Leading developer of digital humans technology and creative content has joined with Epic in an acquisition that will bring significantly increased investment in the 3Lateral team’s efforts.
It has been officially reported that the two companies’ acquisition has taken place following the news of Epic’s $1,25 billion new investment round that happened end of 2018. Epic and 3Lateral share a track record of groundbreaking Unreal Engine-based collaborations, including the animated short “A Boy and His Kite,” real-time performance capture and moviemaking in “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice,” and the photorealistic, real-time “Siren” and “Digital Andy Serkis” demonstrations.
The Serbia-based team will continue supporting game industry, film, and television partners under 3Lateral brand while working to advance the state of the art in Unreal Engine’s support for virtual humans and creatures. Vladimir Mastilović will lead Epic’s worldwide digital humans efforts. Prosperous for more than 15 years in empowering innovative technologies for creation of digital life and expanding the number of employees each year, this was a strategic move for 3Lateral where their tech development plans align perfectly with Epic Games and their vision of the future.
“Creating digital humans requires deep understanding of every aspect of our appearance and motion, both of which portray our inner self and tell stories around us. We read all these visual cues with great precision as instinct to analyze an image of another human being is deeply embedded in our DNA”, said Vladimir Mastilović, founder and director of 3Lateral. “Observing, analyzing and reconstructing these mechanisms has always fascinated us at 3Lateral, and we are excited to have joined a like-minded team at Epic Games with such strong desire to solve this near impossible problem”.
3Lateral team will continue to support all of its partners and Epic’s new presence in Serbia will serve as a base for recruiting technical and creative talent in the region, turning the headquarters in Novi Sad into one of leading R&D centers.
“Real-time 3D experiences are reshaping the entire entertainment industry, and digital human technology is at the forefront. Fortnite shows that 200,000,000 people can experience a 3D world together. Reaching the next level requires capturing, personalizing, and conveying individual human faces and emotions”, said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games.
The vision of virtual production and future of their user base was one of the main topics during the recent CGA Belgrade Conference where Vladimir Mastilović and Unreal’s Ben Lumsden shared the floor in a panel conversation with Mike Seymour.
This ground-breaking news for Serbian creative industry and tech companies is yet another proof of the high-performance talent base that has been increasingly reaching global status and country’s efforts in incentivizing creative industry environment.
About Epic Games
Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite, Unreal, Gears of War, Shadow Complex, and the Infinity Blade series of games. Epic’s Unreal Engine technology, which brings high-fidelity, interactive experiences to PC, console, mobile, AR, VR and the Web, is freely available at unrealengine.com. The Epic Games Store offers a handpicked library of games, available at epicgames.com.
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3Lateral is built around passion for creating characters and creatures. It gathers diverse people in an industry that has to marry seemingly incompatible skills – rebellious artistry and disciplined engineering practices. This is exactly the type of fusion of skills, and finding inspiration in the opposite character, excites and surprises us. This is where magic, the fundamental force that drives all animators, happens and makes us confident in the path we see to our visions.