Live Animation

Live Animation is an environment to animate, render and record in real time your own 2D and 3D characters. The aim is to provide brands and content creators an extremely easy and quick way to create videos with their IP (Intellectual Protected) characters  in very short times.

We combine a huge amount of technology and hide it behind an easy interface for quick content creation. Our characters include Lipsync, IK, auto-rigging, real eyes emulation, facial expressions and pre-rendered animations combined with motion capture controlled through custom designed interfaces. Just press record, start playing with your character and record it to video.

It works with 2D and 3D content, and every Live Animation environment is custom made for every client, with your assets and customized for your needs, so we ensure it looks like your art director wants them!

Made for expression

Building a real-time animation environment requires lots of considerations. But there is one among all others: we must provide that feeling of “live” we’re used to see in existing productions from cartoons to Pixar productions. In order to achieve this, we’ve worked out how to improve expressiveness in four areas: Characters, Scenes, Cameras and Film direction.

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Characters: Lipsync

Lipsync (or how to sync a real voice with character’s mouth so it looks like it’s speaking) is a critical point in characters animation.

Expression Theater provides 3 kinds of lip syncing: live microphone, pressing a key or loading an audio file. This covers a wide range of workflows from quick prototyping (using draft voices with microphone) to final product.

The result, combined with Facial Expression (see below), talks by itself!

The production of this video took around half an hour capturing the scenes, and a couple of hours in a video editor to make the final footage. Voices were previously scripted and recorded.

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Characters: Facial Rigging

Something our LiveAnimations apps stand out over any other motion capture animation method is  how easy is for creators to express themselves. We achieve this in different manners, and one of them is through character’s facial expressions.

Supporting almost unlimited expressions (using character’s BlendShapes) interacting with all of them is a huge challenge in terms of user experience and design. We have designed a custom touch surface that allows creators to quickly access all possible expressions and use them in real time. With a few practice, you will be shifting your characters from euphoria to sadness to laugh in just a finger move!

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Character Motion

Each character behaves differently on each situation. That’s why we provide different hardware interfaces for every situation. From simple gamepads to real time motion capture systems for capturing body movement. Check the video above (Conversation Demo). Ana, the girl in the dorm, was animated using a cheap motion capture camera, while Cynthia, the girl in the beach, was controlled using a gamepad.

Virtual cameras

Control the camera like a pro, doing travelings, zooms in&out, pans, or advance and expensive effects like trombone or dolly zoom lens moves.

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Scene Control

Lights, furnitures or whole sceneries… everything can be changed in no time. And everything can be “live”, with physics emulation, particles effects and mostly anything you can imagine. With a few previously designed set of lights and ambients, you can record unlimited videos combining all elements with highest render quality.

Focus on Workflow

From the beginning we wanted to offer not just a technical solution, but a solution focused on productivity. In other words, we want users to spend time creating content, and not setting up the environment.

Live Animation is available as a service (you don’t have to take care at all on using our software) or as a product (you license our customized software for you). I both cases, defining the right workflow or pipeline is key to understand how Live Animation boosts your productivity.

Next videos demonstrate two basic workflows that would allow an small team to generate several videos per week.

The typical process would be:

  1. Create a script for the character
  2. Record the voice of the character
  3. Animate the character using Live Animation
    1. The voice is used to lipsync the character’s mouth
    2. The joystick is used to move the character around
    3. The voice timeline is used to set the face expressions
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Workflows are something unique for everyteam team, so we adapt to what you need and empower users with cool interfaces to make the tasks more fun and easy.

As shown above, we could set the face expressions in the timeline, but we could also simultaneously add expressions using the iPad controller.

The next video demonstrates how easy is to add a more natural head animation just using a webcam.

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How to hire

We provide Live Animation as a service (acquiring an amount of animation time), so you can definitely forget about the production details. Just provide the character’s voice and we will animate the character for you. Don’t even have a voice professional actor? We take care of hiring one that matches your character for you, with a fixed rate per word. We rely in VoiceBunny, the best voice recording service online, that provides the best time responses, variety of voices with no minimum time of hiring.

For large producers, we also provide Live Animation as a product, in form of licensed software custom-made for you. Contact us with no compromise for more information.