South Korean firm Naver Z is the mind behind the favored 3D-avatar app Zepeto. At the moment, the corporate introduced it made a strategic funding within the Danish animation and movement capture firm Rokoko. The mocap (movement capture) firm has more than 50,000 customers all around the world, together with a number of the largest names within the biz, however the majority of its prospects are rising indie creators who, till Rokoko got here alongside, had no reasonably priced approach to make use of high-end movement capture and animation instruments.
With Rokoko’s mocap swimsuit and gloves and a complicated movement enhancing software program suite, Rokoko’s ecosystem of instruments is a lifesaver for creators who must animate characters; with out having to make use of a specialised studio with cameras that capture the motion, the swimsuit itself tracks how the character is shifting and interprets that into actions that animators can use to animate their characters.
“We raised $3m as it was primarily a strategic spherical to deliver Naver Z in, after which a few of our earlier buyers needed to comply with up too,” mentioned Jonathan Jeffery, director of progress at Rokoko, in an electronic mail. “We have been worthwhile the whole lot of final 12 months so didn’t have an excessive amount of stress on our again to lift a big spherical.”
The funding spherical values Rokoko at over $80 million, the corporate claims. The spherical was led by Naver Z, and the 2 present lead buyers, VF Enterprise and North-East Enterprise, each be part of the brand new spherical together with robotics specialist Thomas Visti (Common Robots, MiR) and funding from new board member Brett Bibby.
“With this funding from Naver Z, we’re joined by one of many strongest and quickest shifting metaverse corporations on this planet, and our plans to increase our enterprise into Asia simply obtained supercharged,” Rokoko CEO and co-founder Jakob Balslev mentioned in an electronic mail to TechCrunch. “Naver Z is planning to open its Zepeto ecosystem to let animators monetize animations that they create utilizing instruments like those Rokoko provides.”
Motion capture is a type of issues that may be eye-wateringly, fantastically costly, and really onerous to make use of with out knowledgeable, in-depth information. It’s enjoyable to see applied sciences just like the Smartsuit Professional turning into more obtainable, bringing mocap into vary even for superior amateurs and midrange productions.
The corporate launched a promo video for its swimsuit some time again, and as an animation nerd, I’m psyched, so I’ll depart you with this: