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Doly: This 3D Capture App is Revolutionizing Product Video Creation with iPhones

Image Credits: AniML
By: Headliners News / June 18, 2024

Meet AniML, a new French startup, has recently launched Doly, an innovative 3D capture app designed to revolutionize product video creation using just an iPhone. Doly aims to cater to online sellers, such as those marketing sneakers or creating Instagram ads, by providing an easy-to-use tool for generating professional-grade 3D models and videos.

The process of creating 3D models and videos has traditionally been complex and time-consuming. AniML has simplified this by integrating advanced technology into a user-friendly iPhone app. The app allows users to capture 3D models by simply pointing their phone camera at a product and moving around it. The app captures still images and processes them in the cloud through a sophisticated reconstruction pipeline that utilizes Gaussian splatting to create realistic 3D models.

In traditional 3D modeling, surfaces are defined by a collection of points in 3D space, overlaid with 2D textures and lighting effects. Gaussian splatting, however, represents a new approach, estimating a 3D point cloud from 2D images using a pre-trained AI model. This method evolved from research at tech giants like Facebook and Google, particularly a technique known as NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields). While not identical to NeRF, Gaussian splatting shares its roots in neural-based 3D modeling, moving away from polygon-based methods.

The AniML team identified e-commerce as the primary market for their technology, focusing on a use case that would immediately attract users. Doly offers a template library for users to integrate their 3D models into various scenes, ranging from simple rotations on plain backgrounds to more dynamic marketing presentations with changing camera angles.

After creating a 3D video, users can purchase and download the final product for use in their marketing campaigns. This democratizes the creation of high-quality product visuals, making it accessible without the need for professional video recording studios.

AniML’s founders bring extensive experience in VR and 3D technologies. CEO Rémi Rousseau previously founded two VR companies, including Mimesys, which was acquired by Magic Leap. Co-founder Pierre Pontevia has a background in 3D tools and content development, having sold companies to Autodesk and Unity.

The startup has raised $2 million in seed funding, led by Adjacent, and participated in AI Grant, an accelerator program by Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross. Other investors include Kima Ventures and several prominent angel investors, such as Julien Chaumond from Hugging Face, Nicolas Steegmann and François Lagunas of Stupeflix, and Alban Denoyel of Sketchfab. Additionally, Bpifrance provided a grant to support the funding round.

AniML’s Doly app has the potential to transform how e-commerce professionals, big brands, and secondhand resellers create and utilize 3D-rendered videos for their marketing and online listings. By leveraging artificial intelligence, Doly makes it possible to produce compelling product visuals without the need for specialized equipment or expertise.

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