This IST-funded project has created the first open internet-based platform for multi-user, distributed 3D graphics design, one that allows both proprietary and open-source content-creation tools to interoperate efficiently. By eliminating the need for manual conversion of incompatible files, the system smoothes out the entire design process, helps prevent mistakes and ultimately saves design studios time and money. It also allows designers to cooperate more efficiently regardless of their location and the tools they use.
“There are two ways to solve the software incompatibility bottleneck. One is to use only the tools provided by the same company, which ensures interoperability but locks design studios to a certain set of software. The other option, and the approach we have taken, is to make the output of different tools compatible by automatically ensuring it can be used with another tool without the need to manually convert it,” explains Uni-Verse coordinator Gert Svensson of KTH in Sweden.
The Uni-Verse platform is built on the Verse protocol, a lightweight, low latency, general-purpose network protocol for 3D data, which lets multiple applications act together as a single system by sharing data over a network. The Uni-Verse partners have created modelling and rendering tools designed specifically to take advantage of the features of the Verse protocol. They have rewritten the code of open-source design tools, such as Blender, to employ the Verse compatibility features. And they have created Verse software plug-ins for popular proprietary design tools such as 3D Studio Max.
Because the platform is internet-based, designers can work on the same project more or less simultaneously in multiple locations. “The protocol is fairly efficient and bandwidth use is kept low. Only at the start is the whole model downloaded, after that only the changes are sent to the server, so network demand is not a major problem,” Svensson says.
“The principal problem for many designers is that they cannot directly see the end result of what they are doing. An artist creating a texture for a 3D model is essentially working blind. They are designing the texture in 2D, then have to convert and render it onto the model in 3D. Often they find out that it is not quite right and have to redo it,” Svensson says. “Uni-Verse automatically converts and adds their texture to the model so they are able to see the results directly and make changes on the spot. Such speed-ups are possible at every stage of the design process.”
The benefits of the platform are evident for design studios working in the more demanding video sectors such animated film, computer games and virtual reality. However, the Uni-Verse platform also offers advantages in the architectural design industry. One feature incorporated by the project partners is the ability to carry out acoustic modelling at the same time as visual modelling.
Most architectural firms today use external specialists to analyse the acoustics of a building design at a late stage in the design process. This can lead to the plans being extensively reworked later on. The Uni-Verse platform allows acoustic modelling tools to be used from the very beginning, giving designers an idea of the acoustic properties of a building from the start, and reducing the risk of subsequent modifications.
An early version of the Uni-Verse platform has already been used in the Blender Foundation’s Orange Project that created Elephants Dream, the world’s first movie made entirely with open-source graphics software.
It is also being employed by one of the project partners in the creation of a new computer game, the design of which, Svensson says, is going much faster than it would without the platform. The system will also be used in a trial later this year at an architectural studio in Hungary.Contact:
Jernett Karensen | alfa
Equipping form with function
23.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria
Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity
23.06.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
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