Midas Creature Reduces Animation Workload

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Courtesy Of Jeane Wong

Animation and game design have been revolutionized through Midas Creature. An animation software on the cutting edge of two-dimensional design, Midas Creature creates fluid movements similar to those typical in 3-D works.

This new software is a collaborative work between Kevin He and former Pixar animator, Jiayi Chong. Chong is now the technical director of animation at Midas Creature. Chong was with Pixar for 10 years and “realized that a lot of the tech [they] used in 3-D animation could be brought into the 2-D sphere.” Inspired by and inspiring innovation, the software fine-tunes “complex secondary motion,” or how things, like a figure’s hair or clothes, move as the figure runs or jumps or how a breeze blows through a field of flowers. Midas Creature is a tool for animators to bring extra “life” to the characters. The goal isn’t for Midas to overshadow the character or the animator, but for it to take care of the minute technical details that many animators struggle with.

Midas Creature offers a variety of tools to further the goals of animators at any level. It uses deep learning and artificial intelligence to create Automated Walk Cycles and a Physics-based Procedural Animation System that lets animators direct an automatic generation of secondary motion. The software computes complex animations, like the way skin is compressed or how objects slide across each other.

Chong is proudest of this program, because many companies (like PlayStation) are using this software to generate cloth motions that used to take hours, but now take just a few minutes. His and Chong’s software is user-friendly. Direct animation means the animator can manipulate the program to whatever they need. The animator chooses poses for their character, and the software fills in the secondary motion accordingly to polish the sequence. Animators are able to focus on the performance and acting of the character to improve the quality of their keyframing in the integral facets of the character itself. Because the animator is able to focus solely on keyframing, Midas Creature is accessible for both animators and non-animators.

Those who have never animated anything can use the Procedural Motor System to create a variety of complicated motions, and advanced animators can use the system to fill in the tedious blanks of minor secondary movements. Chong’s passion for animation and its future led him to partner with Midas Touch, keeping the name “Midas” to play off the idea that many people take it to mean “magic touch” or “golden touch,” which is something they want people to recognize in their software: the creation of a realistic touch to 2-D work.

Students are going to get the opportunity to experiment with Midas Creature during a one-month free trial. This will allow them to get a feel for the tools that make the program user-friendly and play with the tools that make it a revolutionary software.

“Young talent is the future of the games and entertainment industry, so we want to make ourselves accessible to students in hopes of arming them with tools they can use to create their dream and quite possibly the next big thing,” Chong said.

For those interested in the free trial, go to https://www.creature.midasphysics.com to download the software. Students will need to provide a form of student ID in order to get the free trial.

j.eggleston@dailyutahchronicle.com

Jaycen Eggleston
Jaycen Eggleston is an English major who makes a mean macchiato and is interning at the Arts Desk.

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