Our Seattle Forecast: Cloudy, with a 100% Chance of Robotics Innovation

Rain, Mount Rainier and, now, robots. The Seattle landscape is getting another feature with the opening of our AI Robotics Research Lab. Leading the facility is Dieter Fox, senior director of robotics research at NVIDIA and professor at the University of Washington Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. “We wanted a location Read article >

The post Our Seattle Forecast: Cloudy, with a 100% Chance of Robotics Innovation appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.

This Week on Xbox: January 11, 2019

We know you’re busy and might miss out on all the exciting things we’re talking about on Xbox Wire every week. If you’ve got a few minutes, we can help remedy that. We’ve pared down the past week’s news into one easy-to-digest article for all things Xbox! Or, if you’d rather watch than read, you can feast your eyes on our weekly video show above. Be sure to come back every Friday to find out what’s happening This Week on Xbox! Black Desert Arrives on Xbox One March 4, Pre-order Today In Black Desert we want our players to make…

The Drop: New PlayStation Games for January 15, 2019

Strap in, pilots! The newest entry in the legendary Ace Combat series is ready for takeoff. Grab your helmet and hop into the cockpit of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, arriving next week.

Ace Combat 7 continues the storied flight simulation series with the hardcore aerial combat fans have grown to love. The power of PS VR puts players behind the flight stick in a separate mode created from the ground up for virtual reality. Keep your head on a swivel for incoming bogeys as you soar through the clouds and protect the skies of Strangereal.

Read on for the full list of new PlayStation games dropping next week.

Optim leverages the power of Datasmith to take the pain out of data-prep

As a company that has been using Unreal Engine to create AR, VR, and mobile experiences for a wide variety of clients for over four years, Theia Interactive knows a thing or two about data import and preparation.

“We’ve struggled through all the basic optimization challenges that we know our fellow enterprise customers share.” says CTO and Co-founder Stephen Phillips. “Bringing in huge datasets, getting rid of the junk, merging objects that don’t need to be exploded, instancing repeated meshes, creating LODs for high-poly assets, replacing materials, reorganizing a scene—the list goes on.”

With the advent of Unreal Studio and Datasmith in March 2018, the gap between CAD packages and Unreal Engine was effectively bridged, but there remains a significant amount of work to get architectural and engineering data to be as performant and clean as possible. Fortunately, much of that work is repeatable, lending itself to automation. 

“In the last year, Epic has really opened up the potential of the editor by making it 100% scriptable in Python,” say Phillips. “That means that people like us can start to write simple code to automate things like an import process, or common tasks like generating and deleting UVs.” 

The technical crew at Theia began compiling the company’s most common optimization workflows into repeatable scripts. But in order to make them more accessible to the artists and generalists that made up most of their team members, they decided to create a graphical interface that made it easy to assemble these automated tasks based on rules and parameters for any new project—with no coding required. 

“It very soon became clear that this was a product we could develop and license to other teams like ours” says Phillips. “And Optim was born. The number of hours saved has already stacked up internally, and we know it will be a game-changer for so many customers.” 
 

Optim uses Datasmith’s 20+ format support to get high-fidelity data out of those core applications. Epic has focused their technical skills on accurately bringing over metadata, converting materials to Unreal Engine, and dealing with a wide range of data-prep issues. Optim builds on that base to simplify the optimization process. 

With Optim, you can analyze your Datasmith and CAD files before you import them into Unreal Engine, saving you from having to load the full, heavy level and then hunt through bloated lists of content or complicated 3D scenes for items that require optimizations or edits. You can see the actor list, sort by triangle counts and other metadata, and set up optimization rules based on all these factors.

Some examples of things that you could automate with Optim are:

  • Skip the import of any meshes with names containing a certain string
  • Create LODs for any mesh larger than a given number of triangles
  • Instance any mesh with a particular name
  • Merge everything with a particular property under a single group
  • Replace all materials by name with existing materials from the Content Browser

“Optim demonstrates what anyone can do with the building blocks we’ve created with Datasmith and our work integrating Python in Unreal Engine,” says Ken Pimentel, Sr. Product Manager at Epic Games. “Theia has been quick to take advantage of these new capabilities in order to create highly simplified interfaces to manage a process. We have built this incredible platform and now we’re seeing the first fruit of how third-parties are taking advantage of it.”

Because Optim is developed in lock-step with Unreal Studio, it can immediately take advantage of new features as they are released. “When Epic solves hard problems like defeaturing and jacketing for complicated CAD models, or supporting new file formats, we are there to make a useful GUI and give you powerful controls for how to apply those optimizations and features to your whole project.” says Phillips. “We’re leveraging the power of Python and Unreal’s growing set of capabilities to automate existing workflows and save teams a lot of headaches in terms of time and skill wasted.” 

Theia intends to start selling Optim as a subscription in early 2019. But for those who can’t wait to get their hands on it, they’re currently accepting applications for alpha testers at theia.io/optim

If you’re not already enjoying the advantages of Unreal Studio’s connected workflows and the open platform on which its built, join the free beta today.

RESIDENT EVIL 2 1-Shot Demo Is Now Available For Xbox One

Note: this demo is available until 1/31/2019. Resident Evil 2 is also available for pre-order and has two editions to choose from:   NOTE: You may pre-download this game, but it will not be playable until the release date/time: 01/24/2019 – 9:00 PM (check the product page for release date/time in your region). Product Info: […]

Rock Band DLC Bundles Now Available on Xbox One

Rock Band 4 is a celebration of music and rock and roll culture. The game comes with a top-notch selection of songs you can play, and with the Rivals expansion, you get access to an additional 44 free songs. But for the true music gaming aficionados out there, the real magic of Rock Band comes from the unparalleled DLC catalog; a collection of over 2,000 songs from across the world of music – from the heaviest of metal to top forty hits. Now, for the first time, players can get their hands on new music through 4 special bundles, each…

This Week On Xbox: January 11, 2019

Here we go…the latest episode of This Week On Xbox. Remember, you can watch This Week On Xbox from the Community section of the Xbox One dashboard in Canada, the UK and the US or watch it on the Xbox YouTube channel (This Week on Xbox Playlist). Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter and let me know what […]

New Preview Delta 1902 Build – 1/11/2019

Happy New Year, Xbox Insiders! Starting at 2:00 p.m. PST today, members of the Xbox One Preview Delta will begin receiving a new 1902 Xbox One system update (1902.190107-1920). Read on for more about the fixes and known issues in the latest 1902 system update. Fixes:   Audio: Reliability fixes to Cortana. Unplugging a headset during video playback will no longer audio loss before video playback freezes. Mouse We have improved the responsiveness of mouse performance to reduce lag. My Games and Apps Performance fixes for various FastStart titles to improve the installation experience. Fixes to various games (e.g. Resident…

New Preview Alpha 1902 Build – 1/11/2019

Happy New Year, Xbox Insiders! Starting at 2:00 p.m. PST today, members of the Xbox One Preview Alpha Ring will begin receiving a new 1902 Xbox One system update (1902.190108-1920). Read on for more about the fixes and known issues in the latest 1902 system update.   Fixes:   Mouse Framework changes to the mouse feature set for future work. My Games and Apps Performance fixes for various FastStart titles to improve the installation experience.  System Performance Fixes to improve the stability of Home.    Known Issues:   Profile Color Sometimes users may encounter the incorrect Profile color when powering…