PlayblastVR Renderer for Softimage Released

Plugins linking to this thread: (hide)

PlayblastVR for SoftimageAuthor: Andrew Hazelden
V1.4 updated November 2016 with fixes, support for new devices and a new sample scene (Full Version History) PlayblastVR is a new renderer for Softimage that creates hardware rendered panoramic 360 images using OpenGL. The PlayblastVR renderer allows you to create immersive previz renderings of Softimage scenes in LatLong, fulldome, cylindrical, and cubic panorama formats. PlayblastVR supports panoramic rendering output directly to YouTube 360 and Facebook 360 format movies with automatic metadata embedding, and to Google Photosphere spherical panoramas. PlayblastVR can render Softimage scene elements such as animated polygon and NURBS geometry, lights, ICE, hair and fur, cloth sims, and procedurally generated shading networks.

After a PlayblastVR panoramic batch sequence rendering is complete it can be sent to an Oculus Rift or viewed using a video playback tool like DJV Viewer, Adobe SpeedGrade, Amateras Dome Player, Assimilate Scratch and Scratch Player, Kolor Eyes, Whirligig, VLC, VLCwarp Player, RV, Live View Rift, and the Softimage Flipbook
[..] Continue reading here. The full documentation is available here.

Supported panoramic formats: Angular FisheyeAngular Fisheye With 4:3 Ratio BackgroundAngular Fisheye with 16:9 Ratio BackgroundEquirectangular / LatLong / SphericalCube Map 3X2CylindricalCylindrical 270°Vertical Cross CubeHorizontal Cross CubeVertical Tee CubeHorizontal Tee CubeVertical Strip CubeHorizontal Strip CubeMental Ray Horizontal Strip Cube1

Testimonial by NSC Creative Supervisor Max Crow: I can assure you PlayblastVR is the VR tool for Softimage you have always wanted!

Price is $249 USD for a single user license. For other licensing options see the product page.


New plugins, tools etc.
Post Reply
AndrewHazelden
Posts: 12
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 15:40
Location: West Dover, Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact:

PlayblastVR Renderer for Softimage Released

Post by AndrewHazelden » 14 Nov 2015, 17:17

Image

Dover Studios co-founder Andrew Hazelden has released PlayblastVR for Softimage.

PlayblastVR is a new renderer for Softimage that creates hardware rendered panoramic 360 degree images using OpenGL. The PlayblastVR renderer allows you to create immersive previz renderings of Softimage scenes in LatLong, fulldome, cylindrical, and cubic panorama formats.

PlayblastVR supports panoramic rendering output directly to YouTube 360 and Facebook 360 format movies with automatic metadata embedding, and to Google Photosphere spherical panoramas.

PlayblastVR can render Softimage scene elements such as animated polygon and NURBS geometry, lights, ICE, hair and fur, cloth sims, and procedurally generated shading networks.

After a PlayblastVR panoramic batch sequence rendering is complete it can be sent to an Oculus Rift or viewed using a video playback tool like DJV Viewer, Adobe SpeedGrade, Amateras Dome Player, Assimilate Scratch and Scratch Player, Kolor Eyes, Whirligig, VLC, VLCwarp Player, RV, Live View Rift, and the Softimage Flipbook.

PlayblastVR previz renderings will save you time and money because hardware based panoramic renderings make better use of the artist’s time. Using PlayblastVR will also free up your render nodes from having to use a slower software based production renderer to output your animation test renderings into a panoramic format.

Max Crow, Creative Supervisor at NSC Creative in the UK had this to say about the toolset: "I can assure you PlayblastVR is the VR tool for Softimage you have always wanted!"

Pricing and Availability
The PlayblastVR for Softimage renderer is available today starting at $249 USD.

For more information check out:
http://www.andrewhazelden.com/blog/down ... softimage/

User avatar
rray
Moderator
Posts: 1385
Joined: 26 Sep 2009, 15:51
Location: Bonn, Germany
Contact:

Re: PlayblastVR Renderer for Softimage Released

Post by rray » 14 Nov 2015, 18:37

Congratulations on this fine release and thank you for continued support of Softimage!
Softimage Resources section (formerly known as rray.de/xsi) updated Oct 01 2017

AndrewHazelden
Posts: 12
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 15:40
Location: West Dover, Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact:

PlayblastVR v1.4 for Softimage Released

Post by AndrewHazelden » 12 Nov 2016, 13:40

PlayblastVR v1.4 for Softimage has been released today and is available as a free update for existing customers. :ymparty:

