Brazil’s Hype Animation has received a MegaGrant from Epic Games for its new series Kaia’s Discoveries. The prodco plans to invest the funding in new artificial intelligence technology that will let it create music and assets for the series, as well as automate the production process.
Kaia’s Discoveries is a musical preschool series centering around a curious girl who learns about the environment and science through song. Currently in development, the show’s two to three minute videos will air weekly on YouTube in 2022/2023, says Hype’s CEO Gabriel Garcia.
To speed up production, Hype has formed a team of data scientists and animators who will use artificial intelligence to create parts of Kaia’s Discoveries with Epic’s Unreal Engine real-time rendering software, says Garcia. The team plans to feed a large catalogue of music into an AI program that will use this info to create original melodies for the series.
Hype also intends to automate more of the animation process using Unreal Engine by procedurally creating new 3D assets, speeding up animation by using existing content, and automatically applying lighting and camera effects, says Garcia. The goal is to find out what parts of the animation production process can be automated to create a faster, cheaper and more efficient system.
Looking ahead, Hype also plans on launching an app for Kaia’s Discoveries that will feature interactive music videos, says Garcia. “In addition to using AI for music creation, our goal with this project is to build an extremely lean pipeline with several automated processes in order to produce a large amount of content in less time and with a small team.”
Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, launched its US$100-million MegaGrants program in 2019 to support projects that use Unreal Engine in inventive ways. In the kids space, it has already awarded funding to Cyber Group to create a virtual production pipeline and to Lil Critter and Scribble to co-develop a new CG-animated series.