Image Metrics is a technology firm working with companies like Vivendi, Activision, and Epic Games to produce "high-fidelity, performance-driven facial animation" through a combination of performance capture and animation refining.
To share information about the process of applying their technologies to the characters in Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV, head of production David Barton and technical director Vladimir Mastilovic spoke at the Microsoft Gamefest event earlier this week.
Mr. Barton was fairly straightforward: "Our task was, 'How to bring him to life? How can we make him move?'" The 'him' in question was GTA IV protagonist Niko Bellic.