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|QuantumWorks founders have been involved with Real-Time motion capture and Performance Animation since 1983, pioneering some of the industry's first application in the CDAS Space Vehicle Human IVA/EVA Simulator for Rockwell International - Space Station Division. As far we know, the producing of content in real-time under real-time performance of various actors and users was first done by this group. This area of content creation is now known as Machinima. Steve E. Tice, founder of QuantumWorks, founded SimGraphics Engineering in 1985, a pioneer in the first generation of SGI based Performance Animation systems and services(<- refer to pg. 5 of this pdf - "Silver Suzy" of the Ascension paper) first shown (<- .jpg page from event catalog) at SIGGRAPH 1991 in Las Vegas in the Tomorrow's Realities Gallery back in 1991 (Silver Suzy video) which he co-chaired. QuantumWork's PC based systems, called Geppetto, another industry first, was introduced at SIGGRAPH 1996, represents the next generation in powerful Real-Time performance animation technology. A focus area of QuantumWork's expertise is in this emerging new field of Performance Animation based content authoring for cross platform media products. This animation tool quickly and easily animates faces and bodies of 3D computer graphics characters via shape interpolation/morphing techniques. This 1999 technical paper describes one of the latest applications of Geppetto technology -> "Digital Clones and Virtual Celebrities: Facial Tracking, Gesture Recognition and Animation for the Movie Industry" -> click to view ICCV99.pdf (~600K) used at Virtual Celebrity Productions, the digital effects sister company to Global Icons. This 2000 technical paper discusses the future directions of the Geppetto technology applied to video games, Edutainment software and general interactive character animation based applications - "Character Animation Engines for Interactive Game and Web Applications using Hardware Assisted Functionality" -> click to view HMA_2000.pdf (~1.3meg)|
QuantumWorks founder led first company, SimGraphics Engineering, to become leading pioneer in developing & selling the first real-time Performance Digital Animation systems for trade show, game authoring & TV applications - company achieved many recognized "firsts" for the creation & growth of a new real-time performance animation industry. VActor took top prize at the first annual NewMedia INVISIONS 1993 Multimedia Awards Competition.
For example, the company was first in the industry to:
î Develop & Sell commercial real-time face & body real-time performance systems to make video game characters come alive. Nintendo purchased the first two real-time performance animation systems which were used for years at trade shows & corporate events for live performances of Nintendo’s game characters and products, Mario, Wario, etc.;
î Create real-time authored characters to appear in mass distributed CD-ROM games, i.e. for Interplay’s “Mario Teaches Typing” – substantial authoring cost savings were experienced by publisher/developer using this technology, now also known as Machinima
î First cable TV production to feature a real-time digital character for the ‘What’s Up’, a teen variety show in development for the Disney Channel now also known as Machinima;
î First TV program with a live real-time character, “Ratz”, as co-host for BBC’s “Live & Kicking” & Children’s BBC programs. “Ratz” became so popular that the BBC gave him his own program: “RatRun”, a live, call-in virtual reality-based game show, currently on-the-air live, six days a week, now also known as Machinima;
î First real-time cartoon comedian at a major public event, “Eggwardo”, performed with voice by Charles Fleischer, the voice of Roger Rabbit, at the 1992 COMDEX Grand Scientific Musical Theater organized by 7th Levels’ George Grayson, & music industry veterans, Bob Erzin & Scott Page;
î “Eggwardo” became the first real-time digital character to be used to perform teaching & rehabilitation feasibility tests for children & adults in the medical field at Loma Linda Hospital & Medical University.
î First real-time full body animated character in partnership with Mr. Film, called "Silver Suzy", allowing anyone at 1991 SIGGRAPH in Las Vegas at "Tommorrow's Realities Gallery" to animate Suzy by using a couple of simple 3D input devices. From Ascension Paper linked above "The first application of sensors and real-time sensor feedback to computer animation occurred in 1990. Mr. Film Studios debuted the character Silver Suzy, a project conceived by Steve E. Tice and Chris Walker, with the first commercial real-time face and body tracking performance animation conceived, designed and developed by Tice and Mike Fusco, founders of SimGraphics Engineering Corporation. Silver Suzy was animated in real time with just two sensors, one controlling the 3D model and one controlling the virtual camera. It was an auspicious beginning."
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