Deal Licenses Animation Technology Developed in NYU Labs New York University’s Center for Advanced Technology today announced the creation of the first new business to be developed around a technology created in NYU’s computer science laboratories. The University has completed a licensing agreement with Improv Technologies, Inc. that will permit the start-up company to develop a set of high-end production animation tools from the IMPROV Animation System. IMPROV was developed by NYU Professor Ken Perlin and research scientist Athomas Goldberg.

Under the licensing agreement, NYU will receive royalties from Improv Technologies. The new venture, which will have headquarters in Manhattan, will be led by Athomas Goldberg, who will leave his post at NYU’s Media Research Lab to run the new business. The company plans to raise some $1 million in capital to assist in starting up the firm.

IMPROV is a production animation technology that enables animators to orchestrate easily the vast array of elements that make up today’s animated content by greatly reducing the volume of animation that must be created and providing intuitive methods for directing the animated action. These techniques give animators and animation directors a greater degree of control and consistency over their work, permitting them to concentrate on building scenes and telling stories, rather than starting from scratch each time a new animation or combination of animations is called for. In addition, the same techniques can be used to create constantly varied, non-repetitious animations that respond to user interaction, making IMPROV a technology that will redefine the video game industry by enabling far more complex, realistic and immersive games to be developed.

The firm expects to demonstrate the first of the animation products they develop at this year’s SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles and release early next spring.

Dr. Perlin – an Academy Award winner who is a professor of computer science, the director of the Center for Advanced Technology and the director of NYU’s Media Research Lab – said, “We’re very excited about this technology. Improv changes the entire concept of creating animation. Artists won’t keyframe animated characters - they’ll direct them! And finally people will be able to encounter characters in games that approach the richness and variety of the ones they see in movie theatres.”

The NYU Center for Advanced Technology acts as a critical bridge between the new media industry and technologies developed in university laboratories. Funded by New York State’s Empire State Development Corporation, the CAT promotes industry growth and job creation by providing business assistance to new media companies – including research partnerships, technology licensing, and technical consulting – and supporting the development of emerging technologies through a close association with NYU’s Media Research Laboratory and other science and technology facilities at NYU.

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