Avid has released Softimage|Face Robot, the facial animation technology it showed off at last year's Siggraph show in Los Angeles. The standalone application was created in tandem with Blur Studio, the animation studio behind the Oscar-nominated short film, Gopher Broke.

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Avid claims that the software is the first to allow artists to achieve realistic, lifelike facial animation for high-end film, post and games projects. It

Softimage|Face Robot supports both keyframe animation and motion capture, which are the main two ways of creating ‘digital acting’. Avid says that the soft tissue model at the core of the technology removes the need to manually create dozens or even hundreds of 3-D shapes for different facial expressions and allows animators to work with an optimal number of control points. It also claims that keyframe animators can gain very direct, intuitive access to facial expressions, while motion capture animators can work with fewer markers to reduce setup and cleanup time.

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