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London’s Electric Sheep snaps $500K for its first-of-its-kind AI tool that replaces green screen

Electric Sheep founders
Picture credits: Electric Sheep

Electric Sheep, a London-headquartered AI tech startup in visual effects (VFX), has closed an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round of $500K. The investment round was led by US-based VC Dasein Capital, and backed by another US-based VC Spatial Capital, and Look AI Ventures from the Czech Republic. 

Electric Sheep will use this funding to build and enhance Spotlight, the industry’s first AI rotoscoping tool capable of the detail needed for Hollywood. 

Steven Sullivan, Partner at Spatial Capital and former Senior Technology Officer of LucasFilm said: “Electric Sheep’s cutting-edge cloud and AI platform is poised to revolutionise several core VFX workflows. They’re taking a smart and pragmatic approach to accelerate some of the most tedious post-production tasks.”

“We are excited to partner with three investors with considerable experience in AI, VFX, and building at scale.” says Gary Palmer, CEO at Electric Sheep. “Flawless background removal negates the need for onset green screens, empowering creatives to capture the energy of the scene without compromising the final image.”

Deploys AI to replace green screens

Electric Sheep was founded in 2022 by Jake Laver, Gary Palmer, and Richie Murray in London. After years of camera to post-production experience for Netflix, Amazon, and Disney among others, the team saw an opportunity to take the challenges faced in VFX and leverage emerging AI technology to solve them. The company is dedicated to accelerating the VFX industry with cutting-edge AI technology with a focus on speed, scale, and security. 

Electric Sheep is pioneering a solution to automate flawless background removal for TV and film. This process, known as rotoscoping, is essential before adding special effects. Rotoscoping is an animation and visual effects technique that involves tracing over live-action footage frame by frame to create realistic and lifelike animation. 

Currently, the only way to deliver the detail needed for the big screen is to manually cut around foregrounds frame-by-frame. This process takes around 6 hours for 1 second of footage and costs the industry over $1.5 billion per year.

The company’’s solution – Spotlight is designed for industry workflows by outputting an editable layer that allows VFX artists to make key adjustments. Notably, the cloud-native solution is touted to be 360x faster, processing 1 second of footage in less than a minute.

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