Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Talking Heads

I think there is great educational potential for animated talking pictures. You could get a picture of an historical character and put pupil generated words in their mouth... Or get pupils to talk in the persona of a fictional character... Or different pupils could record the same message but present it in different ways depending on the emotions shown by the person in the picture - in anger, in sadness, with resignation etc.

Well the chaps at PQ Computing Inc have come up with a program that lets you:
  • Create animated characters from any photo you want.
  • Easy to use. With simple mouse clicks, the animation can be generated in a few seconds.
  • Only one picture is needed to construct a realistic 3D face for animation
  • Animate any human or animal photos, paintings, drawings or even sketchs.
  • Automatically match lip movement with voice.
  • Support any spoken languges: English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Chinese, etc.
  • Create your talking photo album, live avatars on blogs, funny greeting card, pets talk show, etc.
(Quote from the PQ Talking Photo page.)

The product looks interesting. It is not as sophisticated as CrazyTalk, but I suppose PQ Talking Photo is going for a different market. Also, it does what it says it does and doesn't look like it's over-cluttered with extra features you may never need.

Perhaps I should have declared an interest earlier... but those nice people at PQ Computing Inc are offering a free copy to people who blog about their product before Christmas. To be honest, I think it's the sort of thing I would have blogged about anyway... but who am I to look a gift horse in the animated mouth? If (when?) I get a copy, I'll try to remember to post a proper comparative review.

A final word for the moment... As I said at the start, I think this is a great tool for schools... so it's a shame that at least one of the demo animations (I didn't look at the all) is in poor taste (to say the least) and I would judge inappropriate for school use. That's a shame and I hope it's something they reconsider before the official launch.

Anyway, here's an example of what it can do (Blogger allowing!):

blogmyspacedvd to ipod video convertertalkingphoto, dvd to psp convertertalkingphoto, dvd to zunetalking photo album

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,


Langwitches said...

Looks interesting. Where did you read about the free copy if you blog about it? Thanks.

David said...

I saw it in ab's blog and he points to the PQ DVD page that explains more.

Larry Ferlazzo said...


Thanks for sharing about this. There's also a browser-based program that isn't as sophisticated as this looks like it might be, but it does work well. It's called Blabberize:

David said...

I'd forgotten about Blabberize... thanks for reminding me.

And using tools like these for language teaching... of course - silly me for not thinking of that myself.