Advancing Digital Characters through Technical Excellence


The PRESENCE EU project is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at transforming digital interactions by integrating hyper-realistic and immersive technologies. Didimo is a company renowned for our advanced 3D character creation technology endeavoring to contribute this technical know-how to make this a reality for the European Union and beyond. Through our flagship product, Popul8, we are delighted to contribute to the PRESENCE project, playing a crucial role in enhancing digital character creation and interaction. This blog post delves into our technical contributions and their impact on the PRESENCE project, emphasizing how Popul8 is transforming the landscape of digital character creation and the resulting experiences.

The vision of the PRESENCE project is to facilitate intuitive and realistic user experiences by bringing real humans into interactive virtual worlds. The primary objective is to enable real-time, hyper-realistic volumetric multiuser communications among remotely connected individuals, addressing existing challenges in real-time volumetric capture and the scalability of multiuser sessions. Didimo’s role in this project is centred on the innovative capabilities of Popul8, a tool that automates the creation of diverse, high-quality digital characters.

Popul8 excels in generating thousands of unique 3D characters rapidly, a capability crucial for PRESENCE where realistic avatars are paramount. The tool’s ability to produce characters with varied body shapes, AI-generated facial features, and diverse skin tones enhances the realism and personalization of virtual environments. Integrating Popul8 into existing production pipelines simplifies processes like asset fitting, animation retargeting, and memory optimization, reducing the manual effort involved in character creation and allowing developers to focus on creative tasks. For PRESENCE, this means accelerated development cycles and consistently high-quality outputs.

Creating immersive digital experiences requires scalability without sacrificing quality. Popul8 addresses this by optimizing character rendering, enabling the display of thousands of characters with minimal memory usage. This scalability is essential for maintaining smooth and engaging interactions in multi-user sessions. Furthermore, Popul8’s engine-agnostic design allows it to integrate seamlessly with major game engines like Unity and Unreal. This flexibility facilitates the deployment of PRESENCE’s technologies across various platforms and applications, from gaming to virtual meetings. The tool also supports user-generated content, empowering users to create and customize their avatars, thereby enhancing engagement and personalization.

Popul8 is engineered to ensure characters fit seamlessly into any virtual environment with high fidelity and minimal effort. It ensures that each generated character is unique, with variations in body shape, facial features, and skin color, which is crucial for creating realistic and relatable virtual interactions. Features like asset auto-fitting and animation retargeting allow developers to quickly adapt existing assets to new characters, ensuring consistency and reducing the need for extensive manual adjustments. Memory optimization enables the display of thousands of characters with minimal performance overhead, maintaining the smooth operation of multiuser sessions within PRESENCE.

We hope the impact of Didimo’s contributions through Popul8 on the PRESENCE project will be significant and well received. The realistic and diverse characters generated by Popul8 enhance the sense of presence in virtual environments, making interactions more engaging and lifelike. The automation and optimization features of Popul8 significantly reduce the time and cost associated with character creation, allowing PRESENCE to scale its solutions to accommodate more users and more complex interactions without compromising quality.

At the helm of Didimo’s technical contributions to PRESENCE are João Orvalho, our CTO, Xenxo Alvarez, our Head of Art, Alexis Roche, Head of Research and AI, Sean Cooper, the Technical Director, and Adriano Teixeira, Head of Infrastructure and Data. João Orvalho spearheads the integration of our technology into the PRESENCE platform, ensuring that our innovations align seamlessly with the project’s goals. Xenxo Alvarez leads the artistic vision, ensuring that the characters created through Popul8 not only meet the technical requirements but also exceed aesthetic expectations. Alexis and Sean develop new capabilities to inject into Popul8 to improve the character generative systems while Adriano frames each advancement and packages them within a useable software for users around the world. Together, they drive our efforts to support PRESENCE in its mission to revolutionize digital interactions.

At Didimo, we are humbled to contribute to the PRESENCE project through our Popul8 tool. By leveraging our expertise in character creation, we support PRESENCE in its mission to create intuitive and immersive digital experiences. Our focus remains on delivering technical excellence, ensuring that our contributions enhance the overall quality and scalability of the project. As PRESENCE continues to develop and deploy its solutions, we are committed to supporting its goals and advancing the future of immersive digital experiences.