80 Level Podcast

Plask AI at Gamescom 2022: Revolution in Animation - 80 Level Podcast

September 20, 2022 Kirill Tokarev / Junho Lee Season 2 Episode 11
80 Level Podcast
Plask AI at Gamescom 2022: Revolution in Animation - 80 Level Podcast
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We've talked with the CEO of Plask AI Junho Lee about changing traditional animation workflows with modern neural network solutions. Plask is an all-in-one browser-based AI motion capture tool and animation editor.

Plask Website: https://plask.ai/
Try Plask for free: https://80lv.pro/plasktrial 

Junho Lee is the Founder & CEO of Plask
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/junho-lee-a20419162/

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0:00

gamescom


0:01

hasn't been done for a couple of years


0:03

since covet and this was the first time


0:06

we kind of went


0:07

and met all our friends and tried to


0:09

make new connections at the recently


0:12

opened event


0:13

it was great meeting everybody and it


0:15

was even more exciting to kind of


0:17

explore the show floor


0:19

uh for the first time in two years and


0:22

we've seen a lot of uh returning


0:24

pavilions like there were a lot of


0:26

spaces where you could find you know


0:28

companies from a particular area in


0:31

europe like you know spain or area and


0:34

asia like malaysia


0:35

and some other spaces there were a lot


0:37

of publishers as well uh there were not


0:40

that many big publishers out there but


0:42

it was still interesting to see a lot of


0:45

local european houses kind of providing


0:47

and showing the games they're building


0:49

we haven't seen that many tools and tool


0:52

developers at gamescom seems like this


0:56

is not the kind of event that developers


0:58

of new technology for game production


1:00

usually like to attend and a lot of them


1:04

actually they don't have they do attend


1:06

but they don't have boost there but


1:07

there was one company that we were very


1:10

fortunate to have a little


1:12

time with


1:14

and


1:15

talk about


1:16

the future of video game production and


1:19

the future of animation


1:21

in particular


1:22

this company is plask


1:24

and i'm very happy to present our


1:26

interview with the ceo of this amazing


1:29

new startup


1:30

greetings and welcome to the 80 level


1:32

roundtable podcast in each episode host


1:36

corel tokorev invites video game


1:38

industry leaders to talk about the world


1:40

of game development


1:42

no topic is off limits as long as it


1:45

relates to video game development


1:47

new episodes are in the works so


1:49

remember to follow us or subscribe and


1:51

share with someone you know will also


1:53

enjoy the podcast so


1:57

before we kind of start


2:00

we ask this question a lot to our uh the


2:02

people that we're just talking with


2:04

do you actually play games


2:07

oh that's very um important question so


2:10

yes


2:11

yes but like i'm quite maniac i would


2:14

say because you know um


2:17

i'm not quite sure you know that but in


2:20

korea most of people play either


2:22

starcraft or


2:24

league of legends


2:25

so i'm not kind of the mainstream gamer


2:28

in queen


2:29

society but i like to play the


2:32

civilization or like oh really yeah


2:34

those kind of jump some boring games i


2:36

like those kind of things like this is


2:38

weird but a lot of people


2:41

who are doing business


2:43

in tech


2:44

they're really into civilization oh i


2:47

think yeah i think that's not a


2:49

coincidence yeah yes that's not a


2:51

coincidence like i think mark zuckerberg


2:53

he's into civilization


2:55

the boss of our company he's also a big


2:58

fan of civilization yeah and it seems


3:00

like everyone who's like


3:01

like to manage and figure those things


3:04

out they yeah even playing games


3:06

we'd like to manage but um


3:11

kind of what brought you to gamescom


3:13

this year what are you showcasing at


3:15

this show


3:16

yeah i am i can say that i'm a gamer but


3:20

the game uh the reason coming to


3:22

gamescom is not kind of poor like really


3:24

to enjoy the game industry but


3:27

it's more like the business


3:28

purpose because you know flask have been


3:31

on a great infrastructure for game


3:34

companies and productions and


3:36

we know that we can make the


3:38

productivity of the game industry really


3:41

really improved by


3:42

um


3:44

our service so i think we think it's a


3:47

great opportunity to introduce our tool


3:49

to the industry and show what we're


3:52

doing right now yeah that's i think the


3:54

main purpose


3:56

so tell us a little bit about your


3:58

product what does uh flask do what kind


4:01

of products do you provide


4:03

a little bit about that direction um so


4:05

yeah flask is an ai motion capture


4:08

[Music]


4:09

software we provide uh so you know


4:12

motion capture needs a lot of sensors


4:14

suits studios especially money and time


4:17

and class don't need any of those so it


4:20

is uh it only uses a video in order to


4:22

get a 3d motion data so


4:25

what you have to do is just


4:27

a prepare a video it can be video taken


4:29

from your phone or download it from


4:31

youtube it all works


4:32

so you just can drag and drop the video


4:35

into our tool our tool is a


4:37

browser-based tool and no need for


4:39

installations so you just can drag and


4:40

drop video into the tool and you get the


4:42

3d motion data so


4:44

uh this makes the whole production much


4:47

much easier because you know animating


4:49

became the animation was uh


4:52

the most bottleneck of the production it


4:54

takes a lot of time a lot of effort but


4:57

just by dragging and drop and video and


5:00

getting up motion data is a really big


5:02

thing especially for like


5:04

the 3d games i mean the mmr pitch or


5:06

like big scale games they can save a lot


5:09

of time and money uh by using flask uh


5:12

for making their animation process much


5:14

more efficient


5:15

so


5:16

how does it work usually


5:18

when you think about motion capture like


5:20

you said you need to have a suit there


5:22

has to be cameras around right there has


5:24

to be trackers that are on you and this


5:26

allows for a very accurate


5:28

representation of motion yeah especially


5:31

when you think about


5:32

um you know facial animations or some


5:35

very complex motions when you're right


5:37

involving fingers or some other elements


5:40

those are super important how does


5:43

your technology work like what's the


5:45

secret there how does it know how to


5:48

track the


5:49

you know motion from the image which is


5:51

basically flat as far as in the exact


5:54

video so the previous method the motion


5:56

capture uh uses a optical or like


6:01

electromagnetic sensors in order to get


6:03

the exact position of its joints so you


6:07

would probably see that they put markers


6:09

on their suits so they are using the


6:12

cameras or the sensor setup in order to


6:15

get the position of that marker and


6:18

making it to recover into the motion


6:20

data that's how they used to do uh so


6:23

they are basically using um


6:26

the tracking sensor that's the main


6:28

difference we are using the ai


6:31

or like


6:32

uh computer vision technology to get uh


6:35

motion reconstructed from video so


6:37

it's like a human eye or human brain or


6:39

like human intelligence because


6:42

when we see a video we are not 100 sure


6:45

about the death data or like 100 sure


6:48

about edge of uh the position of each


6:50

joint but we somehow know


6:53

um


6:54

the


6:56

approximated uh position of each data


6:59

while you can see that someone come


7:02

closer to camera


7:05

or like going far from camera it all can


7:07

be reconstructed in human brain so


7:10

that's what ai do ai was trained by


7:13

3d motion data so they were trained to


7:16

estimate the


7:18

30 joints of


7:20

each joint of the person in the video by


7:22

looking at huge data set that's how our


7:25

ai reconstruct 3d motion data from video


7:28

and it allows it to


7:30

by not uh


7:32

getting a 3d depth data or like


7:35

sensor data it somehow


7:37

can get


7:39

reconstructed 3d positions so


7:43

when you think about this technology how


7:45

accurate


7:46

is the


7:47

traction of movement how accurate can


7:49

you go


7:50

so we should talk about uh the prison


7:53

state and how it can go beyond


7:57

so for now we can say that our


8:00

okay quality is like low budget motion


8:03

suits so compared to like high and


8:06

motion call motion capture studios yes


8:09

our motion data is a little bit


8:12

[Music]


