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Unity acquires Ziva Dynamics to democratize real-time character creation

"Ziva's technology is designed to power anything that deforms, in any size, and in real-time, on consumer hardware."

Unity has expanded its suite of real-time character creation tools with the acquisition of VFX company, Ziva Dynamics.

Ziva technology has been used in a number of game, movie, and television projects including Game of Thrones, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Senua's Saga: Hellblade II.

The company is described by Unity as a "leader in sophisticated simulation and deformation, machine learning and real-time character creation," and is the latest visual effects studio to be acquired by the engine maker after the high-profile purchase of Weta Digital.

Unity announced the deal using a Ziva-created digital human called Emma (shown below), whose model was trained with over 30 terabytes of unique 4D data and is capable of emoting using over 72,000 trained shapes.

"This is deep tech for amazingly realistic animation and incredibly emotive performances; letting characters shine even in demanding real-time environments. And soon, it will be accessible to artists and creators of all levels," reads a Unity blog.

"Delivering this kind of fidelity in real-time is ground-breaking. As Emma described in her own words, it’s the result of sophisticated technology that leverages leading practices from machine learning, deep learning, and biomechanics. It is fundamentally changing the way people make characters. And Ziva’s technology is designed to power anything that deforms, in any size, and in real-time, on consumer hardware - humans, creatures, clothes, realistic or stylized, high or any fidelity."


Following the deal, Unity said Ziva will help accelerate the process of bringing Weta Digital's tools to real-time 3D through the cloud via the power of machine learning.

Unity also intends to use Ziva's technology to make the creation of believable digital characters more accessible, and claims the company's machine learning techniques will enable cloud-based creation that will ultimately streamline production and cut costs.

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