Fabric Engine 2.6 adds Rigging upgrades, Custom Manipulation system and Asset Patterns data management

July 28, 2017

New release speeds creation of cross-platform animation rigs and interactive tools while bringing visual programming control over Alembic, FBX and USD data

MONTREAL, July 31, 2017 – FABRIC SOFTWARE is introducing Fabric Engine 2.6 with key advancements for VFX, Games and VR studios. Asset Patterns offer a customizable system for handling data from industry standard formats such as Alembic, FBX and USD. A new Manipulation Framework in Fabric enables development of highly interactive tools that work independently across multiple applications. Support for AnimX, a new curve editor and inclusion of a new Radial Basis Function significantly ramp up Fabric’s animation rigging capabilities.

“With the new features in Fabric Engine 2.6 we’ve got lots of exciting ideas for applications including improving our world editing toolset and moving more of it into a high-performance Fabric Engine runtime environment,” said Damien Fagnou, Chief Technology Officer, MPC.

Asset Patterns

Reliably preparing and moving data across different applications – including real-time environments like Unreal and Unity – is a big challenge, particularly when you want to make changes and iterate on the results. Asset Patterns in Fabric Engine 2.6 offer a rules-based way to control data flow to and from many different industry formats with support for change propagation – so modeling and other asset modifications made in an authoring application can be quickly pushed to the game engine without a full import process.

“We were looking for a commercially supported replacement for Crate once it was open-sourced, and Asset Patterns in Fabric 2.6 fill the need for programmatic data handling extremely well,” said Eric J. Turman, Supervising Technical Director, Rooster Teeth Productions.

Manipulation Framework

Applications built with Fabric can now include custom-designed manipulators that are built to task. The new Manipulation Framework lets technical directors and developers tailor the user experience of using Fabric to create applications and animation rigs that work anywhere in a production pipeline without being limited to what is available in DCC applications like Maya.

“Psyop has a growing ecosystem of tools built around Fabric Engine, which we believe will become more powerful and easier to work with as a result of the new Manipulation Framework. Art directing with these tools — whether grooming surface derivatives for a feather system, or scattering points for procedural crowds and vegetation — has until now relied on a limited set of controls built using the host DCC application. We are especially interested in providing a rich set of tools for painting weight maps and other surface attributes using the new Manipulation Framework,” said Alon Gibli, Head of Pipeline, Psyop.

Rigging Enhancements

“We were excited to see the news that the AnimX curve library had been open-sourced by Autodesk,” said Paul Doyle, Fabric Software CEO. “By adding support for AnimX within Fabric, we are enabling customers to take advantage of AnimX immediately across all supported applications, ensuring that what they build within Maya can be accurately reproduced elsewhere. Of course, this meant we needed to introduce our own curve editor for tweaking this data within Fabric. We’re looking forwards to seeing where AnimX will take the industry.”

Rigging enhancements also include a new RBF (Radial Basis Function) that’s big news for games customers. The RBF solver is ideal for pose-based deformations that need to be solved in real-time, such as facial animation or secondary animation of cloth over a muscle system.

“The native RBF support in Fabric Engine 2.6 will facilitate the migration of some of our more complex C++ Maya-based rigging tools, such as our Pose Space Deformation system, over to Fabric,” noted Sylvain Brugnot, RnD Lead – Creature, Double Negative.

USD support

Fabric Engine now supports USD (Universal Scene Description), Pixar’s open-source library for handling vast, complex scenes. “We believe that USD could be a key technology for real-time applications used for visualization, VR and AR.” said Doyle. “There is no industry standard yet for how we store and work interactively with data at scale. Customers are telling us that USD might be it. With our new Asset Patterns functionality, we see Fabric Engine as an enabling technology for USD that could accelerate adoption and help developers standardize their pipelines.”

Availability

Fabric 2.6 will be available in August 2017 for use by existing customers and free evaluation by individual users.

About Fabric Engine

Fabric Engine is a software platform for building high-performance graphics applications. It is used to build the “best tool for the job” for game development, visual effects, visualization and virtual reality. Fabric consists of a language (called KL), a visual programming environment (called Canvas) and a multi-threaded core execution engine. Fabric is integrated with many familiar applications like Maya and also offers studios the option to build standalone applications that work across their pipelines.

Related blog post: http://fabricengine.com/firstlookatfabric2-6/