Foundry and J Cube have partnered up, producing Multiverse Studio to boost the CG ecosystem and improve Katana and Maya pipelines.
Creative software studio Foundry has partnered up with J Cube to bring Multiverse Studio to the production industry. This workflow tool, what they like to call a ‘unified ecosystem’, offers seamless and fast data transfer of layouts and geometry between 3D applications via a unified architecture that wraps together Alembic and Universal Scene Description (USD). It also powers shading network interchange via the MaterialX specification.
As the industry has progressed through milestones where computers are so much more powerful every year, software builders can now see clear to accelerate workflow and hand the speed and creativity back to the artist.
I spoke with Jordan Thistlewood, Senior Product Manager at Foundry in London about what aspects of Multiverse Studio artists and production technologists were using. “The J Cube crew has taken time to figure out what are the hurdles in an artist-focused interaction with the technical aspects of production,” says Thistlewood. “They’ve taken the technical complexity of managing datasets, boiled it down to interaction with the core effects, and made it easier to do the work.”
Multiverse Studio: Maya to Katana – end-to-end example.
Multiverse Studio customers have access to MaterialX, Alembic and USD tools unified in all Katana and Maya versions, on all platforms. Multiverse’s innovative toolset also solves wider industry problems. It allows for fast and memory efficient I/O, provides dynamic management of hierarchies in Maya and procedural geometry rendering, facilitating accurate motion blur for varying topology simulation caches in Maya and Katana. It also offers new functionality that allows retiming of geometry caches at render time, without the need to re-export geometry caches with adjusted motion samples.
“This is all about now being able to compact highly complex hierarchies into simple box forms, which makes it easy to process loads,” Thistlewood explains. “Similar to KATANA dealing with Alembic and USD hierarchies, you only deal with what you need to interact with, so there’s a symbiosis between the two different toolsets. Multiverse Studio feeds the files to the renderer only when it required, making, for instance, motion blur particularly easier than in earlier times.”
Foundry will resell Multiverse Studio for Katana and Maya as interactive and batch licenses. The pricing scheme includes the first year of maintenance for each license type and activates Maya, Katana, plus any future DCC app implementations. The J Cube Multiverse Studio facilitates a pipeline that incorporates Maya, Houdini’s Mantra and 3Delight renderers, with V-Ray and Redshift workflow coming soon.
Soho VFX in Toronto has been using Multiverse in their Alembic pipeline, incorporating Maya, Houdini and 3Delight for over a year. “It’s been transformative for our work on ‘The Shallows’, ‘Ben Hur’ and ‘Logan’,” says Berj Bannayan, VFX Supervisor at Soho VFX. “The integration into our existing pipeline has been straightforward and we’ve been outputting some positively giant Alembic caches that we’re now handling easily. It’s great stuff!”
“Foundry has always been skilled at identifying innovative software solutions that improve the production experience and change the industry for the better,” says Paolo Berto Durante, CTO at J Cube Inc. “We can’t wait to see what artists are going to create with it.”