Ziva Dynamics, the Vancouver-based developer of character simulation software, has secured $7 million in seed funding.
Here are the details:
- Ziva will use the funding to double its workforce, advance the development of its real-time character engine, and “radically expand” its sales and marketing operation. The seed round was led by Grishin Robotics, Toyota AI Ventures, and Millennium Technology Value Partners’ New Horizons Fund.
- The company’s software creates a nuanced simulation of movement based on physically plausible rules about how muscle, fat, soft tissue, and skin operate together. It has been widely used in film and tv productions, including Game of Thrones, The Meg, Captain Marvel, and Pacific Rim Uprising.
- Announcing its funding, Ziva signalled that it’s expanding its services for AAA video game developers who require real-time performance. It adds: “Ziva’s open architecture and real-time platforms, which are scheduled for public release later this year, will empower real-time characters to contend with their offline film counterparts.”
- Ziva was founded in 2015 by vfx artist James Jacobs and Jernej Barbic, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Southern California. In 2013, Jacobs was among the recipients of an Academy Scientific and Technical Award for a pioneering character simulation framework used on Gollum in The Hobbit.
- In a statement, Jacobs and Barbic said, “The video game industry is set to reach over $300 billion by 2025 and console games, the fastest-growing game category, made over $47.9 billion in 2019 alone.…Our biomechanics, soft tissue, and machine learning technologies are finally intersecting with the optimization of game consoles, enabling us to introduce the highest-quality characters to a space that is constantly pushing for better, faster results.”
- Dmitry Grishin, founding partner at Grishin Robotics, added, “James and Jernej are making a big impact on the film industry with their cutting-edge 3d character technology. We are big believers in the convergence of film, animation, and online gaming content and are very excited to partner with Ziva in building industry-standard character creation software for the rapidly growing digital entertainment universe.”