The Mill has purchased endorphin, a stand-alone application from NaturalMotion Ltd. that uses AI and dynamics simulation to create 3D character animation in realtime, to create high-end visual effects in its commercials and promo departments at its studio in Soho, London.
The Mill did extensive research and testing into new animation techniques that would allow the animator to work with an intelligent actor and be able to concentrate on the story and action rather than technical details. It found endorphin would afford its animators the ability to create human animations, that in the past, were either too expensive to shoot, impossible to do for safety reasons in motion capture, or complex to animate by hand. The software will be used on a commercial project for a major brand that will be broadcast in the near future.
NaturalMotion's endorphin is a higher level animation tool that can take over and run a simulation in a directable and intelligent way, something that is key to everybody in this industry and in my humble opinion is the future of 3D animation," said Jordi Bares, vfx supervisor. "The Mill In this early stage we can see that endorphin will play a significant role in our animation tools, and as it is extremely fast and easy to use I believe adoption will be fast.
The Mill specializes in high-end visual effects for commercials, music promos and television. Since 1990, The Mill has built an impressive client-base of some of the worlds best commercials directors, and advertising agencies handling accounts such as Levis, Pepsi, Guinness, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In May 2002, The Mill opened in New York.
endorphin is the industrys first dynamic motion synthesis software. Based on AI and dynamics research, endorphin synthesizes 3D character animation in realtime, dramatically cutting asset production time and costs. Used in projects such as TROY (Warner Bros.) and with customers including Sony Europe, Sony America, Moving Picture Co., Uncharted Territory, Namco, Rainbow Studios and others, endorphin is rapidly becoming the tool of choice for high-end animation in visual effects, games and animation studios. endorphin 1.5 is now available for a suggested retail price of $12,795.
NaturalMotion Ltd. (www.naturalmotion.com) is the creator of Active Character Technology (A.C.T.), a breakthrough in 3D character animation based on Oxford University research on the control of body movements. Founded in 2002, the companys management team includes Nick Alexander (chairman), former ceo of Sega Europe, Torsten Reil (ceo/co-founder), a graduate in Complex Systems from Oxford University, who was recently named as one of the world's top 100 innovators by MIT's Technology Review, and Colm Massey (cto/co-founder), a trained mathematician (Trinity College Dublin) and previously head of the award-winning Virtual Human Project at MathEngine Plc. The privately-owned company has received funding from the games, film and finance sectors. Its development team of software engineers, biologists, physicists and animators is located in Oxford, U.K.