Mixamo

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Mixamo Inc.
Type Corporation
Industry Interactive entertainment
Founded 2008
Founders Stefano Corazza, Nazim Kareemi
Headquarters San Francisco, USA
Employees 20
Website Official website

Mixamo is a 3D computer graphics technology company. Based in San Francisco, the company develops and sells web-based services for 3D character animation. Mixamo's technologies use machine learning methods to automate the steps of the character animation process, including 3D modeling to rigging and 3D animation.

Mixamo is spin-off of Stanford University and has raised over $11 million from investors Granite Ventures, Keynote Ventures, Stanford University and AMD Ventures.[1]

History[edit]

Mixamo was founded in 2008 by Stefano Corazzo and Nazim Kareemi as a spin off of Stanford University's Biomotion Lab,[1][2] and started out as a cloud-based service offering animations and automatic character rigging.[3] It launched its first online animation service in 2009. In 2010, Mixamo worked with Evolver to provide characters to customers.[3] Later Autodesk acquired Evolver and made it proprietary, but Mixamo had already began work on its own character creation service.[3]

Mixamo released its automatic rigging service in 2011. That was followed by the launch of its real-time facial animation product, Face Plus, in 2013,[4] and the official launch of its Fuse 3D character creator software in March 2014.[5] In August 2014, Mixamo launched a new pricing structure.[6]

Fuse[edit]

Models created with Fuse.

In March 2014, Mixamo officially launched Fuse Character Creator at Game Developers Conference.[5] Fuse stems out of the research done by Siddhartha Chaudhuri[7] which originated within Vladlen Kultun's research group at Stanford and Substance technology from Allegorithmic.[8] An early version of the service had been released in November 2013.[9]

It allows users to create a 3D character by assembling customizable body parts, clothing and textures together.[10] Those characters can then be exported into other 3D model software packages or game engine.[10] In March 2014, Mixamo launched Fuse 1.0 on Steam with the ability of importing and integrating user generated content in the character creation system.[11] Fuse was updated to allow the importation and editing of character models generated by Microsoft's Kinect 2.0 in August of that year.[12]

Rigging service[edit]

Mixamo also provides an online, automatic model rigging service known as the Auto-Rigger, which was the industry's first online rigging service. The AutoRigger applies machine learning to understand where the limbs of a 3D model are and to insert a "skeleton", or rig, into the 3D model as well as calculating the skinning weights. The service can take up to 2 minutes.

3D Character Animation[edit]

Mixamo's online services include an animation store featuring downloadable 3D models and animation sequences. The animations were created at Mixamo using motion capture and cleaned up by key frame animators. All its animations work with characters created in Fuse and/or rigged with Mixamo's AutoRigger.

Real-time facial animation[edit]

Screenshot from "Unplugged": real-time facial animation from single camera and blendshape animation running in Unity3D game engine.

In August 2013, Mixamo released Face Plus, a game development tool that allows users to record facial animation data of themselves using a standard webcam and apply the animation to a character inside the Unity3D game engine in real-time.[4][13] Face Plus was briefly included in the keynote presentation at the Unite conference in Vancouver. The technology was developed in collaboration with AMD.[10] and uses GPU acceleration.[13]

The animated short "Unplugged" was created using Face Plus technology and as of April 2014 has won several awards.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dean Takahashi (November 7, 2013). "Mixamo debuts Fuse character creation tool on Steam using Valve’s Team Fortress 2 characters". Venture Beat. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kim-Mai Cutler (July 23, 2014). "Mixamo Is Building A Platform For Game Developers To Create And Animate 3D Characters". Tech Crunch. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Kathleen Maher (May 21, 2014). "Evolving Characters". Computer Graphics World. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Rachelle Dragani (August 29, 2013). "Face Plus Gives Digital Characters Heart and Soul". TechNews World. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Craig Chapple (March 12, 2014). "Mixamo launching Fuse 1.0". Develop Online. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mixamo Offers New Pricing Structure". Computer Graphics World. August 20, 2014. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ Siddhartha Chaudhuri
  8. ^ Shane McGlaun (November 8, 2013). "Mixamo Fuse universal expendable 3-D character creator launches on Steam". SlashGear. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ Kris Ligman (November 8, 2013). "Fuse adds easy character creation to Steam". Gamasutra. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c Kathleen Maher (March 12, 2014). "Mixamo builds out to end to end products, adds upgrade in time for GDC". GraphicSpeak. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  11. ^ William Usher (March 30, 2014). "Mixamo Releases Fuse, Character Creation Tool On Steam". Cinema Blend. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  12. ^ Alex Wawro (August 7, 2014). "Mixamo's Fuse makes modeling people easier with Kinect v2 support". Gamasutra. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Generate realistic Animation using Mixamo’s Face plus". TropicalPost. September 6, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  14. ^ http://bestshorts.net/?page_id=163

External links[edit]