Epic Games announced today that it is buying Cubic Motion, a computer vision startup that has developed a platform for capturing more realistic facial animations with a complex camera rig and software platform.
The game studio behind Fortnite and the Unreal Engine has worked a lot with the UK-based startup and has created a number of tech demos over the past few years that have involved translating an actor's facial movements into a digital figure in real time. The startup's Persona product, launched last year, bundles both its software and its motion capture hardware.
Cubic Motion's technology has recently been used in blockbuster game titles like God of War by Sony Interactive Entertainment and Marvel's Spider-Man by Insomniac Games.
The startup raised just over $ 22 million in funding from NorthEdge Capital. The terms of the contract have not been announced. The startup will continue to serve existing customers while accelerating integration between the company's technology and Unreal Engine, the companies said in a press release.
While Epic Games and its competitor Unity continue to woo major game developers, acquisitions like these mean hopes that real-time game engines will more infiltrate the non-gaming industries. This acquisition will undoubtedly be helpful to help higher-budget game studios create complicated editing scenes, but the integration will also likely help film studios interested in integrating real-time rendering into their workflows pull.
Last year, Epic acquired the 3Lateral game studio, which built more realistic human avatars. Coupled with this recent acquisition, this certainly suggests that Epic sees more realism in human characters and avatars as a category to invest in.