Veepers

Veepers is a product that is used to animate digital images of people (or other creatures) for video presentations in which the characters appear to talk.

Veepers is a product that is used to animate digital images of people (or other creatures) for video presentations in which the characters appear to talk. Developed by Pulse 3D, a San Francisco-based company, an animation created with Veepers can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as serving as an online customer service representative (virtual agent), a virtual teacher in an e-learning situation, or a virtual personality (avatar) in instant messaging. Mobile Veepers is a version of the application optimized for wireless applications.

In a Veepers presentation, the image's eyes blink, eyebrows raise and lower, and the mouth moves in synchronization with the audio. To make this happen, the creator first selects the image to use. There are specific criteria that make an image suitable for a Veepers, such as a neutral facial expression and no eyeglasses. After you load the image, you identify facial areas by centering dots over features such as the centers and corners of the eyes and mouth. These dots are used to set parameters for a skeleton form in the background. A program component called the Audio Manager is used to coordinate lip movements to the voice, and add head movements, blinks and facial expressions. Compared to video, Veepers are much faster to develop (it takes about 20 seconds to map the facial features), less expensive to produce and modify, and result in a much smaller file that doesn't require a plug-in to view.

This was first published in May 2007

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