Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

AI-based tool Kaedim turns concept art into 3D models

UK startup Kaedim Limited has launched Kaedim, an interesting new AI-based web app that turns 2D concept artwork into 3D game assets.

The service takes uploaded 2D images, including concept art and photos, and generates a matching low-poly 3D model that can be downloaded in OBJ, FBX or glTF format for use in game engines or DCC apps.

Developed with input from Rebellion Games and Aardman Animations
Kaedim is one of a new wave of AI-based art tools, and one of the first we’ve seen to use artificial intelligence to generate 3D assets rather than 2D images.

It is intended to provide a quicker way to create 3D assets for games or AR apps than manual modelling, and unlike photogrammetry, one that can generate 3D models that don’t have direct real-world counterparts.

Developed by University of Bristol computer science graduates Konstantina Psoma and Roman Bromidge, Kaedim was launched with the help of angel investment from Rebellion Games co-founder Chris Kingsley.

Companies piloting the service include Rebellion itself, along with Academy Award-winning animation studio Aardman Animations and BAFTA-winning interactive production studio Complete Control.

Turn 2D concept sketches or photos into matching 3D models in OBJ, FBX or glTF format
The base workflow is simple: users upload source images, and Kaedim generates 3D models matching them.

Users can upload photos as well as concept sketches, providing they have white or monochrome backgrounds, and use up to six points of view to guide the model-generation process.

It’s also possible to specify poly count: by default, Kaedim generates a 10,000-poly model, although the target can be set anywhere between 100 and 100,000 polygons.

Once a model is generated, it is possible to preview it in 3D and apply vertex colours before downloading the result in OBJ, FBX or glTF (.glb or .gltf) format, for use in game engines or other DCC applications.

Iterate on a design by supplying annotations or text-based notes
However, the service is evolving quickly, with newer features including the option to iterate on a model: a process similar to providing notes for a human artist.

Users can submit text-based instructions or draw directly on the input image to indicate changes needed.

Kaedim has also just added the option to generate PBR texture maps at resolutions up to 2,048 x 2,048px, although at the minute, they’re created manually, not AI-generated.

Mainly intended for hard-surface models, but also works for clothing and stylised characters
Kaedim’s main suggested use case is generating hard-surface models, like props, vehicles and buildings.

It’s also possible to generate stylised characters, creatures and clothing and “cartoonish trees”, but not realistic humans, animals or plants: you can find a list of what works and what doesn’t here.

However, even within those limits, users are already generating some pretty impressive assets with Kaedim, as the tweet above from art director and AR artist KeL Savage demonstrates.

Not cheap at the minute, but there is a $6 trial
In a recent interview with Forbes, Kaedim’s founders said that they saw its main benefits as saving time rather than saving money, and Kaedim currently isn’t cheap.

The service is subscription-based, with pricing starting at $299/month – which makes it possible to generate up to 30 models and request up to 10 iterations – and rising to $7,700/month for up to 1,000 models.

However, our guess is that prices will fall than rise as the service matures, and there is now a three-day trial, which enables you to generate one model per day for $6.

Pricing and system requirements
Kaedim is a web-based service, so you can use it from any standard web browser. The service is subscription-based: you can see the full range of pricing options here.

Visit the Kaedim website

Read more about Kaedim in the online documentation