Friday 17 November 2017

Artomatic has designs on speeding up animation

Eric Risser and Neal O’Gorman
Eric Risser and Neal O’Gorman
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

ARTOMATIC is the brainchild of Eric Risser, 30, a Floridian techie who has just marked his fifth year in Ireland, and Naas-born entrepreneur Neal O'Gorman, 37.

Their software lets animators speed up the most laborious aspects of the design process for film and video games, like creating backgrounds.

"Take the animation of a basket of bananas as an example," explains Risser.

"Designing 100 unique bananas is hugely time consuming, but you need that level of detail to create really interesting backgrounds.

"Our software allows designers to skip the hard part. All they have to do is input a few examples of different bananas; the system picks up the differences between those examples and uses them to generate hundreds of unique versions."

The animation process for films and computer games, he says, has become hugely expensive.

"Computer animation is now so advanced that it's verging on realism. But inputting all of the detail required to achieve this is incredibly time-consuming for designers, and costly – for instance Grand Theft Auto took five years to build and cost $280m – before marketing costs.

"This is only going to get worse. There's very clearly a demand for a product that automates the design process."

Risser came to Ireland to do a PhD at Trinity College Dublin, where he honed the idea for what is now a full-time job.

He met O'Gorman through start-up acceleration programme NDRC.

Their software is currently being trialled by potential clients, undergoing testing in an effort to gauge just how valuable it could be.

Having already secured €100,000 from NDRC, and more from Enterprise Ireland, they are now in talks with angel investors and VCs for more funding and are recruiting developers.

Sunday Indo Business

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