DNEG will onboard a “significant portion” of the Ziva team

DNEG & Ziva logos

DNEG has acquired the exclusive licence to Ziva, a toolset for creating digital characters and creatures, from Unity.

Financial terms were undisclosed, but it was announced that DNEG will onboard a “significant portion” of the Ziva team. Ziva’s toolset, and team, was acquired by Unity as part of its Ziva Dynamics acquisition in 2022.

Ziva’s toolset includes simulation features and real-time character creation, assisted by machine learning, whcih can be used to create digital characters and creatures for film, TV, and gaming cinematics; bring cinema-quality characters into real-time gaming environments; and introduce interactive digital humans and characters to immersive experiences across live entertainment, retail, healthcare, and more.

DNEG hopes to use these features in its recently launched immersive experiences division. It will be used to support the creation of real-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 has already used Ziva in recent projects 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, as well as upcoming releases such as Animal Friends and the animated feature The Garfield Movie.

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 new directions.”