4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality.
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4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality.
The Visualizing Reality 3D/AR/VR Blog is curated by Jed Fisher https://www.linkedin.com/in/jedfisher/  from 4D Pipeline www.4Dpipeline.com Our blog covers trends and breaking news in 3D Visualization, Realtime 3D, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. We seek to share insights in product strategy and emerging technology for #Digital, #3D, #VR, #AR, #XR, #Mobile, CAD, PLM, BIM for use by Automotive, Manufacturing, AEC, and Enterprises. Follow on twitter @4Dpipeline 4D Pipeline - We Help You Make Digital Experiences People Love - www.4Dpipeline.com.
Curated by Jed Fisher
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The Magic Behind 4D Pipeline

The Magic Behind 4D Pipeline | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it

Knowing what makes your company stand out and your clear value proposition is key to your company’s growth. Both in attracting the best talent and working with top tier clients it is paramount to know where you stand and where the magic happens.

We got curious. We sat down with one of our colleagues, Christian  - Director of Development, to take a look behind the scenes and see how we at 4D Pipeline help our clients make 3D digital products and confidently execute on their software initiatives. With helping our customers including amazing brands like; Adidas, AUDI, Adobe, Target, IKEA, Honda, AMD, Intel, Dassault Systèmes, SolidWorks, TurboSquid, Epic Games, we are pioneers in navigating this 3D world.

In this interview we set out to see where we thrive, how we work, and how we do what we do. We hope it inspires you to look at your company and the opportunities you can capture by being unique in your space.

What makes 4D Pipeline unique or successful?

“Our enterprising spirit. We hire the best software engineers we can find globally and by giving them the freedom to work as they like to reach the outcome we want for our clients we see success all around. We can also leverage an entire workforce with a brain trust of knowledge that most companies don’t have access to. We were one of the first companies in the space that has been flexible and remote, resulting in a strong track record of success.”

What is our Secret Sauce?

“Huge experience and expertise in the team. We have extensive experience in everything 3D related. Everyone in our team is an expert at software development and 3D graphics. We've worked in all areas of computer graphics and related technologies. We have informed ideas about every problem that comes our way which allows us to build on the foundation to transfer the benefit of solving problems which is a huge advantage for our clients.”

How do we do what we do?

“Sometimes chaotically, but always as best we can (Christian laughs). In software development and project management you have these shelves of books that tell us how to do things, but the real world is not like that. To make a project a success you need to know when to use a textbook or adapt to more lenient workflows. If you stick too much to the textbook you spend too much time on things that don’t matter and then if you stray too much from textbook then you are heading for disaster. The reason that this is important is that no two projects or clients are the same. The people on both sides are going to make the project requirements unique and sometimes changes occur. Actually, changes always occur. What helps us succeed is that we are not dogmatic. We use different procedures for each project. We are essentially adaptive.”

 Can you describe a unique project and how we delivered it to success?

“We worked with Adidas for their group that is responsible for providing tools to the footwear designer group. They were used to designing shoes in 2D. The problem was that if someone wanted to see the shoe from another angle it meant the designer had to start from scratch and paint a new picture. They wanted to leverage 3D tools, different angles, rendering in different quality settings, ideally covering the workflow from the first design ideas, through design reviews, and all the way to providing the data to the factory to produce the shoes and marketing to market the shoes. We set out to solve these problems. Starting in 2017 we set out by creating a small proof of concept – a web application that allowed designers to modify existing shoe designs, assign different materials, and change the look of the shoes. What was wonderful to see was how the design community at Adidas wanted more features and they were big fans of what we built. Then over the course of the next few years this evolved into something that is now used by designers across the company. We are now planning to create one application for footwear and apparel which will make this even more amazing. Adidas now relies on this software to succeed everyday in production.”

What is one thing that you would want our future clients to know about 4D Pipeline?

“When you hire us we ensure that your project will succeed and build you the best possible software we can. There isn’t anything in the world of 3D software that we wouldn’t be able to do. We are on the journey with you. Your success is our success. People like working with us not just because of our 3D expertise but because we make sure that we understand your customers and their needs intimately. We understand the use cases and the value proposition. This is critical, as to be successful requires great software development but also we need to ensure the right features and right functionality are selected for development."

What do we do better than anyone else?

“Reliably building products that people love and working together as a team. We are very good at managing a remote team and are just as efficient if not more than an in office team. With our wide experience we have accumulated in all things graphics related we have become the go-to shop for challenging 3D graphics development. Although we are a relatively small company we have been instrumental on many key 3D products. We've been behind the scenes on projects for AUDI, IKEA, Adidas, Epic Games, Target, Adobe, Honda, Dassault Systèmes, SolidWorks, AMD, Intel, TurboSquid, and many others.”

What is a day in the life of a software engineer at 4D Pipeline?

“As software engineers we look at Jira and our open tickets. Figuring out our highest priorities. We encourage an open culture with questions and draw on the expertise of our colleagues. We ask questions early and many of them, if you can’t Google it within 5 minutes allow people to help! We work together as a team. Typical day would include a call with the client, conversation with your project manager, engage with testers, always planning for tasks ahead, explain any impediments in your workflow, and report any estimates that may be off. For the more senior software engineers they often get called upon to estimate costs for projects, help with hiring, establish lead development roles where a senior helps a junior, and provide personal mentorship. Essentially they aim to make great things happen and deliver good software.”

What would you tell someone considering to work at 4D?

“I think it is an awesome place to work which combines the flexibility that remote work offers with a very experienced and skillful team. This environment also encourages each person to learn something new all the time. We get to work with big and well known clients, as well as small startups alike. From huge corporate projects such as the one outlined above, to very specific, hard to figure out problems - helping unlocking a small startup in their journey towards their next level. We have seen projects running for over a year and projects that last a few weeks or even days.”

What is our culture like?

“What I enjoy at 4D pipeline, it is fun to do this job. It is not the dry type of software development work that people associate with development. We do interesting work with interesting clients where you see your results daily. There is often a joke in every call, relaxed and not stiff atmosphere, we have a great deal of characters on the team which makes it fun to work here.”

Any advice on how to create a great work environment?

“We never blame anyone for not knowing something…we live in a world where it is impossible for an individual engineer to know all the technologies out there. We encourage our team to ask each other, we make offers to our clients to make exploratory tasks so we can see which technologies might suit a project, this leads to better transparency with clients and a good culture of discovery.”

Whether you are well aware of your strengths and what makes your company unique or you want to understand your value proposition for future clients and talent it is always enlightening to ask questions.

If you ever need help in the 3D space and want to explore great digital products we can help make that your customers will love please feel free to reach out to us.

If you want to join our team of 55 remote workers we would love to hear from you.

Wishing you future success in all you want to achieve. 

 

Jed Fisher's insight:

Have you ever asked your company the question - How do we do what we do? We got curious at 4D Pipeline and sat down with one of our colleagues to see how we build hashtag#3D and hashtag#digital products for our clients like; Adidas, AUDI, Adobe, Target, IKEA, Honda, AMD, Intel, Dassault Systèmes, SolidWorks, TurboSquid, and Epic Games. In this article we pull back the curtain and take a look at the magic happening behind the scenes at 4D Pipelinewww.4Dpipeline.com/jobs 

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Amazon shifts Lumberyard to open source 3D game engine

Amazon shifts Lumberyard to open source 3D game engine | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
Amazon is contributing its Lumberyard game engine to open source, and it will be known as the Open 3D Engine.
Jed Fisher's insight:

I need to take a deep breath with this one... For long time readers you may recall was skeptical about this acquisition (Amazon buying Crytek Engine). It seems like a very rash buy. Amazon clearly had a reason for it - they knew eCommerce was going to keep getting richer. They watched Facebook pay big $$ to acquire 3D companies (Oculus, ...) and talk about VR and AR selling experiences. 

So they took a gamble and bought Crytek (known at the time as the "other" engine - the third viable 3D game engine). That said, Crytek was at the end of their road, they needed big $ to keep up with Epic/Unreal and Unity.

Today, time has changed. Epic's Unreal Engine is just *amazing*. Unity is still winning many indy developers. Maybe there is room for a third engine but it's a big expensive arms race.

There already are a few open source engines out there and of course webgl frameworks. So my feeling is that Lumberyard as "the" Open 3D Engine is really not needed.... 

Like Stingray (acquired by Autodesk), Lumberyard's 3D game engine to me seems to be destined to disappeared in time. **

** but i'd love to hear from you if you disagree! 

MoriCondo's comment, October 4, 2021 6:28 AM
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Shutterstock’s $74M TurboSquid acquisition could change the landscape of stock photography: Digital Photography Review

The purchase expands Shutterstock's offerings, positioning it as a marketplace for customers who are embracing computer-generated 2D images over traditional stock photography.
Jed Fisher's insight:

Massive congratulations to our Client and friends at TurboSquid!

I've known some of their key people since Siggraph 2000. They are some of the nicest and most genuine people you can meet. The acquisitions seems like a great match. Very happy for all parties. 

