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  • Voltaire Staff

Beeble AI raises $4.75M to launch virtual production platform for indie filmmakers


 

South Korea-based VFX startup Beeble AI has developed a virtual lighting solution for filmmakers and visual effects artists to solve the problem of the high cost of VFX tools and match the level of Hollywood-level visual effects.

 

The startup has got $4.75 million in seed funding led by Basis Set Ventures and a valuation of $25 million from Fika Ventures, Beeble AI CEO and co-founder Hoon Kim told TechCrunch.

 

Beeble AI was founded in 2022 by five co-founding members who had worked at the AI research and machine learning team of the South Korean game publisher Krafton. The co-founders realised that there is no AI startup focused on lighting which plays an important part in filmmaking and photography.

 

SwitchLight Studio, a desktop app that offers relighting and composition within virtual environments, is the main product of the startup.

 

"While our initial focus was on virtual lighting, we are now shifting towards developing comprehensive virtual [production] studios," Kim said in an interview with TechCrunch.

 

"Powered by Unreal Engine and giant LED walls, virtual production creates the illusion of on-location shooting without the actual travel. However, this technology has been accessible only to filmmakers with million-dollar budgets due to its high cost and complexity," he added.

 

Kim said that Beeble's virtual production platform will virtualise real actors in the virtual world, instead of using the traditional method in which LED walls are used to bring virtual environments into the real world.


With just a camera of a phone, users will be able to access infinite locations, lighting, and camera options, everything within a virtual environment, he added.


The company's CEO assured that Beeble will enable fully controllable video creation with AI, unlike other generative AI companies such as OpenAI’s Sora and Runway.

 

According to a report by co-founding members at CVPR 2024, the foundational AI model "automatically digitizes 2D footage of an actor’s performance into a physically accurate 3D representation."


The produced 3D space has precise geometry and texture which gives artists complete freedom to play with lighting, camera angles, and environment, it claimed.

 

The startup claims that the features will reduce the film budget, allowing artists to focus mainly on storytelling and create cinematic shots in their living room on iPhone.


The founders said that they started collecting revenue last October, and around 3 million users have downloaded their AI photo editor app, SwitchLight mobile. They are also planning to add new features to their app.

 

The startup is planning to upgrade its foundational AI model and expand its team which now only consists of seven members.


Image Source: Unsplash

 

 

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