Facial Animation


I immediately noticed that the characters are stunningly realistic, as if you’re looking at the real actors and actresses, rather than video game animations. Those faces are so real that you’ll stare at them and wonder if they’re real or animated. Several times, my family members saw me playing the game and they asked, “Is that a movie or a game?” Dean Takahashi – Gamesbeat, on Supermassive Games’ Until Dawn.


With Cubic Motion and 3Lateral at the helm, the results are among the most visually striking we’ve seen to date. Thomas Morgan – Digital Foundry.


Until Dawn Batman Arkham Knight Until Dawn Star Citizen The Order 1886 Ready at Dawn - SCEA Wolfenstein-The New Order Evolution Man Grey Goo


Why Cubic Motion?

We take video (single or multi-camera, with or without markers), depth, or even just audio and transform it into outstanding animation at unbelievable speed. Our efficiency is unrivaled, due to proprietary technologies developed by our world-renowned and international award-winning computer vision and facial animation researchers. From AAA blockbusters to cutting-edge indie games, the world’s top developers transform the speed and cost of facial animation by trusting the industry’s outstanding delivery experts, Cubic Motion.


Don’t you just use the same tools we could buy? 

Absolutely Not. The typical cheap software tools for facial animation are based on the concept of ‘pose-based retargeting’. We believe these methods are hopelessly primitive and unsuited to modern facial animation pipelines. Cheap tools don’t seem so cheap when you realise how much time is needed to clean up and improve the output. Our data is delivered AAA-ready. If your studio is unconvinced, they almost certainly haven’t tested with Cubic Motion. A bit of help with ‘blocking out’ is no match for extremely robust and dense tracking, driving sophisticated solvers. Our animation technology is unique and based on the research of world-leading Ph.D. experts. We never use primitive pose-based tools – they would bring no value to our solutions. We believe that cheap tools make for expensive animation – beware the hidden costs of the wrong technology.


What does it cost? 

Cost depends on the asset complexity and animation volume. The best way to get an accurate quote is to arrange a free test, which we can usually turn around in a matter of days.


What do you deliver?

Fully editable animation curves to final production quality. You are free to make changes, but you should never have to ‘clean up’ or ‘polish’ our deliverables due to quality issues. Compare this with the time of cost of cleaning up the results of cheap pose-based tools.


Does my own team have artistic control? 

Absolutely. We have tremendous experience in production and art direction, so we’re confident that like many of the world’s leading developers you’ll find our facial animation already looks amazing. But we also recognize that it’s your project, and you make the ultimate decisions on animation style. We’ll work hand-in-hand with your art directors to deliver exactly what you need.


We already have a capture solution, why do we need you? 

Because capture is not animation. Regardless of your chosen solution for capture (there are many – and we can arrange this for you), the real challenge is converting that capture into animation. It’s hard to do this well, despite the misleading ‘making-of’ clips associated with Hollywood ‘mocap’. Great facial animation doesn’t come ‘for free’ from performance capture. Moreover, pose-based tools are, we believe, a very weak approach. The best solution is to have our experts apply world-leading tracking and solving technology alongside experience proven time and time again on some of the most impressive facial animation projects ever seen.


Is there any alternative to performance capture? 

Yes. We can take your audio and turn it into world-class animation. Not with cheap procedural techniques, but with a sophisticated pipeline that ensures the results will stand proudly alongside your capture-based results – nobody wants to see a product with great facial animation alongside crude ‘mouth-flap’. As well as being less expensive for us to generate, you also make massive savings in capture costs.


Do you sell live systems? 

Yes, we’re starting to offer on-set solutions to provide live animation in environments such as mocap stages. One or two vendors already offer crude technologies for live animation, but we’re determined to deliver a step change in quality. Contact us to find out more.


Can we just buy your tools? 

Our value is much more than a few simple tools. Despite our software being far ahead of other technologies, merely licensing a tool is no silver bullet. However, for our close partners we are absolutely willing to discuss on-site licensing of part or complete production pipelines.