PlayblastVR V1.4 Changes:
  • PanoView support for GoPro VR Player, and QuickTime Player
  • PanoView updated Amateras and Kolor Eyes executable paths
  • Automatic XSI Project “Render_Pictures” and “Composites” folder creation during rendering
  • New “Roller_Coaster_Project” example scene (Softimage 2015)
PlayblastVR-for-Softimage-Roller-Coaster-smaller.jpg
PlayblastVR for Softimage Roller Coaster Project

jonmoore
Posts: 70
Joined: 30 Jul 2016, 18:18

Re: PlayblastVR v1.4 for Softimage Released

Post by jonmoore » 12 Nov 2016, 20:02

AndrewHazelden wrote:PlayblastVR v1.4 for Softimage has been released today and is available as a free update for existing customers. :ymparty:

PlayblastVR V1.4 Changes:
  • PanoView support for GoPro VR Player, and QuickTime Player
  • PanoView updated Amateras and Kolor Eyes executable paths
  • Automatic XSI Project “Render_Pictures” and “Composites” folder creation during rendering
  • New “Roller_Coaster_Project” example scene (Softimage 2015)
PlayblastVR-for-Softimage-Roller-Coaster-smaller.jpg
Can you explain the benefits of your approach over doing previz in UnrealEngine (or Unity)? I get that UnrealEngine involves a little technical knowledge too but the quality achievable via a PBR workflow is far superior to GL renders from Softimage. Plus the UE assets used in Previz might form a base for final production shots. At the end of the day, if you're in the business of creating VR assets, you're likely to have a reasonable level of technical expertise.

This isn't intended as negative criticism I just want to know what I'm missing.

AndrewHazelden
Posts: 12
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 15:40
Location: West Dover, Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact:

Re: PlayblastVR v1.4 for Softimage Released

Post by AndrewHazelden » 12 Nov 2016, 21:33

jonmoore wrote: Can you explain the benefits of your approach over doing previz in UnrealEngine (or Unity)? I get that UnrealEngine involves a little technical knowledge too but the quality achievable via a PBR workflow is far superior to GL renders from Softimage. Plus the UE assets used in Previz might form a base for final production shots. At the end of the day, if you're in the business of creating VR assets, you're likely to have a reasonable level of technical expertise.

This isn't intended as negative criticism I just want to know what I'm missing.
Hi Jon.

That's a good question.

This toolset is aimed primarily at people who are working in a pre-rendered cinematic VR based production environment where the final output for the project would be a raytraced LatLong/Equirectangular/Spherical 360° movie or an angular fisheye 180° "domemaster" formatted planetarium show that is rendered using a traditional production renderer and a lens shader like Domemaster3D or Arnold's lens shaders.

In this environment the Softimage based artists are not targeting a realtime VR "game" like experience so using Unity or Unreal Engine would be something of a distraction, and add the need to have programmers on hand, along with an extra scene translation stage for every revision you make in your Softimage scene.

PlayblastVR is handy as it is simply an easy to use pre-viz renderer that gives you a panoramic viewport capture style output from Softimage that works nicely with all of the existing lights, textures, models, dynamics, and ICE elements in your existing Softimage scene. PlayblastVR can render right to a YouTube 360 / Facebook 360 compatible MP4 movie that has the required spatial media metadata embedded automatically.

PlayblastVR also has a "PanoView" module that lets you push your most recent renderings to your favorite panoramic 360° media viewer tools like GoPro VR Player, Kolor Eyes, Whirigig, Amateras Player, or RV player so you can see the latest revisions on your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive HMD.

jonmoore
Posts: 70
Joined: 30 Jul 2016, 18:18

Re: PlayblastVR Renderer for Softimage Released

Post by jonmoore » 12 Nov 2016, 21:43

Thanks for your reply.

Most VR projects I'm involved with fall into two primary camps. Those facilitated by game engines with a relatively open world, and those based on shot footage manipulated in Nuke. Very little is based on rendered sequences as the cost can be prohibitive based on the the budgets clients are willing to pay.

It's good to know your product exists and you continue to support XSI based studios.

homam
Posts: 41
Joined: 17 Mar 2013, 00:15
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Re: PlayblastVR Renderer for Softimage Released

Post by homam » 17 Nov 2016, 23:46

It is cool to be able to pre-vis a scene in VR but how this will be final rendered? Do you have a plan to provide lens shaders for outputting equivalent results from Mental Ray or Arnold?

AndrewHazelden
Posts: 12
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 15:40
Location: West Dover, Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact:

Re: PlayblastVR Renderer for Softimage Released

Post by AndrewHazelden » 18 Nov 2016, 00:01

homam wrote:It is cool to be able to pre-vis a scene in VR but how this will be final rendered? Do you have a plan to provide lens shaders for outputting equivalent results from Mental Ray or Arnold?
Hi Homam. I've already done that. :)

I created the Domemaster3D lens shader port for Softimage that works with mental ray and SItoA Arnold.

