Imagine customizing your video game to include a scene with Angelina Jolie or your favorite actor and yourself?
With $11 million raised, an amazing staff of 3D artists and 300,000 users, an increase of 10 times since inception, Mixamo is destined to change the video game landscape.
But wait, the opportunity is much greater than customizing video games; what about starring in all the newest films? How about a joining a car chase with 007, James Bond or even better bedding down with 007 or his latest conquest. The implications for Mixamo are significant. The opportunity is only limited by the vision of Stefano Corazza, CEO of Mixamo.
It never ceases to amaze me, the potential for media jobs today is staggering. The opportunities for smart, creative, and driven people is like none that has ever existed before. Now don’t get me wrong, building a business is probably one of the hardest things someone can do. Yet, with a good idea, great connections (probably the most important) and time; you could find a way to be unique, and create a high value business.
This is what CEO Stefano Corazza of San Francisco based company Mixamo has done. Raising $11 million to date, he has created a business which gives the control of creating a 3D character for video and online games over to the user/player. It appears people want to get involved in the process of making their own characters or in-game Avatars. At 300,000 users, Mixamo is making it easy to generate high-quality, royalty-free 3D characters for anyone to include in their games, and have increased its number of paying customers by nearly tenfold. If players spend much of their time in these environments then they want to see themselves there as well.
Mixamo wants the masses to create high quality games and not leave it to the domain of professionally trained 3D artists. By using Mixamo’s Fuse character creator software, an individual can use a drag and drop utility to create unique players for their games. Once a character is made it can be rigged and animated through Maximo’s online animation service. If you’re curious to see how it works, take a look for yourself on Mixamo’s workflow page. You’ll notice that Mixamo has incredible support from Adobe Photoshop.
In fact the latest Photoshop CC will allow importing of Mixamo files in COLLADA format. Winston Hendrickson, VP of engineering, at Adobe says “now with Mixamo’s technology, we can import 3D characters along with their animations into Photoshop, edit and export them using one of the world’s most popular design tools.” Corazza says, “We’re very excited that Adobe will offer this new functionality in Photoshop.” He feels it’s a simple and intuitive solution for an industry looking for personalized customization in a fast growing virtual environment. “We want Fuse to become a universally accepted character creator,” Corazza said. Fuse will also be a preinstalled feature for HP’s new Sprout creativity computer.
Mixamo was founded in 2008 by Stanford University 3D experts Corazza and Nazim Kareemi. Fuse was supposed to be a game developer’s tool but overnight found itself in the hands of end-users. Quick to come on board as major partners were Adobe, HP, Microsoft, Epic Games, Unity Technologies, and Valve. Mixamo is currently adding Valve’s Dota 2 and Garry’s Mod, which you can export your characters into. The near future plan is to be able to include the ability to scan a person and use that as the base of the newly created character. What is scanned can be imported into Fuse and then animated.
I guess the name of the game in this evolving media environment, seems to me to be feature driven and usability. You should think about this if you dream of getting into this arena. Perhaps you need to customize yourself a bit in the real world before walking into the realm of developing next level entertainment and increase your wealth.