Tools Spotlight: Mixamo

Tools Spotlight: Mixamo
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

April 30th 2013 at 9:45AM

Develop takes a look at this animation firm's tech for 3D character art

[This feature was published in the April edition of Develop magazine, which is available through your browser and on iPad.]

Mixamo’s goal is to democratise 3D character art. Stefano Corazza and Nazim Kareemi founded the company in 2008. Mixamo is home to a team of young artists that are passionate about digital art, and specifically about 3D character creation and animation.

“We are a close group of ambitious, quality-oriented friends, determined to be a force for good and promote 3D art,” Mixamo CEO and co-founder Corazza tells Develop.

It’s flagship package, Mixamo Pro, provides professional artists and developers – be they independent, small or large studios – with access to high quality 3D character creation and animation technology for free, or for a reasonably low-cost.

“We are proud to offer a suite of services that are extremely affordable and accessible,” Corazza says.

“There is no need to spend hours, days or months learning how to use our technology. Whether artists and developers need to create a character with Fuse or pick one from our collection, choose and apply one of our thousands of triple-A animations to one of their own models – even rig their characters with our auto-rigger – processes are very simple, straightforward and quick.”

“Quality is very important to our team,” Corazza adds.

“This is why we provide triple-A characters and animations on our site. We also know that a lot of our users are games developers, so all our motions are game-ready and fully compatible with a huge variety of 3D software packages and games engines, including Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya, Mudbox, Unreal Engine, Unity, as well as Modo, Houdini, Blender, ZBrush, Cinema 4D and more.

“Additionally, all content from Mixamo is royalty-free, so developers can use the characters and motions they get from us in any of their games. There’s no hidden fee nonsense.”

Mixamo has been used by small and mid-sized games studios for films, indie games, mobile, pre-visualisation and advertising. Some of its users include larger studios and projects, including the likes of Telltale’s Jurassic Park: The Game, Trigger and Sony’s mobile apps for Karate Kid, Green Hornet and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Mixamo recently launched Fuse, a data-driven tool for 3D character creation, which enables user to browse through a vast number of mesh and texture choices to swiftly find customised, rigged characters for use. It works by piecing together body parts  from different characters. The tools maker has also begun offering a new payment plan for its Pro version.

Mixamo All-Access gives users a one-time yearly licence that grants them unlimited access to all content and services. Artists and developers get access to all its 3D models, animations and Auto-Rigging technology for a full year. Files are available for download in all the formats developers need.

For Unity developers, the company has also launched the Mixamo-powered Unlimited+ Mecanim Animation Store, which provides unlimited access for one year to all the Mixamo assets available on the Unity Asset Store.

This includes 1500-plus customisable animations that can be previewed and edited in the Unity Editor and that are fully compatible with Mecanim.

Mixamo’s website is due to be overhauled in soon, and Corazza tells us that there are other projects planning too, among them, improved features for its services, closer partnerships with other companies in the industry, and integration and support for more 3D packages and games engines.

“Offering unprecedented access to high quality 3D character models and animation in such an affordable, quick and easy way is unheard of in the industry,” he explains.

“Mixamo saves time, efforts, money, and provides triple-A content, so why would any developer not give it a try?”

www.mixamo.com

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