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Nvidia unveils its new Metaverse development tools

American technology company Nvidia used this years’ SIGGRAPH 2022 conference to unveil a new collection of developer tools for Omniverse, Nvidia’s platform for building virtual worlds. Omniverse is based on Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD), which allows for the interchange of digital assts. Omniverse is already used globally, by hundreds of companies, to enhance architectural and product design, simplify visual effects workflows and build digital twins of factories, cities and the planet. Omniverse users include BMW, Ericsson, Siemens Energy, and Lockheed Martin. According to Nvidia’s Vice President of Omniverse and simulation technology, Rev Lebaredian: “Nvidia Omniverse closes the gap between the physical and virtual worlds, and these new tools, technologies and collaborations make it possible to leap into the 3D internet today.”

As one of the world's leading developers of graphics processing units (GPUs), specialised processor’s designed to accelerate the rendering of computer graphics, Nvidia’s investment in the Metaverse makes complete sense. Nvidia’s Vice President of Developer Ecosystems Neil Trevett, is also elected President of the Khronos Group and Chair of the recently announced Metaverse Standards Forum, which has been established to support creation of open Metaverse standards.

Nvidia announced a range of developer frameworks, tools, apps and plugins for Omniverse, including several AI-powered tools and features. These tools and features are designed to make it easier for artists, developers and engineers to build virtual worlds and virtual content, and to connect with leading 3D applications. Nvidia also unveiled new Omniverse Connectors, USD-based plugins that open Omniverse workflows to companies in the industrial and scientific communities. These include Connectors for PTC Creo, Visual Components, SideFX Houdini, Unity and solutions from the Siemens Xcelerator platform. Nvidia also announced the development of Connectors for Blender, Autodesk Alias and Autodesk Civil 3D, Siemens JT, SimScale, and the Open Geospatial Consortium, which will further unlock metaverse workflows for manufacturing, engineering and design companies.

The new Omniverse updates include: Updates to Omniverse Kit; a toolkit for building native Omniverse extensions and applications; Major updates to Nvidia PhysX, an “advanced real-time engine for modelling realistic physics”, which helps bring more physical accuracy and realism to virtual worlds and objects; New OmniLive Workflows, bringing increased speed and performance to multiple application 3D workflows, and enabling non-destructive USD workflows to make collaboration between artists and developers easier than ever; Omniverse Audio2Face updates, which introduces a major leap in AI-driven animation. Audio2Face allows users to create and control the facial animations of digital avatars directly from an audio file. Updates provide the new ability to infer and generate realistic emotions and animate all facial features; Updates to Omniverse Machinima, an application used to build 3D cinematics and animated films, which include hundreds of new, free 3D assets from Post Scriptum, Beyond the Wire and Shadow Warrior 3 games; and updates to Omniverse DeepSearch. DeepSearch helps teams use AI to intuitively and accurately search through massive, untagged 3D asset databases of visuals using natural language. The award-winning studio Industrial Light & Magic is leveraging DeepSearch to unlock its ever-growing library of hundreds of thousands of environment assets.

Timothy Dykes/Unsplash

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