Get Animated with Gizmo

Ever dreams of being an animation star yourself? Apparently a company called Gizmoz has made this possible in a simple way through a proprietry technology that is able to manipulate your photos to form a series of animated expressions. You could then create a series of voice messages that sync with these expressions to send to your friends and family as a form of unique digital communication. As an example, imagine an animated Christmas greeting card with you on a Santa sleigh dressed in Santa's costume and shouting 'Merry Christmas'.

Normally speaking, this has to be accomplished in a 3D software. It can be pretty time-consuming, as a 3D model of the person has to be created. This is a process that involves manipulating a mesh of wire frames to eventually form a shape that resembles the subject matter. The second step involves 'texturing' the 3D model, where a series of manipulated digital photographs and textures are mapped onto the 3D model. This technique is similar to that used by game companies in the development of games that involve photo realistic computer players - usually involving existing soccer stars, wrestlers, basketball players, etc.

Next involves rigging the character - where the 3D character has to be given a skeleton so that it can be manipulated to move. The final step is the animation - where it involves manipulating the 3D model to create a series of body and facial movements.

Now before you are thinking of Angelina Jolie in Beowulf, I need to burst your bubble because Gizmoz's technology is nowhere as sophisticated. The above process of creating a 3D model to the final step of animating it is the ONLY way at the moment to create a Beowulf Angelina Jolie.

Gizmoz is a non-technical solution for people who want to deliver a fun personalized message with themselves as the stars and limitations are inevitable as with most other 'non-technical' solutions.

- It is limited to animating just expressions at this time. This means you can't expect Gizmoz to animate your body parts.

- The scenes are limited to what Gizmoz provides as template backdrops at the moment. You cannot customize beyond what Gizmoz provides.

To be honest, Gizmoz is nothing more than just plain old novelty to me - novelty that will wear out once better technology or more interesting substitutes get launched.

Saying this - Gizmoz - along with its investors, has taken a bold step to enable and empower individuals to express themselves in more realistic and imaginative ways and this effort should be applauded. With mobile giant DoCoMo and venture caps like Benchmark Capital and Columbia Capital believing in and funding Gizmoz, it would be interesting to see whether Gizmoz is an ace or a drop in the sea.

Sponsored by:

Author: You can read a news release about Gizmoz teaming up with AOL to deliver their services here.

This article was written by Aldric Chang - Founding Managing Director of Mediafreaks Pte Ltd and a creative businessman who dabbles in music composition and production, internet marketing, casual games production, animation production, cartoon production and character licensing. He's currently intent on growing his up-and-coming 3D animation studio into a behemoth entertainment enterprise.

Get Animated with Gizmo


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