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New algorithm provides 50 times faster Deep Learning

New algorithm provides 50 times faster Deep Learning | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
Using algorithms derived from neuroscience, AI research company Numenta has achieved a dramatic performance improvement in deep learning networks, without any loss in accuracy.
Jed Fisher's insight:

I'll stop saying Deep Learning is off topic - it's now too much part of graphics and all fields!!

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How could COVID-19 change AR/VR's future?

How could COVID-19 change AR/VR's future? | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
COVID-19 is ravaging brick-and-motor retail, but what impact will it have on ecommerce, supply chains, and other aspects of the AR/VR industry?
Jed Fisher's insight:

Sorry readers for the lack of updates. Covid-19 is indeed keeping us busy!

This was an interesting read on how Covid-19 may affect AR/VR.

What I've been seeing is that in a way, we have all been going through the 7 stages of grief (https://www.healthline.com/health/stages-of-grief#7-stages ), not just in our personal lives but also in our business dealings.

First, we saw people denying anything would change; then tweaking (bargaining) with budgets, and so forth, all the way to what we are now seeing - acceptance.
Things have changed.

And they will not ever be the same.

From a business point of view this means that people are going to be:

- working from home more often

- traveling less

- buying online

 

Which means that many of the tools that we develop for our customers in manufacturing, automotive, apparel, and computer hardware are now more relevant than ever before. 

Many of the tools we developer are for digital design collaboration and or sales and marketing experiences. Many use AR and VR.

 

Regardless, this tech and these tools have gone from "something that we need" to something that "urgently NEED".

 

The entire Product Lifecycle is going to be forced to be more digital than ever before. This means designing and building products (cars, shoes, furniture) as well as selling and marketing them online.

 

If you scroll through my blog, you will see past articles about how we use AR for companies like BMW and MINI, and VR for companies like AUDI.

 

We are now even seeing product launches in VR - here is an example of an Asics shoe launched in VR: https://www.engadget.com/2020-03-31-asics-meta-sneakers-vr-launch.html?utm_campaign=homepage&utm_medium=internal&utm_source=dl&guccounter=1

 

I look forward to sharing more. 


Stay healthy.

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Onshape + PTC = What Happened?

Onshape + PTC = What Happened? | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
The original article was published on my Beyond PLM blog. Earlier this week, PTC announced about the acquisition of Onshape, the company started by a group of CAD industry veterans including former Solidworks founders and employees in 2012.
Jed Fisher's insight:

Excellent overview form Oleg Shilovitsky on the Onshape acquisition by PTC.

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Frankfurt IAA 2019 Automotive event

One of the best and biggest Automotive events

https://www.iaa.de/en/cars

Jed Fisher's insight:

Another incredibly successful #IAA2019 #Frankfurt - creating an amazing #automotive #AugmentedReality experience for BMW & MINI - personalized, fun, realtime 3D, #sellmore #AR #VR

#iOS + #Hololens

MoriCondo's comment, October 4, 2021 6:29 AM
nice
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VRX Webinar: How XR is Changing the Way Companies Design and Visualize Products

VRX Webinar: How XR is Changing the Way Companies Design and Visualize Products | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it

The rise of virtual and augmented / mixed reality technologies provides a natural next step for companies using design and visualization tools, but there is still some uncertainty on the best uses and methods. So, what do we know so far and what’s missing to fully integrate the technologies for the best ROI?

Jed Fisher's insight:

VRX is a great event that we often attend and speak at.

In this Panel, Tyler from 4D Pipeline speaks with industry experts on their opinion and experiences with these technologies.
Download and listen to the webinar 

MoriCondo's comment, October 4, 2021 6:29 AM
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Google Teaches AI to Predict Depth in Motion

Google Teaches AI to Predict Depth in Motion | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
Google AI has revealed its new deep learning-based approach that can estimate depth from videos where both camera and subject are in motion.
Jed Fisher's insight:

We seem to be getting more and more involved with AI/Machine-Learning for 3D tasks for our customers.
This is a really nice example that Google has done, tremendously useful, for many use cases - include augmented tv use cases.

rasmech's comment, June 22, 2021 12:18 AM
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All you need to know on Azure Kinect

All you need to know on Azure Kinect | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
All you need to know on Azure Kinect, the newest multiple purpose sensor announced by Microsoft and that is the heir of the Kinect v2
Jed Fisher's insight:

Super smart move by Microsoft. Microsoft shrinks Kinect to being a $399 cloud powered PC.

 More at:

https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/24/18237244/microsoft-azure-kinect-developer-kit-price-release-date-mwc-2019?fbclid=IwAR2c_NTlKXizj2CUfZx8qXPc2dun4FbSgGF4DaYQ_A0FszhMp7bZbV2lVE8

rasmech's comment, June 22, 2021 12:18 AM
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holoride – Turning vehicles into moving theme parks

Adding thrill to every ride Time is a precious thing, but most of it feels wasted when you are on the road. At that moment, time is bridged, passed, jus
Jed Fisher's insight:

Congrats to AUDI for taking an innovative step to fund such a startup. 

To be honest, when i first saw this - i thought it was a terrible idea(!) - i thought isn't (bad) VR bad enough (to cause motion sickness) - how terrible will it be if it is in a car.

However after watching the video, and see that they are making a VR experience to match the movement of the car - then in theory - if there is no delay (hard) - then this could actually reduce motion sickness in a car. Very Cool. I really love this concept.

Also won the most innovative award at CES. 

#Disclaimer, AUDI is a client of 4D Pipelines

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How 4D Pipeline is helping Audi - Audi Has Deployed 1,000 VR Showrooms in Dealerships Worldwide

How 4D Pipeline is helping Audi - Audi Has Deployed 1,000 VR Showrooms in Dealerships Worldwide | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
German car maker Audi was quick to see the potential of VR and has been experimenting since the early days of VR’s resurgence to see how the tech could be used to enhance the car buying experience. Having introduced VR showrooms into dealerships as early as 2016, the company now has some 1,000 VR deployments …
Jed Fisher's insight:

FINALLY - we can share some of what we are doing with AUDI - #Automation #VR #Unreal #raytracing #MakeItFasterBetterFunner!

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Building a Curious AI With Random Network Distillation

This episode was supported by insilico.com. "Anything outside life extension is a complete waste of time". See their papers: - Papers
Jed Fisher's insight:

Lovely example of smart(er) (curious) AI

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Going 3D -> glTF, USD, USDz -> Let's Break These File Formats Down

Going 3D -> glTF, USD, USDz -> Let's Break These File Formats Down | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it

There has been a huge increase in demand to market products online and the need to make commerce more digital. Images and videos are no longer enough. Consumers want to see, to feel, and to interact with the product they are looking to purchase. They want to pick it up and turn it around, they want to zoom in and see the detail. As such, digital sales and marketing are getting richer and more emotional with real-time interactive 3D graphics.

As an example, this could be seeing a pair of shoes in 3D, being able to zoom in and spin them around, customize them, and get a real sense of their style and fit. Or it may mean something even more immersive such as using Augmented Reality to see new furniture in your room at home, or even using Virtual Reality for a deeply immersive experience. In all these examples, the underlining 3D file format is an integral part of the formula for success. It is especially important for those manufactures who have hundreds or even thousands of products that they need to publish and sell.

The need is greater than ever. People spend more time at home but still need to buy things. Customer-at-home shopping means needs have changed so products that were once bought in person now need to be represented well online - whether it be a car, clothing, or furniture. 

With the circumstances we are in, your customers are wanting to interact with your products from home so you need the best visual representation of the item. The good news is the technology is there and has even picked up in the last year and a half.

Now before you decide to push online with interactive 3D models of your products, there are some challenges you should be aware of. You want to make sure the visual output is high quality, your industry is getting behind it, and you have carefully considered which format you want to choose for your 3D files. Essentially, 3D is great only if it can be delivered quickly and at a high enough quality (for the use-case).

Let’s start with breaking down the 3 main file formats that you can choose from for your 3D files: USD, USDz and glTF. Each of these formats is relatively new and is currently receiving a lot of attention.

USD (Universal Screen Description) – interchange format that can be used for file editing in Digital Content Creation Tools such as Maya. For example Apple/Pixar uses this.

USDz – a subset of USD, used by Apple and supported in iOS AR applications (a zip file with USD and image files).

glTF – transmission format for 3D assets that is well suited to the web and mobile devices by removing data that is not important for the efficient display of assets.

Keep in mind, these file types are not in the exact same space. glTF is predominantly web and real-time, whereas USD is a medium meant for bigger, more complex pipelines, involving groups of people that tend to use offline rendering.

Let’s dive deeper into the different file formats:

USD was designed by Pixar Animation Studios (Pixar). Film studios tend to use this format because it allows for non-destructive layering of content. Animators, shot-blocking, set dressing and look dev can all work on the same "file." It's built to let people collaborate. They needed one uniform format that everyone can work on in one place as it was a mess moving from application to application, so this solves a huge problem. All groups on a project, even different departments can work on layers within the same file without tripping over each other.

Pros USD:

1.       Great to use with digital content creation tools like Adobe Dimension/Substance , Maya, Houdini, UE4, Blender

2.       Supports a rich and wide set of features such as 3D models, scene hierarchy, materials, lighting, animations, bones, skinning, and blend shapes.

3.       Supported by other applications to accurately and easily move data from your 3D editor to another tool..

4.       Supported features are very modern.

5.       USD has a notion of variant management, for example to see shoes in different colors or geometric structure.

6.       Great for pipelines between applications.

7.       Massively complex materials can be run offline, not so much run offline. 

8.       When creating a feature film or animations, you can coordinate animators, technical directors, modelers, artists.

Cons USD and USDz:

1.       USDz: If you are publishing an AR experience for Android and iOS, it forces artists to worry about 2 file formats because of iOS’s support for USDz. The Artist has to create 2 file formats to run on Apple (Safari) and Android (Chrome). Web browser AR needs two assets as well.

2.       USD is not suitable for online retail as it is not geared for it.

3.       It is not going to bring you to the web yet.

glTF is great for web-based applications as physically based rendering and computation restrictions are higher on the web for browsers on desktop and mobile. For example, looking at an Ikea couch online, it is simple and easy to render in glTF. There are less computations. The Khronos Group, who defines how materials of your product look online, have upped their game in the last years and now provide sheen properties for fabric, clear coats for a car, etc. Recently, their transmission refraction volume rendering – how light passes through glass, and certain objects like crystal and the absorption of light by the object – are becoming life-like.

Pros glTF:

1.       Great for web based.

2.       Ideal for web, mobile, desktop. Best format the industry has created.

3.       Much simpler material models.

4.       Khronos is driving game engines to conform to a set of Standards.They have been working on asset preparation guidelines to help designers to get a better output. WebGL rendering engines are being held to Khronos Standards. This is an attempt to guarantee a minimum viewing experience for a well-made glTF asset.

5.       Made best for low poly. For example, a car from Honda can display fewer triangles of the car for faster loading.

Cons glTF:

1. Not easy to move data from your 3D editor to another tool. To help with this, some of the DCC packages like Max and Maya have glTF exporter plugins. Blender, in our opinion, has the best one

2. Does not have a sophisticated material system. Very simple texture maps and constant values only.

We sat down with our colleague Jason Coleman to get his take on what we have been working on at 4D Pipeline to help our clients use these two formats.

“We worked with Saddington Baynes to build an online car configurator for Honda. This allows Honda customers to design a car online. The original CAD file had 300 million triangles (after tessellation) for the car, far too big for displaying in a WebGL viewer. We processed, optimized, and broke it down to a ~300 thousand triangle glTF file to show up in a web browser. This then allows the customer to change the seating colors, accessories, wheels, trim, change the paint job etc. Making the car to be as realistic as possible and load quickly via web. Ultimately, making the car look great and having the customer engaged as soon as possible. Creating customer engagement, delight and fun will lead to the purchase. Anything that inhibits this process has to be removed. But not at the cost of quality.”

Another example was provided by Jason using the glTF file format for the collaboration between Ikea and Geomagical Labs (both customers of 4D Pipeline).

“Ikea utilizes Geomagical Labs technology to take a photograph of your room. Ideally taking 10 photographs from slightly different points of view. AI will then turn the photo into a 3D scene. Then the customer can take Ikea furniture and drag and drop it into the room where they want it. At 4D Pipeline, in order to accomplish this, we built an optimization system to process all their 3D files into low poly glTF files to come into the system fast and design their rooms. Our system figures out the optimal geometry and material package to yield a good visual experience while decreasing the size of the glTF file. When the customer drops an item in it will react with the scene and lighting. We also made them a glTF viewer and we are training their AI to recognize the data for machine learning.”  

We asked Jason how the interior design industry is adapting to put design technology more into the hands of customers.

“Let’s say you go into a house with an interior designer or to do a renovation, the experience could be virtual to see the vision come to life. The new windows could show with light coming in, you can see your full renovation while making design decisions fully informed.”

Jason also explained how this technology would work.

“There are currently two ways of thinking about capturing 3D – lidar or multi-view camera based. Multi-view camera based is what Geomagical does. I believe the next frontier is making it easier to capture a room by the customer. iPads already have lidar built in. The average person can take a photograph of their room and reduce the friction of needing design software or wondering how it will turn out. With Geomagical, we can now take photographs from different points of view, wait 10 minutes, and start playing with the room! And it works in web browsers and on iOS and Android (through Apps).”

We asked Jason about the future of online retailers and eTailing utilizing 3D.

