RealityServer on AWS

A lot of new customers ask us where they can run RealityServer since they don’t have their own server or workstation with NVIDIA GPU hardware available. Starting up RealityServer on Nimbix is covered in another article where everything is pre-configured for you, on AWS however you need to do a bit more setup yourself. We are assuming here that you are already familiar with Amazon Web Services and starting instances on Amazon EC2, along with basic concepts like security groups. We won’t cover the basics of how to start an instance here however there is lots of good information about that online, including this guide from Amazon. So, let’s get started. Read More

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migenius Wins Lux Award for Bloom Unit

Lux Award

Watched by almost 1,000 people at the UK lighting industry’s Lux Awards in London, migenius’ Bloom Unit rendering plugin for SketchUp won the “Enabling Technology of the Year” award ahead of a shortlist comprising some much bigger and perhaps better known names (see the full list here).

The panel of 17 judges drawn from all over the industry cited Bloom Unit as product that was a ‘step change’ in lighting design – by ‘leveraging the power of cloud computing’ migenius had delivered a product that allows renders ‘of awesome scope and accuracy’.

A feeling for just how prestigious this event is can be gained from the official movie, with migenius and their UK partner for the lighting industry, onlight, picking up their award around the two minute mark.

We are certainly proud that Bloom Unit has been recognised by the UK lighting industry. Proof indeed of just how important the RealityServer technology that underpins it is for businesses wishing to differentiate the user experience for the products and services they are bringing to market.

If you want to checkout Bloom Unit for yourself, sign up for a free 14 day trial on the Bloom Unit website.

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What’s New in RealityServer 4.4 Update 93

We recently released RealityServer 4.4 build 1527.93. This update included Iray 2016.2 and some interesting new features. While still an incremental update, the big item many of our customers have been asking for is finally here, NVIDIA Pascal architecture support. So your Tesla P100, Quadro P6000, Quadro P5000, GeForce GTX TITAN X, GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 and other Pascal cards will now work with RealityServer. Keep reading for some more details of the new features in update 93 of RealityServer.

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RealityServer on Nimbix JARVICE 2.0

The number of cloud service providers offering NVIDIA GPU resources is increasing and in today’s article we will show you how to get started using RealityServer with Nimbix. migenius has deployed several of its customer projects on the Nimbix platform and it offers some unique advantages such as containerised environments (instead of virtualisation), fast start-up times and usage charged by the minute instead of by the hour. On Nimbix migenius has set-up a pre-configured RealityServer environment for you, keep reading to learn how to sign up for Nimbix services and get RealityServer up and running. Read More

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3D Transformations – Part 2 SRT

In this, the second part of our article on transformations I will introduce SRT (Scaling, Rotation, Translation) transformations. Unlike the previous article, this one will have a lot less maths and shows you a simpler way to work with transformations in RealityServer. Additionally the method allows for automatic interpolation of transformations over time in a smooth way which is great for creating animations. Once things are moving you can also introduce motion blur for more realistic results. Read on to discover the ease of SRT transformations.

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3D Transformations – Part 1 Matrices

Transformations are fundamental to working with 3D scenes and something that can be frequently confusing to those that haven’t worked in 3D before. In this, the first of two articles I will show you how to encode 3D transformations as a single 4×4 matrix which you can then pass into the appropriate RealityServer command to position, orient and scale objects in your scene. In a second part I will dive into a newer method of specifying transformations in RealityServer called SRT transformations which also allows for the easy animation of objects.

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Creating Lighting Programmatically

In this article I am going to show you how add light sources to your RealityServer scene using the Web-services API. You will learn how to add several different types of lights, including a photometric light using an IES data file, an area light, a spot light and daylight. This will be a very simple example but will give you all of the pieces you need to programmatically add lighting to your scene. You can expand on the concepts shown here to make different types of lighting very easily.

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VR Rendering with RealityServer 4.4 Update 46

RealityServer 4.4 build 1527.46 has just been released adding Iray 2016.1.1 which includes support for rendering stereo, spherical VR imagery suitable for viewing with devices such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung GearVR, OSVR and Google Cardboard viewers. There are also numerous small additions and bug fixes and some other new features such as spectral rendering, however VR rendering is the headline item. In this article we will show you how to do simple VR rendering with RealityServer.

