Computer Graphics World

Edition 2 2018

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e d i t i o n 2 , 2 0 1 8 | c g w 1 7 applications, their friendliness to each other, and the complexity of the data. Autodesk bought Kaydara back in 2006. The company had a real-time, online con- tent creation suite called Filmbox, which used the FBX format for data exchange between modules and outside applications, including Autodesk's. Autodesk has since fine-tuned FBX for easy data transfer. In addition, Autodesk bought Bitsquid for its game engine. Renamed Stingray, Bitsquid was added to Autodesk's growing arsenal of game development tools. Unfortunately, Autodesk's timing was not great, nor was its implementation. Autodesk seemed uncertain about whether to support Stingray as a prod- uct to develop applications using content cre- ated in its tools, or to plunder the technology for its products Max, Maya, and Flame. The interconnection with the CAD world didn't fully materialize, either. Autodesk introduced Project Expo as a tool to transfer Revit files to Stingray, but it seems to have foundered early. In the end, Autodesk announced that Stingray would be shut down. The company said customers were looking to Unity and Unreal to develop interactive applications. One of the arguments Autodesk made on its website is that the commercial engines are being continuously enhanced for customers and are adapting to changing markets. The implication being that Autodesk could not keep up the same level of updates for mar- kets that were not critical to Autodesk. In October 2017, Autodesk and Unity announced a strategic partnership to more easily enable data exchange of content created in Autodesk's tools. But, what about Epic? Epic claims that early beta participants working with Datasmith rather than FBX have seen productivity gains of up to 70 percent, and that Datasmith enables them to work with a high-fidelity scene in Unreal Engine that is visually consistent with what they are trying to achieve in the finished product. Lightworks' Slipstream Also at SIGGRAPH last year, Lightworks announced a new product called Slipstream, which isn't so much a product as a service bundle, to address the same sorts of prob- lems being addressed by Datasmith. The Lightworks crew has a long history of providing integrated rendering within design and engineering products from Autodesk, PTC, IMSI, Dassault, Siemens, and so on. According to Lightworks' David Forrester, the demand for rendering has accelerated thanks to increased interest in virtual reality and the increasing usability of game engines for non-gaming content. Game engines let cus- tomers get all their assets in one environment, where they can be "directed." Today, Lightworks uses the Nvidia Iray technology as the rendering end of its system. And, as a longtime provider of rendering back ends – its own, and now Iray – the company has integrated rendering in multiple PLM products. It did some of its early development work for Slipstream with Siemens, which uses Lightworks Iray in its CAD programs. Light- stream understands CAD pipelines and the complexities inherent in CAD models. What Lightworks wants to do, says Forrester, is help its customers streamline the data to get a "visual BOM" (bill of materials). Lightworks has approached the creation of Slipstream as a service plus technology, depending on the end use requirements and the types of models. At the end of the process, customers then have an easy-to-use recipe for getting models out of CAD and into a game engine. Forrester says that once they have helped a company create a Slipstream AR/VR Market in 2020 By Revenue Military 6% Science/Med. 13% AEC Real Estate 16% Engineering/MFG 26% Social 13% Live Concerts & Events 6% TV 4% E-Sports 16% Sports 9% Movies 12% Gaming 31% AR/VR MARKET IN 2020 BY REVENUE V I R T U A L R E A L I T Y

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