Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk buys Wonder Studio developer Wonder Dynamics

Autodesk has acquired AI tools firm Wonder Dynamics, developer of Wonder Studio, the much-discussed online platform for inserting 3D characters into video footage.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Below, we’ve provide brief FAQs on the buyout, and what it will mean for Autodesk and Wonder Studio users.

What is Wonder Studio, and why did it generate such a buzz?
Wonder Dynamics had a short trajectory from foundation to acquisition, having launched its first product, cloud-based VFX platform Wonder Studio, just last year.

It got a lot of attention in the mainstream media, partly due to the names associated with the company: the firm was co-founded by actor Tye Sheridan, while the advisory board includes Steven Spielberg, who directed Sheridan in Ready Player One.

However, its pitch to 3D artists was also pretty arresting: Wonder Studio automatically animates, lights, and composites CG characters into a live-action scene, tracking and replacing an actor in the source footage with a 3D character.

Wonder Dynamics estimates that its AI automates “80%-90% of manual VFX work”, particularly tasks like roto, leaving artists more time to focus on creative decisions.

You can find out more about how Wonder Studio works in this story.

What is Autodesk’s relationship with Wonder Dynamics?
Autodesk initially partnered with Wonder Dynamics last August to improve workflow between Wonder Studio and Maya, its flagship 3D animation software.

Maya is now one of three DCC applications to which users can export a scene file from Wonder Studio, the other two being Blender and Unreal Engine.

How will Wonder Dynamics’ technology be used in Autodesk products?
Autodesk’s statement announcing the acquisition doesn’t go into detail on whether, or how, it plans to integrate Wonder Dynamics’ technology with its products.

It notes that Wonder Studio is “highly compatible” with Maya, but also namechecks Flow, its new cloud platform for media and entertainment work.

According to Autodesk, the acquisition of Wonder Dynamics is another strategic step toward “connecting teams, data and processes with Flow”.

What changes can users expect to Wonder Studio?
In an email to users, Wonder Dynamics said that it is “continuing business as usual”, and that its “roadmap remains the same”.

The email does not say whether any changes in pricing to Wonder Studio are expected, but states that Wonder Dynamics wants to ensure that “access, support and onboarding will remain the same”, and that impact to customers is minimized.

Wonder Dynamics also notes that Autodesk had “reiterated [its] commitment to open ecosystems”, and that it is “not planning any changes to our Blender workflows” and expects “Blender and Unreal scene exports and integrations to remain”.

Updated 31 May 2024: Autodesk confirmed to CG Channel that it isn’t “currently planning on making changes” to the pricing or availability of Wonder Studio.

Asked about how Autodesk sees Wonder Studio working with Flow, Vice President of Media & Entertainment Strategy Maurice Patel commented:

“We see a strong synergy between AI tools like Wonder Dynamics and the platform we are trying to build with Flow which will help connect it to the ecosystem of tools they already know and love – whether [that means] Maya or Blender.

“Rather than building bespoke integrations with every application, by connecting Wonder Studio to Flow, it will be able to connect to anything Flow already connects to, and conversely any application that can connect to Flow will be able to connect to it.”

Read Autodesk’s announcement of its acquisition of Wonder Dynamics

Read more about Wonder Studio on Wonder Dynamics’ website

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