Wonder Dynamics has demonstrated its new web-based AI tool, Wonder Studio. The company says Wonder Studio can automatically animate, light and compose computer-generated (CG) characters into a live-action scene. You won’t need to do motion capture (mocap) or use 3D software. All you need is a camera.
Tye Sheridan and Nikola Todorovic founded wonder Dynamics. Sheridan is an actor and producer who starred in movies such as “Ready Player One” (2018) and “X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016). Todorovic is a VFX supervisor and filmmaker. The company also has an advisory board that includes filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Joe Russo. In addition, Wonder Dynamics is backed by investors, including Samsung Next and Epic Games, and some venture capital companies.
What is Wonder Studio?
Wonder Studio is a web-based AI platform for replacing actors with CG characters. Wonder Dynamics says that you only need to film your scene and upload it to the website. The system will then automatically detect cuts and track your actor through the sequence before replacing them with the CG model. Wonder Studio will also animate, light, and compose your CG character to match the live actor. In addition, the software will do this with footage shot with just a single camera; there’s no need for multiple angles.
Will this replace VFX artists?
Wonder Dynamics says that Wonder Studio can capture your actors’ movements without the need for expensive mocap equipment. You also don’t need to do frame-by-frame VFX work to composite your CG models into a live scene. However, Wonder Dynamics sees the system as a tool for artists, not a replacement for human VFX artists. Instead, the company says that Wonder Studio will automate 80-90 percent of the “objective” work so that artists can concentrate on the “subjective” aspects of an effects shot.
What we think
The demonstration video for Wonder Studio shared by Wonder Dynamics is nothing short of astounding. It shows live-action video with actors being seamlessly replaced by CG characters. Although the system is still under development, it is already being used on a movie that is being shot for Netflix. At this stage, Wonder Studio is clearly aimed at big studio productions. However, in the future, it could make advanced CG more accessible to independent filmmakers working with lower budgets. Exciting times lie ahead!
Wonder Studio is currently in a closed beta phase of its development. 3D artists who want access to the platform can apply online with a portfolio of their work.