Creating professional-quality 3D animation can result in immense production time and cost for game developers. Mixamo Inc. offers a groundbreaking alternative to traditional animation methods with its launch of the first online animation service that allows users to create and customize high-quality 3D character animations in seconds rather than days.
“Our vision is to simplify 3D character animation into a process that is easy and affordable enough for any professional game developer, filmmaker, architect, or 3D designer to use efficiently,” says Stefano Corazza, co-founder and CTO of Mixamo. “Mixamo drastically condenses the animation process by combining the realism of motion capture with the customization options offered by keyframing. This creates an entirely new approach that enables professionals to develop production-ready character animations quickly. Over time, our goal is to continue to refine this process and extend this service to an even wider market.”
Mixamo allows highly complex customization of animations through the simple use of slider-based controls. From the intuitive interface, animators can easily browse through Mixamo’s extensive collection of high-quality 3D character motions. Developed from actual motion capture data, the Mixamo motion collection consists of clean, natural 3D character motions such as: combat motions, sports motions and dancing motions. After selecting a desired animation, users may customize and apply directly to their character rig in real-time. Upon completion, the animation is downloaded for seamless integration into any 3D application or game development pipeline.
Mixamo offers game developers a fast, easy-to-use, 24/7 online animation solution that is fully compatible with all professional animation pipelines. The foundation of Mixamo’s technology is the ability to synthesize motions from mathematical models, which are learned by analyzing high-quality motion capture data. These motion models provide high-level controls to the user for creating compelling animations quickly and conveniently — for example, a punch can be modified with a shorter windup or different angles of attack.
By alleviating the need for expensive motion capture services and substantially reducing keyframe animation production time, Mixamo is able to significantly boost workflow pace and speed. After animations are created and customized within Mixamo’s online environment, they may be applied directly to a user’s uploaded skeleton creating a production-ready character motion. Artists who are accustomed to traditional methods are finding Mixamo’s rapid development process to be a fast and liberating experience.
Mixamo is being used by top-talent 3D game developers, including Cameron Petty, former co-founder and CEO of Cryptic Studios, on an exciting new stealth project. “The Mixamo service is a key component of our rapid prototyping capabilities, allowing us to develop character animations with our existing skeletons in a fraction of the time it normally takes,” says Petty, currently CEO and founder of JumpCore. “We’re using Mixamo to save time and money, and the integration of Mixamo motion data into our production pipeline has been smooth. Even better, the folks at Mixamo have been responsive and helpful throughout the process.”
The company says that its motion capture data is based on mathematical models, allowing users to control the angles and durations of various movements.
Most Mixamo animations can be downloaded in perfect loops, ready for in-game content, or combined into longer sequences for general use or in cut scenes. Downloaded motion files are available in FBX, bvh and Collada formats. For Mixamo pricing information and to view, customize and purchase motions, please visit www.mixamo.com.