Facial animation technology developer Image Metrics and game localization firm Babel Media want to give a shot in the arm to the state of facial animation in localized video games, and are combining forces to blend the fruits of their respective labor to create smoothly-animated video game translations.
The two companies say their solution is more cost-effective to developers than individually animating new localized tracks in-house, and more convincing to gamers than simply mapping the original-language animation to foreign-language vocal tracks.
"Our solution eliminates poorly dubbed titles and instead affordably produces a more realistic, richer and more immersive localized version, which will significantly improve the player's experience," said Image Metrics EVP Brian Waddle in a statement.
According to today's announcement, UK-headquartered Babel Media has access to some 400 "in-country translators" around the world. It offers a variety of localization-related services.
Image Metrics is known for its motion capture process that translates actors' performances into computer animation without the usual need for equipment affixed to the actor's body. The company has contributed to games including Grand Theft Auto IV, Assassin's Creed II
, Napoleon: Total War
, Operation Flashpoint 2
, and Blur
The two companies will be exhibiting their services at this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, March 11 to 13.