THE REAL-TIME REV­O­LU­TION

Pierre Ma­heut, strat­egy di­rec­tor of ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign at Al­le­gorith­mic, ex­plains why Sub­stance is be­com­ing in­te­gral to vi­su­al­i­sa­tion artists

3D Artist - - VISUALISING THE FUTURE -

SUB­STANCE HAS BEEN USED IN GAME DE­VEL­OP­MENT FOR YEARS, BUT WHAT IS IT THAT IS MAK­ING IT POP­U­LAR IN AR­CHI­TEC­TURAL VI­SU­AL­I­SA­TION NOW?

For years there has been a larger rev­o­lu­tion go­ing on within arch viz where game tech­nolo­gies and real-time pipe­lines have be­come more im­por­tant to the work­flow. When teams look to the lead­ers in that field, they find us. And since PBR ma­te­rial cre­ation (or sourc­ing) is now more im­por­tant to them, we are able to meet that need in a vis­ually ap­peal­ing way. Most of the time we are re­plac­ing Pho­to­shop, which can be an amaz­ing tool for re­touch­ing, but not for PBR ma­te­rial cre­ation.

VIDEOGAMES NEED TO BAL­ANCE RE­AL­ISM WITH TECH­NI­CAL RE­STRIC­TIONS, BUT ARCH VIZ DOESN’T NEC­ES­SAR­ILY SUF­FER FROM THIS. HOW DOES SUB­STANCE CATER TO THIS GREATER FIDELITY?

We are at a point where so many in­dus­tries are us­ing

Sub­stance – over 150,000 users – that the prod­uct de­vel­op­ments tend to have rip­ples far out­side of their orig­i­nal fo­cus. The one thing ev­ery­one likes is re­al­ism though, so when we cre­ate toolsets that pro­duce higher and higher qual­ity out­puts, let’s say for film and game au­di­ences where this is es­sen­tial, other mar­kets like ar­chi­tec­ture that also care about pho­to­re­al­ism can build these ben­e­fits back into their work.

WHAT CHANGES HAVE OC­CURRED IN THE ARCH-VIZ IN­DUS­TRY THAT HAVE GUIDED THE WAY YOU DE­VELOP SUB­STANCE?

One of the big­gest rev­o­lu­tions in arch viz right now is the rise of real-time ex­pe­ri­ences. With Un­real you can cre­ate hy­per-re­al­is­tic ex­pe­ri­ences, im­ages or movies in a few sec­onds com­pared to the sev­eral hours it used to take with off­line ren­der­ers. When you com­bine this ca­pa­bil­ity with a VR head­set, adding im­mer­siv­ity and a ‘real-scale’ feel­ing, the de­sign be­comes even bet­ter.

HOW IS SUB­STANCE ALCHEMIST GO­ING TO HELP, SPECIF­I­CALLY, THE ARCH-VIZ ARTIST?

Most arch-viz teams want some ver­sion of sim­ple and pow­er­ful. Sub­stance Alchemist is both. Us­ing Sub­stance Alchemist, arch-viz artists will be able to ex­plore a large se­lec­tion of Sub­stance ma­te­ri­als, eas­ily cre­ate pre­sets, gen­er­ate vari­a­tions based on mood board im­ages, and mix or blend ma­te­ri­als to cre­ate their own li­braries very quickly. We call it ‘aug­mented ma­te­rial cre­ation’ and right now, it’s about as sim­ple as it gets for pho­to­re­al­is­tic ma­te­ri­als.

WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE MOST IN­TER­EST­ING OR IN­NO­VA­TIVE AS­PECTS OF FU­TURE TECH, BE­YOND YOUR OWN, TO LOOK OUT FOR?

I’m for­tu­nate be­cause I get to see the fu­ture be­ing im­ple­mented/con­sid­ered through the work of our de­vel­op­ment team. Ai-based al­go­rithms will be a turn­ing point for 3D artists. This is why we are work­ing on ap­ply­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to aug­mented ma­te­rial cre­ation in our up­com­ing prod­uct, Sub­stance Alchemist. I’m also cu­ri­ous to see how 3D scan­ning and pho­togram­me­try evolve, since that evo­lu­tion will di­rectly change how arch-viz artists cre­ate their work.

WHAT DO YOU IMAG­INE TO BE THE FU­TURE OF AR­CHI­TEC­TURAL VI­SU­AL­I­SA­TION?

The fu­ture of arch viz will re­fo­cus ev­ery­thing on the unique ca­pa­bil­ity of arch-viz artists to mag­nify the work of the ar­chi­tects, pro­vid­ing the right emo­tion, mood and story in a more im­mer­sive and in­ter­ac­tive way. It will be a true 360-de­gree ex­pe­ri­ence, cov­er­ing sto­ry­telling, in­ter­ac­tion, usage sce­nario and co-cre­ation.

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