Posted May 9, 2024

If history is a guide, transformative breakthroughs emerge when powerful creative tools reach the masses. That’s why we’re thrilled to lead the $5M seed round for Yellow, a company focused on revolutionizing 3D character creation through generative AI.

The potential impact is immense. Despite rapid progress in 2D image generation and control, 3D has remained stubbornly difficult and expensive due to challenges like maintaining clean topology and requiring numerous intermediate representations (meshes, UV maps, textures, rigs). This complexity makes high-quality 3D incredibly time- and skill-intensive, with top-tier character models taking weeks and costing upwards of $10K.

Generative AI promises to tame this complexity by learning to map directly from high-level descriptions to fully-realized, animation-ready characters with topology that is consistent with the artist’s style. This could radically reduce the cost and skill barriers to high-quality character creation while enabling far greater scale, variety, and personalization.

When we first met Yellow’s founder, CEO Mandeep Waraich in early 2022, we were astounded by his infectious energy and drive to tackle this challenge. As the former Head of CoreML – Large Models and Industrial AI at Google, Mandeep’s deep learning expertise, coupled with his lifelong passion for the arts, made him the ideal visionary to bring AI-powered creation to the masses.

Mandeep is the rare founder who combines AI and product expertise with magnetic leadership. He’s the bright glue that attracted an all-star team of 3D AI Professors to help make their shared vision a reality, including Vincent Sitzmann, who leads MIT’s Scene Representation Group; Christian Rupprecht, an Associate Professor at Oxford and member of their Visual Geometry Group; and Ludwig Schmidt, an Assistant Professor in Stanford’s Computer Vision Group, who has contributed to the largest public dataset projects like LAION and Objaverse. Through their research and the achievements of their labs, they each have made major contributions to the core building blocks for high-quality 3D generation.

What sets Yellow apart is their focus on empowering human creativity through AI. Rather than aiming for pure automation, they’re building tools that amplify today’s 3D artists while making character creation accessible to all. We couldn’t be more excited to back Mandeep and team as they forge the bright future of 3D creativity, starting with characters.

Yellow announced their partnership with Daz Studio to launch their character creation solution. If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for Yellow’s waitlist here, and you can see open positions here. The next chapter of human creativity is being written – the future is bright — and it’s Yellow!