Sunday, 12 February 2012

GTA V To Use New Revolutionary Speech Graphics?

Since Rockstar announced GTA V fans of the franchise have been interested in many aspects of the game, such as a release date, characters, the story and graphics. There is another feature of the game that seems to have been overlooked and that is speech technology, which for some gamers is as important as the graphics themselves.

Having already covered the issue of MotionScan and how it’s more than likely not going to feature in Grand Theft Auto V, there are other ways to make the game more realistic and how the characters face reacts when they are talking will be of great importance to some gamers.

There is a new technology called Speech Graphics and could be a better system than MotionScan due to that technology requiring less storage space, which is a bigger issue for Xbox 360 users because it would not require as many discs as a game does with MotionScan. The team behind Speech Graphics would be able to work with Rockstar very closely due to the fact they are also based in Edinburgh.
While the technology involved is very complex the idea is not, as their multi-lingual solution uses muscle dynamics and acoustic analysis in order to manipulate a characters face in order for it to match each and every word being spoken.

As yet neither companies have announced any sort of partnership, but according to this article a big developer company and a motion capture studio have begun an integration process. While we have no information as to what companies these are, it’s a strong bet that the triple-A developer mentioned could be Rockstar Games – what do you think?

We hope to hear more about this and other aspects of GTA V next month during the Game Developers Conference 2012, as Speech Graphics will be showcasing their technology and if Rockstar is involved it shows they are trying to stay one-step ahead of the competition.

Looking at the video of the technology in action below it’s easy to see the benefits this would have in a game, along with being less data intensive, but we cannot help thinking the facial expressions still needs some work. The details in the movement of the mouth, muscles and lower part of the face are spot on, but we have noticed how expressionless the upper part of the face is such as the eyes and forehead, which are important when it comes to determining the emotions of a person.

Let’s say this technology were to be implemented into GTA V then more work needs to be done or we could have emotionless characters running around. If we are to believe that Grand Theft Auto V will still be out this year then Speech Graphics and Rockstar has to be much further into this partnership than we think – if they are the developer of course.

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