From a Gamasutra story about GMIC Beijing, upcoming soon in May 2014, I found their website, and it lists names of people who do acquisitions for a lot of major companies. It seems that > 5 Billion was spent on acquisitions in just the first quarter of 2014. These guys doing the buying, should try to buy-up good ideas, like the Talking Moose, before they are going to cost…
We’re giving the Moose software, a custom window frame. Have a look. I thought this was important, to have our user interface showing the same craftsmanship excellence as the Moose itself.
I found this video of Guile3D’s Denise virtual assistant. It’s a good video showing the “former state-of-the art“.
I bet you didn’t watch it all.
I couldn’t tolerate the unnatural movements of Denise and her poorly-moving lips. The Moose has clearly leaped ahead in quality.
We have coded a very clever improvement to lip sync. Now it is even smoother and more natural. My previous videos of lip sync, were making the lips be the focal point of the users attention, but now they are natural enough that your attention can relax away from the lips and again be noticing the expressiveness of the eyes and other visually interesting motions. I think the lips have now crossed the uncanny valley into “seeming normal”.
FaceFX has done great work in creating a reasonable ‘standard’ and ‘popular’-amongst game developer companies, method of making 3D characters do lip sync speech. See how the Talking Moose compares to it.
On the first try, amazingly, the lip sync is excellent while speaking a Cantonese news story about New Years eve in Hong Kong, using the Nuance Sin-Ji voice. I am SO happy!
( I’m hoping to find and buy and test out Mandarin, Japanese and Russian voices soon. )
Today we achieved a nice little improvement. Now the Moose uses a more lively set of movements during speech, and the relaxed slower motion when not speaking.
The above video is the Mel voice by AT&T. The AT&T Natural Voices are sold at NextUp sells AT&T voices after you buy TextAloud. The Mel voice works great with excellent lip synchronization.