AtlasA 3D generative AI platform is launching today with $6 million in seed funding after two years in the works in secret. The funding consists of two rounds: a $4.5M round led by 6th Man Ventures (6MV) and a $1.5M round led by Collab+Currency. The platform partners with game developers and brands to create virtual worlds in less time than using traditional methods. Atlas allows developers to create detailed 3D models from reference images and text.
The Vienna-based startup was founded in early 2021 by Ben James, a self-taught coder with a background in architecture.
“I work a lot at the intersection of design and technology,” James told TechCrunch in an interview. “I’m a self-taught coder and I thought it might be an interesting way to look at architecture in the guise of machine vision. 2D images like plans and sections and elevations are naturally embedded with three-dimensional information through line weights, annotations, etc. And what we started playing with in Atlas was whether we could connect information from 2D imagery to machine vision learning. And there had to be some way to bring that into the 3D world.”
Initially, Atlas received a research grant from the European Union’s High-level Expert Group on AI and built its technology in accordance with the Union’s ethical guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence.
Image Credit: Atlas
Atlas’ proprietary software was created in-house by a team with expertise in AI, gaming, and design. The startup aims to build a tech stack that acts as a collaborative design partner by streamlining the workflow for designers and creators. Atlas says it has seen a 200x increase in speed over previous projects.
Current partners include Consortium 9, as well as partner-turned-investors Shrapnel and Square Enix. The company is also working with small and indie game developers. Using a custom-built 3D generative AI engine, partners can create virtual worlds, creative assets and designs that are tailored to existing IP and ready to deploy anywhere.
“One thing that I think we’ve done very effectively is that we’ve worked with some high profile game developers to help them create big virtual worlds, but where we’ve seen the tremendous potential of this type of technology. “The need we see is to help the small worlds indie game developers create these worlds, games that would otherwise be impossible to create,” James said. “So the maps are constantly evolving and changing, adding elements of user-generated content that are stylistically consistent across these gameplay mechanics. Generally, the kind of overriding principle we follow is That is we think that games are becoming platforms, but more specific to us, we believe that creation is becoming part of the gameplay and so we try to target Atlus’ technology.”
Although Atlas is currently only available for enterprise and business use, the startup plans to launch alpha testing for the public platform in the coming months. The platform, which is going to be targeted at small and indie developers, will allow anyone to upload reference images and indicators of their specific game style and aesthetic, and then get back a fine-tuned AI model that matches them to that style. Allows to generate within.
As far as the startup’s business model is concerned, James says Atlas will stick to a standard license-based model.
Image Credit: Atlas
As far as the funding is concerned, the startup plans to use it to expand its suite of developer solutions and accelerate the building of its self-service 3D AI Creator platform. The funding round included participation from A16Z Scouting Fund through Shrapnel, Contango, Gangles, GFR Fund, New Renaissance Ventures, Square Enix and Wagmi Ventures.
James says it’s great to work with game developers to help build their virtual worlds, but in the future, Atlus also hopes to connect with the next generation of content creators to help them bring their visions to life. Can get help.
James said, “As we build out our tech stack, and we add more and more technology, I think we’re really excited to take advantage of these next generation of content creators.” “The individual who has no 3D modeling experience, who has no coding experience, but who has this amazing vision for the virtual world and experience. We will enable them to create this as we will not require you to know how to code or create a 3D model. It’s about using the experience you have, whether it’s text-based or image-based, to create large amounts of interesting, diverse content.
James believes that once Atlas has built the right technology stack to facilitate such instances, it will open up many new possibilities.