Tue 30th Oct 2012 | News
Fabric Engine releases preview of the new real-time renderer for production.
The Fabric Engine team has released an exclusive preview of a new real-time renderer for production environments. To be clear, this is not a game engine - it tackles many of the same tasks, but it is designed to work directly in film and VFX production workflows. The not-yet-named renderer was built with Fabric Engine's core technologies, Creation Platform, which launched at Siggraph 2012, and Creation's underlying multi-threading engine called the Fabric Core Execution Engine. The real-time renderer will be launching in about a month.
"We've spent the last year talking to the major film and VFX companies around the world," says Paul Doyle, CEO of Fabric Engine. "They repeatedly told us that the viewport in Maya, Softimage, Motion Builder etc is not good enough for modern production. Whether its previs or virtual production or lighting or any number of other workflows, studios want an intermediate workflow where they can get a good looking result without having to wait for an offline render.
Part of this problem is performance related - being able to run complex assets in real time is a challenge. We already addressed that - our Fabric Core Execution Engine is designed for high performance. However, our real time render quality was rudimentary at best. Initially we listened to the studios, who told us they were looking to AAA game engines for this - so it didn't make sense for us to worry about it.
But in early summer we started hearing how dissatisfied studios were with trying to turn game engines into something they're not. We had companies telling us they had up to thirty steps to go through in order to get assets out of a content creation tool and into the game engine. This pretty much kills the point of having a fast real time renderer.
So we decided to start building a real time renderer that targets production requirements. This means working with production data (or custom data) rather than converting it. It means supporting scaling to work well with the massive amounts of geometry a VFX pipeline needs to work with. It means being able to bake out multiple passes, to view multiple passes simultaneously, to make it easy to add new shaders (it's an openGL renderer), to work well with a range of offline renderers."
This is just the first stage of development on the real-time renderer. Over the next few months, the Fabric Engine team will implement more and more features and custom shaders. The renderer already supports thousands of lights, post effects (bloom), and dynamic shadow casting lights. If a studio is interested in finding out more, they'll need to join Fabric Engine's beta program.
Fabric Engine RT Renderer beta preview