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Doly: Create 3D Product Videos Easily

AniML, a French startup, is shaking up the market with Doly, their innovative 3D capture app
May 27, 2024

In an innovative stride towards simplifying 3D video creation, French startup AniML is introducing Doly, a groundbreaking app designed to transform product videos for e-commerce. Whether you're a sneaker seller on an online marketplace or crafting Instagram ads for direct-to-consumer products, Doly empowers you to generate professional-grade 3D models with just your smartphone.

Creating videos is notoriously complex, but crafting accurate 3D models has always been a greater challenge. AniML's mission is to demystify this process, making 3D capture accessible to everyone by integrating it into a user-friendly iPhone app.

Using Doly is straightforward: simply point your iPhone camera at your product and move around it to capture it in 3D. The app then takes a series of still images and uploads them to the cloud, where AniML’s sophisticated reconstruction pipeline, leveraging Gaussian splatting technology, converts these images into a lifelike 3D model. Unlike traditional 3D models created with polygons and 2D textures, Gaussian splatting uses a pre-trained AI model to estimate a 3D point cloud from the 2D images, producing remarkably realistic results.

According to AniML’s co-founder and CEO, Rémi Rousseau, the inspiration for Doly came from recent advancements in AI within the 3D space, particularly research by Facebook and Google on NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields). "AI had just arrived in the 3D world," Rousseau explains, highlighting the shift from polygon-based to neural-based 3D modeling. Gaussian splatting, while distinct from NeRF, builds on this cutting-edge research to offer an advanced rendering pipeline.

Recognizing the vast potential in e-commerce, AniML tailored Doly to meet the needs of online retailers from the outset. After capturing a 3D model, users can choose from a diverse library of templates to create dynamic scenes for their products. Options range from simple rotations on a plain background to more elaborate marketing setups with multiple camera angles.

Once satisfied with their creation, users can purchase and download the video directly from the app, ready for use in marketing campaigns or online listings.

AniML’s leadership brings significant experience to the table. Co-founder Rémi Rousseau previously founded two VR companies, including Mimesys, which was acquired by Magic Leap in 2019. Pierre Pontevia, the other co-founder, has successfully sold companies to both Autodesk and Unity, giants in the 3D tools and content development industries, respectively.

The startup has already raised $2 million in a seed round led by Adjacent, with participation from AI Grant, Kima Ventures, and notable angel investors such as Julien Chaumond of Hugging Face and Alban Denoyel of Sketchfab. Bpifrance also contributed with a grant.

AniML's Doly app has the potential to revolutionize how e-commerce professionals create product videos, offering a powerful, AI-driven tool that eliminates the need for expensive video production studios. As this technology gains traction, it will be fascinating to see how it shapes the future of online retail and product marketing.

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