HeyGen AI Video Makes $60 Million, Plus More Cinematic AI Shorts Coming

AI Video & Visuals

HeyGen Raises $60M Series A Funding for Gen AI Video. HeyGen recently achieved profitability with $35M ARR and was valued at $440M a few months ago. The AI ​​video generation company will leverage its Series A funding to ramp up its high-quality video production and localization. The round was led by Benchmark with participation from Thrive Capital, BOND, Conviction, and others.

Mobile AR, MR to surge at AWE 2024. The 15th annual Augmented World Expo (AWE) took place in Long Beach this week. The proliferation of mixed reality (MR) and mobile AR tools with Oculus Quest and Apple Vision Pro dominated the show, with AI taking a back seat. The show featured 500 speakers across 12 tracks, including a fireside chat with Oculus inventor Palmer Lucky. There was also a fantastic XR museum, the announcement of the first 101 members of the AWE Hall of Fame, and the annual Auggie Awards show. The expo floor featured 300 exhibitors, with a strong showing from mixed reality entertainment content developers, including big announcements from Meta, Snap, and Niantic.

Major record companies are suing AI music companies Suno and Udio. Today, the Recording Industry Association of America filed a lawsuit against an AI music generator, alleging “massive” copyright infringement and seeking damages of up to $150,000 per copyrighted work.

Hugo Swart joins Google. The well-liked, affable executive was previously Qualcomm's general manager and vice president of XR, where he oversaw the launch of Snapdragon. Swart will lead Samsung's partnership with Qualcomm on XR glasses.

New free AI app Butterflies has a mind of its own. This free app is similar to Instagram, but once you sign up, it creates an AI avatar (Butterfly) that starts posting photos and interacting with other accounts. It's so weird, download it now. The 6-month-old startup has raised $4.8 million in a seed round from SV Angels, Coatue, and others.

Runway's latest ultra-realistic AI video model. Runway is ready to unveil its latest Gen-3 Alpha AI video model, showcasing Sora-level capabilities. OpenAI has dominated the cinematic AI discussion since it unveiled its video generator Sora in February. At the time, Sora seemed far ahead of the rest of the AI ​​video industry. But Google's Vudu, China's Kling, Luma's Dream Machine, and now the release of Runway Gen3 have erased Sora's market dominance before its official release.

“Gorilla Tag” VR revenue tops $100 million. This milestone makes the game one of the most successful VR titles of all time. of It is the most popular. It was also announced that it has over 1 million daily users and 3 million monthly users. Gorilla Tag is the first app to reach over 100,000 reviews on the Meta Quest Store.

The winner of Curious Refuge's new AI trailer competition is Mark Wachholz's “The Day the World Prayed.”In The New York Times, the Vatican opens its archives and researchers soon uncover the truth: Jesus never existed and the Church knew it all along, sparking a worldwide crisis of faith. He won an Apple Vision Pro, a Curious Refuge course (which he doesn't need), and some brand sponsored swag. “This is a concept trailer for the project as a limited TV series. The trailer was created entirely with AI imagery and video tools,” Machholz said in the video's YouTuber description. “We used Midjourney V6 for the AI ​​imagery and RunwayML Gen-2 for the AI ​​video creation. The audio was generated with Elevenlabs and some of the songs were composed using Udio. ChatGPT was extremely helpful in planning, brainstorming, proofreading, and ongoing collaboration. Additionally, EpidemicSound provided the majority of the score music and sound effects.”

Loose [sic] Yourself in the music. Saadetin Konukseven, a Turkish creative director with 16 years of experience, now runs his own agency in Istanbul. “I discovered generative AI tools last year and fell in love,” he wrote me. “I love AI because it breaks all the barriers for creators. All you need is a computer and a dream.” Two weeks ago, after Luma released Dream Machine, an AI tool that turns text into video, Konukseven said, “I just wanted to do something experimental.” The first prompt he used was: “Young black man in black T-shirt leaves house at midnight, camera pans at an angle, cinematic.” After creating a five-second video with this prompt, Konukseven used an additional prompt, with the option to extend the scene. This was “Young black man in black T-shirt enters empty street, cinematic at midnight, camera pans left, wide-angle shot.” In the end, he completed the entire video with 11 prompts.

“AI Echoes of the Strange” Aaron Jackson (aka Captain HaHa) It was created last week at the Luma Labs AI Dream Machine. “I used a lot of imagery from my previous Midjourney creations, but the video generation tools at the time didn't allow me to animate them well,” Jackson explained via email. “I've been making these videos on my MacBook Pro since 2013. LLM gives me access to technology I would never have had access to on my own. We are witnessing an era of accessibility.” He said the inspiration for the piece was Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and story teller A film by Spielberg. AI music produced by Suno.

“Punk King Death Machine” by Roberto Chamorro is a concept trailer for a limited TV series. “We used Midjourney V6 for AI imagery and RunwayML Gen-2 for AI videography. Audio was generated in Elevenlabs and some music was composed in Udio. ChatGPT was a great help in planning, brainstorming, proofreading and ongoing collaboration,” said Chamorro. “Additionally, EpidemicSound provided the majority of the score music and sound effects.”

This column was formerly called “This Week in XR” and is also available as a podcast. The show is hosted by author Charlie Fink, former studio executive and Red Camera co-founder Ted Szylowitz, and Magic Leap founder Ronnie Abovitz. This week's guest is XR Hall of Fame author and entrepreneur Tony Parisi. Listen on Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.

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The metaverse and augmented reality remain unpopular with VCs (Joanna Glassner/Crunchbase)

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