New performance heights reached with GPU compute, real-time rendering, and enhanced character tools

June 26, 2014

Tuesday, June 26, 2014 9:00 am EST

Fabric Software announced version 1.12 of Fabric Engine, the development framework for high performance visual effects tools. The new version enables studios to easily harness the power of GPU computation and includes a new character tools API, as well as Splice Drawing, a highly customizable integrated real-time renderer.

Paul Doyle, Fabric Software CEO said: “Performance and accessibility are at the heart of everything we do. With this release, we offer artists, TDs and R&D teams a huge step forward with GPU compute at zero cost, real-time rendering within their familiar DCC application, plus a host of character tools.”

GPU compute at zero cost – beta version

Using the graphics card (GPU) for computation can be extremely powerful but until now, it required specialized programming expertise and explicit coding for target hardware. In contrast, Fabric Engine enables TDs, as well as R&D engineers, to write code that can execute on both the GPU and the CPU with no additional coding required. It is then simply a matter of testing to see where it runs fastest. Zero cost experimentation means many more tools can be GPU-accelerated.

High performance real-time rendering inside the DCC application

Splice Drawing is a highly customizable real-time renderer that comes as part of the Fabric Engine integration with Autodesk’s Maya and Softimage. The performance gains are impressive compared with rendering within the host application alone. Performance tests included a Bullet simulation with 1500 instances and 4096 x 4096 textures that achieved 96 frames per second. Combined with Fabric’s work on the GPU, this means it is now possible to have multiple complex characters running at real-time directly within the regular DCC application.

Character tools API

Fabric now includes a character API with core building blocks for constructing high level character tools, including crowd simulation, scene assembly and real-time pre-visualization. Easy-to-use and extensible, it supports FBX and proprietary-format characters, plus integration with Splice Drawing for real-time rendering.


Fabric Software Inc., maker of the Fabric Engine development framework, was founded in 2010 by Paul Doyle, Philip Taylor, and Peter Zion to provide a new approach to content creation. Fabric’s revolutionary technology makes it possible for visual effects and games studios of all sizes to build high performance custom tools. The team is known for its expertise in 3D animation tools, VFX production, game development and high performance computing, having worked together at Autodesk and, prior to that, on the design, development and commercialization of ICE at Softimage. The company markets and licenses its products directly via its sales team and website

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