Exclusive Q&A w/ Alex Petrenko, CEO and Co-Founder of Zibra AI

Home » Exclusive Q&A w/ Alex Petrenko, CEO and Co-Founder of Zibra AI
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  • Could you share some insights into your journey and professional background, highlighting key experiences that led you to initiate Zibra?

My journey in the tech and gaming world began after graduating from the National Aviation University in Kyiv, specialising in management and logistics. Prior to Zibra AI, I held senior business development roles at CoWorking Platforma and Talkable, gaining valuable insights and experience working on business strategies and development dynamics with companies like General Assembly, Y-Combinator and influencers like Steve Wozniak to organise offline events for the tech community and build a separate revenue stream around educational events.

As a passionate gamer and technology enthusiast, I’ve always been interested in new game titles, but as games become more complex, their development has become lengthier. Game developers now require considerably more time and resources to craft immersive and sophisticated gaming experiences that can cater to the ever-growing demands of the player community.

The desire to change this and aid developers of all sizes to create amazing titles and experiences for gamers, led me to create Zibra AI alongside our amazing co-founding team of Vladyslav Zavadskyi and Den Dmytrenko. Earlier this year, with the help of our fantastic team, we succeeded in securing funding from both the inaugural a16z Games SPEEDRUN (the only company to be chosen from Eastern Europe) and from Epic’s MegaGrant program. Witnessing the potential of Generative AI, particularly in streamlining game development and enhancing VFX (Visual Effects) creation, ignited the vision for Zibra AI. Our mission is clear: enabling game developers, VFX artists, and creators to revolutionise their workflows and create exceptional experiences.


  • Delving into Zibra, what sparked the creation of the platform? What were the core founding principles for Zibra?

Being a gamer with a strong interest in emerging technologies, I was always inspired by what these advancements could offer to the gaming world, both behind the scenes on the development side but also the impact to the end-user, the players. Game development, though rewarding, often faces lengthy and challenging development cycles. Recognising the potential of AI to alleviate these hurdles, especially in the realm of asset and VFX creation, sparked the inception of Zibra AI in 2021. Our core founding principles revolve around leveraging Generative AI to simplify the creation of 3D assets and VFX, empowering game developers and artists to enhance their workflows and bring their visions to life with efficiency and creativity.

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  • Generative AI has the potential to democratise creativity. How is Zibra AI making this technology accessible and user-friendly for a broader audience of content game developers and Visual Effects artists, including those with varying levels of technical expertise?

Zibra AI is dedicated to democratising game development and visual effects through the creation of easy and affordable products. All the solutions with our platform are designed with a user-friendly interface, ensuring accessibility for creators of all skill levels. We’ve placed a strong emphasis on intuitive tools and a seamless user experience, allowing content developers, from beginners to experts, to utilise the power of Generative AI effortlessly. We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure our platform caters to varying technical proficiencies, enabling a diverse audience to embrace AI-generated 3D assets and VFX, ultimately democratising the creative process in the gaming and visual effects spheres.


  • Zibra aims to streamline 3D content generation. Could you quantify the success achieved in simplifying and democratising this process? Providing data on user numbers and the time required to create 3D content using the platform would be valuable.

We are thrilled that Zibra AI has recently surpassed 100,000 users, primarily consisting of game developers leveraging our platform for VFX creation. The feedback from our growing community has been overwhelmingly positive, empowering even indie developers to swiftly craft high quality VFX without requiring specific prior expertise. This allows them to test and validate their creative concepts, without any delay. Zibra AI solutions enable easy creation of new immersive experiences and game mechanics based on real-world physics (liquid, smoke & fire). Soon, Zibra AI tools will also make it possible for creators to easily generate in-game assets based on almost any input, whether it be text, video or image references. Our mission is to give game developers of all levels unprecedented amounts of freedom to experiment and customise their games, (using a single prompt) to create the best experience possible for players.


  • Looking at the global market, how do you envision Generative AI shaping the future of visual effects and media production, and what role do you foresee Zibra AI playing in this transformative journey?

Generative AI holds immense potential in shaping the future of visual effects and media production. As the technology advances, we foresee a future where Generative AI seamlessly integrates with creative workflows, significantly accelerating content creation and enhancing the overall quality. Zibra AI aims to be at the forefront of this transformation, empowering artists and developers with efficient AI-powered solutions that enhance their capabilities and artistic visions. Our role is to continually innovate, ensuring our platform remains aligned with the evolving needs of the industry, ultimately contributing to a future where creativity and technology harmoniously coexist. We are not trying to replace human jobs but instead empower those and maintain a community who help each other and create more amazing gaming experiences.

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  • Please elaborate on the standout features of Zibra powered by AI, which captivate users and developers in the realm of 3D content creation.

One of our primary platform offerings is Zibra Effects. A powerful AI-assisted solution to create dynamic smoke, fire, liquid, and clothing Visual Effects for games. All Zibra Effects products are equipped with a unique AI-layer that speeds up object prototyping and accelerates the performance of the simulation itself. What sets Zibra Effects apart is its ability to provide real-time interactivity, enhancing the immersivity. It’s a low-code tool that drastically simplifies the complex process of VFX creation, saving developers significant time. Additionally, we offer a free version of Zibra Effects for users to explore and experiment with, allowing them to experience firsthand the transformative capabilities of AI-assisted tools.


  • Data privacy and ethical AI use are growing concerns. How does Zibra AI ensure responsible use of Generative AI and maintain a strong commitment to data security and user privacy in your products and services?

At Zibra AI, data privacy and ethical AI usage are paramount. Our platform only uses proprietary models and data sources to build our features. We are committed to not creating or using an open source model that scrapes the internet and users’ data. We remain committed to transparent communication with our community and ensuring that our technology is harnessed responsibly and ethically, respecting both user privacy and societal norms.


  • Are there upcoming features within the Zibra pipeline that you can share with us, offering a glimpse into the platform’s evolving capabilities?

This autumn we’ll be announcing an important step forward for file compression of visual effects (ZibraVDB). This tool will allow something that was previously close to impossible to achieve – having volumetric/3D VFX in games. VFX will look much more realistic, whilst the significant compression of file sizes (up to 100x smaller than the current standard) allows for a wider use of high-fidelity VFX within different environments and across platforms previously unable to compute such large files. It’s a huge milestone in our mission to continually evolve and empower creators with cutting-edge tools and capabilities.

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  • Can you showcase some instances of 3D content generated using Zibra, underlining its prowess in empowering creators?

Absolutely. Creators regularly share their works within our Discord community, showcasing how our solutions can be applied in various use cases. One notable instance was a simulation involving a pool cleaning scenario, where the water physics generated were lauded as even superior to those in renowned games like Starfield. Additionally, we’ve seen impressive 3D AR/VR reconstructions that underscore the prowess of Zibra AI in empowering creators to realise their visions in the virtual world. Our community loves to share their first hand experiences using Zibra Effects. For example, game developer Lee Vermeulen’s social media videos earlier this year, showcasing Zibra Effects real-time liquid, smoke and fire simulations in AR have gone viral!


  • Lastly, reflecting on your role as the Co-founder and CEO of Zibra AI, what advice or insights would you share with aspiring entrepreneurs trying to get into the fields of AI and Gaming?

You need to embrace your passion for AI and/or gaming and stay relentlessly curious and up-to-date as both are ever-evolving fields. Much like the journey of a lifelong learner, remember that success often emerges from a foundation of persistence. Above all, stay true to your vision and persevere through challenges. Entrepreneurship and building a product/company should be an exciting journey. Try to keep this front of mind and enjoy the process through all the ups and downs.

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