Have you ever watched a Disney film and thought to your self “I could do this better”? Of course you haven’t, Disney movies are awesome.
But I bet you’ve seen a bunch of animated rubbish too, and the very same thought popped into your mind. And you would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those several hundred thousand dollars of production costs you’d need to cover to make your own animated film.
Well, soon you’ll be able to put your money where your mouth is, at least figuratively, because a startup called Mash.Me pretty much rocked the CES (you know, the biggest global consumer electronics show that just took place in Las Vegas?) and they’ll soon be making their prototype into a product that will make your jump-around-the-linving-room-singing routine into an animation worthy of Frozen. Work on your “Let It Go” performance, though, I don’t think it comes with autotune.
Making Animated Movies With a Web Cam? Hell, yeah!
These guys developed a system that captures you movement via you web cam (yup, just a web cam required, no Kinect or million dollar motion capture equipment) and let you step into the world of animation. Using your own face and body, and a little bit of Mash.Me complicated algorithms that we’ll just call magic from now on, you can create high quality animated movies in a matter of minutes.
The system is suited for animators, to help create high quality videos in a short amount of time, content creators who want to engage their audiences with their favourite characters (I find Ironman particularly engaging, but then again, who doesn’t), as well as educators and parents who can use the animated figures to make education and parenting way cooler.
Basically, the things you can do in the animated world with this system are limited only by what you can think of.
On CES, You Have To Shock And Awe
But you can read all of this on their website, what you can’t find there is how they came, saw and conquered CES.
We talked to Jerko Škorić, their marketing manager, to hear it from the first hand.
CES, as it’s name suggests, is a bit more favourable towards hardware products, the one you can actually touch and interact with on the spot, but Mash.Me seemed to have no trouble engaging the audience:
Luckily, Mash.Me is visually attractive so I dare say we grabbed more attention then some surrounding hardware startups in the Eureka Park, where are booth was. From day one, the CTO Vedran Škarica and I had a solid workout routine while demonstrating Mash.Me. We took turns animating the 3D characters in real time, 9 hours a day, 4 days straight. We lost 8 pounds all together, but got many awed looks in return, as well as praise and some contacts that will help us in the next phase of developing our business.
To the startups who want to follow their path and present their product in Vegas, baby! they advise a lot of prep time before they hit the booth. After all, you’re going to pony up a lot of money to travel to Vegas, get a booth, make all the props you need, so don’t squander that by coming underprepared:
What you can expect from CES is proportional to the amount of effort you put into the presentation of your product. What you want from the show is attention. To get that, you first and foremost need a good and useful product, as well as a creative and well set booth that will communicate what your product is about before you even get the chance to say anything about it.
The team behind Mash.me will soon launch their Kickstarter campain to make the commercial version of their product, and also to make our dreams come true – I personally plan to reenact every princess scene from the animated movie history.