Animation outfit DI4D secures £900,000 funding boost

DI4D worked on the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie. Picture: Warner Bros

DI4D worked on the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie. Picture: Warner Bros

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A Glasgow animation studio is set to ramp up its presence in Hollywood after securing a £900,000 funding boost.

University spin-out Dimensional Imaging (DI4D), headquartered in Hillington, specialises in facial animation and counts movie blockbusters such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and hit games including Microsoft’s Quantum Break among its credits.

From left: DI4D chairman Tim Christian, chief executive Colin Urquhart and Percipient director Jason Gould. Picture: Contributed

From left: DI4D chairman Tim Christian, chief executive Colin Urquhart and Percipient director Jason Gould. Picture: Contributed

It has also worked with Glasgow’s Dental Hospital & School and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to assess the results of surgery using its motion capture technology.

The firm, formed in 2003 as a spin-out from the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, received the cash injection from existing shareholders and Percipient Capital, a London-based provider of private equity and venture capital for SMEs.

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Speaking exclusively to Scotland on Sunday, chief executive and co-founder Colin Urquhart said: “We see that our biggest potential market is in the US and we’ve already started to do significant business there. We’ve managed to get ourselves to the forefront of facial performance capture, but it’s a competitive market so we need to keep investing in R&D.

It’s a competitive market so we need to keep investing in R&D

Colin Urquhart

“The majority of the projects that we’re doing just now and in the future are likely to be in North America so expanding our presence there is also at the centre of our plans.”

DI4D employs nine people and Urquhart said he planned to expand its headcount in Glasgow, where all its development and operations teams are based, but he is also looking to open an office in Los Angeles as its workload grows.

Percipient Capital director Jason Gould said: “We have been very impressed by the excellent progress made by DI4D, and in particular its recent work on several high-profile movies, visual effects and video game projects, and we are pleased to be able to assist the company as it enters a new phase of accelerated growth.

“We look forward to working closely with Tim and the DI4D team and to providing further assistance in future as required.”

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The firm is currently involved in a number of other major film projects, the names of which are under wraps for the time being, and Urquhart will be jetting out to San Francisco at the end of the month for the annual Game Developers Conference, the largest event of its kind for the gaming sector, attracting more than 27,000 attendees from around the globe.

As well as seeking to win more work on large-scale video game projects the company is examining opportunities in the rapidly developing field of virtual reality.

DI4D chairman Tim Christian said the funding boost will give the team “financial strength and confidence to scale up significantly, invest further in the development of our already highly advanced facial capture technology and to expand our operations”.

He added: This is an exceptional time of opportunity in the facial animation market, and we expect that this investment will ensure that DI4D is well placed to seize this and other opportunities.”

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