Unity Acquires Ziva Dynamics And Its Character Technology
Unity announced today that it has acquired Ziva Dynamics, the company behind revolutionary digital character creation. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Unity plans to “democratize” Ziva’s tools so that they are easier to use for developers of all skill levels.
Ziva and Unity announced their new duo with a video narrated by Emma’s all-digital person, Ziva. The technology Ziva uses to animate Emma’s facial expressions is called the ZRT Trainer. Ziva’s technology allows users to create people, animals or similar objects such as dust and distort them in realistic ways. For example, Emma is trained with 72,000 shapes and can create unique facial poses.
Ziva’s software has been used in games such as Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. You can also see the handiwork in Game of Thrones and Godzilla vs. Kong. It was also used to bring the troll to life in the recent Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II trailer.
James Jacobs, CEO of Ziva, told GamesBeat: “When Ziva was founded, we had a vision to make realistic character creation available to all creators. We think it’s going to be an important part of the future. When the opportunity arose to join forces with Unity, it was like a dream come true. They shared our values and our view of the world and the future.”
Unity plans to make Ziva’s tools accessible to all game developers and artists, regardless of skill level. According to the company’s announcement, it will also “speed up the process of bringing Weta tools to real-time 3D via the cloud with the power of machine learning.”
Natasha Tatarchuk, Unity’s technical fellow and VP of graphics innovation, described Ziva’s technology to GamesBeat: “One of the most fundamentally revolutionary changes Ziva brings is that it enables a huge improvement in the way creators create believable, lifelike character creation. It is accessible to anyone who can use a variety of hardware and still create high-quality character distortion. You get all the benefits of the best motion-capture performance, but you can also work with it.”
Zivas aren’t the first digital tools Unity has acquired. Last year, Unity paid $1.6 billion to acquire Weta Digital’s tools. It has also acquired tools such as SyncSketch to make collaboration easier.
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