Dune: Part 2 vfx house, DNEG, has acquired the exclusive license to Ziva, a toolset for the creation of digital characters and creatures, from Unity.

Under the terms of the transaction, DNEG will also onboard a significant proportion of the Ziva team. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Ziva toolset offers “sophisticated” simulation features and real-time character creation, assisted by machine learning and “enables artists to craft ever-more accurate and scalable digital characters with greater efficiency and control.”

DNEG has previously used the Ziva toolset to help deliver digital characters for projects including recent shows such as ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’, ‘Fast X’, ‘Venom’, ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’, ‘Meg 2: The Trench’, and ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’, and upcoming releases such as ‘Animal Friends’ and the animated feature ‘The Garfield Movie’.

The Ziva toolset will also be used by DNEG IXP, DNEG’s immersive experiences division launched in February 2024. Ziva’s toolset, and its future development at DNEG, will “further support the creation ofreal-time interactive digital humans and creatures for DNEG IXP’s projects in the worlds of gaming, virtual concerts, and theme park ride experiences, and for next-generation headsets such as the Apple Vision Pro.”

DNEG Global CEO Namit Malhotra said: “This transaction furthers DNEG’s strategy of continual investment in technology to reinforce our leadership position. The integration of the Ziva toolset into our technology stack helps our artists to deliver incredible cinematic performances and experiences for discerning movie-lovers worldwide, and also supports our strategic move into immersive experiences with the launch of DNEG IXP, enabling the creation of feature film-quality digital characters and creatures in gaming and immersive environments. I am thrilled about the possibilities that this transaction opens up, both for ourselves and for our partners.”

DNEG Global CTO Paul Salvini said: “Bringing the Ziva toolset in-house – along with a significant proportion of the team behind it – is a perfect fit for DNEG and gives us a strong competitive advantage in the development of sophisticated and wholly convincing digital characters and creatures. This is an important area of growth for DNEG and will further enhance our digital character and creature work, not just for film and episodic work, but for real-time and immersive applications too. Ziva will be fully integrated into our new, state-of-the-art pipeline – Helix – expanding our portfolio of artist tools and helping to position our technology as the preeminent platform in the industry for content creation at the very highest levels of quality. I look forward to working with the team to support the further development of the product, and to helping take the Ziva toolset in exciting newdirections.”



Jon Creamer

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