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Artomatix joins Unity, bringing AI-assisted artistry to material creation workflows

, March 10, 2020

Advances in technology and the elevated expectations of today’s consumers continue to propel the demand for next-level content. The considerable cost of producing high-quality, ultra-realistic artwork at a faster rate is a harsh reality for creators across many industries, including games, film, television, automotive, architecture, and more. The finite amount of creators and time available to design adds another layer of challenges. AI-assisted artistry solves the hard problem of producing and scaling high-quality content, giving 3D artists more time to focus on creativity.

AI-assisted artistry can help close the gap between the massively increasing demand for content and the current limited ability to produce visuals. The technology leverages emerging research in the worlds of AI and machine learning to empower digital artists by increasing their creative velocity to produce quality work, faster. Removing these barriers allows creatives to work at the speed of thought to achieve their creative vision.

Enter Artomatix

We are passionate about solving tough problems and enabling creators to do more. That’s why I am thrilled to share that Unity has acquired Artomatix. The flagship product of Artomatix, ArtEngine, is an artist-friendly, 3D content creation tool that uses Creative AI for scan- and example-based material-creation workflows. The first tool to use this approach, ArtEngine helps create ultra-realistic worlds. It removes the burden of minutiae material creation work – such as photoconversion to PBR materials, up-resing, deblur, seam removal, unwarping, color matching, and much more – helping artists focus on value-adding parts of the creative workflow.

ArtEngine helps game studios deliver realistic content for the next generation of consoles; enables VFX studios to deliver better visuals for films; and can achieve equally impressive results for creatives working in other industries. From automotive and architecture to retail marketing, the need for high-fidelity product visualizations is growing at an exponential rate. ArtEngine empowers artists by increasing their creative velocity across all verticals.

A powerful, industry-agnostic toolkit for creators

At Unity, we have talented developers working to solve problems using AI and machine learning. This talent, combined with the solution-oriented and production-validated approach of the ArtEngine team, means we can accelerate our ability to build an exceptional set of tools that help artists and creatives in many different ways. Content creators can expedite their process and get infinite variations of their materials in the blink of an eye. Immediate benefits apply to every industry exposed to 3D content, regardless of platform or engine.

We’re very excited to have the ArtEngine team join Unity. They have a great approach to solving the difficult challenges faced by artists, and we can’t wait to see what we can build together. Stay tuned as we combine forces to explore all the ways that AI-driven assisted artistry workflows can help artists deliver exceptional content.

Go to www.artomatix.com to find out more.

25 replies on “Artomatix joins Unity, bringing AI-assisted artistry to material creation workflows”

Some time ago Artomatix had a really promising solution to the tiling texture repeating pattern problem (Infinity Tile). Unfortunately I didn’t hear anything about that for a long time. Is this still in the pipeline?

Looks great…. but, will it be free for Unity users? Kinda like Unreal did with Quixel Mixer and Megascans?

Hi Alverik, thank you for your message. Now that ArtEngine is part of Unity, we are looking at how to make the key benefits of the software available to as many creators as possible. More on this to follow in the coming weeks. Watch this space.

“More than 50% of blog posts seem to mostly be about offering advertising to partners” – I guess as a company moves towards going public, they need to show they have a ‘revenue angle’ to everything they do, you know, so the shareholders feel they are being looked after as they will be the real customers soon, not us (users of Unity).

I’d never heard of Artomatix before, but it looks fantastic. The article mentions speeding up work for artists, but it also looks as if it could make creating art more accessible to those of us who are less talented. I look forward to seeing how it is integrated into Unity.

Hi Andy, thank you for your message. Yes, a goal of ArtEngine was always to democratize content creation – so we cannot wait for everyone to have the ability to create great content. More to come on how you can use it in your Unity pipeline.

Nice move, congrats. Demos are awesome, concept has a unique angle – looks really promising.
1. What is the advantage of using Artomatix vs substance designer?
2. I really dislike the lack of public pricing tags. Any chances to change this opaque policy soon?

Hi Ippokratis, thank you for your comment. Really appreciate the feedback. To answer your questions:
1. What is similar about ArtEngine and Substance is they are both tools to create content. However, the tools are fundamentally different in how you create that content. From day one, ArtEngine was built to assist Artists / Creators by leveraging the power of AI in an emerging Example-Based Workflow. For example, Artengine today is the perfect solution in tandem with scanned content and is good at converting scans/photos to physical-based rendering material (PBR) – and allowing you to manipulate and mutate these materials in ways we have not seen in other software.
2. Yes. To date, our customers have all been AAA and larger enterprise customers across different verticals. Now ArtEngine is part of unity, we are revising that and looking at ways we can get the key functionality and benefits of ArtEngine to the wider Unity community. More to come on this. And thanks again for your great questions.

