UPDATED 09:00 EST / APRIL 17 2023


Didimo debuts generative AI-powered video game character creation tool

Digital human avatar technology provider Didimo Inc. is bringing generative artificial intelligence to the world of video game character creation.

With today’s launch of Popul8, Didimo says, game developers now have a simple way to create hundreds of unique game characters in a fraction of the usual time and cost. Popul8 is a generative AI tool that builds on Didimo’s existing avatar creation toolset, accelerating the time it takes for developers to create extremely lifelike, 3D game and metaverse characters with full control over their appearance.

Traditionally, it has taken developers countless hours to create realistic-looking characters for their computer games, with painstaking attention to detail a very necessary part of the design process. With Popul8, it becomes possible to design animated and diverse avatars in a matter of minutes.

The tool allows for consistent designs, with users able to upload template characters from any game to ensure their new avatars match its aesthetic style. Then artists can fine-tune the look of each character. Popul8 also enables “batch creation,” meaning developers can create hundreds of varied characters at once, each with their own randomized traits, to populate entire worlds or levels with non-playable characters.

“By streamlining the character creation process, we’re unlocking the ability for artists to create richer worlds, with character diversity, at a fraction of time and necessary technical resources,” said Didimo’s client integration lead Sean Cooper.

Popul8’s AI-generated game characters are said to be compatible with commonly-used graphics engines like Unity and Unreal Engine, as well as other design tools such as Mixamo, ARKit and Amazon Polly. They’re memory-optimized too, so developers can import hundreds of realistic characters into their games without impacting their “memory budget” or the game’s performance.

Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller told SiliconANGLE that the process of creating video game characters is cumbersome and time-consuming. “Can you remember the days when game studios put sensors on humans to capture their motion and replicate it in video games?” he asked. “It was expensive and generative AI can therefore potentially disrupt the entire industry by lowering the cost. It can democratize game creation by empowering many more creators.”

Didimo founder and Chief Executive Veronica Orvalho said the advantage of Popul8 is it eliminates the tedious work of character development, allowing developers to focus more on the actual gameplay. “With our continuing focus to make digital spaces available to everyone by allowing more diverse, representative, authentic and personal engagement, this platform is setting the standard for positive uses of AI generation,” she added.

Popul8 can be accessed now. It’s already being used by games developers such as Sony Group Corp., Colossal Order Ltd., Soleil Ltd., NOS Communications Inc., Ceek VR Inc. and Atom Stars.

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