Local News

Cary's LIPSinc. is the Talk of the Animation Industry

Posted December 2, 1999

— Moviegoers are flocking to "Toy Story 2," a film that revolves around animated characters. A Cary company may be the next big name in animation for movies, TV and the Internet.

LIPSinc.does just what the name implies; its programs pair recorded voices with animated characters.

"We're increasing the speed of the process and eliminating a lot of the grunt work for the animators, allowing them to be creative," explains CEO Michael Zapata.

Tom Lawrence watched animator Andrew Lonon work withVentriloquist, LIPSinc.'s newest product.

Ventriloquist uses cutting-edge digital voice processing that allows the animation to be developed quickly using another program called 3D Studio Max.

Tom recorded his voice, and in a few hours, Andrew Lonon matched it with a character called Mervyn.

LIPSinc. products are being tested by Boeing, Ford and Disney. The company's real-time lip synch called"Now"may change what we see on television.

"You can have someone, for example like David Letterman, interviewing the M&M characters on his TV show live, and they would appear to be there talking to the audience virtually in a real set," Zapata says.

The company plans to introduce "Now" in the first quarter of next year.

LIPSinc. is the talk of the industry, and the two-year-old company, which was born at N.C. State, has no competition yet.


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