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The 2019.1 releases of PiXYZ STUDIO and PiXYZ PLUGIN for Unity deliver some major advancements, including new and improved algorithms, a revamped UI, and tighter integration with Unity. These advancements bring better quality models, faster processing, and greater productivity to your workflow.

For 2019.1, PiXYZ has focused on development efforts, resulting in a long list of new features for both PiXYZ STUDIO and PiXYZ PLUGIN for Unity. Core elements of the PiXYZ workflow now seamlessly integrate with Unity, and improvements to algorithms provide even more power to optimize models for performance and quality. UI improvements make both PiXYZ products easier to use for the novice and expert alike. Let’s dive into some of the improvements, starting with the PLUGIN – which is now also available for Mac OS!

For more detail, please refer to the new and improved documentation pages for PiXYZ.

Plugged In

PiXYZ PLUGIN for Unity was developed to provide a simple workflow to import CAD and other data into Unity with just a few mouse clicks. The PLUGIN still does this job admirably but has evolved recently to provide much more capability. This is apparent from the expanded features now available in the 2019.1 release. Let’s start with new import capabilities. The PLUGIN can now import VRED data directly into Unity, including model geometry, variants, animations, material properties, and textures. Within Unity, the PLUGIN rule engine can assign materials according to their VRED counterparts while maintaining associativity with variant switches. Note that VRED must be installed on the same machine as the PLUGIN to enable these import capabilities.

The new import capabilities aren’t limited to VRED, however. The PLUGIN can now import polylines so that laser marking data and line drawings can be represented in Unity. This is especially useful for visualizing 2D floor-plans within Unity. Users can also optionally import lines representing patch boundaries from CAD data. Revit import now includes Revit 2019, and compared to previous releases, Revit import is much faster, more accurate, and supports import of much larger models. Levels of Detail (LODs) can now also be created automatically if the source data contains parts named using a “LODn” naming convention.

2D DWG floorplan imported into Unity using PiXYZ PLUGIN 2019.1

The PLUGIN includes several new features. You can now automatically generate UVs for lightmaps, create normals, explode sub-meshes, remove hidden geometry, repair meshes, replace geometry with boxes, and re-topologize using a proxy mesh, voxels, or marching cube algorithms. The PLUGIN also now integrates with improvements in Unity Prefabs, and adds a scripted import workflow for all formats not already natively supported within Unity. Of course, all of these new features are accessible interactively through the Toolbox, can be included in an automated workflow via the Rule Engine, and can be incorporated into C# scripts.

Existing algorithms are improved as well. 2019.1 imports models faster than ever, and the tessellation algorithms have been enhanced to provide better quality, which is remarkable since PiXYZ is widely considered to have the best tessellation algorithms in the market. Decimation has also been improved, with better mesh quality for a specified level of decimation.

Right-click menu in Unity showing new features in PiXYZ PLUGIN 2019.1

Plus, as mentioned above, all of the power of PiXYZ PLUGIN is now available to Mac users! Beginning with 2019.1, Unity users on Mac OS can use the PLUGIN directly within the Unity editor.

STUDIO unleashed

As numerous as the updates to PiXYZ PLUGIN 2019.1 are, the extent of improvements to PiXYZ STUDIO is even more impressive. These improvements are mainly in the areas of UI, interactive manipulation, product structure representation, scripting, and of course core algorithm capabilities.

UI improvements contain one of the most asked-for features in PiXYZ STUDIO – Undo/Redo! Using the new Undo/Redo feature, you can easily unwind mistakes, or explore multiple options to find the optimization technique that produces the best results. All PiXYZ functions and algorithms are now available from the Function List, and parameters for functions can now be easily reset to their defaults. Other upgrades include direct access to Help from function tooltips, a simplified tree view, and the ability to directly copy Python code from the functions window.

Individual parts can now be manipulated using the new Transform gizmo, including the ability to modify the pivot point of each part. New selection capabilities allow you to select sub-mesh elements such as patches or polygons directly in the viewport, then perform actions on the selection such as deleting or changing the orientation of faces.

