Startups, Technology

Artomatix: AI-Enabled Startup Employing Example Based Art Creation For Gaming Companies

The purpose of a game is to deliver a captivating interactive experience to its users. If we delve games that have made a huge success out of themselves we’ll find just one common trait- Design. People can call it ‘Fancy Technology’, but we all know it’s the fascination of technology that attracts users the most. Then comes the graphics part, where smoothness and asymmetry concoct an effective broth. With the entrance of technologies like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, the user experience has drastically shot up and so the competition. With Artificial Intelligence entering the realm, it has become a necessity for gaming companies to innovate and create original content. Moreover, innovation comes at a price for a gaming company- more artists, more designers, graphic designers etc. To make innovation and monetary plans go hand-in-hand, Artomatix came into being.

From L-R: Neal, Eric, Bart, & Seán (Artomatix's lead artist)

From L-R: Neal, Eric, Bart & Seán (Artomatix’s lead artist)

Founded by Neal O’Gorman (CEO) and Eric Risser (CTO), this Dublin-based startup is an AI enabled game designing app that aims to scale down the amount of money invested and cut-down man hours. The startup provides an app that generates infinite of characters from the data entered into it and environment rendering.

Neal is a serial entrepreneur with Artomatix being the 3rd company he has founded – the first was acquired by Agilent Technologies in 2006. His second company was a social games company that had an acquisition offer from one of the top social games companies in the world. Neal has a technical background with 3 patents.

Dr. Eric Risser is an expert in the combined fields of artificial intelligence and computer graphics and is the pioneer of the Artomatix technology. He has authored six technical publications during his academic career at Columbia University (masters) and Trinity College Dublin (PhD).

Artomatix is currently distributing this service under the name of Materialize. Talking to Bart Kiss (COO), he stated that they released this SaaS at the GDC conference (March 2016), and it automatically generates seamless, non-repetitive, high-quality textures to help all 3D artists finalise 3D worlds, characters and items. Artomatix Materialize currently focuses on three issues: (1) making textures tile,(2) creating a new but similar texture at any resolution and (3) solving the problem of obvious tiling repeats in a memory-efficient manner. The software can be integrated with Photoshop and leading game engines like Unity and Unreal.

He further added that their product Populate is in development, will be released early 2017, which will automatically generate actual 3D characters / items based on sample inputs. Automatically generating infinite, non-repetitive, high quality 3D worlds. If a consumer is in a state of confusion at a store because he likes some features of one and some of the other, the software will create hybrids and then print them using a 3D printer.

Monetisation & Traction

The company is monetising by providing SaaS available in three basic plans: Indie (Revenue < $100k/year), Professional (Revenue < $1M/year) and Enterprise (Revenue > $1M/year). Bart stated that the companies they’re working with save upto 80% of the development cost. The company is in advanced talks with a AAA studio for integration of Materialize in the next opus of a big game franchise.

Funding and Market

“Artomatix is in the process of closing the seed round of over a million euros,” said Bart. The company plans to launch these two products (Materialize & Populate) and start generating revenues with it. Moreover, Artomatix is planning to raise Series A at the end of this year or early next year, he further added.

GamesAccording to superdataresearch, Digital games market sales are up 10% YoY in February, totaling $6.2B. Digital console sees the fastest growth of any segment for both revenue (+34% YoY) and audience (+27% YoY).

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