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Cartwheel: Revolutionizing 3D Animation



the image shows an office of 3D creators. In the middle of the desk, there's a 3D human image running, freshly created.  Around you can see projections of screens.

Animating a 3D character from scratch is traditionally a complex and costly process, involving sophisticated software and motion capture technology. Cartwheel, a startup co-founded by animator Jonathan Jarvis, aims to simplify this by allowing creators to generate basic animations through simple text descriptions. This innovative approach bypasses the initial, often tedious steps of animation, enabling animators to quickly bring their ideas to life and focus on more detailed work.


Cartwheel's user-friendly interface consists of just a character model and a text box. Users can type in any action, and within minutes, receive a basic yet smooth animation that can be further refined in any standard 3D editing software. This method not only accelerates the animation process but also makes it more accessible to creators at all skill levels.


The technology behind Cartwheel is built on a unique model developed by co-founder and Chief Scientist Andrew Carr and his team. They've created a system that pairs motion matrices—detailed representations of movement—with text descriptions, allowing for the rapid generation of animations. Despite the complexity of this technology, the models used are relatively small, making them less expensive to operate and potentially suitable for local hosting.


Cartwheel's approach to animation is not about replacing human animators but enhancing their workflow by eliminating repetitive tasks. This allows for greater creativity and productivity, particularly in environments where multiple artists collaborate on a project. The startup has already attracted significant interest, securing $5.6 million in seed funding from various investors.


As Cartwheel continues to develop, it aims to expand its capabilities to include non-human characters and more complex animations. The goal is to support a wide range of creative endeavors, from professional studio projects to individual hobbyists. By making animation more accessible, Cartwheel hopes to inspire more creative work and innovation in the field.


Source: TechCrunch

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