Image Metrics Buys Big Stage

Santa Monica-based Image Metrics, a developer of facial animation technology, announced Thursday morning that it has acquired Big Stage, the developer of avatar creation software. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Image Metrics said it would merge Big Stag's avatar creation platform into its existing, real-time video animation technology. Big Stage--which was a spinout of technology developed at USC--allowed users to upload several photographs of themselves into software, which then automatically converted those photographs into a realistic avatar. Those avatars could be used in virtual worlds, video clips, video games, and for social networking sites. Big Stage, which was once known as Clone, was venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures and the Tech Coast Angels.