What is a Digital Human?

That was the first thought on my mind when I had the opportunity to meet with 3Lateral in Serbia, the next thought was how could we at NetApp help to bring this to life by working to build 3Lateral’s data fabric.

3Lateral Studio is built around a passion for creating characters and creatures, the team there are focused on acquiring and using data to

·         Create digital avatars that are controlled in real-time by actors

·         Transform the gaming industry with lifelike digital characters

·         Extend digital humans technology to industries beyond entertainment

Their goal is to develop a framework where people across many different fields will be able to use it to create something amazing, whether that’s in medical or biometrics, entertainment or research.

Data is at the heart of a digital human!

When we start thinking about the quantities of data required to perform the scans necessary to understand the human face, then it gets pretty big pretty quickly. With the current framework that 3Lateral have developed they are capturing data at over 70Gb per second, over 1Pb per day. When you are scanning down to the detail of individual pores on the human face and using different lighting conditions to pick up details across different spectrums then you start to get an understanding as to why the quantity of data in this world is just so big.

3Lateral realised that they had to be able to deal with the challenge of increasing the data collection speed and the capacity of their environment. They worked with their technology partner in Serbia and after some research it was decided that NetApp could be the right company to work with.

Data collection speed and capacity

These were the initial problems that needed to be solved, but it could not be about solving these in isolation. 3Lateral knew that moving forward they were going to have a new framework that would significantly increase the quantity and speed of data being collected and the solution would need to be able to deal with this.

Accelerating the test and development process

3Lateral are developing software to enable the process from data capture through to everything necessary to bring a digital human to life, the captured data has to go through many different teams that all bring their knowledge and skills to bear during the process. There’s also a lot of custom software that has been developed that helps them to manage this pipeline, ensuring that the right data is in the right place with the right people at the right time is essential.

And now the cloud

Now part of Epic games, 3Lateral need to securely share data with them and with other companies that they partner with, having a way to manage the replication and costs associated with the cloud is also a key requirement.

Building their Data Fabric

As I and my colleagues spoke more and more with the team at 3Lateral it became really clear to us that what they needed was a data fabric, their data fabric, one that would solve the immediate challenges but also adapt and evolve with them as they looked to solve all of the new ones.

A number of solutions from NetApp’s portfolio have now being implemented providing the first building blocks for 3Lateral’s data fabric and we are already working together to identify the next elements. MAX Data for massive performance requirements, NetApp HCI and kubernetes to simplify and accelerate their Development environment and CVS for AWS to enable secure and efficient data sharing.

For more about what NetApp and 3Lateral are doing together, take a look at the video here https://www.netapp.com/us/data-visionary/3lateral-humanizes-data-using-netapp-technology.aspx

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