YOOM’S Nir David: “The gaming industry is currently experiencing an unparalleled | Pocket Gamer.biz

The use of artificial intelligence in the gaming industry is becoming increasingly prevalent. While some developers are exploring AI-powered tools like ChatGPT for creating code and dialogue, others are tapping into innovations like MidJourney to generate original art. However, what about character creation? In a recent interview with Nir David, YOOM’s head of gaming for AI and 3D, we learned about their 3D character creation pipeline that leverages AI to save time and cut costs in animating 3D models.

Interview with Nir David

Pocketgamer.biz: Tell us a little about yourself and your experience in the gaming industry

Nir David: In my previous role as the director of strategic partnerships at Playtika, I had the opportunity to develop and manage important relationships with industry giants like Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon, Windows, and Samsung. I played a key role in driving distribution growth, enhancing product features, and overseeing various operational aspects. Prior to that, I spent five years at Matomy, where I established connections with renowned developers such as Zynga, EA, King, and Kabam, contributing to the company’s brand enhancement.

The Innovation of YOOM

The gaming industry is currently experiencing unprecedented innovation across multiple platforms, from mobile and PC to console and VR. Each sector is evolving rapidly, striving for an optimized creation pipeline to achieve maximum effectiveness. One area that has garnered significant attention is character customization. Today’s gamers expect impressive customization capabilities in games like Street Fighter 6 and realistic NPC interactions as seen in Red Dead 2. These features have become critical benchmarks for evaluating a game’s quality at launch. Failing to establish these elements effectively from the beginning can undermine a new game’s credibility and make it challenging to regain trust even with post-launch patches or updates.

YOOM takes a forward-thinking approach to character development, incorporating the latest trends and innovations in the industry. Their solution enables studios to streamline the development process, allowing them to allocate more resources to other crucial aspects necessary to meet the high standards of modern gamers. By leveraging cutting-edge techniques, YOOM helps studios deliver a complete, immersive gaming experience that resonates with players from day one.

The Functionality of YOOM

YOOM’s revolutionary technology transforms the character creation pipeline by providing a highly efficient solution that eliminates the need for sensors or green screens. By capturing the model or talent through a simple video recording, YOOM’s platform utilizes deep learning algorithms to preserve the motion and capture fidelity. The result is an industry-standard output – a single mesh with a single texture – seamlessly compatible with any pipeline tool used by developers.

Traditionally, animating a single minute of content would require months of laborious work. However, YOOM’s innovative approach allows for completion within a matter of days. By significantly reducing the time required for animation production, YOOM empowers developers to expedite their workflow and focus more on bringing their creative visions to life.

The Impact of AI on the Gaming Industry

The integration of artificial intelligence in gaming holds immense potential, affecting nearly every aspect of the industry. However, careful consideration must be given to determine whether AI should be pursued in every case. For instance, in the context of narrative systems, AI’s reliance on existing data limits its ability to generate truly original stories. This raises concerns about the erosion of originality in game narratives.

Nevertheless, AI integration can provide immense value in various other areas of game development. Even in these cases, it is crucial to establish clear boundaries to ensure that AI aligns with the creator’s vision. For example, NVidia recently showcased a demo where gamers can engage with AI characters through speech. While this integration has the potential to revolutionize gaming, it requires the implementation of safety measures to prevent characters from making inappropriate or off-topic statements. Avoiding situations where in-game characters discuss real-world events that could generate negative trends on social media is of utmost importance.

AI is undoubtedly a permanent fixture in the gaming industry. However, just like any other sector, it is essential to develop suitable guidelines for its responsible and effective use. By establishing the right framework, we can harness the power of AI to enhance gaming experiences while maintaining the integrity and creative intent of game developers.

The Timeframe for YOOM

The processing time for capturing and rendering in YOOM depends on factors such as the duration of the performance and the available processing power. As a general estimate, it typically takes a few hours to process each minute of animation.

YOOM for Studios Big and Small

YOOM’s versatile capabilities cater to the needs of the gaming industry across various platforms, including mobile, console, PC, and beyond. Recognizing that development challenges exist for studios of all sizes, YOOM positions itself as a valuable partner for companies across the spectrum.

Larger studios often face high expectations, demanding top-notch quality and cutting-edge features. YOOM rises to the occasion by providing the necessary expertise and resources to meet these ambitious goals. On the other hand, smaller studios may have limited in-house capabilities, making it challenging to achieve their desired vision. YOOM acknowledges these challenges and collaborates closely with smaller studios, offering the support and tools necessary to bridge the gap and unlock their creative potential.

The Advantages of YOOM

YOOM offers game developers cost savings and shorter development cycles. The platform empowers studios to create a large-scale cast of main and supporting characters with exceptional quality and fidelity.

YOOM’s Future Plans

YOOM is committed to pushing the boundaries of character creation through ongoing development of automatic rigging and generative AI capabilities. The goal is to enable teams to generate fully rigged, skinned, and animated characters based on text and concept inputs. For example, developers can submit a concept for a stylized character and YOOM’s technology will produce 300 unique variations. This empowers developers to efficiently explore a wide range of character possibilities, saving time and expanding creative potential.