As virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR) hardware evolves, many developers are scrambling to create content that matches the evolving landscape.
To support the emerging demands of Extended Reality (XR), developers are using increasingly accessible toolkits to develop AR/VR/MR apps and content. Companies like Epic Games and Autodesk are working to meet this demand.
A vital tool in the XR’s developer belt is a real-time 3D (RT3D) engine. The RT3D development engines provide a suite that allows creators to access powerful content creation tools generally intended for video game development.
The popular and long standing RT3D platform is Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) from Epic Games, initially a game development service. Despite the demand for high-quality XR apps caused by increased hardware sales, many developers are turning to UE5 to create immersive experiences.
With the popularity of the XR gaming market, many enterprise-grade RT3D solution providers are reaping the benefits of funded technology innovation and driving the gaming market. Furthermore, some RT3D engine companies provide developers with funding opportunities to further XR content creation.
On the other hand, Autodesk is a service for creating computer-aided designs (CAD) for clients in vertical markets, including entertainment, manufacturing, and industry.
The service provides end users such as architects, engineers, and structural designers with a hub for creating a digital version of real-world products and buildings. The two companies have frequently partnered to provide enterprise customers with high quality, customizable RT3D data.
Saving $11 million for volumetric video growth
For example, in early November, Epic Games and Autodesk helped the Volumetric video company Arcturus In raising nearly $11 million. Cloudtree Ventures led the funding round, enabling Arcturus to expand its range of immersive video editing and streaming tools.
Kamal Mistry, CEO of Arcturusadded,
“We see translating real human performance as a building block in spatial experiences, including XR and the metaverse. Our goal is to give everyone from multinational brands to independent creators the tools they need to create authentic digital human representations in the meta-image of their choice.”
Mistry also explained that from the second quarter to the third quarter of this year, Arcturus saw a 270 percent increase in adoption of its flagship HoloSuite product.
Holosuite is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) post-production tool for editing, compressing, and streaming volumetric video. SaaS applies across various industries and enables Unreal Engine and Autodesk developers to import content captured via volumetric video technology or 3D recording of a subject or space. The service also has Unity support.
Holosuite provides UE5 and AutoDesk creators with deep developer tools for importing 3D captured avatars with full motion into their immersive environments.
Diana Colella, Senior Vice President, Autodesk Media & Entertainmentadded,
“We are excited to help Arcturus expand the capabilities of its existing tools. By accelerating innovation, we can help users quickly maximize the potential of using 3D video for animation in their work, delivering the engaging content that the media and entertainment industry demands.”
The $11 million in financing enables Arcturus to enhance interoperability between HoloSuite and Autodesk. The companies are trying to create a one-stop-shop that would allow users to quickly populate an Autodesk-designed environment with a virtual animated avatar.
In addition, the funding enables Epic Games to leverage Arcturus’ solution to increase volumetric video opportunities on UE5. Holosuite integration means UE5 developers can populate immersive environments with high-quality avatars shot at large sizes. Arcturus will also integrate additional tools into the UE5 suite in the future.
Matching customer demand
According to Arcturus, the volumetric video market will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 30 percent over the next five years.
Arcturus believes this growth is due to the demand for high-quality AR content, Metaverse experiences, and live 360-degree broadcasts. Moreover, the increased demand for the XR increases the overwhelming demand for content.
For example, existing Metaverse systems require in-depth content to engage users, such as immersive environments, avatars, and experiences. Epic Games and other avalanche companies have the resources and funding opportunities available to drive the talent pool of XR developers.
Arcturus’ $11 million in cash and Epic Games Autodesk integration will make it easier for content creators to compress, edit and stream volumetric video, according to Alasdair Cole, Chief Technology Officer, Special Projects, Epic Games.
“We have seen firsthand how Arcturus tools open the door to a broader use of volumetric video and are proud of our partnership with Arcturus to continue to accelerate the evolution of the technology.”
In addition, the financing allows Arcturus to grow its collaborative structure, including increasing staff in the engineering, sales and research departments.
Autodesk and Epic Games are collaborating on Rivit integration
In September, Autodesk and Epic Games entered into scope Strategic cooperation To accelerate industrial RT3D solutions with an initial focus on Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC).
The collaboration looks to improve interoperability and improve integrated third-party services for Autodesk Revit – an application for the design and delivery of construction and infrastructure projects.
Autodesk is working towards its open platform goals by integrating Epic Games’ Twinmotion app into its Revit suite. Twinmotion will allow Autodesk users to take advantage of RT3D rendering and storytelling tools to improve environment design. For example, Revit users can now use the integrated UE5 tools to enhance the immersive environment with options for the number of avatars, the weather, and the time of day.
Autodesk Revit users can access Twinmotion directly from the application, allowing developers to quickly visualize scenarios.
Mark Beatty, Vice President of Epic Games and Unreal Engine Ecosystemsays the Autodesk Revit and Twinmotion collaboration will help deliver a seamless RT3D design experience for industry professionals.
Betty also added:
We share a common goal with Autodesk, giving customers more time to be innovative. By leveraging Epic’s ecosystem of real-time 3D tools and libraries, users can spend more time bringing their designs to life and less time dealing with complex data and artwork workflows.
A collaborative history between Epic Games and Autodesk
Moreover, Autodesk and Epic Games debuted in Unreal direct link Plugin 2021. The tool allows RT3D developers to stream animation data from Maya to UE5. Autodesk updated the plugin in September to improve and efficiency UE5 and Maya across its RT3D production pipelines.
The two companies first became partners in 2008 when Autodesk joined Epic Games’ Integrated Partner Program. The program marked the first time that Autodesk integrated its CAD creation service into the Unreal Engine suite.
Since its initial integration, the team has continuously worked to improve interoperability and optimization. Now, companies are helping shape the XR industry. Autodesk and Epic Games are members of the Metaverse Standards Forum, which aims to standardize open platforms and interoperability.
The forum seeks to organize an open XR community that delivers better value to customers participating in immersive services.