South Korean video game developer and publisher NCSoft has unveiled its digital human technology alongside a trailer for Project M at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2023, in San Francisco.
The reveal was part of Epic Games‘ State of Unreal session that was held to introduce new Unreal Engine tools as well as technologies in collaboration with its partners.
The Project M trailer was introduced by Songyee Yoon, chief strategy officer at NCSoft, and showed a digital human version of the company’s chief creative officer Taekjin Kim, who appeared on screen and guided viewers through Project M’s seemingly massive world and gameplay.
“Project M is our latest innovation, harnessing the power of cutting-edge AI and graphics technology to an unprecedented level,” said Songyee. “With the help of Unreal Engine, we have achieved our vision for Project M with seamless integration of our foundational AI technology, resulting in breathtaking detail.”
Utilising Artificial Intelligence
The company developed the digital human by combining its AI technology with its advanced arts and graphics technological capabilities. NCSoft also utilised AI text-to-speech synthesis technology to generate the digital human’s speech voice in the trailer.
And by using its voice-to-face technology, the company was able to generate the digital human facial expression and lip-sync.
The technology is an AI-based facial animation that can automatically produce facial animation by matching the given text or voice. Combined with the company’s visual technologies, the digital human’s realistic facial look was created.
Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games said, “We are excited to see how NCSoft is pushing Unreal Engine 5 for Project M, and the high-fidelity digital humans they have created is truly impressive.”
Project M remains one of the company’s newest projects that comes with an action-adventure title designed with immersive interactive elements that are under development for consoles.
The gameplay is designed to expand and change the story with the information the player obtains throughout their play. Project M will run on Unreal Engine 5 and is focused on integrating life-like graphics using motion capture, 3D scanning, and VFX.