Last month, video game software firm Unity Technologies purchased experts in real-time 3D (RT3D) character design, Ziva Dynamics, for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition enables Unity to adopt Ziva’s powerful character creation suite to introduce its users to high-quality RT3D character renders for augmented, virtual, and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR) projects.
Thanks to the purchase, Unity is planning to scale the Ziva Dynamics toolset to further democratise the field of augmented, virtual, and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR) content creation, enabling RT3D developers to easily access the firm’s tools to create lifelike characters with realistic visuals.
Founded in 2015, the Vancouver-based firm has worked with various award-winning video game studios, movie production companies, and global brands to create highly-realistic RT3D characters and avatars.
Ziva Dynamics built its ZivaRT platform to apply machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and data to characters and environmental animations, meaning Ziva-powered RT3D renders will use AI data to accurately reconstruct character movements and reactions in virtual environments.
The news comes as Unity joined the XR Association last week, along with Accenture, Qualcomm, and others, to tackle challenges and create new solutions for the future of extended reality (XR).
XR Today spoke to James Jacob, Co-Founder and CEO, Ziva Dynamics, to discuss the role of his firm’s RT3D development tools in the field of AR/VR/MR and the Metaverse.
XR Today: How will the Unity/Ziva Dynamics partnership assist RT3D developers at all skill levels?
James Jacobs: When physical realism is desired [by firms], Ziva’s character technology is synonymous with high-end results. Moving forward, one of Unity and Ziva’s primary goals is to make these capabilities available to all creators, regardless of their skill level.
Aided by Unity’s deep knowledge of RT3D graphics and Ziva’s increased access to resources, we’re collectively very excited by the opportunity to transform the character creation process.
XR Today: In what way does the partnership help to democratise and upscale rich RT3D developer tools for AR/VR/MR creators?
James Jacobs: Making high-end characters has historically been an involved process that requires years of domain expertise to master.
When [developers are] making AR/VR/MR content, this process is further aggravated because many of the old ‘tricks of the trade’ fail to meet the scrutiny that AR/VR/MR makes possible, or they fail to meet the run-time performance requirements of the medium.
Ziva’s accurate and lightweight run-time, along with Unity’s render pipeline, helps to solve these critical quality and performance requirements.
XR Today: How does Ziva Dynamics unique machine learning techniques assist in cloud-based character creation and distribution?
James Jacobs: To become an expert at character creation requires years of experience using today’s tools. At Ziva, we focus on both achieving the highest quality and removing potential points of failure.
This has the added benefit of providing a path forward that also removes much of the drudgery from the process, freeing up creators to more effectively fulfil their intent.
From our perspective, tools that simplify the artist’s take by leveraging machine learning are one of the obvious approaches toward solving this challenge.
Additionally, with the ubiquitous adoption of high-speed, low-latency internet connections, deployment from the cloud is the best solution to maximize both quality and ease of adoption.
XR Today: Can Ziva’s tools play a role in Metaverse content development?
James Jacobs: Absolutely! High-quality characters are a core value proposition to immersive experiences like those promised by the Metaverse.
At Ziva Dynamics, our technology has been designed, from the ground up, to provide [projects with] the very best results that can be scaled with the hardware they have been deployed on.