Press Room Archive

Kaydara MOTIONBUILDER Shines in Sammy Studios' "Darkwatch" Game

Powerful Character Animation and Motion-capture Solution Saves Production Team Time and Money

Montréal, Québec - May 11, 2004 - Kaydara Inc., a leader in character animation and motion capture solutions, today announced that Sammy Studios, Inc. is using MOTIONBUILDER(TM) 5.5 Professional for its ultra-stylish vampire western shooter, "Darkwatch." Using MOTIONBUILDER's award-winning character animation and motion-capture manipulation tools, Sammy Studios is able to create huge quantities of animation with a much smaller development team, saving a significant amount of time and money on the company's highly-anticipated game title. "Darkwatch" is scheduled for release in spring 2005.

"The animation in 'Darkwatch' is entirely motion-capture driven and there is no application out there that matches MOTIONBUILDER's powerful motion-capture manipulation tools," said Emmanuel Valdez, vice president and creative director at Sammy Studios, Inc. "MOTIONBUILDER's seamless integration with our pipeline and ability to manipulate motion capture data with great ease and at incredible speeds made it an obvious choice for Darkwatch."

Working with a team of more than 30 developers, Sammy Studios captures motion for "Darkwatch" using Sammy Studios' internal 36-camera optical capture studio. The studio technician edits the motion by individual takes and delivers the data to the "Darkwatch" animation team. All the motion capture data processing, from data cleanup to motion blending, is done in MOTIONBUILDER. The data is then exported to Maya, and from Maya the animations go into Sammy Studios' proprietary animation tool. From there, the animation is exported to the game engine.

MOTIONBUILDER saved the "Darkwatch" team time and money, since a single animator can generate as much as two to three times more content than is possible using keyframe animation. MOTIONBUILDER's ability to view and play back animations in sync means the team can make accurate timing adjustments for both in-game and cinematic animation sequences. Ultimately, MOTIONBUILDER's wide range of advanced character animation capabilities allows Sammy Studios to create a vast amount of content that would normally require an animation team twice as large to produce.

"With MOTIONBUILDER our animators can quickly and easily share base animation between characters, allowing them to focus their time and energy creating those unique animations that really differentiate the individual characters in the game," continues Valdez. "Also, MOTIONBUILDER's motion blending capabilities allow the team to create entirely new animations using existing motion-capture data. MOTIONBUILDER is really so much more than an animation tool, it's a productivity-enhancing instrument."

A new breed of animation software designed for artists, MOTIONBUILDER is a powerful character animation solution for feature film, series broadcast, television commercial, FX, game and interactive 3D artists. MOTIONBUILDER's intuitive and precise character animation tools and innovative story timeline are groundbreaking technology assets, which allow animation to be created almost instantaneously. With support for OpenGL and the latest technologies provided by companies such as NVIDIA, MOTIONBUILDER also offers unprecedented speed and real-time functionality for photorealistic rendering.

Sammy Studios' development debut, "Darkwatch," is a video game that combines western and horror genres to create a cinematic first-person shooter with unparalleled originality and depth. The "Darkwatch" are a vigilant strike-force that has protected man from evil incarnate since the dawn of civilization. Their newest and deadliest agent is Jericho Cross, an outlaw gunslinger pulled into their ranks by an unfortunate close encounter with a vampire lord. To save the West, and his own soul from damnation, Jericho must hunt the vampire through an American frontier now overrun by his evil minions.

About Kaydara Inc.

Over the course of the past decade, Kaydara has become a leader in the development of real-time 3D animation software solutions for the entertainment industry. Kaydara's product portfolio serves a vast and varied range of clients in the TV, film, game development, and Web content industries, including Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Midway Games, Acclaim, Mainframe Entertainment, Capcom, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Kaydara, Inc., is headquartered in Montréal, Canada, and has an international presence with sales offices throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. For more information about Kaydara or its products, visit

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