Fabric for Unreal Engine – join the beta for OpenNurbs and Alembic

May 23, 2016

Note: if you want to skip the text and just watch the videos, skip to the end of the post!

Unreal Engine is a fantastic game engine that brings a lot to the table when it comes to visualisation for ‘non-games’ cases (we include VR as a subcategory of visualisation). However, the eternal headache of working with any game engine is the nature of the pipeline for getting data into the engine:

Anyone working with game engines should recognise the headaches here: a clunky export process that destroys data, and no path back to the source application. If you make changes in the content creation tool, you just have to export again – there’s no mechanism for change propagation, no active connection between your tools and your runtime. This is where Fabric comes in:

The Fabric for Unreal integration loads OpenNurbs(.3dm) and Alembic files directly within Unreal Engine. This allows much more of an ‘iteration cycle’ – make changes, see the changes, iterate quickly. When you make changes to the source data, propagate just those changes and don’t require the user to go through a painful export/import process. In this scenario we’re also considering the use of VR as a feedback tool – you can see some of the work we’ve been doing on that front here.

Having direct access to the source data brings many advantages:

For OpenNurbs

We’re using Rhino 3D as our source application, but this workflow applies to any application that can save out .3dm files.

– All meta data and layer information is accessible within Unreal Engine
– Unreal Actors are structured based on the layers in Rhino and can be authored that way as well
– All instancing information is carried across – blocks are respected and correctly represented
– Materials are assigned and created if they don’t exist yet. They are cloned based on a user provided material, plus manual changes are persisted to make it easy to reuse materials you might already have.
– We support change propagation, for the whole model or for selected elements. This means you can make changes in Rhino and propagate them to Unreal Engine without a painful export/import process.

For Alembic

– Unreal Actors are structured based on the hierarchy in the Alembic file, making inspection much easier
– Materials are not created / reassigned. Once the user has performed material assignments it’s kept.
– Our plugin provides features for change propagation, for the whole model or for selected elements.


Join the Fabric for Unreal beta

If you’d like to help us with testing, please follow these steps:

1) sign up to our forums at forums.fabricengine.com
2) visit this page to access the open beta for Fabric for Unreal Engine