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Bringing Autodesk VRED data into real-time customer experiences

November 13, 2018 in Industry | 4 min. read
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Autodesk and Unity are collaborating to provide new levels of interoperability, including the ability to quickly import high fidelity models from Autodesk VRED to Unity.

Today we announced a major collaboration with Autodesk, the leader in 3D manufacturing; architecture, engineering and construction and media and entertainment design. We’re working closely with Autodesk to bring VRED data into Unity, unlocking one of the world’s most advanced design visualization solutions for use in real-time experiences. We unveiled one of the key customer benefits from this collaboration at Autodesk University (AU) in Las Vegas today, demonstrating a concept car in VRED, imported into Unity with the potential to create real-time experiences for training, sales and marketing, and more.

From hours to minutes

The transportation industry is constantly seeking new efficiencies and new capabilities, to streamline their workflow. VRED has been widely adopted for design visualization in the automotive industry due to its versatility and excellent visual quality. The ability to bring data from VRED into Unity to create real-time experiences fits perfectly into this search because it provides both efficiency and new opportunities.

Until now, customers bringing VRED data into Unity have used FBX as an intermediary format – this workflow preserves geometry, but can then be followed by hours of work for each project to rebuild materials, lighting, and animations to prepare the model for reuse. Frequent revisions to each model, compounded across multiple development programs, create a high workload and a barrier to reuse. The new workflow demonstrated at AU cuts the time needed from hours per iteration to just minutes.

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Instead of hours of manual work, VRED data can be brought into Unity in minutes
Model courtesy of Genesis Design GmbH

A world of real-time potential

Once the VRED model is processed, it can be used for any of the dozens of purposes automotive and transportation customers use Unity for today. Whether the model is needed to create real-time web content, a dealer VR configurator, or a mobile AR app for vehicle owners, VRED data provides the perfect base to quickly build and deliver these experiences in Unity.

Unity supports more than 25 platforms, so the experiences can be consumed by professionals and consumers on devices including high-end workstations, virtual and mixed reality Head Mounted Displays, and mobile devices, in addition to numerous gaming-oriented platforms. Really, the potential is limited only by your imagination and skills. We can’t help on the imagination front, but we can help with skills, through a variety of Unity training programs as well as the large and growing worldwide network of Unity developers.

AVIERA Concept Car in VRED (top) and Unity (bottom)
Model courtesy of Genesis Design GmbH

VRED to Unity at lightning speed

In order to bring this solution to market, Unity has partnered with PiXYZ to enable a powerful and flexible workflow. There are many potential downstream uses of VRED data, and many of them involve mobile devices with limited processing power. Bringing PiXYZ into the solution enables the use of some very useful algorithms, including decimation, removal of occluded geometry, and more. With PiXYZ, the VRED model can be tailored to fit the target use case, whether that is a dealership VR configurator or a mobile AR app.

The process begins with a plugin that creates a native PiXYZ file which can be imported directly into Unity using the PiXYZ Plugin for Unity, or if more processing is needed, the file can be processed through PiXYZ STUDIO using the more than 120 algorithms available in that application. Python scripting in PiXYZ STUDIO provides automation capabilities to create an efficient and repeatable process for the reuse of VRED models.

This is just what I need, how long must I wait?

Today you can import CAD data, develop interactive, real-time experiences, and publish to multiple platforms with PiXYZ tools in the Unity Industry Bundle. We expect to provide a fully featured solution to convert VRED data into Unity before the middle of 2019.

This direct interoperability we are building between VRED and Unity will make the workflow even faster and more seamless. We showed a proof of concept that supports conversion of geometry, UVs, animations, and materials. Behind the scenes, we’re hard at work to deliver a market-ready solution with even more functionality and ease of use. Over the next few weeks, look for more updates on our development status and opportunities to test this new workflow for yourself.

Learn more

Please share your wishes and ideas in the comments section below. We listen closely to your feedback and take every serious idea seriously. Check out this site for more information or to get the right PiXYZ application for you.


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November 13, 2018 in Industry | 4 min. read

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