If it can export a “MASK MAP” for HDRP then It will defiantly solve the “biggest” issue in PBR material creation in Unity.
The demo is looking super awesome. Let see how the Art Engine will work in Unity. I am really super excited to try it.

How is that the biggest issue? Its not an issue at all. Every major PBR material creation program allows you to configure your output texture to whatever format you want. Learn to use your program.

Yes, every major application. But I’m guessing some people still use photoshop or gimp or such. Might not be an option to get a substance painter/designer license (or Quixel ddo, etc) for someone with a tight budget. And Quixel Mixer is a little too new for a lot of people to know it I guess (it just got the option to texture custom meshes…).

The options in automatix do look really cool though. Hope it’s free to use for Unity users.

Yes it’s really an “issue” specially when you are converting your project from built in to HDRP or when you are using texture for various websites . Actually I make tutorials about Unity HDRP and lot of people really complaint about this mask map.
Most of the time people don’t want to use substance painter/designer to make mask map for every single material.
Here I am totally agree with Alverik. Even though I have made a separate tutorial about this mask map but still people find it very difficult to understand.
May be unity can find a solution where user can directly add various textures like smoothness ,metallic, ao and on the runtime Unity automatically create the mask map.

Hi there, thank you for your comment and for expressing the problem you would like to solve. The good news is that the he “Export to Unity” Node in ArtEngine we’re working on will do this. It will be available to users in three months :)

YAUP – Yet another Unity publicity

or

UASWNW – Unity aquired stuff without knowing why…

Looks very useful.

However saying this: “They have a great approach to solving the difficult challenges faced by artists, and we can’t wait to see what we can build together.”

Doesn’t mean anything. We have heard it before with another great team that joined Unity last year and we have not yet heard anything from your collaboration together. So please try to be a bit more specific, and many of us would expect you to have thought in advance of something great that you would be able to create together. Before finalizing the joining.

Not to mention that, with the announcement, a free tier for existing Unity users should already be there without having to jump through hoops, so we can test it.

Hi Joshua, thanks so much for your comment and feedback. With regards to the specifics on ArtEngine, up until now, it has been used primarily by AAA studios and larger enterprise customers. It runs on higher-end GPU hardware and priced as a studio offering rather than an individual license. Now as part of Unity, we are, of course, looking at new ways to package the ArtEngine capability and ultimately offer it within the Unity Engine. This will take some time to finalize the plan, and we will keep you updated as soon as we have more information. It will be coming very soon!

More than 50% of blog posts seem to mostly be about offering advertising to partners instead of focusing on content the actual user base want to see.

I keep thinking if this is the direction unity wants to take the blog, why not actually ensure all these “advert” posts have at least 1 piece of useful info for actual users.

As you say this post doesnt really offer anything, anything at all, to a user of the actual engine.

Hi, this post feels a little bit like an ArtEngine Ad. That’s fine since it seems to be a great tool but I am really interested in the future plans for this. Will ArtEngine be integrated with Unity or will it become a free tool for Unity Users? Maybe ArtEngine will stay what it is and the team will work on something new for Unity?
Please let us know what the plan is or when you will announce a plan. Otherwise, this article is not that relevant for Unity users.

Hi Joshua, thank you for your comment. That is very interesting feedback to hear it sounds like an interesting ad. The goal of our blogs are always to talk to our community – not sell to them. Definitely something to ponder.
With regards to future plans, for now, ArtEngine will stay as a standalone tool – as this is what it always was. Engine agnostic. However, as ArtEngine is now part of Unity, we are actively looking at ways to get this functionality into the hands of more creators. More to come on this very soon. Thanks again.

Would be great if you could mention what the driving idea here was – “we can’t wait to see what we can build together” doesn’t really tell us whether the current product will continue to exist, vanish, be merged into the engine, stay standalone, be free for Unity users, …
The linked page, artomatix.com, just has “Free Trial” as large button and not much else besides “Get in touch for a quote”.

Hi Felix, thank you for your comment. Unity and Artomatix had been working closely for years before this acquisition in a bid to help artists create more content, more quickly – no matter your skillset. Both companies are aligned on the world being a better place with more creators in it – and saw the Example-Based Workflow as the future of content creation, which was a driving force as to why Artomatix joined the Unity family.
From a product perspective, for now, ArtEngine will stay as a standalone tool – Engine agnostic. However, as ArtEngine is now part of the Unity family, we are currently mapping out how we can get the key functionality and benefits of ArtEngine into the hands of as many creators as possible. More to come soon. Thanks again.

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