Unity announced today that it would acquire the company Ziva Dynamics, the company behind the revolutionary digital character. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Unity plans to “democratize” Ziva tools to make them easier for developers of all skill levels to use.
Ziva and Unity announced their new pairing with a video described by Ziva’s full digital person, Emma. The technique that Ziva uses to animate Emma’s facial expressions is called ZRT Trainer. Ziva’s technology allows users to create similar objects, such as people, animals, or textiles, and distort them in a realistic way. Emma, for example, is trained with 72,000 shapes and can create unique facial poses.
Ziva’s software has been featured in games such as Hellblade: Sanu’s Sacrifice and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. You can play Game of Thrones and Godzilla Vs. Kong. It was also used to bring trolls to life in the recent Senua Saga: Hellblade II trailer.
James Jacobs, CEO of Ziva, told Gamesbeat, “When Ziva was founded, we had a vision to make real character creations available to all creators. We think it will be an important part of the future. It was like a dream come true when I had the opportunity to join forces with unity. They shared our values and our vision of the world and the future.
Unity plans to make Ziva Tools accessible to all game developers and artists, regardless of skill level. According to the company’s announcement, it will “accelerate the process of bringing Weta tools to real-time 3D through the cloud with the power of machine learning.”
Natasha Tatarchuk, Unity’s technical partner and VP of Graphics Innovation, described Zeeva’s technology in GamesBeat: It’s accessible to anyone who can run a wide variety of hardware, yet high-quality character distortion. You get all the benefits of the best motion-capture performance, but you can interact with it.
Ziva is not the first digital tool that Unity has acquired. Last year, Unity paid 1.6 billion to acquire Veta Digital’s equipment. It has also acquired tools like SyncSketch to facilitate collaboration.
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