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Speech Graphics Launches SGX

Speech Graphics, recipients of funding from the UK Games Fund’s predecessor Prototype Fund, recently launched its debut animations software, SGX.

The groundbreaking technology generates facial animation from audio. The first company to license the software, Microsoft Studio The Coalition is animating over 35,000 lines of dialogue in the critically acclaimed game Gears of War 4. SGX has been licensed to a further three global studios, news of which is expected to be released in the new year. The UK Games Fund’s predecessor project supported a different and yet to be released aspect of the company’s technology development.

SGX marks a step change in the games sector by bringing the quality of in-game animation close to the quality of handcrafted cut-scene animation. The result of five years of research and development by Speech Graphics, SGX makes it possible for video game studios to execute large batches of facial animation of thousands of lines of dialogue in-house, using only audio recordings, without needing to outsource to specialists.

Gregor Hofer, CEO and co-founder of Speech Graphics, explains:

“SGX is one example of the extraordinary advances in speech-driven animation and motion technology under development by Speech Graphics and early stage funding schemes such as prototype funding can help the company broaden its portfolio of products”

Paul Durrant, head of UK Games Fund, said

“We’re delighted to see this success with Speech Graphics’ core product and look forward to further exciting developments from this groundbreaking company.”

Speech Graphics delivers accurate and expressive facial animation. Emotional impact comes through very strongly in both the upper and lower face. Speech Graphics technology captures the intensity of every syllable and animates eyebrows, eyes, lips, jaw, cheeks and even tongue.

Speech Graphics has a unique fusion of expertise in speech technology and computer animation found nowhere else in the world. The team brings together decades of research into machine learning, speech recognition, phonetics and computer graphics to solve what is an interdisciplinary problem.

Speech Graphics is on track to become the main provider of lip-sync and facial animation – a sector forecast to reach over $500 million (£375m) – to the global video game market. Speech Graphics currently employs eight staff and has plans to recruit three more in the year ahead.

For further information visit: www.speech-graphics.com.

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