In General XR News
August 9, 2022 – NVIDIA has today announced a new range of developer frameworks, tools, apps and plugins for NVIDIA Omniverse, the company’s platform for building and connecting metaverse worlds based on Universal Scene Description (USD).
The expansion of Omniverse includes several AI-powered tools and features that deliver artists, developers, and engineers the power to build virtual worlds and content easier than ever, and more seamlessly connect to today’s leading 3D applications including PTC Creo, SideFX Houdini, Unity, and solutions from the Siemens Xcelerator platform.
According to NVIDIA, Omniverse, its multi-GPU scalable computing platform for building virtual worlds, is already in use by some 700 leading companies globally to enhance architectural and product design, simplify visual effects workflows, and build digital twins of factories, cities and the planet.
“The metaverse is a multi trillion-dollar opportunity that organizations know they can’t ignore, but many struggle to see a clear path forward for how to engage with it,” said Rev Lebaredian, Vice President of Omniverse and simulation technology at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA Omniverse closes the gap between the physical and virtual worlds, and these new tools, technologies and collaborations make it possible to leap into the 3D internet today.”
New Applications and Platform Updates
In addition to launching the NVIDIA Omniverse Avatar Cloud Engine — a suite of cloud-native AI models and services for building and deploying lifelike virtual assistants and digital humans — the company unveiled the following platform updates:
- Omniverse Kit — a toolkit for building native Omniverse extensions and applications:
- Major updates to PhysX in Omniverse — including real time, multi-GPU scalable soft body and particle cloth simulation, helping bring more physical accuracy to virtual worlds and objects.
- New OmniLive Workflows — an overhaul of USD-based collaboration in Omniverse, bringing increased speed and performance to multiple app 3D workflows, and enabling non-destructive USD workflows to make collaboration between artists and developers easier than ever.
- Omniverse Audio2Face — an AI tool that can create facial animations directly from an audio file introduces a major leap in AI-driven animation with the new ability to infer and generate realistic emotions and animates all facial features.
- Omniverse Machinima — an app for easily building 3D cinematics and animated films launches hundreds of new, free 3D assets from Post Scriptum, Beyond the Wire and Shadow Warrior 3 games, plus, a suite of new AI animation tools like Audio2Gesture – an AI that generates realistic arm and body motion from an audio file.
- Omniverse DeepSearch — now available for Omniverse Enterprise customers, DeepSearch helps teams use AI to intuitively and accurately search through massive, untagged 3D asset databases of visuals using natural language like “red, rusty barrel.” NVIDIA states that DeepSearch is a “game-changing tool” for game developers or VFX studios who have hundreds of thousands of untagged assets that pose an immense challenge to search through. Industrial Light & Magic, an award winning studio, is already leveraging DeepSearch to unlock its ever-growing library of hundreds of thousands of environment assets, according to NVIDIA.
Additionally, NVIDIA Modulus, a physics machine-learning framework, is newly available as an Omniverse Extension. NVIDIA stated that delivering near-real-time performance, Modulus-trained Physics ML models are 4,000x and even 100,000x faster depending on the application, while providing accuracy closer to high-fidelity simulations. The company noted that Modulus is one of the cornerstones of scientific digital twins, including NVIDIA’s Earth-2.
Building the Metaverse with USD Connectors
As part of a collaborative effort with its partners in the industrial, design, simulation and CAD software ecosystems, NVIDIA also unveiled 11 new Omniverse Connectors, which are USD-based plugins, further opening Omniverse workflows to companies in the industrial and scientific communities. These bring the total number of Connectors to the Omniverse USD ecosystem to 112.
Newly available in beta are Connectors for PTC Creo, Visual Components and SideFX Houdini. NVIDIA announced the ongoing development of Connectors for Blender, Autodesk Alias and Autodesk Civil 3D, Siemens JT, SimScale, Open Geospatial Consortium, and Unity, which will further unlock metaverse workflows for manufacturing, engineering and design companies.
NVIDIA also released major updates to the core simulation technologies that represent materials, physics and light in metaverse worlds:
- NVIDIA MDL — which has served for 10 years as the material standard for physically accurate representation of 3D materials — is now fully open sourced, enabling developers to bring material definition language support to any renderer.
- NeuralVDB, coming soon to beta, is the next evolution of OpenVDB and brings AI and GPU optimization to sparse volume datasets and reduces memory footprint of these massive datasets by up to 100x.
For more information on NVIDIA Omniverse, click here. To watch the company’s special address at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver, Canada, click here.
Image credit: NVIDIA
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.