January 17, 2007

In search of life-like anchors

Hi everyone,

You may have noticed in the last few days that Alyx now performs animations and gestures while presenting the news.  Getting Alyx to look more lively and life-like has been a major goal of ours for awhile, and it’s nice to finally get a first pass of it in the system.

Like everything else in News at Seven, her animations are added completely automatically.  Currently, the gestures are chosen and applied by a set of hand-coded rules, and while we think they look decent currently, there is obviously a lot more work to be done in the gesture area.

We are also researching ways to automatically apply facial expressions to our anchors, and improve the human-like qualities of their voices.  We believe that the more life-like the anchors are, the more interesting they will be over extended periods of time.

On a housekeeping note, you may notice that this is the first time the blog has been updated.  While we’ve been working hard on the system over the past few months, we haven’t taken the time previously to write up for the community what we’re thinking and doing.  It’s time to rectify that, and so you can expect weekly updates to the blog.

Also, we encourage you to leave comments!  Currently, we’re leaving comment moderation on to reduce the number of spam comments.  This means that your comments won’t show up until we go through and approve it specifically.  We will do this regularly, though, so don’t worry.

If you have any questions, comments, or recommendations for improving News at Seven, please don’t hesitate to email us the contact link, or leave a comment here in the blog.

Thanks, and keep watching!

The News at Seven team


  • I had one suggestion, but it’s not really that big.
    It would be cool if the anchor’s name appears at the bottom of the screen at the start of the newscast. I think it would just make it seem like real network news.

    That’s what I have to say about that.

    Comment by inac88 — January 17, 2007 @ 10:39 am
  • I think the news @ seven would be more interesting if you add more characters. also, maybe do a few more segments. you can have a top story segment, then a brief sports report, maybe whether or health. each show would be maybe 5 minutes longer, but it would be a lot more interesting.

    and also, maybe you can put the blogosphere guy into a different environment, or remove the roof of the hallway to make it look like he’s outside.
    i dont know how much of this is possible, but its just my 2 cents.

    Comment by Sean — January 17, 2007 @ 12:39 pm
  • Since you’re using a WordPress-based application, why not install the free Bad Behavior anti-spam solution. All you need to do is upload to server, then login as admin and enable.


    Comment by Sam Thornton — January 17, 2007 @ 7:19 pm

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