Series A Funding Will Help Introduce New Tools to Autodesk Maya, Unreal Engine and More; Arcturus Expansion Aimed at Making Volumetric Video More Accessible
Today, Arcturus, the global leader in volumetric video editing and streaming tools, announces a new $11 million round of Series A funding led by Cloudtree Ventures, including investments from Autodesk and Epic Games. The funding is a sign of confidence in the potential of the volumetric video market, which is estimated to reach $21 billion by the end of the decade.
“We see the translation of true human performance as a fundamental building block of spatial experiences, including XR and the metaverse. Our goal is to give everyone from multinational brands to independent creators the tools they need to create authentic digital human representations in the metaverse of their choice,” said Kamal Mistry, CEO of Arcturus. “This year from Q2 to Q3 alone, we’ve seen a 270% increase in the adoption of HoloSuite, as more and more people are making the jump from creator to 3D creator.”
“We’ve seen firsthand how Arcturus’ tools are opening the door to broader utilization of volumetric video and we are proud to partner with Arcturus to continue to accelerate the evolution of the technology.”
Arcturus will continue to develop its flagship HoloSuite platform to further empower content creators with the ability to edit live-action 3D performances, and stream those files to any screen – including mobile devices and XR platforms. Arcturus will also expand research into new AI tools to help improve the capture of 3D data with fewer cameras, and introduce new dynamic lighting and surfacing options that will improve the quality of volumetric video. In addition, Arcturus remains committed to developing new ways to enhance live streaming concerts on digital platforms, and offer viewers the ability to watch their favorite sports from any angle.
Beyond planned enhancements to HoloSuite, Arcturus will continue to develop new tools and techniques for the top 3D creation tools around the world. When paired with Arcturus’ real-time 3D codec and editing tools, volumetric video can be used to place humans in any virtual world within the Unreal Engine, Autodesk and Unity ecosystems. That introduces the potential to populate virtual and augmented environments with live-action performances for architects working on new designs, game developers building new worlds, virtual production teams filming against LED walls and VFX teams creating digidoubles, to name a few.
“Volumetric video tools such as Arcturus’ HoloSuite give artists a quick way to create photorealistic 3D content for countless industries,” said Diana Colella, SVP, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “We are thrilled to help Arcturus expand the potential of its existing tools. By accelerating innovation we can help users quickly maximize the potential of using animated 3D video in their work, and deliver the compelling content that the media and entertainment industry demands.”
The new funding will expand existing support, and lead to deeper interoperability between HoloSuite and Autodesk tools. Artists who are used to spending time and resources on the creation of digital humans will have a faster way to populate a scene with live-action performances.
Arcturus also plans to further expand the accessibility and capabilities of volumetric video within Unreal Engine. Arcturus’ Unreal Engine tools enable creators to populate virtual production scenes with live-action talent – captured in 3D and in full movement – to create digital humans for VFX, characters for games and more. Additional tools for Unreal Engine 5 are also in development, joining a custom volumetric video player released earlier this year.
“Arcturus’ tools make it easier for creators to compress, edit and stream volumetric video,” said Alasdair Coull, chief technology officer of special projects for Epic Games. “We’ve seen firsthand how Arcturus’ tools are opening the door to broader utilization of volumetric video and we are proud to partner with Arcturus to continue to accelerate the evolution of the technology.”
Fueled by the demand for augmented reality, 360-degree live broadcasts and the growing need for metaverse content – including personal avatars – volumetric video is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 30% for at least the next five years. Anticipating this trend in video, Arcturus was founded in 2016 by a team of visionary video experts from companies like Pixar, Netflix, Google, Dreamworks, Uber ATG and more, who all saw the shifting video landscape. The Series A funding will help Arcturus grow its infrastructure, beginning with staffing increases in research and development, engineering and sales.
Along with Cloudtree, Epic Games and Autodesk, the recent series A funding includes investments from Susquehanna Private Equity Investments, LLLP and QBN Capital. It follows an initial $5 million seeding round led by BITKRAFT Ventures in 2021. BITKRAFT has announced a second, separate investment in Arcturus, along with NaHCoH3, Craig Kallman and HBSE Ventures.