‘Dune: Part 2’ VFX Company DNEG Acquires Exclusive License to Ziva Technologies from Unity

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DNEG acquires exclusive license to Ziva, a toolset for digital character creation, from Unity (NYSE: U), enhancing its position in visual effects. The deal includes onboarding a portion of the Ziva team and aims to improve real-time character creation using machine learning.
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From a market perspective, DNEG's acquisition of Ziva's toolset from Unity represents a strategic move to enhance its technological capabilities and competitive edge in the visual effects industry. By integrating Ziva's advanced simulation and machine learning technologies, DNEG positions itself to meet the growing demand for high-quality digital characters, not only in film but also in the burgeoning sectors of gaming and immersive experiences.

Furthermore, this acquisition may signal industry trends where visual effects companies are consolidating their toolsets to offer more comprehensive solutions. The financial markets may respond positively to such strategic moves, as they often lead to operational efficiencies and the opening of new revenue streams. The fact that financial terms were not disclosed, however, leaves questions about the deal's material impact on Unity's and DNEG's financials.

Assessing the financial implications, the lack of disclosed terms makes it challenging to quantify the immediate impact on Unity's and DNEG's balance sheets. However, the long-term value lies in the potential for DNEG to leverage Ziva's technology to secure more contracts and expand into new markets. This could lead to an increase in DNEG's market share and revenue over time. Investors should monitor DNEG's future earnings reports for increases in revenue attributed to the use of Ziva's toolset and the performance of the newly formed DNEG IXP division.

From a technological standpoint, the acquisition of Ziva's toolset is a significant enhancement to DNEG's capabilities in creating realistic digital characters. The use of machine learning to assist in character creation is a forward-thinking approach that can reduce production times and costs while improving quality. This could be a game-changer for DNEG as it competes for high-profile projects in an industry where technological prowess is directly linked to winning contracts.

The potential integration of Ziva's technology in next-generation headsets like the Apple Vision Pro suggests a forward-looking strategy that aligns with the industry's trajectory towards more immersive and interactive media experiences. By staying ahead of the curve technologically, DNEG not only solidifies its current market position but also lays the groundwork for future growth opportunities.

Ziva is a Leader in Sophisticated Simulation and Deformation, Machine Learning, and Real-Time Character Creation

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- DNEG, a world-leading visual entertainment services company best known for its visual effects work with directors such as Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan, announced today that it has acquired the exclusive license to Ziva, a best-in-class toolset for the creation of digital characters and creatures, from Unity (NYSE: U). Under the terms of the transaction, DNEG will also onboard a significant proportion of the Ziva team. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In acquiring the exclusive license to Ziva’s toolset and expertise, DNEG further bolsters its position as a world-leader in the creation of captivating digital characters and creatures for its Hollywood studio work and across other media. Boasting sophisticated simulation features and real-time character creation, assisted by machine learning, Ziva enables artists to craft ever-more accurate and scalable digital characters with greater efficiency and control.

The transaction also creates a competitive advantage for DNEG IXP, DNEG’s immersive experiences division. Launched in February 2024 under the leadership of former R/GA and Wieden+Kennedy executive Josh Mandel, DNEG IXP brings DNEG’s Academy Award-winning creativity and technology to brands, businesses, and games publishers. Ziva’s toolset, and its future development at DNEG, will further support the creation of real-time interactive digital humans and creatures for DNEG IXP’s projects in the worlds of gaming, virtual concerts, and theme park ride experiences, and for next-generation headsets such as the Apple Vision Pro.

DNEG Global CEO Namit Malhotra said: “This transaction furthers DNEG’s strategy of continual investment in technology to reinforce our leadership position. The integration of the Ziva toolset into our technology stack helps our artists to deliver incredible cinematic performances and experiences for discerning movie-lovers worldwide, and also supports our strategic move into immersive experiences with the launch of DNEG IXP, enabling the creation of feature film-quality digital characters and creatures in gaming and immersive environments. I am thrilled about the possibilities that this transaction opens up, both for ourselves and for our partners.”

DNEG Global CTO Paul Salvini said: “Bringing the Ziva toolset in-house - along with a significant proportion of the team behind it - is a perfect fit for DNEG and gives us a strong competitive advantage in the development of sophisticated and wholly convincing digital characters and creatures. This is an important area of growth for DNEG and will further enhance our digital character and creature work, not just for film and episodic work, but for real-time and immersive applications too. Ziva will be fully integrated into our new, state-of-the-art pipeline - Helix - expanding our portfolio of artist tools and helping to position our technology as the preeminent platform in the industry for content creation at the very highest levels of quality. I look forward to working with the team to support the further development of the product, and to helping take the Ziva toolset in exciting new directions.”

Since its launch in 2015, Ziva has become the industry-standard toolset for the creation of high-quality digital characters and creatures for visual effects, animation, and gaming companies. The Ziva suite of tools powers the creation of hero digital characters and creatures for film, TV, and gaming cinematics; brings cinema-quality characters into real-time gaming environments; and introduces interactive digital humans and characters to elevate immersive experiences across live entertainment, retail, healthcare, and more.

DNEG has previously utilized the Ziva toolset to help deliver compelling performances by digital characters for many high-profile projects, including recent shows such as ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’, ‘Fast X’, ‘Venom’, ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’, ‘Meg 2: The Trench’, and ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’, and upcoming releases such as ‘Animal Friends’ and the animated feature ‘The Garfield Movie’.

About DNEG

DNEG ( is a world-leading visual entertainment services company for the creation of feature film, television, and multiplatform content, with worldwide offices and studios across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

DNEG’s critically acclaimed work has earned the company seven Academy Awards® for Best Visual Effects and numerous BAFTA and Primetime EMMY® Awards for its high-quality VFX work. Current and upcoming DNEG projects on behalf of its Hollywood and global studio and production company partners include Dune: Part Two (March 2024), Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (March 2024), Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (March 2024), The Garfield Movie (May 2024), Furiosa (May 2024), Borderlands (August 2024), Mickey 17, Here, That Christmas, Eden, The Gorge, and Animal Friends.



Source: DNEG

DNEG acquired the exclusive license to Ziva.

Ziva is known for its toolset for the creation of digital characters and creatures.

The ticker symbol for Unity is U.

Ziva uses machine learning for real-time character creation.

DNEG IXP aims to create feature film-quality digital characters and creatures for gaming and immersive experiences.
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