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Creating a Simple Scene Programmatically

In this article I am going to show you how to create a simple 3D scene, completely from scratch using RealityServer. You will learn about the anatomy of a RealityServer scene and the different components that go into making it up, including options, groups, instances, cameras, geometry and environment lighting. While the scene will be very simple there will be many key principles of RealityServer and NVIDIA Iray demonstrated which you can expand on to build more complex scenes.

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Exploring the RealityServer JSON-RPC API

JSON-RPC API

When getting started with RealityServer, many customers ask us the best place to begin in order to learn how RealityServer works. One of the best and most enjoyable ways we find is to explore the JSON-RPC API which remains the main way that RealityServer functionality is accessed. In this article we will provide an overview of how the RealityServer JSON-RPC API works and some of the best ways to explore and play with functionality exposed there. Whether you are new to RealityServer or a veteran user you will find some valuable pointers.

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What’s New in RealityServer 4.4 Update 40

RealityServer Update

Today we released RealityServer 4.4 build 1527.40. This incremental update focuses on features to help make development with RealityServer easier. It includes many elements which enable RealityServer to do more out of the box without having to write your own plugins. When new customers get their first look at RealityServer we often get many of the same questions about how to do certain things. We hope with this release and future releases to start covering many of these with off the shelf functionality. Most of the information here is also contained in the RealityServer release notes and documentation but if you don’t have RealityServer yet you can read about some of these new features below.

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RealityServer 4.4 with Iray 2016.0

We have just released RealityServer 4.4 which includes the new NVIDIA Iray 2016.0. We will periodically release updated versions as new improvements and Iray updates become available. We’ll cover some of the highlights of this release here but users are strongly encouraged to read both the RealityServer release notes (relnotes.txt) and the Iray releases notes (neurayrelnotes.pdf) provided with the release. Let’s take a look at those new features, some of which many of our users have been asking about for some time.

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RealityServer for Onshape

migenius is pleased to announced we are one of the launch partners for the Onshape App Store which has just entered private beta. We are making RealityServer available as an integrated application within Onshape running entirely in the cloud. Check out our dedicated RealityServer for Onshape product page for further details. Our integration with Onshape is still in beta at the moment however it is already very usable. You can request early access to the Onshape App Store private beta from this link. If you want to know more please contact us.

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Getting Started with RealityServer

So you have obtained RealityServer and installed your license server, what now? We frequently get questions about the best place to start learning about RealityServer and how to use it. As RealityServer is a large, very generalised platform it can be difficult to know where to start. This article provides some pointers on where to start and the best way to learn the basics.

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Trove – Democratizing Jewelry Design

Trove is democratizing the design of jewelry and RealityServer is providing imagery to make it happen. Trove is an online platform for discovering, sharing and customizing 3D printed jewelry designs. Their website (www.troveup.com) enables clients to design, visualize and create beautiful pieces of jewelry from their smartphone or tablet without the need for any special tools or training and, importantly, encourages them both to share and to be inspired by the designs of others in the Trove community. All this is enabled by the innovative application of new technologies throughout the creation process.

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Disrupting the Furniture Market with mycs

Within a single quarter of launching its online presence (www.mycs.com) mid-2015, mycs (pronounced “mix”) was already taking orders in excess of $100k per month. Ikea famously disrupted the furniture market by inviting customers into the supply chain and selling them furniture they could assemble themselves; mycs has now ignited the latest wave of disruption in this sector by offering customised, quality furniture online and at speeds previously unheard of.

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Black Mana Chooses RealityServer to Sustain App Store Success

Black Mana Studios (www.blackmana.com) is an unusual business. Conceiving and popularising a “top ten” app isn’t unique, after all, there are always going to be 9 others in the list, but repeating that success time and time again is. Particularly when you consider how many other companies dream of top ten status.