You can take an existing Softimage scene that was built and textured for rendering with a fulldome or LatLong lens shader in mental ray or Arnold, and PlayblastVR for Softimage is able to give you a matching equirectangular/fisheye previz version of your Softimage scene.

jonmoore
Posts: 70
Joined: 30 Jul 2016, 18:18

Re: PlayblastVR Renderer for Softimage Released

Post by jonmoore » 18 Nov 2016, 00:39

AndrewHazelden wrote:
homam wrote:It is cool to be able to pre-vis a scene in VR but how this will be final rendered? Do you have a plan to provide lens shaders for outputting equivalent results from Mental Ray or Arnold?
Hi Homam. I've already done that. :)

I created the Domemaster3D lens shader port for Softimage that works with mental ray and SItoA Arnold.

You can take an existing Softimage scene that was built and textured for rendering with a fulldome or LatLong lens shader in mental ray or Arnold, and PlayblastVR for Softimage is able to give you a matching equirectangular/fisheye previz version of your Softimage scene.
It would be great if you could get Domemaster to work with Redshift. :)

homam
Posts: 41
Joined: 17 Mar 2013, 00:15
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Re: PlayblastVR Renderer for Softimage Released

Post by homam » 18 Nov 2016, 17:28

That's great news Andrew :)

Do you have a tutorial that explains how to render compatible VR YouTube video using your shaders?

Regards,

AndrewHazelden
Posts: 12
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 15:40
Location: West Dover, Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact:

Re: PlayblastVR Renderer for Softimage Released

Post by AndrewHazelden » 18 Nov 2016, 19:37

homam wrote:Do you have a tutorial that explains how to render compatible VR YouTube video using your shaders?
If you use any of the traditional rendering engines in Softimage and render out an Equirectangular/Spherical/LatLong movie (360°x180° field of view) video file it can be made to work with YouTube 360 and Facebook 360. Both sites use the same panoramic metadata information so your same final movie content can be placed on the sites using the same uploaded file.

YouTube 360 is pretty simple from a delivery concept. You render out your panoramic footage to an MP4 H.264 video file at 4K UHD resolution with either an accurate equirectangular 2:1 aspect ratio 3840x1920 px resolution, or a stretched 3840x2160 px resolution for the finshished equirectangular 2D mono movie.

Then you use the free YouTube Spatial Media Metadata Injector tool to add the required tags to the MP4 video file so it is detected automatically as panoramic footage when the movie is uploaded.

PlayblastVR for Softimage as a VR previz tool has the YouTube 360/Facebook 360 metadata embedding feature built-in so it's panoramic movie renderings are ready for you to upload to the internet the second the batch rendering stage is complete.

When you upload a panoramic video file to YouTube you have to wait until all of the different resolutions of the video are processed by YouTube's video encoding system before you will see the panoramic YouTube 360 navigation controls added to the video. This can mean you have to be patient for about 5-10 minutes after the movie is finished the uploading stage before you will see it in "VR" on your desktop or mobile devices. Don't freak out impatiently the second your movie finishes the initial YouTube upload stage if it looks like it is playing back as a non-panoramic video clip the first instant you have a visible YouTube timeline video play control you can press.

If you want to explore the more exotic world of pre-rendered panoramic 360° stereo imagery you will have to place the left and right equirectangular views into an over/under frame layout. For simplicity many people squeeze the aspect ratio a bit so the over/under imagery is placed into a 3840x2160 px frame format. Here is the YouTube support page that gives a bit more information on the delivery standards for YouTube 360:
https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6178631?hl=en

If you want to upload your VR video at 8K resolution you will notice that many video encoder programs like Adobe Media Encoder, or Apple's Compressor tool won't let you compress an H.264 video to that high of a frame size. This will mean you will have to explore another video codec like GoPro's Cineform, H.265 (HEVC), or even uploading a monster sized QuickTime ProRes movie.

Using FFmpeg is a good way to encode an H.265 movie from your renderings if you are comfortable using a command prompt window. There are several GUI wrappers for the FFMPEG command line program if that is something more agreeable to you.

I posted a sample command line syntax for FFmpeg encoding a movie to H.265 with audio support on this blog post here along with details on how to playback H.265 video in a VR media player like GoPro VR Player by using the VLC based playback engine.

If I missed any other details required on how to get your pre-rendered panoramic 360° renderings ready for distribution, please feel free to ask any other questions you might have.

homam
Posts: 41
Joined: 17 Mar 2013, 00:15
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Re: PlayblastVR Renderer for Softimage Released

Post by homam » 21 Nov 2016, 07:15

Thanks for the detailed overview :) I'll give it a try soon and let you know how it goes.

Regards,

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest