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Lip-sync and animation system supports MMS products


									Lip-sync and animation system supports MMS products
CityU signed a contract with Real-time Communications (HK)
Limited (REAL TIME) on 18 March to jointly develop
multimedia message services (MMS) products for the mainland
mobile communications market using its real-time lip-sync and
animation system. This innovative system can create human and
animal characters from photos or cartoon drawings and
synchronise their lip movements and voice signals. This will have
various applications in digital entertainment, such as on the
Internet and mobile phones. Collaboration between CityU and
REAL TIME enables MMS users to send animation movies as well as text and still pictures on mobile
phones, symbolising yet another success in CityU’s transfer of advanced technologies to industry.

                                     The real-time lip-sync and animation system was developed by
                                     Hong Yan, Professor (Chair) of Computer Engineering at CityU.
                                     “This system performs many sophisticated multimedia data
                                     processing functions, including speech analysis, image and video
                                     processing, data compression, and mathematical modelling of
                                     human and animal faces. All computations are performed in
                                     real-time. The system, which works with several major languages,
                                     such as Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), English, French,
                                     German, Japanese and Spanish, can create and animate a human
                                      or animal character from photos or cartoon drawings and generate
different facial expressions, such as a frown, a smile and laughter, making a virtual character appear to
talk as naturally as a human.” For computer and mobile phone applications, the user can choose a
favourite character from a large database of several hundred human or animal images. The system can
produce 20 image frames per second.

At the signing ceremony, Professor Roderick Wong, Dean of
Research & Graduate Studies, said, “CityU emphasizes both
teaching and research. On the research front, the University
focuses on applied research with a view to supporting various
industries. We hope we can contribute to strengthening their
professional knowledge and skills in order to enhance their
competitiveness in the face of ever-changing demands of the
market. CityU is pleased to provide the Real-time
Communications (HK) Limited with Professor Hong Yan’s facial
animation products to help the company enhance its product quality and to develop new business
                                      Officiating at the signing ceremony were Professor Roderick
                                      Wong; Professor Chan Chi Hou, Dean of Faculty of Science
                                      and Engineering; Professor Hong Yan; and Mr Jonathan Ma
                                      Wai Tat, Executive Director, Mr Joseph W O Chu, Chief
                                      Engineer, Mr Chong Wei Lam, Marketing Manager, of REAL

                                      Professor Hong Yan, who created the novel design of the
                                      real-time lip-sync and animation system, received his PhD degree
from Yale University and has over 20 years of R&D experience in digital media technology. He has
published numerous technical papers in international journals and conferences and is a Fellow of the
International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR) and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers,
Australia (IEAust). Professor Yan’s facial animation system is an example of CityU’s many
achievements in hi-tech applied research and demonstrates CityU’s strong commitment to transferring
its cutting-edge research results to local industry.

Real-time Communications (HK) Limited and its affiliates provide wireless interactive entertainment
and community services to mobile phone users in China. REAL TIME specialises in the development,
aggregation, marketing and distribution of consumer wireless content and applications for access by
China’s 330 million plus mobile phone users. REAL TIME’s MMS and WAP services include
advanced personalization features, such as animated cartoons and comic strips, polyphonic ringtones
and short video clips and WAP magazines.

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