News Archive

Jun 6 2016

We have released a new version of the Toolkit. It updates Unity to version 5.3 (64 bit), has an update GUI, updated lighting, and a Mecanim preview. Note that there’s a new 3rd party installer which is required. See Release Notes for details.

Jun 13 2015

The latest version of the Toolkit uses Unity 5.1, which allows SmartBody to be loaded as a plugin for Unity Free, just as it always did for Unity Pro. Unity 5 adds many new features, including updated lighting and 64-bit support. In addition, we’ve updated the characters and added basic character customization.

Feb 5 2015

Welcome to the new year, and welcome to a new Toolkit version. We updated Unity, made SmartBody animations a native Unity object and added previews for a new menu and character selection in the LineUp scene. See the Release Notes for more details.

Sep 17 2014

We have released a minor update to the Toolkit which fixes Bonebus. This allows you to run SmartBody as a stand-alone process, which is required for the free version of Unity. If you have downloaded the Toolkit before, you can use the same information.

Aug 28 2014

We have released a new version of the Toolkit, primarily focusing on updating some of the components, in particular SmartBody and Unity.  This release also contains numerous bug fixes for VHBuilder, Character Customizer and Unity. See Release Notes for details.

Nov 11 2013

The latest version of the Toolkit offers a Mac OS X tech preview, fixes vhAssets for Mac OS X, iOS and Android, adds more background characters, updates Unity to 4.2, improves TTS lip syncing, and contains various bug fixes. See Release Notes for details.

Aug 23 2013

Due to a problem with our back-end servers, download requests made after Monday August 12 have not reached us. This issue has now been resolved. If you have requested the Toolkit and have not yet received a response, please fill in the form again. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Aug 9 2013

A new version of the Toolkit is now available which fixes a variety of bugs, related to PocketSphinx, MultiSense, VHBuilder and the Character Customizer. In addition TTSRelay now loads faster and all 3rd party software is once again part of the main Toolkit installers.

Jul 25 2013

A new version of the Toolkit has been released, which features a new Character Customizer tool that allows you to set up a simple scene and capture movies of Brad or Rachel acting out lines. It’s an experimental tool of which we’re hoping to bring over some features into VHBuilder, so let us know what you think. We also upgraded Brad, added online animation retargeting, added support for the Oculus Rift, made improvements to the Machinima Maker, added Lisp support for VHMsg and updated SmartBody, Unity and ActiveMQ.

Jul 25 2013

Our new website is live! We’ve been working hard on updating the look and functionality of the site. Let us know what you think in the Forum. We’ll be adding more content in the months ahead, so keep an eye out for updates.

Apr 4 2013

We released a minor version which fixes some issues with Bonebus mode and Unity Free.

Mar 24 2013

We released a minor version of the Toolkit, which fixes a few VHBuilder bugs, adds support for Unity 4.1, includes an updated SmartBody version and updates Java to 1.6.0_43.

Mar 6 2013

We are excited to bring you a variety of new features in the latest Toolkit release. Our integrated authoring suite VHBuilder allows you to very quickly get basic characters up and running. Look at our first ever tutorial movie here! In addition, our new Machinima Maker allows you to make your own virtual human cut-scenes right from the Unity Editor. Finally, we added a few more characters you can use with the Unity Editor. Enjoy!

Feb 12 2013

The latest Toolkit release fixes a couple of recent regressions. It now loads correctly again on 32-bit systems, the SmartBody Monitor works again, as well as the TTS debug button. In addition, we made a number of smaller upgrades and improvements, for a full list see the Release Notes.

Jan 11 2013

We released a minor version of the Toolkit today. Java is now included in the distribution and no longer a 3rd party dependency. Unity has been updated to version 4 and Ogre to 1.8.1. In addition, character creation with SmartBody has been simplified and asset loading has been streamlined. See the Release Notes for details.

Oct 31 2012

We are happy to announce that with the latest release of the Toolkit you can now interact with multiple characters: Brad and Rachel. Both have been built from the ground up, with updated character models, animations, environment and voices. In addition, we implemented a drag and drop feature for new SmartBody characters and are providing several 3rd party (as of yet non-talking) Mixamo characters. This release also contains a variety of miscellaneous improvements, including new Festival text-to-speech voices, NVBG configuration improvements and more ways to use MultiSense. For a full list of changes, see the Release Notes.

