Leading-Edge Lip Sync Service Set to Transform In-Game Speech Development

(Edinburgh, February 9, 2012) – Speech Graphics Ltd, an award-winning UK-based start-up company, today announces it will be showcasing a new leading-edge lip-sync solution at the Game Developers Conference Expo in San Francisco (March 7-9). The multilingual solution, which will initially be offered as a service, uniquely predicts how the muscles of the human face move to produce speech sounds.

In response to the rising quantity and cost of speech and dialogue in today’s story-driven games, Speech Graphics’ technology uses just audio input to automatically drive a 3D character to speak. Put into context, Bioware’s recently released Star Wars: The Old Republic, contains 260,000 lines of dialogue, all of which had to be animated—not just once but in three languages.

As the technology works using a universal physical model, it will work across all languages, saving game development time and resources. At GDC, the company will demo the lip sync production software in seven languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Russian.

Michael Berger, CTO and co-founder of Speech Graphics says, “Speech is one of the most difficult things to animate convincingly, as the combination of fluidity and accuracy in natural speech is just so hard to capture in facial animation. People are very sensitive to this when you get it wrong because we are all focused on faces.

“With our technology we’re aiming for robust high quality, even better than what you can achieve with motion capture. And because it’s audio-driven, it’s at a price point that makes it scalable to huge amounts of speech.”

Speech Graphics is also on a development track to release a software product in the future which will enable customers to do this entirely by themselves.

About Speech Graphics
Speech Graphics Ltd is an award-winning spinoff from the University of Edinburgh’s world-renowned School of Informatics and the Centre for Speech Technology Research. Its founders Michael Berger and Dr. Gregor Hofer are speech technology experts with 20 years of combined experience in speech animation. The company has received a development grant from the Scottish Government, and other awards in the UK including a John Logie Baird Award for innovation and a Santander Entrepreneurial Award.

Speech Graphics at GDC
At the GDC Expo (March 7-9, booth #1843) the company will demo their technology producing lip sync in seven different languages. For more information visit www.speech-graphics.com or call +44 (0) 131 6686 911 or email info@speech-graphics.com.