OXFORD, UK – Oct. 26, 2005 – NaturalMotion Ltd., the developers of breakthrough 3D animation technology based on Dynamic Motion Synthesis (DMS), today announced that it is now shipping endorphin 2.5, the latest version of the company’s award-winning 3D character animation software, at a new price of USD $9,495. endorphin 2.5’s powerful new behavioral animation features, enhanced asset repurposing and improved FBX support, allow animators to quickly create realistic, fully interactive 3D character animation for games, films and broadcast production.
“We are extremely pleased with endorphin’s success and achievements during the past two years,” said Richard Craig-McFeely, sales and marketing director for NaturalMotion. “endorphin is being used by numerous high-end visual effects houses and games companies on high profile projects. With version 2.5 dramatically expanding the scope of the software, now is the time to bring endorphin to an even wider market of content producers.”
Used by leading production and animation companies such as Giant Killer Robots, CIS Hollywood, The Mill, Sony Computer Entertainment, Namco and Moving Picture Company, endorphin is the only character animation software to utilize DMS, a technology based on artificial intelligence controllers that imitate the human nervous system. Unlike conventional animation techniques such as keyframing or motion capture, endorphin’s DMS technology uses the CPU to simulate the brain and body of 3D characters, which allows animators to synthesize human movements in real time. This approach produces directed and fully-interactive 3D characters that essentially animate themselves with real-life movements that are unique every time; thus dramatically reducing animation asset production time.
endorphin 2.5 Beta Testers Applaud New Features
“endorphin 2.5’s new motion transfer events and balance behaviors allow us to create realistic custom character animation much faster than the previous version,” said Tim Coleman, character set-up supervisor at Giant Killer Robots. “endorphin 2.5 is also very effective when it comes to developing multiple variations on complex animation sequences, such as several characters interacting with one another dynamically - and the time involved in editing these complex performances is a fraction of what it would take with hand keyed or motion capture animation. endorphin also integrates seamlessly into our pipeline; we treat it as we would processed motion capture, importing the motion into and out of Alias Maya via the FBX format. By adding a few additional custom scripts, it's very easy to work with endorphin and Maya side by side.”
"endorphin 2.5's new active animation features have proven invaluable for creating believable character performances," said Jason Porath, effects technical director at CIS Hollywood. "We've been able to take the realism of motion capture and mold it into a completely different environment, while maintaining the same fidelity of character movement. endorphin also allows us to finish animation work much faster than motion capture or keyframe animation. We recently used it for an entire sequence of shots, with each shot requiring between five and 20 background characters, whose performance had to match to live action. We'd initially estimated a month or two for this sort of work based off our experience with motion capture and keyframe animation, but using endorphin we were able to finish it in around a week."
endorphin 2.5’s new and improved features include:
Dynamic Blending – Use the new Transition Event to smoothly blend from simulation back into moving animation data. For example, you can now make a character run (animation), stumble (simulation) and recover into a run (animation) again.
Motion Transfer and Active Animation Events – Drive the character’s muscles using existing animation data, and combine behaviors, animation and environment / prop interaction at the same time.
New Behaviors – New static balancing lets a character stay on its two feet autonomously.
Enhanced Collision Mode – Crisper, high-velocity collisions.
Enhanced Character Edit Mode – Faster custom character set-up, now including mirroring functionality.
Improved Performance – Optimized load and save times, as well as smaller file sizes.
Pricing and Availability
endorphin 2.5 is available now for USD $9,495. NaturalMotion also gives customers an opportunity to rent endorphin on a monthly basis for USD $1,595; the company also plans to release a free endorphin 2.5 Learning Edition in November 2005. For additional information on endorphin, please visit NaturalMotion’s website at www.naturalmotion.com.
NaturalMotion Ltd. is the first company to create 3D character animation software (endorphin) based on Dynamic Motion Synthesis (DMS), a technology that utilizes Adaptive Behaviors and artificial intelligence to simulate the human-nervous system. Based on Oxford University research on the control of body movements, endorphin synthesizes 3D characters in real time. A breakthrough in 3D character animation, this process allows animation to be created much faster than conventional methods; thus significantly reducing asset production time and costs. With customers such as Sony Europe, Sony America, Moving Picture Company, The Mill, Giant Killer Robots, CIS Hollywood, Namco, Konami, Rainbow Studios, Blitz Games and Tigar Hare Studios, endorphin is rapidly becoming the tool of choice for today’s leading visual effects artists creating high-end animation. For further information please visit NaturalMotion’s website www.naturalmotion.com.
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