Jul 11 2012

We have released a minor update to the Toolkit, fixing some usability and stability issues. See Release Notes for details.

May 31 2012

An exciting new version of the toolkit is now available, offering the MultiSense framework, the Rapport research platform and the SBMonitor tool. MultiSense is a perception framework that enables multiple sensing and understanding modules to inter-operate simultaneously, broadcasting data through the Perception Markup Language. MultiSense currently contains GAVAM, CLM FaceTracker and FAAST which you can use with webcam or Kinect. The Rapport agent is a “virtual human listener” providing nonverbal feedback based on human nonverbal and verbal input. It has been used in a variety of international studies related to establishing rapport between real and virtual humans. Finally, the SBMonitor is a stand-alone tool for easy debugging of SmartBody applications, including testing available (facial) animations, gazes and more complex BML commands.

Mar 2 2012

A minor release of the toolkit is now available, updating the Unity version to 3.5 as well as providing incremental changes to the Unity/SmartBody debug tools in the Unity Editor (VH menu in Unity).

Dec 22 2011

Happy holidays!  The latest release of the toolkit includes the ability to interrupt Brad, improved support for higher resolutions, and a fix for text-to-speech not working properly.  See Release Notes for details.

Aug 10 2011

A new version of the toolkit has been released, offering support for the free version of Unity 3D, meaning you can now create your own scenes for Brad. You can download Unity here: http://www.unity3d.com. For instructions on how to use the Unity 3D Editor with the toolkit, see the vhtoolkitUnity section. In addition, the user interaction has been improved; Unity now launches in full-screen automatically and users get visual feedback when talking to Brad. To directly talk to Brad, first make sure you have a microphone plugged in, wait for Brad to finish his introduction, and close the tips window. Now click and hold the left mouse button while asking Brad a question; release the mouse button when you are done talking. The recognized result will be displayed above Brad in white font (toggle on/off with the O key), and Brad will answer your question. It is advised to update Java and ActiveMQ, which are provided with the 3rd party installer versions.For a full list of improvements, changes and fixes, see the Release Notes.

May 4 2011

We have released a new version of the toolkit, which adds prerecorded speech for Brad. This means Brad now has a human voice, instead of one of the various text-to-speech voices. You can now also interact with Brad through the Unity 3D renderer directly, by either typing in text or by speaking through a microphone. Please note that as of this release, Unity 3D is the default and only supported renderer. Gamebryo is deprecated and will not receive future updates. Ogre is an open source renderer which is provided as a basic example only. For more details on this release, see the Release Notes. If you have any questions and or comments, please use the toolkit Google Groups.

Mar 28 2011

Version 0.9.12.258 has been released, adding, amongst other things, subtitles, the capability for Brad to walk around, and smaller installers. If you are upgrading from an older version, please see Release Notes in order to ensure correct functionality.

Feb 25 2011

Release 0.9.10.201 of the toolkit is now available here. This release adds a Unity 3D renderer version, as well as a different default voice for Brad. For more details, see Release Notes. For feedback, see the toolkit Google Groups.

Oct 8 2010

We just released version 0.9.9.137 of the toolkit, which adds the capability to create custom language models. Several critical bugs have been fixed as well.

Sept 17 2010

Version 0.9.7.107 of the toolkit has been released, adding support for the Festival text to speech engine.

Jul 28 2010

We have released a new version of the toolkit, v0.9.5.93. The only change is a small fix in the installer, which in some cases would prevent users from running Java programs. See Release Notes for more details.

Jul 9 2010

Release v0.9.5.92 is now available, which adds 3rd party speech recognition and improved usability, amongst other things. See Release Notes for more details.

Jan 27 2010

A new release of the toolkit is available, v0.9.4.58, which among other things introduces support for Windows 7. See Release Notes for a more detailed list of changes. If you are a registered user, you can revisit the URL provided earlier to download the latest version of the toolkit. If you would like to register, please see the Support section for instructions.

Dec 10 2009

External beta of the toolkit is released, v0.9.2.42. Academic researchers can now acquire the toolkit. See Support for request instructions.

Oct 22 2009

Internal beta of the toolkit is released, v0.9.0.15.

Sept 14 2009

Virtual Human Toolkit website is online.