Cybernoids, a Tokyo-based startup developing two-dimensional animation technology, announced on Monday it has raised 52.4 million yen (approximately $557,000) from Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Seibu Shinkin Capital, and visual-effects developer Qtec. The funds are to be used to intensifying the company’s business expansion overseas.
The startup has developed a new image rendering technology called Live 2D, which makes it easier to add motions or expression changes to characters animated in 2D. The company’s CEO Tetsuya Nakajo explains the global market potential of their flagship technology:
The overseas animation industry has no similar technology because they’ve been developing only 3-dimensional animation titles.
Cybernoids was founded in July of 2006, and the Live 2D technology was chosen as one of the year’s finalists for Mitou, a bi-annual software engineering promotion program run by a governmental IT promotional agency of Japan. The company’s Flash-based technology helps smartphone game developers easily create animated character motion, and it has been deployed to more than 40 game titles including Konami’s virtual dating game for females, Tokimeki Restaurant.
The company is exhibiting the latest version of its Live 2D technology at the Game Developers Conference 2013, which is currently underway in San Francisco. Check out the following video from the folks at Diginfo News for more information on how the technology works.