 “The goal is making objects more realistic and utilizing the best design paradigm – web design needs to focus more on the customer 3D interaction. At 4D, we strive in helping our customers to modernize their pipelines, create better website experiences, making experiences more tangible, bypassing being in the shop, recreate it, showcasing great materials, and great lighting. All for their end customers to have a great interaction with the product in 3D and ultimately buy into it.”

 Jason also shared advice on where a company should go from here.

“Measuring benefits and sales uptick is key in taking a product 3D and online. You want to measure the conversion rate of the purchases your customer’s make. We do this at 4D Pipeline by using analytics to see how long they are looking at the object, Telemetry (measurements various states of the system – dwell time) and metrics. Our goal is to mitigate the risk of getting good-looking assets in front of customers in a timely fashion and enabling them to decide if the product or purchase is good for them. This is an engineering problem that needs artists to help solve it. Everything from lighting, materials, interaction experience all work together to make these beautiful objects come to life on the screen.”

When choosing to bring your product online and in 3D with hopes of captivating your customer’s imagination and facilitating their purchase, it is important to start with the “why” and then choose the right file format with your technology team for your needs. If you want any guidance on which format to choose or how to bring your product into 3D and online, please reach out to us at 4D Pipeline. With our customers including amazing brands like; Adidas, AUDI, Epic Games, Target, IKEA, Adobe, AMD, Intel, Dassault Systèmes, SolidWorks, Saddington Baynes, TurboSquid, we are happy to help you navigate this 3D world.

 

Jed Fisher's insight:

Article written by 4D Pipeline.

There has been a huge increase in demand to market products online and the need to make commerce more digital. Images and videos are no longer enough. Consumers want to see, to feel, and to interact with the product they are looking to purchase. They want to pick it up and turn it around, they want to zoom in and see the detail. In this article we break down the 3 main file formats that you can choose from for your 3D files: USD, USDz and glTF and how 4D Pipeline has used then to build epic digital products with our clients. 

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Digital Humans + Motion Capture + Apparel = Fortnite Fashion!

Digital Humans + Motion Capture + Apparel = Fortnite Fashion! | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it

Epic Games, a developer of cutting-edge games and the Unreal Engine technology as well as Fortnite. High quality digital content creation has traditionally been a time-consuming and sometimes arduous process. Character modelling, in particular, requires a specialised skillset that has been difficult to automate away. MetaHuman Creator, is a new browser-based application that enables game developers and creators of real-time 3D content to reduce the time it takes to build digital humans; from weeks or months to less than an hour, while maintaining the highest level of quality.

 

"Up until now one of the most arduous tasks in 3D content creation has been constructing truly convincing digital humans. Even the most experienced artists require significant amounts of time, effort, and equipment, just for one character. After decades of research and development, and thanks to bringing companies like 3Lateral, Cubic Motion, and Quixel into the Epic family, that barrier is being erased through Unreal Engine, and we're thrilled to introduce MetaHuman Creator.” - Vladimir Mastilovic, VP, Digital Humans Technology at Epic Games".

Jed Fisher's insight:

Disclosure: Epic Games, Xsens, Adidas, and Target are all customers of 4D Pipeline. This post is entirely my own opinion and not written on their behalf or intended to express their views. Nor is it containing any confidential information. 

 

XSens and Epic are both industry leaders in their respective fields; XSens, for motion capture; Epic for enabling the creation of jaw-dropping visuals from the Unreal Engine and of course for Fortnite! Each of them has created a toolset that enables customers to do more faster than ever before possible. Both tools stand on their own but, for XSens, access to the MetaHuman toolset takes the offering to a whole new level. Motion capture can now be applied to stunningly realistic digital humans. A perfect match.

 

I see Epic's MetaHuman and Xsens motion capture as a catalyst for Apparel (clothing and footwear). Here we work with customers like Adidas, Target, and others. I feel that consumers (in a hopefully soon - post Covid world) are still looking to buy products online but online images are no longer cutting it. Images on websites have very little emotional impact. People want to see and "feel" the latest Adidas gear on realistic humans in 3D and VR. 

 

The missing ingredient is now only to bring in the digital clothing from 3D Fashion Design Packages like Browzwear and MarvelousDesigner (Clo3D) and then add realtime physics. Thankfully Epic has been improving their clothing physics with their Chaos engine.

 

So looking across all three silos (Browzwear/MarvelousDesigner, Xsens, and MetaHuman) we see a huge opportunity for taking the best facets of all three to create stunning photoreal virtual fashion experiences. Imagine the scenario where performers from all around the world could show off the latest designs on a virtual stage (not just 2D screens but in 3D VR, experiencing the view from all angles). Human performers could be located within the same studio or distributed around the world. Motion capture data could be streamed from MVN Animate instances to a central UE console for mixing, simulation (for cloth) and rendering. Or take it another small step further, and why not see your favorite Adidas threads on your own Fortnite avatar! 

