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Unity Acquires Ziva Dynamics Leader in Real-Time Character Creation

Ziva develops engineering practices to replicate soft tissue in realtime.

Unity has acquired Ziva Dynamics, a powerful tool for real-time character creation. Ziva Dynamics’s software, Ziva VFX, digitally replicates soft tissues like skin, muscle and fat. The software is user-friendly despite the engineering and biomechanics practices it is built on.

Unity posted a YouTube video hosted by Ziva-created virtual human, Emma, to announce the acquisition. Emma runs in real-time inside Unity and utilizes machine learning. Using ZRT Trainer, Emma has been enabled to show emotion through 72,000 trained shapes, allowing her to make realistic and novel facial expressions.

Unity said on its blog, “We, as humans, are uniquely attuned to react to human movement. We have an entire section of our brains dedicated to rapidly processing faces and expressions. Creating digital humans that meet the quality and natural dynamics needed to truly satisfy our minds can be a complicated and painful effort, requiring both expert knowledge and extreme perseverance.” According to Unity, Ziva is the solution and the new industry standard for quality creature creation. The software has been used in the HBO series, Game of Throne, as well as the film Godzilla vs. Kong.

Unity plans to democratize Ziva’s artist toolset to allow creators to create digital characters quickly and with ease. “We want to make content creators superheroes and we intend to deliver the tools and services that make that happen.” Unity claims in a blog post. Ziva’s machine-learning technologies also enable artists to create characters via the Cloud, streamlining the process.

This isn’t Unity’s only recent acquisition. In November, Unity acquired Weta Digital, a digital visual effects company co-founded by Peter Jackson. Additionally, the acquisition of Ziva will accelerate Unity’s process of integrating Weta tools with real-time 3D. Likewise, the game engine company has recently partnered with Meta Audience Network to provide Unity Ads for in-app bidding.

Written By

Jack Brassell is a freelance journalist and aspiring novelist. Jack is a self-proclaimed nerd with a lifelong passion for storytelling. As an author, Jack writes mostly horror and young adult fantasy. Also an avid gamer, she works as the lead news editor at Hardcore Droid. When she isn't writing or playing games, she can often be found binge-watching Parks & Rec or The Office, proudly considering herself to be a cross between Leslie Knope and Pam Beasley.

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