Product structures (scene trees) are also now represented more accurately, and the Scene Tree representing the structure can be modified more easily. The product structure of an imported CAD model is now completely faithful to the original, and no longer includes instance, empty, or intermediate nodes that are not present in the original model. This accurate product structure is fully preserved when exported from STUDIO. Each node in the hierarchy is an occurrence, which is analogous to a GameObject within Unity. Each occurrence carries properties (e.g., unique ID, name, transform, visibility, material) which can be edited in a new Inspector panel, and PiXYZ STUDIO now supports property inheritance within the hierarchy. Each occurrence can receive one or more components which can be used to control its behavior, again analogous to how GameObjects in Unity can receive components. Available components are Part, Light, PMI (Product Manufacturing Information), Interaction Behavior, and Visual Behavior. The product structure can now be modified interactively with tools to move/copy/paste/duplicate nodes (and complete sub-assemblies), create new nodes, hide/show nodes, and merge/compress/explode nodes. Scripting applied to the product structure is now much simpler, as the complex Scene Paths concept has been replaced with an Occurrences List.

Dynamic modification of product structure

The same algorithm improvements included in the PLUGIN are also available in STUDIO, plus additional algorithms such as the use of convex hulls to re-topologize geometry. Other algorithm improvements include a new Replace function which can replace occurrences with sub-assemblies, meshes, or geometry primitives, as well as an improved Smart Orient algorithm to automatically orient all faces in a complete model.

New Re-Tessellate and Back to BRep algorithms significantly improve iterative workflows. With the Re-Tessellate function, you can now regenerate tessellation for any occurrence (and all children in the hierarchy), up to the full scene. Using the Back to BRep function, you can return to the original CAD model to fine-tune the entire optimization process. UV generation is also significantly improved in PiXYZ STUDIO 2019.1. UVs can now be generated using a variety of techniques – plane, box/tri-planar, spherical, and cylindrical projection. The algorithm to repack UVs is also improved.

PiXYZ Plugin 2019.1 is compatible with Unity 2018.3 and later. If you’re an existing PiXYZ subscriber to one of these products, all you need to do is download and install the latest version from the PiXYZ website. If you’re new to PiXYZ, then visit Unity’s PiXYZ page to request a free trial.

13 replies on “Streamline your data workflows with PiXYZ 2019.1”

If PiXYZ is too expensive for you I suggest Rhino convert NURBS to triangles and Blender for UV (a longer process).

Thanks for the great update. We use PiXYZ for our client work and it eases so much of the workflow.
I think these posts on plugins for unity are important, because Unity isn’t just a games engine. Unreal isn’t either. It’s a platform for realtime content. What the content is should always be decided by the developer and not the engine. So it’s great that Unity can just about do anything and with PiXYZ it can do CAD now too. Games aren’t just the games you play on your console. Games are everywhere. And these engines will only improve, if high demanding products like CAD visualization will test the limits of this engine.

It’s amazing how people are getting hung up about the number of posts about Pixyz.
Anyway think it’s good to know there is a plug in for CAD. Because Unity isn’t just made for game development, architects even use the engine.
I personally would love to see more posts about products that aren’t connected with game development.

There sure are an awful lot of posts advertising Pixyz plugin, I get that is profitable for you to advertise partners like this, but I cant be alone in thinking that there should be more game development related posts than partner plugging posts. And no, filler posts about staff and website updates dont count towards that. Right now its like once every 4-5 posts that there is a post that is actually useful to your main core audience, which is a shame as I check this blog 3-4 times a day out of habbit as once it was an amazing read every day. Now less and less I see the point of reading it, after all I can find posts plugging partner products on any other website. Thats not why I come here.

Sure if it was the first post then I would understand, but isnt this like the 5-6th post about PIXYZ? Just hurry up and make proper sections to the blog so people can filter out all the stuff that is only relevant to your partners and small subset of companies using their software.

5-6th post in what time frame? I just had to go to page 5 from the blog homepage to find another post about PIXYZ, which is from the end of Jan …

In just over a year, but PiXYZ has been showed up in the blog a lot. The blog should be about Unity development, not selling us third party software.

I would like to see more gamedev related posts too. Like tutorials, behind the scenes, best practices and other cool stuff.

Your Twitter does better job than the actual official blog.

I agree that Pixyz HAS been getting a lot of blog time… However, I think it’s as much about advertising a particular partner tool as it is a useful topic for a lot of Unity customers — getting models from CAD-like sources performantly rendering in Unity (or any other real-time renderer) is a huge, nasty problem.

I couldn’t tell you what % of Unity customers are interested in this problem space (primarily AEC and Automotive), but they definitely have money to spend ON the problem. Also, part of the reason you’re seeing it more is that AR/VR has increased the demand for rendering CAD content in real-time.

Anyway, not saying you’re wrong, just trying to share some perspective.

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