It has been a while but we are pleased to announce that Comixify VFX Platform has been extended with an additional module. Please welcome Super Resolution! This new functionality is now available for free for all the beta testing users (If you are not one of them, you can still apply for a free beta testing account under this link).
Closed Beta Tests of the SaaS Platform developed by Comixify are coming to an end. After almost three months of testing the platform by a selected group of users, we know that our product not only meets the needs of the professional market but also enjoys interest among people looking for creative video editing solutions.
Seeing such a strong B2C interest, we introduced a number of improvements. Such as a mechanism for an on-screen painting of rotoscope masks and the short preview videos for the Style Transfer tasks. This way we made adding tasks simple! Now even an amateur gets access to tools that were previously reserved mainly for the professional market.
It has been 2.5 years since our five-member team has known each other and frankly speaking it has been a really crazy and intensive time. We decided to share our story with you to inspire everyone to work on making dreams come true.
How It all started
It was February 2018, we were working in different companies and we barely knew each other. What we had in common was a strong computer vision background and passion to create something great. At that time, three of us, namely Paweł, Adam and I were still Warsaw University of Technology students looking for their thesis topics. We knew that we wanted to do something special and non-trivial concerning Deep Learning and Computer Vision, hence our supervisor choice was Tomasz Trzciński. One of the greatest Computer Vision and Machine Learning specialists at the University. There we met and rapidly came up with the very first idea. Adam is a great fan of comics and he proposed an extraordinary idea, “Let’s create an end-to-end algorithm to transform videos into comics”. We all agreed on it, split the problem on smaller tasks, redistributed work and started our research.
We are now closing to the second milestone in IMPACT_POLAND (2.0) a unique, author’s startup Acceleration Program, developed by FundingBox Accelerator Sp. z o.o. The aim of the program is to accelerate development and to support innovative, creative micro and small entrepreneurs. Also to check their potential with the use of infrastructure, experience and resources of technology recipients (large and medium-sized enterprises).
Last year Amazon Prime released a new animated series called “Undone”. TV series that was entirely created through rotoscope animation. You might be familiar with this technique if you’ve watched movies like “A Scanner Darkly” and “Waking Life.” A similar technique was also used in the “Take On Me” video by A-ha. In “Undone”, all the animation was created by Amsterdam-based animation studio “Submarine”. A Team of talented painters and artists from all over the World was engaged to create the final, magnificent effect. What is more, the actual rotoscoping, led by co-producer Craig Staggs, was performed by the super experienced team responsible among others for “A Scanner Darkly”. Nevertheless, the whole process is very time consuming and requires lots of manual labour. What if there would be a technology capable of reducing this handwork by 95%, leaving only the hardest and most interesting parts of it to the artist?
In a few recent years we observed outstanding progress in the Deep Learning area. The number of research papers regarding Deep Learning published on arxiv.org each year grows exponentially what can be seen in the figure below. This would not have been possible without a similar increase in computing power of modern GPUs that are crucial to train all state-of-the art AI models. Particularly interesting from the VFX industry perspective is the possibility of using AI in Computer Vision and a significant number of visual effects problems that can be solved. One could venture that we are witnessing a transformation that has not been seen since the CGI revolution.
Interview with Beata Kowalczyk English teacher in the Lycée Français de Varsovie René Gościnny.
First of all allow me to congratulate you on your award! Can you tell us more about yourself, about your pupils and about the competition?
Sure! My name is Beata Kowalczyk and I am the English teacher in the French High School in Warsaw, Lycée Français de Varsovie René Gościnny. It is our third participation in the video competition entitled “Je Filme le métier qui me Plaît”, i.e. “I make a film about a job I like”. The competition consists in making a video of 3 minutes about a job that seems interesting to students. The aim of the film competition is to facilitate young students the choice of their future professional career and discover the advantages and drawbacks of many jobs.
Having made films about a teacher for deaf children in Warsaw, a volunteer to help Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and a deer breeder in Mazovia region, we decided to search for an innovative job.
I have been in the visual effects and technology space since college, which means that I’ve been doing it for 25 years at this point. Big picture my motivation comes down to a general fascination in applying science while creating popular art. More recently, we’ve been focusing on various ways of recreating digital versions of our world. It was about 10 years ago that I started ZERO VFX. It felt like a natural progression for me – you start learning the industry and technologies, then you start being able to look forward and see where everything is headed (or so you think). That’s the transition point of becoming primarily an entrepreneur versus a visual effects producer. Plus, spinning off a tech company which I sold to Google was a helping hand in this direction.