 

Thanks for reading,
Jed @4Dpipeline

3D is here. 4D Pipeline will help you do more with it.  www.4Dpipeline.com

 

#unrealengine #virtualproduction #motioncapture #mocap #epicgames #digitalhumans #metahumans #3danimations #nvidiartx #adidas #apparel #footwear #digital #VR #3D 

 

Links:

- MetaHuman https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/digital-humans 

- MetaHuman trailer  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tjkSpoa7V8&t=1s 

- Xsens www.xsens.com 

- Hats off to Feeding_Wolves with her great instructional on mixing Xsens with Metahumans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56Efrjx465o   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMkjxlDGq30aVyYXL3h5HbQ 

- Chaos Physics https://www.pcgamesn.com/gaming-hardware/epic-unreal-engine-4-chaos-destruction

 

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Announcing the Objectron Dataset

Announcing the Objectron Dataset | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
Posted by Adel Ahmadyan and Liangkai Zhang, Software Engineers, Google Research The state of the art in machine learning (ML) ha
Jed Fisher's insight:

Soon everything around us we will be able to identify using AI/DeepLearning. We've been getting better and better at doing this with photos but with 3D it is harder but we also have more information to make the decision (easier). Nvidia and Google seem to be leading this effort.

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4D Pipeline, Saddington Baynes, and Honda - a fast, web, realtime 3D Car Configurator, with interior and exterior.

4D Pipeline, Saddington Baynes, and Honda - a fast, web, realtime 3D Car Configurator, with interior and exterior. | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it

The Honda e is the company’s first all-electric vehicle, and we were proud to be part of the launch of this distinctively designed car that is chock full of new technology.

Jed Fisher's insight:

Honor and a pleasure to work with our partners Saddington Baynes and customer Honda. Big Congrats to Saddington to get this launched successfully! It was a wonderful opportunity to work with them and their outstanding team. 

Our role was to help build the webgl engine, a fast, web, realtime 3D Car Configurator, with interior and exterior. Runs on all devices and browsers. UK models and EU models, with config options and variants.

Platform: All browsers and devices (including mobile).

 

Props and Congrats again to Saddington Baynes and Honda for this fantastic release!!

 

https://www.saddingtonbaynes.com/work/honda-e

https://www.honda.se/cars/new/honda-e/overview.html#configurator/hub

 

Jed Fisher's comment, July 2, 2021 7:39 AM
Add to this - Motion wrapping and full body IK - https://forums.unrealengine.com/t/inside-unreal-motion-warping-and-full-body-ik/236675
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Machine Learning for Everyone :: In simple words. With real-world examples. vas3k.com

Machine Learning for Everyone :: In simple words. With real-world examples. vas3k.com | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it

In simple words. With real-world examples. 

Jed Fisher's insight:

Firstly everyone, sorry for the lack of updates recently. I will endeavour to get back to more regular ones!

Here is one of my favorite articles to mention. I find there is a lot of confusion on AI and all things related, in particular the algorithms and what works best when. This is an outstanding simple and clear reference

 

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Our (4D Pipeline's) work with AUDI and the building of their automated process 

Our (4D Pipeline's) work with AUDI and the building of their automated process  | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it

Find out how Audi is increasing its return on investment by repurposing real-time assets from its digital showroom.

 

Audi has collaborated with 4D Pipeline to create an automated process on top of that, which converts the marketing asset into Unreal Engine for use in their dealer configurator. The resulting time savings have been phenomenal, reports Thomas Zuchtriegel, Head of AR/VR Data, Process & Technology at Audi: “The conversion now takes minutes instead of months,” he says. Just 17 minutes, in fact, without any human intervention.

 

What this effectively means is that whenever their vehicle data changes—for example, if there are new floors mats, or the headlights get a facelift—because the process is continually converting the data behind the scenes, the Unreal Engine file gets updated automatically, at no additional cost. The result is that the dealer configurator is able to show the latest version of the vehicle almost immediately.

Jed Fisher's insight:

Lovely writeup about our (and others) work with AUDI, highly recommended reading.

Ping me if you would like to meetup the week of October 14th in Munich for Epic Build event or the exciting AWE (Augmented World Expo Europe).

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AWE Europe - October 17/18 Munich

AWE returns to Europe for the fourth year 17-18 October in Munich, Germany. Don’t miss the world’s leading spatial computing (AR/VR/MR) event series, what Forbes calls “the most essential AR+VR conference and expo,” in a unique market.

