Pixyz 2020.2 – Advanced optimization for industry
With the release of 2020.2 products from our partner Pixyz, Unity customers in AEC, manufacturing, and other industries can benefit from new functionality that combines advanced game-inspired optimization with expanded and improved interoperability. For more detail, please refer to the documentation pages for Pixyz. Note that Pixyz Batch also benefits from all non-UI improvements to Studio mentioned in this article.
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Advanced Game-Inspired Optimization
Dynamic content is important to creators in a wide range of disciplines, and lifelike scenes contain animated characters. With 2020.2, Pixyz introduces animations and advanced optimization algorithms to dramatically reduce the compute complexity of objects while preserving good visual fidelity.
Specifically, Pixyz can handle:
- Solid Object animation (i.e. the transformation of an object as a whole: position, scale, rotate)
- Skeletal Animation (i.e. skinned object deformation using bones)
Main optimization algorithms now also work for animations, extending the application of Pixyz into new domains. Along with decimation, other algorithms that support animation include the generation of textured proxy meshes, hidden mesh removal, mesh merging, and mesh repair. Both bones and skin are preserved with these algorithms, which are also fully accessible via Pixyz APIs.
Pixyz Studio supports the import and export of optimized assets and animations from glTF, USD, and FBX.
When imported through Unity, Pixyz Plugin preserves animations when optimizing mesh objects within a Unity scene.
Currently, optimizations for animations preserve mesh geometry, UVs, and materials. Pixyz does not yet support the following:
- Audio export
- Shader export
- Blendshapes or morph target animation (for facial expressions)
- Shader/materials exports with animation
Core Pixyz decimation algorithms have dramatically improved, producing high-quality visual results while achieving much lower mesh counts compared to previous versions. Controls for weighting of boundaries, hard edges, normals, and UVs, provide the ability to tailor results to different model types.
Other optimization algorithms also improved. Hidden mesh removal now has an “adjacency depth” parameter to preserve invisible neighbor polygons, preventing a “scale hole” effect in the finished project. Now, the Bake Texture Maps function allows creating Ambient Occlusion and *Bent normals maps, for advanced baking strategies.
Pixyz also provides new algorithms to aggressively optimize static content within a scene. A new function to combine meshes and materials will simplify a single object composed of multiple meshes and materials into a single mesh with a single merged material. UVs are preserved but repacked into a new unified texture atlas. The result of this optimization is a dramatic reduction in draw calls, which is especially important under CPU-constrained conditions.
Last, but not least, a new billboard function simplifies meshes into intersected planes, a useful feature for distant background objects.
Industrial Strength Capabilities
Heading the list of improvements is a new multithreaded JT importer that accelerates import times by 5x on average while reducing memory consumption compared to the previous importer. All JT formats (XT Brep, JT Brep, and tessellated) are supported, and the new importer preserves meshes, Breps, metadata. PMI, colors, and advanced materials. Pixyz has implemented a new importer for RVM (AVEVA PDMS), a widely used format for off-shore installations and onshore process plants. The new RVM importer offers a faster import and tessellation time, with lower memory consumption and instance detection. Pixyz also supports the companion ATT files for metadata.
A new importer for glTF and GLB files reduces import time by 70%, compared to the previous importer, with an added export feature (Studio only). Customers with the Autodesk Reality Solutions SDK can import Autodesk Recap files in both Studio and Plugin, with Studio able to handle larger models than Plugin. The Recap importer supports point position and color data along with 360-degree points of view (textured spheres).
CAD data is now imported more reliably for all supported 3D formats thanks to a new automatic up-axis alignment feature. The last interoperability update points to new workflow potentials; Pixyz Studio can now export directly to Unity Reflect. This export is currently push-only and does not support syncing.
Core algorithm and interoperability improvements are important, but productivity can also hinge on UX and UI details. A new advanced search tool offers faster results, added convenience, and precision when you need to find specific parts. The tool includes an expression generator supporting anything from basic searches to complex requests based on Pixyz’s powerful query scripts. For example, parts can be found based upon parameters such as poly count, material assignments, or other metadata. Search expressions can be saved or copied to Python to include in scripted scenarios. For other scenarios, it can be reused within Pixyz Studio or deployed to an automated data pipeline using Pixyz Batch.
Pixyz Plugin 2020.2 is compatible with Unity 2019 LTS and later. If you’re an existing Pixyz subscriber to one of the Pixyz 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 or buy online.