With advancements in technology, digital video games are getting more impressive every year. Once upon a time, we thought that titles such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Max Payne were the pinnacle of computer graphics. However, today’s AAA titles are on whole another level with life-like animation. To stay ahead of the curve, Epic Games has acquired Cubic Motion, which is a longtime Epic partner. Cubic Motion works on automated performance-driven facial animation technology and its services are for video games, film, broadcast, and immersive experiences.
Cubic Motion joins the Unreal Engine team
Cubic Motion will be working closely with 3Lateral, which is another digital human company that Epic Games acquired in January last year. Epic Games, 3Lateral and Cubic Motion have also worked on several Unreal Engine-based products such as the animated short. Some notable work includes movie-making in “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice,” “A Boy and His Kite”; real-time performance capture and the real-time, photorealistic “Siren” and “Digital Andy Serkis” demonstrations.
“We are delighted to be joining Epic Games and look forward with excitement to this next chapter in our story,” said Cubic Motion CEO Dr. Gareth Edwards. “Together, we are uniquely positioned to push the boundaries of digital human technology, bringing ever more realism and immersion to all forms of visual entertainment.” Epic Games has not disclosed Cubic Motion’s acquisition price.
Photorealistic, real-time animations
With Cubic Motion team joining Epic Games, we can expect to see more photorealistic projects from the companies. Cubic Motion previously worked with Epic Studio for the first live character performance of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice at Game Developers Conference 2016. They also showcased “From Previs to Final in Five Minutes,” which earned Best Real-Time Graphics and Interactivity at SIGGRAPH 2016.
Later, the two companies collaborated to showcase photorealistic digital humans in “Meet Mike” at SIGGRAPH 2017, and “Siren” at GDC 2018. Cubic Motion’s Persona system captures and translates an actor’s performance onto their digital counterpart in real time. This technology is coupled with Unreal Engine to enable immediate character facial animation. Cubic Motion’s tech was also used in the production of some notable AAA titles such as Sony Interactive Entertainment’s “God of War” and Insomniac Games’ “Marvel’s Spider-Man.”
Image credits: Cubic Motion
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