8:14

noisy and like


8:15

uh many users are giving feedback that


8:18

the feeds are like


8:20

quite slightly


8:21

those are still we have still those have


8:24

problems but the fun part is that last


8:27

year


8:28

the ai


8:30

quality was like too awful that it isn't


8:33

like serviceable and two years ago


8:36

no one think about


8:38

to make this into service because you


8:40

know it was that terrible


8:42

and you know uh the growth of the ai


8:45

technology is really fast and we


8:47

estimate that most of current uh users


8:50

feedback i mean the fit sliding and


8:52

southern noise problems will be so


8:54

within four and five months and after


8:57

one year later i think uh we can


9:00

approach to the quality of


9:03

middle and uh


9:04

middle class motion capture suit and


9:07

like two or three years later you can go


9:11

like similar level with the high quality


9:13

motion capture studios


9:15

so that's the thing i guess um the


9:17

future of the motion capture should be


9:20

and


9:21

must be the ai motion should capture


9:23

because uh the performance will


9:26

uh finally converge into the high


9:28

quality market and um


9:31

but the


9:32

accessibility or the


9:35

um


9:36

the efficiency the amount gives to the


9:39

production is uncomparable so


9:42

yeah that's what we are estimating about


9:45

the performance


9:47

so


9:48

let's talk a little bit about how it


9:50

works so as far understand you're a


9:51

web-based tool right you upload some


9:53

kind of video there then the ai does its


9:56

magic and it looks at the


9:58

human positions and


10:00

what happens next does your ai also


10:03

create a rig for the character can you


10:06

then kind of export this rig to any


10:08

character that you have in the game and


10:10

kind of end the animation as well right


10:12

so yeah um


10:15

so when you uh drag and drop the video


10:17

tool you get the rotation data of 203


10:21

joints which is exactly same with the


10:23

mixed summary and what we are doing is


10:25

we support an automatic retargeting


10:28

feature so user just can drag and drop


10:30

their custom 3d model to of course issue


10:33

week


10:34

they re-character to our tool and you


10:37

just can re-target the


10:39

ai extracted motion to they can apply


10:42

that to


10:44

their custom 3d characters so no we are


10:46

not um creating a rig for a 3d custom


10:50

character but


10:51

the ai extracting motion can be applied


10:54

to any of your humanoid characters so


10:57

we can say that we have some uh kind of


11:00

comparability so and uh after you apply


11:03

the motion to the


11:05

character you can export it to


11:07

fbx glbbh so you can bring it to other


11:10

tools like unity blender any other tools


11:12

you like right so


11:14

you need a rigged character to kind of


11:17

you utilize the motion that the


11:20

flask extracts from the video and after


11:23

that you can use it as uh


11:25

as much as possible whatever you can


11:27

right what about the


11:29

editing part so


11:31

if i want to create


11:33

like in


11:34

let's take for example like modern


11:36

action games or any kind of games right


11:38

now


11:40

if you've seen like last of us part two


11:42

yeah they did like


11:44

like a billion different animations for


11:47

every kind of movement that the


11:48

character can do and that's why the


11:50

character can open a door


11:52

six


11:53

different ways right or and it's like


11:55

every time you watch it it's like a


11:57

different motion


11:59

it requires a lot of motion capture but


12:01

it also requires a lot of editing


12:03

because you need to cut this motion and


12:05

that motion and so on so basically with


12:08

your data when it's exported can you


12:10

just


12:12

export it to maya i guess and play


12:14

around there and cut it into like


12:16

whatever pieces you want that's really


12:18

good point because


12:19

um actually um our internal


12:22

goal or like internal target is like


12:24

two-way the first one is uh to


12:27

automating the animation industry with


12:30

ai that's the one big part and the next


12:33

big part is collaboration so


12:36

um we are adding more and more uh


12:38

editing features to the tool


12:41

and we choose a browser to be the


12:44

platform uh of our tool uh there are a


12:47

lot of reasons so


12:49

uh as you just told you as you just told


12:52

so


12:53

animating is kind of like the


12:57

work of art you know it is not our just


13:00

a technical job so there should be a lot


13:03

of editing jobs after even if they


13:06

capture a motion from a fancy motion


13:08

capture studio they have to edit the


13:10

motion to make it into the form of art


13:12

so um editing is like the one of the


13:15

essential part when it comes to game


13:17

animations and we want but


13:20

what people are doing right now is quite


13:22

an old way it's like the way just like


13:25

30 years ago and um we think there


13:29

should be about two things two


13:31

innovation should be brought to the


13:33

industry the first one is about the


13:34

collaboration so you know


13:38

figma is a great example to the ui ux


13:41

area they bring a real-time


13:42

collaboration to the ui ux design and


13:45

they make the whole


13:47

stage to the


13:49

browser and it makes a lot of people to


13:51

access uh the project and giving a


13:54

feedback working simultaneously and


13:57

making something into a


13:59

like


14:00

i am actually a a developer before i


14:03

start a


14:04

company and we developers


14:07

uh have some like very good culture i


14:10

would say it's like the like you know


14:12

there's a git top there and there's an


14:13

open source thing and there's


14:16

a collaboration between um total


14:18

strangers those kind of things should be


14:20

brought to the game


14:22

game design animation


14:24

as well i guess so that's why we are


14:27

adding more and more editing feature to


14:29

our browser-based tool and making it


14:30

into a real-time collaboration


14:32

uh or in uh


14:34

yeah i think those what


14:36

those are one of our great targets and


14:38

those kind of editing features that's


14:40

why we are adding more and more editing


14:42

feature to our tool yeah


14:45

so


14:45

i like this um analogy with sigma


14:48

because i think i use figma a lot


14:50

although i'm not a


14:52

designer but i do use it to kind of


14:53

review different forms and


14:56

it seems right that


14:58

kind of like sigma grew from just like a


15:01

ui


15:03

building tool to like more like a


15:05

photoshop kind of tool or like photoshop


15:08

plus coral draw because it's like vector


15:10

stuff and raster stuff and all of it


15:12

combined exactly and it's uh it is very


15:15

approachable so you can download it and


15:18

start playing around in the browser


15:20

basically without having to use


15:22

any other stuff


15:24

that you do with other comparable tools


15:27

um


15:28

like especially the 3d animation thing


15:31

the assets are too heavy and


15:34

the tool itself the maya the 3d max when


15:38

you mis-click the tool and it takes


15:41

on years to open up and yeah i think


15:44

those make the review and feedback


15:46

process really slow and


15:48

i think when it comes to browser it's


15:50

really really


15:52

fast accessible thing so i think it


15:54

would be great if you can bring it to


15:56

the industry


15:58

when i think about


15:59

[Music]


