Nvidia opens its “metaverse for engineers” by adding millions of Blender users to Omniverse

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Nvidia’s Omniverse, introduced as a “metaverse for engineers,” has grown to over 50,000 users. But Nvidia now hopes to drastically expand that base with the addition of millions of Blender users who use a simple tool to create 3D images.

At the online computing event Siggraph, Nvidia announced that it would launch a major expansion of Omniverse, the simulation and collaboration platform that would provide the foundations of metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are interconnected, such as in novels such as Snow Crash i Ready Player One.

“Everyone’s favorite fashion word right now is the metaverse,” Richard Kerris, vice president of Nvidia’s Omniverse development platform, said in an interview with GamesBeat. “It simply came to our notice then. It just hasn’t been very well connected. But the metavers describes virtual worlds. And just as the universe describes the planets in the universe, there will be more and more content in these virtual worlds. There will be exchanges, a market economy and other things in the virtual world, and Omniverse is designed to be the connector of these worlds. ”

Above: Jensen Huang is CEO of Nvidia. He gave a virtual lecture at the recent GTC event.

Image credit: Nvidia

Professionals from more than 500 companies, including SHoP Architects, South Park and Lockheed Martin, are evaluating the platform. Since the release of its open beta in December, more than 50,000 individual creators have downloaded Omniverse.

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While engineers find the Omniverse useful for designing products, Nvidia wants to extend the ability to work on the Omniverse to just about anyone who can create 3D images.

“With more than 3 million Blender users, open source and free 3D software packages are gaining strength at an unprecedented rate,” Kerris said. “We are thrilled to be able to bring this platform and our technologies to this growing community that exists.”

Enter Blender

Top: Blender has over 3 million users.

Image credit: Nvidia

Blender is a leading open source 3D animation tool and will now support Universal Scene Description (USD), which allows artists to access Omniverse production pipes. Pixar created USD for its movies to allow users to combine digital tools to create and share 3D images.

“We base Omniverse on USD, which for the first time takes the complexity of a very challenging 3D environment and standardizes them for the description of that 3D,” Kerris said. “And, although it started from Pixar, it has quickly been adopted in various industries. We are now looking at architecture software that supports USD and manufacturing and entertainment as well. ”

In addition, Adobe is partnering with Nvidia on a Substance 3D add-on that will provide Substance Material support to Omniverse, unlocking new material editing capabilities for Omniverse and Substance 3D users. This will make the materials for various objects look much more realistic, Kerris said.

Above: Blender can bring millions of open source users to Omniverse.

Image credit: Nvidia

“This is a shading of physical-based physical material for rendering very complex surfaces,” Kerris said. “The Omni Surface Material Shader will be able to score in imperfect scenarios. These are really the kind of elements and surfaces that, to be plausible, are not perfect ”.

He said Omniverse allows designers, artists and reviewers to work together in real time through leading software applications in a shared virtual world from anywhere. Kerris said Nvidia is receiving input from developers, partners and customers and is advancing the platform so that everyone, from individuals to large companies, can work with others to build amazing virtual worlds that look, feel and behave the way they do. the physical world does.

Nvidia defines metavers as an immersive and connected shared virtual world. Here, artists can create unique digital scenes, architects can create beautiful buildings, and engineers can design new products for the home. These creations, often called digital twins, can be introduced to the physical world after being perfected in the digital world.

“When all the dust is reached, there will really be a metavers of all these virtual worlds,” Kerris said. “And there will be several things that will drive him into entertainment, which is fun. But really, what I think will gain strength will be when the major companies, BMWs and others out there, standardize virtual worlds in a twin digital environment. That is part of the metaverse, and it is part of their business that it will be the revolution that really transforms things. “

Jon Peddie, Jon Peddie’s research analyst, said in a statement that Nvidia is fulfilling the promise of metaverses by providing a broader understanding of the needs of designers of all kinds and offering many of the tools they need for free. He said the Omniverse platform has the potential to transform almost every industry by making truly collaborative and creative innovation possible in a common virtual space for the first time.

An expanding ecosystem

Above: Adobe and Nvidia collaborate on a plugin for Omniverse.

Image credit: Nvidia

The key to Omniverse’s industry adoption is Pixar’s open source USD, the foundation of Omniverse’s collaboration and simulation platform, which allows large teams to work simultaneously on multiple software applications in a single scene. Shared 3D. Engineers can work on the same part of the simulated images at the same time. The standard open USD foundation offers software partners multiple ways to extend and connect to Omniverse, either by adopting and supporting USD or by creating a connector or through an Omniverse connector.

Apple, Pixar, and Nvidia collaborated to bring advanced physical capabilities to USD, adopting open standards to provide 3D workflows to billions of devices. Blender and Nvidia have partnered to provide USD support for the upcoming version of Blender 3.0 and the millions of artists who use the software.

“We met working with Apple and collectively published a white paper that defined physics across all platforms,” Kerris said.

Nvidia provides support in materials and USD in Blender 3.0 alpha USD, which will soon be available to creators.

Ton Roosendaal, president of the Blender Foundation, said in a statement that Nvidia’s open source engineering contributions, such as the integration of USD into Blender, are exemplary.

“The most important thing about this is that it allows people to work in their different areas of experience, even in different software packages,” Kerris said. “And if they’re connected to Omniverse, they can work collaboratively in real time and in geographic locations, in addition to leveraging the software technologies we provide on this basic base platform.”

Fire suppression simulation and more

Above: Jensen Huang’s virtual kitchen was truly virtual.

Image credit: Nvidia

Lockheed Martin works with Omniverse for the simulation, prediction and suppression of forest fires. Its center of excellence in AI has launched with Nvidia an initiative called Cognitive Mission Management to develop an emergency response and fire suppression strategy. The goal is to predict how forest fires will spread based on variables such as wind, humidity, and soil cover. This could be quite helpful for communities in my part of California.

I South Park, the long Emmy Award-winning animated television series, is exploring Omniverse to allow several of its artists to collaborate on scenes and optimize their extremely limited production time.

Creating digital humans is also a big effort at Nvidia, as well as companies like Epic Games. I asked if Nvidia competes with Epic Games and other of its partners in areas like digital humans.

“We consider Epic to be one of our main partners. And we are delighted with the customers who have come into this with their workflows so that, again, we do not replace workflows, ”said Kerris. “The goal is to really connect and expand. Omniverse replaces nothing in existing spaces. We don’t go out to compete with our partners. We are out to improve the workflows that currently exist. “

Nvidia also has a documentary on how it created its keynote speech at the GTC event this spring, an event that was watched by more than 20 million people.

Availability and prices

Currently, Nvidia Omniverse Enterprise has limited early access. The platform will be available later this year with subscriptions to Nvidia’s network of partners, including Asus, Boxx Technologies, Dell Technologies, HP, Lenovo, PNY and Supermicro.

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