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3D Artists at Mixamo put Angelina Jolie and You in Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare

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.

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