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Automating the Rendering of Product Images for KAN Design

Creating Strong Brand Identities & Inspiring Brand Experiences

KAN Design & Brand Management (www.kandesign.com) is a leading crossmedia branding and design agency. Based in the heart of Europe, KAN has been at the forefront of the branding business for almost 30 years and recently opened offices in New York to serve its increasingly global clientele. Read More

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3D Innovation Keeps Floorplanner Out in Front

Floorplanner has been helping people create accurate floor plans to sell, design and decorate their homes and offices since 2007. Headquartered in Rotterdam, they have over 10 million registered users in 161 different countries and offer their online service in 14 languages. Over 20 million floor plans have been created via their website and the number keeps growing. Here we explain how Floorplanner has used real-time 3D rendering not only to enhance their on-line design service, but also to create a unique, innovative tool for in-store customer engagement. Read More

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RealityServer 4.3

We have just released RealityServer 4.3 which includes the new NVIDIA Iray 2015. There are some great new features included and we will be adding several more to incremental releases in the future based on new additions to Iray. We’ll cover some of the highlights for you here, there are also a lot of smaller additions so we encourage users to take a look through the release notes for both RealityServer and Iray.  Here is a taste of what’s new, starting with something we have been waiting a very long time for and are very glad to say has been included in this release. Read More

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Why Physically Based Rendering is a Revolution

As any retailer or product marketer knows, it is almost impossible to sell a product without a photograph. The prospective purchaser gains reassurance and essential detail from these images regarding useability, suitability, attractiveness, size, functionality, etc., that cannot be communicated by words alone. And these images have been proven to do the job significantly better if they are of high resolution and show the product in context, enabling the buyer to see exactly how their specific product will look in their own environment. Read More

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Making a Simple Diamond Material in MDL

It’s MDL Monday again and this week I am going to show you how to put together a simple material for simulating diamonds, including dispersion based on an Abbe number. Now, I’m not a 3D artist by any means, but MDL allows me to create a material like this based on the real physical properties of diamonds rather than trying to tune abstract parameters. This material is very simple but very useful if you need to simulate jewellery. You can build on it easily to simulate other gemstones, glasses and similar substances without much effort. Today I’m just going to start with a basic, colourless diamond and cover some concepts which are important for creating physical materials.

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Procedurally Retro with MDL

NVIDIA Iray 2015 will introduce some great new features, including the ability to write your own procedural functions for use in materials. This is fantastic for creating resolution independent effects which can cover large areas without noticeable tiling artifacts (unless you want them of course). Iray is built into our RealityServer product so I love to test out its latest features. To put procedural functions through their paces I decided to try to emulate something procedural from my childhood, the now famous 10 PRINT program. This little one liner, originally designed to demonstrate the capabilities of the Commodore 64 prints a maze by randomly alternating between two diagonal characters. Iray uses the NVIDIA Material Definition Language (MDL) both to define materials as well as custom functions, if you haven’t tried it out this little tutorial is a great way to get started.

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How Many Servers Do I Need?

It sounds like such a simple question and it is asked by almost every new customer we engage. In reality, answering this can get complex quickly, however there are a few basic ways to get some quick estimates. What we are really talking about here is Capacity Planning. As a more general reference on the subject of planning for scalable websites you could take a look at many of the books out there, one now older but still great reference is Cal Henderson’s Building Scalable Websites.

Before setting out we should clarify that at migenius we are typically working with websites and applications with very different compute requirements to your average website. Normally servers are used for serving pages, database operations, perhaps running search engines and other tasks that would occupy only a small portion of any servers resources when servicing a single users requests. Read More

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Photorealistic Rendering for Mass Customisation

Insulight Jacket

Mass Customisation, if you have not experienced it, is the ability to tailor a retail product to your own tastes and have it manufactured to order. Many well known brands such as Reebok and The North Face are now offering configurable products to their customers and it is catching on in many industries, not only apparel but also furniture, jewellery, automotive and many more.

To enable Mass Customisation two key problems had to be solved. First to be solved was the manufacturing processes. How do you make a customised product quickly enough and for a low enough cost to offer it in the same way as mass produced products? This has been an area of considerable research and development in recent years and brands have already started to roll out successful examples of this type of manufacturing. Read More

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