Jed Fisher's insight:

One of my favorite events. Looking forward to meeting you there. Ill be blogging about the event and making a highlights writeup. 

Ping me to meetup at the event!

rasmech's comment, June 22, 2021 12:18 AM
good
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The most advanced AR system for GIS - vGIS Utilities

Brief video showcasing a few features of vGIS Utilities (http://www.vgis.io/). vGIS Utilities is the most advanced augmented reality solution for Esri GIS
Jed Fisher's insight:

Really nice to finally see something like this. I worked on something very similar but it was more on the AEC side. Always made a lot of sense to integrate with the GIS software. Good move by ESRI/VGIS.

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Khronos Establishes Exploratory Group for 3D Commerce Standards and Guidelines | Business Wire

Khronos Establishes Exploratory Group for 3D Commerce Standards and Guidelines | Business Wire | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
The Khronos 3D Commerce Exploratory Group looks at standards and guidelines for the production and distribution of real-time 3D products.
Jed Fisher's insight:

This is a great initiative that 4D Pipeline and many of our customers are part of (Dassault Systems, Microsoft, Unity, IKEA, and others).

From: Kronos - 

With the growth and adoption of mobile, Web and immersive platforms, 3D is poised to grow as a new shopping medium that product manufacturers, retailers, marketing and advertising platforms use to showcase virtual products for end-users to better understand a product online prior to purchasing, and to build brand loyalty after purchase.

Retailers have been experimenting with 3D product representations on the Web, and in Virtual and Augmented Reality (together termed ‘XR’) applications, to enable users to view and interact with products and explore virtual showrooms. The results have been exciting, but thus far not actionable in a scalable, repeatable way. Key players in the industry are now exploring how to scale production and achieve broad distribution for interactive 3D content to represent their products virtually. This includes streamlining processes for creating real-time 3D representations of products, so they can be experienced realistically and consistently across all platforms and devices.

This initiative would aim to create standard specifications and guidelines to help align retailers and manufacturers seeking to create virtual 3D products, technology providers building tools to produce 3D content, and technology platforms seeking to distribute and display virtual products with optimized workflows throughout the industry to minimize production and distribution costs.

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Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 is finally here and it's awesome!

Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 is finally here and it's awesome! | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
Compared to the HoloLens we first saw demonstrated four years ago, the second version is better in nearly every important way. It’s more comfortable, has a much larger field of view, and it’s better able to detect real physical objects in the room. It features new components like the Azure Kinect sensor, an ARM processor, eye-tracking sensors, and an entirely different display system.
Jed Fisher's insight:

Hololens has remained one of the most powerful enterprise products for the enterprise. We've (4D Pipeline) implemented multiple Hololens projects for Automotive, Apparel, Footwear, and Aerospace customers. 

Hololens2 addresses the weaker points of Hololens1. Specifically Field Of View (FOV) and hand/gesture interaction. From what i've seen Hololens is ahead of Magic Leap at the moment in multiple areas. Will be interesting to see what Apple eventual does in this space and how each of these compete. 

Unlike Magic Leap, Microsoft is smartly targeting enterprises. Use cases like collaborative training and support are great for factory and service and support use cases but we've also used Hololens for Marketing events (seeing roof racks and related items on a car for example) and other design use cases.

Super excited to see this released finally. 
Please contact me to find out how Hololens2 can help your company today. jed (at) 4Dpipeline (dot) com

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Adobe acquires Allegorithmic, makers of the Substance texture tools –

Adobe acquires Allegorithmic, makers of the Substance texture tools – | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
Adobe today announced that it has acquired Allegorithmic, the French company behind the Substance tools for creating textures that are widely used by AAA game creators, as well as visual effects artists, animators and designers. Over time, Adobe will bring many of Allegorithmic’s technologies…
Jed Fisher's insight:

Excellent acquisition by Adobe.  A company and play that totally fits them.

Adobe has always wanted a 3D photoshop and in many ways this is what Substance is (in some ways). Artists and Designers (Adobe's target market) love Substance. Good move - together with Dimensions this is a good fit for Adobe. 


#disclaimer - Allegorithmic is a customer of 4D Pipelines.

(And i've also previous done a lot of work with Adobe).

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// // December 6-7, 2018 // San Francisco, USA

//  // December 6-7, 2018 // San Francisco, USA | 4D Pipeline Visualizing Reality Blog - trends & breaking news in 3D Visualization, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and eXtended Reality. | Scoop.it
VRX - The world’s leading senior level VR industry event: Where virtual reality business gets done
Jed Fisher's insight:

See you at VRX!

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