The CEO at ZibraAI Alex Petrenko has talked about their new plugin that uses the synergy of physical solvers and ML-based neural object representation to simulate liquids, discussed the company's future plans, a gave us the behind-the-scenes look at how Zibra Liquids works.
Well, hello. My Name Is Alex, and I'm… a Dreamer! Yeah, that's right. There must be a club of dreamers anonymous somewhere? Doesn't it exist? Then I have to create it because Zibra.AI is all about a dream.
Alex Petrenko, CEO at ZibraAI
But ten years ago, when I graduated from university, my dreams were different. Do you know who the embodiment of success for me was? The guys who worked with Mac’s in a cafe. I bought a MacBook. There was little left – to figure out what to do in life. I went to programming courses. And then the first disappointment awaited me – it turned out that the desired stack was created to work on a PC. Pretty disappointing, right? But it was this course that allowed me to find my first job in IT. It was Ciklum. It was a great experience in a big company. But working in the administrative department did not match my ambitions. I wanted to lead projects, to have my own area of responsibility.
Alex Petrenko at Coworking Platforma
Then I worked for Talkable, an American product company. The company was experimenting with whether the Ukrainian team would work as effectively as the American one. The first six months were disastrous. But then I was offered the position to lead the Ukrainian sales team. And 6 months later, we reached the same level as our American colleagues and then significantly surpassed their performance. And all of this, even though the Ukrainian team was 75% more cost-effective than the American team. It was a successful and extraordinary experience.
My goal was to lead a very successful launch of a new technology project. And ZibraAI was the perfect project. More precisely, it was just one person and his desire to create a product that would change the gaming industry forever. This incredible person is Vlad Zavadskyi. He currently works at Zibra as the Head of Machine Learning and Research and Development. But in general, it all started with Vlad. He had a brilliant idea to apply AI to 3D processing, and he conducted all kinds of experiments in this regard. 8 months later, Vlad managed to make his first MVP.
Vlad Zavadskyi, Co-Founder and Head of ML at ZibraAI
When I first met Vlad, he showed me what created scenes might look like in games using his core technology. I realized that applying AI to 3D processes would fundamentally change the way game developers work. I saw a tool that could improve the overall look of the game and its performance. Moreover, this tool could simplify the game development process.
So the world won't have to wait ten years for new games to be released. After this fateful meeting, ZibraAI was born. This idea began to gather like-minded people into one powerful team. We have hired the best ML Engineers, 3D developers, backend engineers, and a business development team. We even relocated tech guys from the UK and France. I believe that ZibraAI will be the company that most contributes groundbreaking innovation to the gaming industry.
Using Machine Learning
I believe that if there is an opportunity to simplify the process, then you should do this. Game development is no exception. An army of artists shouldn't have to suffer for years while creating a game. Do you remember the history of the creation of Cyberpunk 2077? It took eight years to develop. And the biggest challenge was creating quality content. Most of the staff who created the game were artists. There were 5700 of them! Can you imagine? One of the main trends in the gaming industry is the transition from the engineering era of game development to the creator's era. Game developers generate vast amounts of game content, and the developer-to-artist ratio increases dramatically in favor of artists from year to year. In the coming year, the developer-to-artist ratio is likely to be 1:5.
We have found a solution that should bring relief to game developers. The ZibraAI team applied machine learning to 3D processing. We came up with the idea of creating affordable tools based on our core ML technology. It enables in-game physics optimizations, graphics improvement and helps with 3D content creation.
Engine to show the full potential of our core technology and take the first step towards deep integration into custom game engines.
Our core ML technology enables realistic real-time interactions. In ZibraAI technology, the object is archived using neural SDF representation. So, we use AI as an archiver for the shape of these complex objects. Creating a compact neural representation of a 3D object significantly reduces performance costs.
Our mission is to offer a tool that will significantly simplify the development process and help game creators with keeping a focus on the important problems, which will further their future success. We empower developers by taking the issue of appearance and performance improvement off the table. We are eager to bring opportunities to them that have not existed before.
