The CDRIN is developing a center of expertise | Evening Newspaper

Matane’s Center for Development and Research in Digital Intelligence (CDRIN) obtains funding for two research projects to the tune of $891,800, thanks to the College and Community Innovation Program (CCI) of the Council for Research in Natural Sciences and Engineering Canada (NSERC).

Spread over two years, these two partnerships in applied research and technology (PRAT) will allow the CDRIN and its partners to use all their expertise in digital intelligence to serve the entertainment industry.

“Although the digital creativity sector is doing well, the digital transition remains a challenge for its artisans. Tasks are becoming more complex and fragmented, requiring more agile digital solutions and a greater ability to manage large-scale projects involving a very wide variety of artistic and technical professions”, shares Julien Coll, research and innovation, at CDRIN.

“The funding of these two entertainment research projects is a source of pride for the CDRIN which, for more than 12 years, has built up expertise rooted in the heart of the entertainment and video game industry. »

Two projects

“Procedural Animation of Conversational Gestures for Virtual Humans. »

This first research project, which will allow CDRIN to collaborate with other research centers outside Quebec, will focus on the evolution and creation of virtual humans: the digital representation of a human, an avatar that listens, responds and participates in a dialogue.

The system that will be developed will increase the complexity of the actions and interactions that entertainment companies can create (for example, riders riding their mounts, troops entering a vehicle, crowds climbing walls or circulating through doors) without having to animate them in the traditional way, by hand.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning will thus enable the automation and procedural generation of complex movements of virtual humans, including the movement of hands, body limbs and the whole body”, specifies the CDRIN.

This project will be carried out in collaboration with the Screen Industries Research and Training Center (SIRT) in Toronto, the AI ​​Hub and the Mixed Reality Capture Studio (MRC) at Durham College, as well as the Living Lab in Open Innovation (LLio) at Cégep de Wolf River.

“Unleashing creativity through digital intelligence: the keystone for the future of entertainment. »

While applied research in artificial intelligence is relatively advanced on the side of large companies in the video game sector, it is still in its infancy for the VFX/Animation sector as a whole.

The opportunities it offers can be limitless, but often go unrecognized or represent too much of an expense for many businesses, especially independent studios.

Artificial intelligence

It is with this in mind that the CDRIN intends to create a center of expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the service of the creative industry in Quebec.

The processes using AI that will be designed will not be intended to replace artists with algorithms but to improve their productivity and support their creativity by freeing them from the most repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

The project will be done in collaboration with the Guilde du jeu vidéo du Québec, the Quebec Film and Television Board (BCTQ), the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO) as well as Ubisoft Montreal, Eidos Montreal, Rodeo FX, Hybrid and Double Negative.

Industry positioning

“La Guilde is very pleased to once again collaborate with the CDRIN to promote and develop innovation in video games. These research projects will have direct applications in our industry. By appropriating artificial intelligence, we encourage innovation, which contributes in a concrete way to the strategic positioning of the Quebec video game industry on a global scale”, indicates Jean Jacques Hermans, general manager of The Quebec Video Game Guild.

“The BCTQ is proud to support this important project for the development of our ecosystem! This is one of the first initiatives to come directly from our action plan for the integration of AI and the development of skills related to these technologies within the visual effects and animation industry. . We look forward to collaborating with the CDRIN teams and our member studios to improve the productivity of our creative processes, thus enabling the continued strong growth of our industry,” says Valérie Daigneault, Director of the Audiovisual Grappe Secretariat at the BCTQ. .

Catalyst

“We are very eager to pool our expertise and that of the researchers in our ecosystem with that of our recognized academic partner, the CDRIN, to bring all these innovative ideas to fruition. », rejoices Nancy Laramée, Director of Partnerships for IVADO. “Our government’s investments in these applied research and technology initiatives will serve as a catalyst for innovation in this area and will benefit all of society.” »

The research projects in which the CDRIN will participate will be spread over the next two years, and will deliver convincing results from 2023.

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The CDRIN is developing a center of expertise | Evening Newspaper


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