Create 3D Product Videos on Your iPhone with Doly


AniML, the French startup behind a new 3D capture app called Doly, aims to create a version of PhotoRoom for product videos. If you’re selling sneakers on an online marketplace or creating Instagram ads for your consumer products, Doly can help you generate 3D models with your phone and turn them into professional-looking product videos.

Creating videos is notoriously challenging, and generating a 3D model is even tougher. That’s why the AniML team has focused on simplifying this process to make 3D capture more mainstream by integrating it into an iPhone app.

Here’s how Doly’s 3D capture works: Users point their phone camera at the product and physically move around it to capture it in 3D. The app captures still images and sends them to the cloud. AniML has developed a reconstruction pipeline using something called Gaussian splatting to turn these images into a realistic 3D model.

Traditionally, 3D models are created using a collection of points in 3D space with 2D textures projected onto these surfaces with lighting effects. Gaussian splatting is a new rendering pipeline that estimates a 3D point cloud from a set of 2D images using a pre-trained AI model.

“Our starting point was a technological finding: AI had just arrived in the 3D world. Researchers at Facebook and even more so at Google were doing research and published a significant paper on something called NeRF,” AniML co-founder and CEO, Rémi Rousseau, told Truth Voices. “It’s a new paradigm where machine learning reconstructs the 3D image.”

“You’re no longer working with polygon-based 3D, but neural-based 3D,” he added.

While Gaussian splatting isn’t precisely the same as NeRF, it is a kind of descendant 3D modelling technology, according to Rousseau.

After tackling the technical aspects, AniML targeted a practical use case to attract users from day one. E-commerce companies were the natural choice for a tool designed to create 3D models.

What else does the app offer? Once users capture a 3D model, they can browse a template library to select a 3D scene to integrate their object into. Options include simple 3D rotation against a plain background or more dramatic marketing scenarios like the camera slowly approaching the object and switching angles.

If users like the result, they can purchase the video from the app and download it for use elsewhere.

Image Credits: AniML

Rousseau previously founded two VR companies, including Mimesys, which was acquired by Magic Leap in 2019. His co-founder Pierre Pontevia also has a noteworthy history, having sold a company to 3D tools giant Autodesk and another to 3D content development platform Unity.

AniML has so far raised $2 million, with Adjacent leading the seed round. The startup also took part in AI Grant, the startup accelerator run by Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross. Kima Ventures and several angel investors, including Julien Chaumond from Hugging Face; Nicolas Steegman and François Lagunas, who founded Stupeflix; Alban Denoyel of Sketchfab; Bertrand Schmitt; Thibaud Elziere; and Vincent Nallatamby, also invested. Additionally, Bpifrance contributed to part of this round with a grant.

It will be interesting to see if major brands, second-hand resellers, and other e-commerce professionals adopt 3D rendered videos for future campaigns and online listings. Thanks to artificial intelligence, it’s promising that you might not need a professional video recording studio to create compelling product visuals.

Romain Dillet
Romain Dillet
Senior Reporter. Romain has written over 3,000 articles on technology and tech startups and has established himself as an influential voice on the European tech scene. He has a deep background in startups, privacy, security, fintech, blockchain, mobile, social and media. When he’s not writing, Romain is also a developer — he understands how the tech behind the tech works.

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