NaturalMotion (developers of the euphoria motion synthesis technology as seen in Grand Theft Auto IV), have announced that Futuremark Games Studio has licensed morpheme, the company’s animation engine and graphical authoring tool.

Futuremark Games Studio is the game development spin-off of benchmarking software developer Futuremark, authors of the industry standard 3dMark range of benchmarking software. Speculation within the industry is growing as to what project the morpheme license will be used for.

“We have progressed in the past year from creating visually stunning machinima-style benchmarks into full game development,” said Dr. Jukka Mäkinen, executive producer at Futuremark Games Studio. “Gameplay has become our number one goal, with character animation in a low-gravity environment as a critical part of the gameplay experience for our game – morpheme is a uniquely flexible and powerful time saving solution that will help us achieve that goal.”

morpheme is robust animation middleware designed to give developers and animators unprecedented creative control over the look of their final in-game animation by allowing them to author and preview blends, blend trees and transition graphs in real time.

“NaturalMotion and Futuremark are both steadfastly dedicated to advancing the technology that powers gaming,” said Andy Payne, NaturalMotion’s vice president of sales for Europe and Asia. “morpheme offers tremendous benefit to developers like Futuremark who are aiming for new levels of realism in their games.”