16:00

maya in particular


16:04

the rigs themselves


16:06

they can get pretty complex right right


16:09

and when we think about motion in


16:11

general


16:12

it is like like you said a very


16:14

complicated thing and that's why we also


16:17

run like a little bit of a recruiting


16:19

uh service and we see a lot of demand


16:22

for guys like technical animators or


16:24

animators in general because


16:27

like you said it's like you're sparkling


16:29

life


16:30

into a character certainly given motion


16:32

and making it sure that it moves


16:35

i feel like what you're saying about ai


16:38

could be


16:40

could bring out like the next level to


16:43

animation in general and the fluidity of


16:46

motion the versatility of motion because


16:49

right now everything is basically done


16:51

by hand i mean of course mocap helped a


16:55

lot


16:56

definitely took a lot of


16:58

pressure from animators but it's still a


17:00

lot of things that you need to do


17:03

for yourself or in teams and a lot of


17:05

cleaning like you said a lot of


17:07

you know


17:09

adapting the material and so on


17:11

when


17:13

we have ai a lot of those tasks are


17:15

being done by the machine


17:17

and my question is


17:19

what else do you feel in animation can


17:22

we outsource to computers so we don't


17:25

have to


17:26

think about it like


17:28

i think there is another piece of


17:30

software called the cascader or


17:32

something yeah they're doing a lot of


17:35

that like in that


17:36

it's basically like a keyframe approach


17:39

but aai kind of adds up and helps smooth


17:43

it out or right suggest motion or


17:47

help figure out when the impact is


17:49

happening what's going on with the


17:50

motion and the physics and all that


17:52

stuff


17:53

where do you think it's going to go from


17:55

here


17:56

how is plask kind of


17:58

going to push this ai into the animation


18:02

industry of course animation itself have


18:05

a lot of things to can be um automated


18:08

by ai because


18:10

i think at the end of


18:12

this world


18:13

maybe we can have um some kind of


18:15

animation features like


18:17

just like by using the natural language


18:19

maybe you can uh make a whole animation


18:22

so you are just like being a director so


18:25

like just move


18:26

in this way more or like just do it more


18:29

with a passion this can be be done with


18:32

ai because you know


18:34

similar things are done by the dali too


18:37

recently you know the natural language


18:39

can produce a


18:40

whole


18:41

artworks and


18:43

this can be applied to animations as


18:45

well so


18:46

those things so animation itself can be


18:48

really really


18:50

easy by using those kind of things but


18:52

not only for animation


18:54

so so example did a great job with uh


18:57

automatic rigging uh don't buy the


18:59

uh ai but you know rigging itself is


19:02

actually have much more


19:04

way to go than just mixamo because all


19:07

the deformation things and all the you


19:10

know that's why we have technical


19:12

artists in the game industry so i think


19:15

our next thing after we conquered the


19:17

animation job would be the


19:20

uh rigging thing and after that maybe we


19:22

can work with the building thing there


19:24

are a lot of things can be improved by


19:27

ai so


19:29

i think those kind of automations will


19:31

help


19:32

like i think this can be like youtube


19:35

thing so back then only videos were


19:38

mostly produced by the broadcasting


19:40

uh giants and normal people can make the


19:44

videos and shows but now everyone do


19:46

right


19:47

um i think after those kind of


19:50

animation after reading after modeling


19:53

after all the 3d pipeline productions


