Artomatix is targeting the major players in the movie and video games industries with its creative artificial intelligence technology that automatically generates 3D content, writes Trish Dromey.
Dublin-based start up Artomatix is preparing to disrupt the multi-billion euro global 3D industry with cutting edge technology capable of creative immersive worlds faster than has been previously possible.
The technical description is that this “example-based content creation” technology can be used to help 3D artists to speed up their workflow by using a set of proprietary features tied to modelling and texturing.
The simpler explanation is that it is technology which can turn a small number of 3D assets into a potentially infinite number.
“A 3D artist who individually creates several 3D characters can input these examples into Artomatix which will extrapolate an army of 3D characters using the input data,’’ explains Artomatix COO Barthélémy Kiss, pointing out that it represents a major advance in 3D.
Coming to the market at a time when the global demand for 3D content for movies, games and industrial design is exploding to such a level that 3D artists are unable to supply it, Artomatix has already attracted the attention of major players in the entertainment and games industries.
The size of the global 3D market it is targeting has recently been estimated by research firm Markets & Markets to be worth €128bn and is predicted to grow to €282bn by 2022.
Based at the Dublin Institute of Technology Greenway Hub where it employs a staff of 17, Artomatix recently secured €2.1m in investment.
Over the next 12 months it plans to launch a suite of products which Mr Kiss says will automate the mundane and tedious tasks of 3D artists.
“This funding will be devoted to hiring engineers and researchers to help execute our product roadmap and to develop our technological competitive advantage further,’’ says company founder and CTO Dr Eric Risser.
An American who came to Dublin to complete a PhD in Computer Science at Trinity College, Dr Risser stayed on to become an entrepreneur.
An expert in the combined fields of artificial intelligence and computer graphics, he used his research in computer vision and machine learning to develop technology which could automate the creation of digital art.
Part of the reason he decided to remain in Ireland was the availability of start-up support. Artomatix initially secured space on the LaunchBox incubator programme at Trinity College and went on to take part in Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme.
The following year it moved to incubator space at the National Digital Research Centre and secured €100,000 in early seed funding. Since then it has scooped up a number of awards including the Nvidia Early Stage Challenge involving $100,000 prize money, bringing its early seed funding total to €300,000.
In setting up the company Dr Risser was joined by serial entrepreneur Neal O’Gorman and subsequently by Mr Kiss. Relocating to DIT in 2016, Artomatix participated in Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start Up programme and launched a beta web based product to test the market.
At the end of the year it also launched a services offering geared towards the digitisation of product catalogues in the industrial design industry and has since attracted clients which include several Fortune 500 companies.
In March this year Artomatix closed a funding round for €2.1m which included €1.5m for the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 SME programme as well as €600,000 in angel investment.
Plans for 2017 involve recruiting an additional six staff and continuing R&D and product development. Mr Kiss expects the company’s first product to be released on the market by the end of this year.
As the first to market with creative artificial intelligence technology that automatically generates 3D content, the company will be targeting the major global players in the movie and video games industries.
“We have already held discussions with several large video games studios, special effects studios and other software developers” says Mr Kiss.
At present the entertainment and games industries are the biggest markets for Artomatix, but Mr Kiss says there is a growing demand for 3D for pre-visualisation in industrial design.
For the future the goal is “to revolutionise the way 3D content is created across the globe and to become the industry leader in automated 3D content creation”, he says.
Founders Dr Eric Risser and Neal O’Gorman
Business: 3D content creation for movies and videogames
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved