Kaedim: AI Tool Turns 2D-to-3D

Can you imagine saying goodbye to hours and hours of modeling for your 3D assets? Well, imagine no more! Because there is a new tool on the market that can generate 3D assets from your 2D drawings, artworks, and concept art. Definitely, it is a game changer as more and more 3D assets will be needed in our Metaverses, XR experiences, games, etc. 

Kaedim has many advantages:

Easy to use: Users basically need only to upload a 2D image (photo, sketch or concept art) and they will get a 3D model
Export anywhere – Users can download the 3D model in the following formats: obj, fbx, glb, gltf formats for download.
Privacy guaranteed – The IP uploaded belongs 100% to the user. The data is encrypted for extra security.
24/7 Processing – users can generate 3D models 24/7
Easy to follow guidelines – it offers tips and tricks and tutorials to be able to generate models

The startup was set-up by computer scientist Konstantina Psoma, and its vision is to l enable everyone to be able to quickly create 3D assets. TechvangArt talked with Konstantina about the beginning of the startup and plans for the future, but also about the books that inspired her journey. 

TVA: Thank you for accepting this interview. We have to admit that we were fascinated by the solution and eager to find out more. But, for the beginning tell us a little bit about your background.  

Konstantina Psoma: Thank you for reaching out! I’m originally from Greece, and I was born and raised in Athens. At the age of 17, I left and I came to the UK to study computer science. And while I was studying computer science, I got into a lot of 3D projects. I started doing 3D modeling, character and set design, also 3D animation. I was finding it super hard. On the other hand, I also was very ambitious. We had a project to take a physical building from the city of Bristol and turn it into a digital version of it. And everyone was choosing a coffee shop or their bedroom. And I wanted to turn a cathedral into 3D. 

TVA: well…:) that is quite huge…

Konstantina Psoma: yes… Well, it didn’t go well. When I started on the project, I had to spend three months working day and night and didn’t get an amazing result either. So, I was very disappointed. I knew I had more 3D projects coming up and I knew I needed to find the solution, this could not go on. 

So I went to talk to game developers because I knew they had to make hundreds or thousands of 3D assets. And I started asking them: how do you make your 3D assets? “How do you scale your production? Please tell me any tips that can help”.  And they laughed. And they told me there’s no trick and they showed me a room full of 3D artists. So that was the beginning of everything.

At the same time, I was doing computer science at the University of Bristol. And I was in a cohort of 300 male computer scientists who were all playing video games in their free time. Every evening, I would see all of the video games and I would wonder how they were made. I never thought they were made with digital 3D objects before doing 3D modeling. Until then, I hadn’t even thought about how games or movies are made. So, I became really interested in the problem. And I start doing my master’s on deep learning for 2D to 3D reconstruction. And during that year, essentially, I started creating some proof of concepts and prototypes for how the product would look like. After talking with game devs, we decided to go with 2D, because we learned the first step of the pipeline is usually concept art. So, if the previous step is 2D, then we can take an input of 2D and turn it into 3D, and that way we can accelerate the pipeline by giving a really good starting point. So that’s what we did. And well, the rest is the journey, but here is how we got started.

TVA: It’s really an interesting story, and I like that it started from your experience, and I guess that it is just proof that it is solving a real problem. I was talking with some friends, and told them that I will meet a startup that is turning 2D into 3D, and all where: ‘wow, where is that solution?’  And especially now, with the metaverse and XR, it is clear that 3D models will be more and more in demand. I am more into storytelling and XR, and I know that there is a demand, but also e-commerce, architecture, etc. will need such solutions. 

But, I am curious that 2-3 years ago, when it was not so obvious that 3D would become so mainstream, how was at that time to convince investors to invest? or was the investor a gamer? 🙂 

Konstantina Psoma: Well… Imagine being a 21-year-old girl and trying to convince investors to give you money. Difficult, right? I mean, I could see that 3D is the future. And I was pitching that vision to the investors, that everything is moving to 3D, to be more immersive, more AR and VR. And if those take off, we’re gonna need a huge amount of 3D assets. But I think everything in the entrepreneurial journey is about perseverance. Because you need to hear so many ‘No’s in order to hear a final ‘Yes’ from investors. I think that in any entrepreneurial journey, being able to persevere and keep going, regardless of all the negative feedback and all the ‘No’s you hear is the secret to success.

TVA: It is clear that the creation of 3D assets is quite time-consuming for everybody, so how fast it’s your solution and how detailed? Shortly, can we say goodbye to Blender?

Konstantina Psoma: Not yet! And also, it depends on the application. Our solution is quite fast. It takes a couple of minutes for each asset to be created depending on the complexity of the asset. However, it depends on the application you want to use it for. For example, for very high-quality games, our software would provide a good starting point or a good prototype asset. And then some professional artists would have to work on it and improve it. However, for mobile applications or for user-generated content applications, our output could be considered 100% done. So, it totally depends on the level of quality that you aim for.  Our goal at Kaedim is to be able to make our software as real-time as possible, so you can have a real-time generation of assets instead of waiting a couple of minutes.

TVA: Okay, that it would be cool to have something instantly generated! But, going a little bit back, you said that you choose the concept art, so the 2D to 3D. But will you also have a text-to-3D? Because, now, I know it might sound a little bit cliche, but we live in that era when everybody’s an artist, thanks to technologies like Midjourney. Because it is easy to use, everybody started to really play with images. And more will want 3D assets. So, can  we  use Midjourney for 2D images, and then take your solution for 3D assets?
Konstantina Psoma: Yes. The answer to your question is that we haven’t developed a technology to go from text-to-3D, but if you combine those two AI’s – Midjourney and Kaedim – you can go from text to 3D automatically. And actually, a lot of our customers are currently using Midjourney as the previous step before using Kaedim.

TVA: Tell us a little bit about your customers, are they mainly gamers? 

Konstantina Psoma: our customers are mainly game studios and metaverse creators, anyone who is building digital 3D experiences. We started with games, because of the idea of being inspired by games. But also, because I think games are facing one of the biggest problems when it comes to 3D asset creation pipelines, and so we think they are very good early adopters for our technology.  Another reason that we chose games is because that is art, and art is something that allows much more creativity and fluidity. For example, in the case of architecture, physics has to also apply. While in games, you don’t have to worry about what will happen if you actually make this object from digital to physical.

TVA: I guess also that video games make sense because it is a wider industry, I would argue that story-led XR creations are also in need of quick 3D assets, but it is not yet such a developed industry. But, do you plan to attract other industries?  
Konstantina Psoma: Yes, we plan to do that in the future, probably in 2-3 years’ time. And some of the industries we can easily tap into are movies, e-commerce, as well as architecture. Already, we are tapping into the AR, VR, and XR, as you mentioned, like we’re working with people that create applications for VR and AR.

TVA: And what are the plans for the future, where do you see Kaedim in 10 years?

Konstantina Psoma: In 10 years, we’re gonna be the default way for everyone creating 3D assets. And we have enabled everyone, no matter their 3D modeling knowledge, to be able to contribute to our 3D experiences. Because we want to democratize that form of art. 

Currently, there are 800,000 3D artists in the world, so less than a million and it feels wrong that only those people are able to create and to be able to influence our 3D experiences. 

So that’s on the vision side of things. Obviously, we will also be the creators of a really exciting tech… And I’m really looking forward to our team being the leader in machine learning for the 3D front with the tech that we are building. And then on the business side, I really want to make Kaedim as big as possible, I’m really ambitious on this front as well. I want to turn it into a billion-dollar company.

TVA: Super, Let’s hope for the best. And because you are building a tech that does not exist, the AI part, how difficult was it to put it together?

Konstantina Psoma:  We had to play with a huge amount of different concepts, to be able to find the combination that worked for what we wanted to achieve. And it also involves a huge amount of talking to our customers to figure out exactly what are the requirements and specifications that we should keep in mind. This has not been an easy journey. We have been working on the technology side of things for four years now. 

As we have become accustomed at the end of the interview, TECHVANGART asked some Crazy Questions

Shot Questions:

TVA: Does the name Kaedim have significance? 
Konstantina Psoma: It has for me. Essentially, in my mind, it means k dimensions. So, like multiple dimensions.

TVA: A book or books that inspired you. 
Konstantina Psoma: There are books that I would recommend and that inspired me in the early stages: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, Skin in the Game, and The Lean Startup. Shoe Dog shows how difficult the startup journey is, and how you have to persevere and go through many hardships to be able to make it. Skin in the Game shows you that the only way for someone to be truly involved in something is to actually have skin in the game – so you cannot advise someone to do something if you cannot be affected from your advice. The Lean Startup extensively shows you how to be the standard in the most resource-friendly way; How can you test ideas super-fast and move really fast, how can you iterate, how can you listen to your customers and make something people really want; it’s the agile methodology for tech startups. 

TVA: Who were the first artists that you made your tests on? 
Konstantina Psoma: Aardman Animations and Rebellion Games were very early. They gave us a lot of feedback and 3D models to work on.

All photos are copyrighted by Kaedim and may be used by the press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage