Epic Games has announced its acquisition of 3Lateral, the leading developer of digital human technology and creative content. The Serbia-based group will continue supporting game, film and television industry partners while working to advance Unreal Engine’s support for virtual humans and creatures.
Previous Unreal Engine-based collaborations between Epic and 3Lateral include the animated short A Boy and His Kite, real-time performance capture and moviemaking in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, and the photorealistic, real-time Siren project.
“Creating digital humans requires a deep understanding of every aspect of our appearance and motion, both of which portray our inner self and tell stories around us. We read all these visual cues with great precision as instinct to analyze an image of another human being is deeply embedded in our DNA,” says Vladimir Mastilovic, founder and director of 3Lateral. “Observing, analysing and reconstructing these mechanisms has always fascinated us at 3Lateral, and we are excited to have joined a like-minded team at Epic Games with such strong desire to solve this near impossible problem.”
Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games adds: “Real-time 3D experiences are reshaping the entire entertainment industry, and digital human technology is at the forefront. Fortnite shows that 200,000,000 people can experience a 3D world together. Reaching the next level requires capturing, personalising, and conveying individual human faces and emotions.”
Mastilovic will lead Epics worldwide digital humans efforts, whilst the 3Lateral team will continue to support all of its partners. Epic’s presence in Serbia will serve as a base for recruiting technical and creative talent in the region.