Argil – a VR software for quick and efficient 3D modelling using hands and haptics.
Why is it that so many 3D-content creators, professionals and amateurs alike, are still using 2D screens? We believe it is because there hasn’t been, until now, an adequate way to fully transfer their work to the 3D environment.
Professional on-screen 3D creation tools, such as Z-brush or Maya, are inefficient, non-intuitive and difficult to learn. At the same time, demand for 3D content is growing day-by-day: gaming industry is expanding, fashion and footwear markets are going fully digital, artists, film and theatre productions are looking for new means of creation and distribution.
We at Valkyrie Industries have developed Argil – a groundbreaking virtual reality software for quick and efficient 3D object creation. Argil employs hand tracking and touch / haptic feedback to make 3D modelling even more intuitive, letting the user manipulate the virtual “clay” with the whole of their hands and fingers, and to feel the response of the object directly through the sense of touch. The haptic feedback both enhances user engagement, and facilitates a more intuitive and easy-to-use approach to modeling in VR.
Throughout the testing phase, Argil has been praised by users as a “powerful”, “intuitive”, “satisfying” and having “..the best feel of all the VR modelers so far”. We were especially happy to hear the following from a 67-year old sculptor, who had never used VR before: “To me, it felt like real sculpting”.
Argil provides a quick and efficient way of prototyping and sculpting in 3D. For more than 300,000 Z-brush users, Argil will make 3D-modelling at least four times faster. It would save an average CGI artist £60 extra a day, or £1,200 a month.
Used together with haptic gloves – Argil enhances the experience of working comfortably and efficiently in a virtual environment like no other. Using VR-modeling anytime anywhere to create prototypes for theatre and film production, virtual avatars and gaming environments, 3D-printed tools and toys, and novel shoe or garment designs, will transform the creative industries, lower production costs, and maximize profits, while granting more flexibility and freedom to the creators.
Gaming and film productions are slowly adopting VR creation. At the same time, the world’s 1.8 trillion-dollar fashion industry is turning its gaze to 3D-creation too. In contrast to CGI artists, fashion designers haven’t widely adopted 3D software for their work mainly because it was screen-based and flat.
We strongly believe that fashion and footwear industries will be revolutionised as soon as they start widely utilizing VR for design purposes, and we want Argil to become their go-to instrument.
Since Argil’s very nascency, we made it our priority to collaborate globally and get feedback directly from the members of creative industries, including the following artists, studios, designers and academics:
-Birgitta Hosea and Camille Baker, professors at UCA
-Xavier Solé, Senior Lecturer in interactive art at Kingston University London,
-Esmee Ertekin’s fashion design studio
-Professional sculptors Tim Beswick, Mike McShane, Ekaterina Luzgina, Chris Rutter and Evelyn Bennet
-Students at UCA and University of Utah
-VR artists Sean Rodrigo and Pablo Melchor
-Zaha Hadid Studio architect Ertu Erbay
CIC CreaTech One to Watch 2021 will bring us more exposure, collaborations, customers, feedback and growth.
We have received initial funding to develop Argil one year ago from StoryFutures (£20K) which was followed by XR4ALL (€50K). Moreover, Valkyrie Industries has just received private equity investment to grow the team and integrate the software with haptic gloves. Since the release on Steam two months ago, Argil has already gained over 120 paying beta-testers, who use Argil for sculpting, 3D-printing and for character creation.
With 3 million VR users of Steam, and a comparable number of Oculus Quest users, we consider $1 million revenue a realistic goal for the next three years. However, individual consumers are not our main focus. Selling subscriptions with additional features to professional 3D- and fashion design studios is our more ambitious target.
Argil’s benefits will be enhanced even further when paired with our hardware. An attractive subscription price of £210 a month for a hardware/software bundle would bring £2.5K a year per client. With 1,000 company-clients buying a yearly subscription, the revenue of £2.5M can be achieved.
The consensus is that hand tracking and gloves is the next evolutionary step for interaction in VR. As haptic gloves start becoming more ubiquitous – Argil will become a go-to solution for their use in 3D-modelling.