYou accessories library that allows end-users to further personalize and customize their characters with various accessories, including hair, glasses, hats and other items.
  • A rendering service that manages render jobs and accesses previously created content, allowing avatars to star in such precreated content as movie clips or still images.
  • PortableYou Web services are accessible from desktop, mobile and server platforms.
  • Computationally intensive (and expensive) processes — like avatar creation — are offloaded to backend servers, enabling mobile and other resource-constrained applications to take full advantage of the technology.
  • A number of client libraries are available for PortableYou in most modern development languages. Developers can also access the platform through standard Web services calls to the Web API.

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