19:55

are automated i think really um everyone


19:58

would produce like


20:00

team of 10 make a


20:02

large-scale game and get


20:05

a like


20:06

hundreds millions of revenue i think


20:08

that would be possible after all the


20:12

um


20:13

bothering jobs will be automatically


20:15

automated do you feel like


20:18

uh adoption of ai tools will negatively


20:23

impact you know the workforce do you


20:25

think more people are going to be left


20:26

out of jobs


20:29

yeah that's very important question um


20:31

um no


20:33

because um


20:35

i think this kind of question was like


20:38

repeatedly when there's a new technology


20:41

coming to the industry and everyone uh


20:43

worrying about it replacing their jobs


20:46

but


20:47

what i found out is that


20:49

when


20:51

there is an ai coming to the industry


20:53

and replace the most


20:54

hard or like most repetitive jobs and


20:58

people just


21:00

move to more created jobs


21:02

our


21:03

goal is to


21:04

make every uh


21:06

members in the game team to focus on


21:09

their own creativity that's what we are


21:12

aiming for so like when ai makes the


21:15

whole draft by ai mocap then every


21:19

animators can now um work with the


21:22

sensitive the artistic or like the


21:25

uh craftsmanship thing to their emotions


21:28

and it can make their emotions like more


21:30

creative more sensitive more high


21:33

quality i think those will


21:36

yeah come to the area because you know


21:39

when there's like


21:43

yeah


21:44

so uh


21:45

final question how do we


21:47

uh start playing around with plus do we


21:49

just go online and click the link and


21:51

start working you don't need to


21:53

do you need to pay is there like a trial


21:55

period how does it work


21:57

um yeah you just visit flask.ai after


22:00

you make an account you can start with


22:03

plus right away we have a freemium plan


22:05

so you can have most of the features


22:08

with most of the credit uh most of those


22:10

you can use most of the feature without


22:12

any kind of payment method registration


22:15

but actually we are releasing first paid


22:17

version this weekend and it will have


22:20

some amazing explosive features uh like


22:24

uh previously we only can extract the


22:26

motion from a video with a one person


22:28

inside but uh with a newly coming paid


22:32

version that you can now


22:34

finally extract the motion of multiple


22:36

people in the video each of the motions


22:38

yeah those will be


22:41

will introduce the feature to the paid


22:43

version and there will be much more um


22:46

minor like


22:48

um features which which can make your uh


22:52

production much more effective so


22:54

maybe but the paid version will have the


22:56

free trial as well so you can try it out


22:59

and if you love it you can buy it but


23:02

our


23:03

vision is to provide but


23:05

our short-term vision is to introduce


23:07

the am or capture the industry that's


23:09

the first thing


23:10

more than a monetization so we will


23:12

focus on


23:14

more to provide or provide more ai-based


23:17

mocap without any cost so


23:20

maybe don't have to worry too much


23:23

all right thank you so much for your


23:24

interview


23:26

thanks for enjoying another episode of


23:28

the 80 level roundtable podcast


23:31

check out upcoming episodes on the 80


23:33

level website at 80.lv


23:36

join our career site at 80.lv


23:39

rfp


23:41

and share our podcast with friends and


23:43

on your social networks


23:47

[Music]

80 Level at Gamescom 2022
Intro
Meet Plask CEO
What is Plask?
AI vs suit with tracking sensors
Evolution of AI
How does Plask work?
Collaboration is key
Pros of browser-based tools
The future of AI in gamedev
Can AI leave you without work?