Zibra Liquids is love at first sight for developers and artists. This plugin works in real-time and allows for water to be the basis of the new gameplay! Zibra Liquids is embedded in the game engine. So developers no longer need to use expensive and time-consuming third-party software. Users get the desired solution right out of the box. Zibra Liquids does not use a surface simulation approach. We create simulations with particles. This allows game developers to create more complex effects. Using AI-powered technology, the object-liquid interaction occurs in a few clicks. You can use the Zibra Liquids plugin on any platform, including PC, game consoles, and mobile devices.
Creators can now predict game performance, which is crucial, as many VFX artists have to contend with their ideas being discarded as they don't fit the computational budget. Water created with our plugin can be reconfigured for performance purposes without actually being cut out of the game.
Everything is in the user's control, even gravity. This feature brings new ideas for game mechanics that used to be impossible to create before. Users can unleash their creativity and approach game design from a brand-new angle.
Another critical point is that the water in Zibra Liquids is GPU-powered. Our technology simulates dozens of millions of particles on high-end hardware, millions of particles on laptops, and hundreds of thousands of particles on mobile devices, all in real-time.
There's one thing I can say for sure. Our plugin is worth trying. And this is not only my opinion. Here are the first reviews of Zibra Liquids users.
The gaming world will change qualitatively soon. The capabilities of those technical resources that are now embedded in modern video cards allow showing cinematic graphics. I am deeply convinced that the era of AI-based approaches has come. Modern ML tools improve the quality of content, create innovative upscale systems for different devices, and optimize game content in general. We, for our part, do our best to facilitate and qualitatively improve the process of creating games.
Now ZibraAI has two main areas of activity. The first is Real-time tools for multiple particle simulation with the ability to interact with objects of complex shapes. These will be tools for working with water, soft body, dust, snow, and fire.
The second area of our activity is a standalone web tool for converting text & 2D inputs into 3D content and characters. Our tool can generate unique characters and objects by blending and combining different object parts. We can also create or adjust the base style and apply it to any generic object or even the entire level by using our style transfer tool.
For creators, we're boosting their creativity by guiding the creation process with AI inputs and suggestions. For users, we're bringing them hyper-personalization and the ability to customize objects they interact with inside of an actual game.
We are developing new game mechanics with detailed tutorials and video reviews, which we will publish for free in our blog and within our Discord community. Our support team is made up of guys who cannot be thrown off balance by anyone’s questions or needs. So, feel free to ask them any questions. By the way, you can join our Discord at this link.
This is where we teach our users to set up mind-blowing simulations. We are also planning to launch a series of lectures and live webinars.
Oleksandr Puchka, Head of 3D at ZibraAI, during an online webinar
We have created ZibraAI products so that the user can use them effortlessly without having to get under the hood. You don't need any knowledge of machine learning to use the plugin. So there's nothing to be scared of. With the simple and intuitive interface, working with Zibra Liquids adds no extra effort for the game developer. The only thing you need is to be familiar with the Unity game engine interface. Everything happens in 3 clicks inside the engine. We tested the product among employees who had no technical background. Even our marketer figured it out. In addition, each ZibraAI product will be accompanied by a detailed step-by-step manual.
The first step in our go-to-market strategy is distributing our Zibra Liquids plugin on the Unity Asset Store. There are many developers on this platform who are creating scenes for mobile phones. And since we made our plugin for mobile as well, we were interested in the Unity Asset Store. We've set the plugin price at $100, and I think this is a fair price. We work closely with our community to understand their needs and capabilities.
Our next step is to launch our plugin on Unreal Engine. So when we port Zibra Liquids to both platforms, it will signify that our plugin is a platform-agnostic solution. This means that Zibra Liquids will run on any custom engine. So, we are happy to welcome game development studios with their own custom game engines that would be interested in this kind of integration. Please write to us, and we are open to cooperating with you.
In addition, our plugin will be available on our website next year. So, right before my very eyes, my dream turned into an actual product. Isn't it exciting?