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Yellow raises $5M for genAI-powered 3D modeling tool

Founder Mandeep Waraich wants the YellowSculpt tool to help video game artists and gain enough traction with non-artists to 'further our societies.'

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 9, 2024

2 Min Read
Virtual assets showing off Yellow's sculpts being used in three different engines.
Image via Yellow.

Software developer Yellow recently raised $5 million in seed funding from A16z Games to build out its 3D modeling tool YellowSculpt, which is powered by generative AI.

As Yellow explains, the tool lets artists and designers create "clean, animatable, pre-rigged 3D character meshes" in minutes. Its aim is for YellowSculpt to make 3D creation more accessible and help prepare 3D characters to be used in games proper.

In its press release, Yellow noted how genAI tools are typically made for 2D art and characters. To founder Mandeep Waraich, YellowSculpt will help 3D artists and also "further our societies" as more people use the tool.

A16Z's Jack Soslow gave a similar sentiment, saying Yellow's focus is on "empowering human creativity through AI...[and] making character creation accessible to all."

YellowSculpt wants to be open and safe for everyone

YellowSculpt's meshes have been made with integration in mind: they can be used with game engines like Unity, Unreal, and Roblox, and art programs such as Maya, Blender, and Daz Studio.

It's Daz that's partnered with Yellow, using YellowSculpt to power its own 3D character generation system. Under their exclusive deal, Yellow will use Daz's Genesis Character Content to train AI models with an "ethical and AI-safe approach."

Yellow's stressing of ethics comes as genAI has been frequently used sans consent from the artists or performers it used to generate material. In several instances, that lack of consent has led to the companies behind this technology being sued.

This past January, a GDC State of the Industry survey revealed nearly half of all surveyed developers use genAI at work. Most of that usage comes from finance, followed by community and production management.

But you wouldn't know that from most headlines. Over the last year, genAI has been touted as a way to help artists, designers, and writers be more efficient in areas like in-game barks and art.

While one surveyed developer thinks it'll inevitably be used to cut corners, many were open to it being a way to lighten the workload, with the caveat being a human touch would still be needed.

Game Developer and GDC are sibling companies under Informa Tech. The 2024 State of the Industry report was produced in a collaboration between Game Developer and Game Developers Conference.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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