Easy-to-use software includes AI motion capture, with autorigging for humanoid and quadruped characters to follow

PixCap is a cloud-based 3D animation platform that allows users to create 3D animations in the browser. It aims to be an easy-to-use platform for 3D game developers and animators alike. PixCap has just wrapped up the final phase of its closed beta testing and has launched to the wider public.

What makes PixCap different from other 3D animation software tools?

Software packages such as Blender and Maya are known for their steep learning curve and complexity. PixCap’s approach is to make it a lot easier to get started with animation, and it augments this with features such as AI motion capture, autorigging and animation libraries to speed up the 3D animation process.

A common challenge across the board for animators is the complexity and time expense associated with 3D animation. CJ, the co-founder of PixCap, explains, “3D content creation remains complex, time-consuming and expensive. PixCap aims to solve this by providing a much simpler editor for 3D than the industry standard.”

One of the most promising aspects of PixCap is that it is entirely browser-based. This means that online mode is enabled by default, which brings interesting perks to the 3D workflow including a constantly updating animation library, 3D store, and upgrades to the software that require no additional downloads.

PixCap’s feature set includes:

  • AI motion capture
  • Cloud-based system
  • Web publishing
  • Drag-n-drop animation libraries and assets
  • Easy IK setup for quick animation

As one of its most prominent features, AI motion capture allows users to capture human motion in videos into 3D animations that can be applied to characters within the platform. This allows users to take advantage of the utility motion capture provides without the need for a large budget and motion capture suits.

Motion capture is often used in large-budget movies and triple-A games. The implementation of AI mocap is an interesting value proposition for users of PixCap. It makes animation easier and faster for users, while also establishing the platform as a standalone all-in-one solution, which sets it apart from other AI based motion capture companies.

Features under development

PixCap is working on new features including a ready-to-go community library and autorigging that includes humanoids and quadrupedal 3D models. Autorigging allows 3D modelers and animators to easily create skeletons or rigs within existing 3D meshes. These meshes can then be animated by moving the bones or rigging.

Current solutions such as Mixamo offer autorigging for humanoid characters, however, quadrupeds and other creatures have been largely ignored by the industry, and Pixcap seeks to remedy that by offering support beyond humanoid characters.

Not just for animators

PixCap is a tool that isn’t limited to animators. The company is focused on the overall market that includes game developers, designers and AR/VR content creators. By providing a cloud-based solution, teams can collaborate regardless of their location. This means projects can move along faster and launch quicker. PixCap’s goal is to help change the 3D animation industry by providing budding animators and creators the support they need to bring their ideas to life.

Current beta users are able to create animations up to three times faster in PixCap’s platform than in existing animation software such as Maya. It also allows for individuals to learn 3D animation in the time span of days versus months.

Next steps and future plans

Industry trends show an increasing demand for solutions such as PixCap. These trends show more software tools moving to cloud-based platforms. The demand for simpler tooling in 3D animation is steadily growing as well. The increased focus on metaverses and demand for 3D designs continues to buoy this growth. And as demonstrated through Facebook’s new interest in the metaverse, there is an increased need to make 3D assets more accessible.

While there has been progress simplifying 2D content creation through platforms such as Canva, Figma and Adobe, 3D animation tools have been lagging behind. PixCap aims to be the first to address this gap in the animation software industry.

PixCap is currently working on implementing AI-based autorigging as well as an animation library that includes quadrupeds. These features are currently scheduled for early 2022.

For more information on PixCap and its upcoming plans, as well as future developments, contact social@pixcap.com or check out their social media here: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, and Youtube.  

Tanya Combrinck
Author: Tanya Combrinck

Tanya is a writer covering art, design, and visual effects. She has 15 years of experience as a magazine journalist and has written for publications including 3D World, 3D Artist, Computer Arts, net magazine, and Creative Bloq.