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Blur

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Racing
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Bizarre Creations
Release Date: May 25, 2010 (US), May 28, 2010 (EU)

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Blur' (ALL) Uses Image Metrics' Facial Animation

by Rainier on Aug. 17, 2009 @ 6:24 a.m. PDT

Blur drops players into heart-pumping, electrified racing action with 20 cars on a track all targeting the finish line and battling each other as they trade paint and collect intense power-ups, including the ability to blast other cars out of the way with huge bursts of energy, boost their speed, and more.

The game drops players into heart-pumping, electrified racing action with 20 cars on a track all targeting the finish line and battling each other as they trade paint and collect intense power-ups, including the ability to blast other cars out of the way with huge bursts of energy, boost their speed, and more.

While controlling photo realistic cars, gamers can use offensive and defensive attacks as they battle for the lead and careen through real-world track locations ranging from L.A. and San Francisco to the streets of Hackney, UK and the treacherous roads of Barcelona, Spain.

Beyond the action-packed racing filled with fast curves, sneaky alternate routes, hair-raising jumps and fully realized damage models that provide for spectacular crashes, Blur's narrative is presented through Bizarre's innovative new community-based interface, reaching far beyond the game itself. This unique story-driving social network evolves dynamically as players compete in different races, make new friends, rivals and fans, and connect with other racers both in-game and in real life.

Looking beyond Blur's single player story, gamers can engage in competitive and team-based multiplayer races with up to 20 players online, or on a single console via 4-player split-screen. Bizarre is especially excited to introduce Blur's original social gaming experience - Custom Groups, where anyone can create unique multiplayer modes based on their favorite ways to play the game. These new modes are immediately shared through Blur's social network, expanding the game in ways that are only limited by the gaming community's creativity.

Image Metrics will use its proprietary technology to provide facial animation as well as rig building and rig transfer services for about 20 characters featured in the game.

“A fast-paced, heart-pumping racing game like Blur gets even more intense when players connect emotionally with the characters in the story,” said Brian Waddle, executive vice president of Image Metrics. “Instead of working around facial animation by using helmets to mask characters, we are excited to help the team at Bizarre Creations by using our technology to animate characters that visually express the intensity and excitement in the game.

The Image Metrics facial animation process requires no markers, no make-up and no costly equipment. Image Metrics simply captures an actor’s performance, then analyzes the actor’s facial expression data using its proprietary technology. The analysis turns the data into animation curves thatImage Metrics is providing to Bizarre Creations to apply to its 3D character models. Image Metrics also rapidly developed facial rigs optimized for the core facial structures essential for producing emotive facial animation in Blur.

“Image Metrics’ facial animation technology has helped to not only speed up the pace of animating the faces of our characters in Blur, but has also enhanced the delivery of the game’s story through expressive animation that creates a heightened sense of urgency,” said David Barton, Cinematics Producer, Bizarre Creations. “With believable facial reactions created by Image Metrics, players truly understand the mood, intensity and determination of our characters, and in turn further enhances the drive to earn their respect and win races in Blur.”

GameStop – Reserve Blur at GameStop and get:

  • Exclusive Multiplayer Advantage Booster Kit
  • This GameStop exclusive Booster Kit gives you unparalleled multiplayer benefits:
    • Unlock a heavy, off-road powerhouse – the Ford Bronco in Multiplayer and shunt the competition into the next millennium!
    • Survival Multiplayer Mode (Last Man Standing) – a mode where survival and causing the most destruction wins the battle.
  • Double Fans for the first ten multiplayer races increases your upgrades, power-ups and additional car abilities!
    • More fans mean a sustained ability to earn cash to buy upgrades, power-up slots and cars.
  • Be sure to head to the following links to pre-order Blur from GameStop:

Hollywood GameCrazy – Reserve Blur at Hollywood GameCrazy and get:

  • Double your cash during the first three single player races.
    • More cash means faster access to better power-ups and cars in both SP and MP modes!
  • Head into your local Hollywood GameCrazy store and pre-order Blur today!

Best Buy – Day 1 Purchase Incentive

  • Those who head into Best Buy and pick up Blur on day 1 will receive an exclusive access code to unlock the 600 horsepower Dodge Hennessey Viper early in multiplayer and be the envy of the racetrack.
  • Be on the lookout for Best Buy to update their web site with Blur’s day 1 purchase incentive information in the coming weeks.

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