Nvidia has released Omniverse Create 2022.1, a major update to the scene layout and editing app for Omniverse, its real-time 3D collaboration platform.
The release adds a new set of animation tools, including a Timeline, Curve Editor and node-based Graph Editor; plus soft-body physics, support for USD curves for hair, and support for AOVs when rendering.
Other changes announced for Omniverse during Nvidia’s GTC 2022 conference include new Unreal Engine 5 and Substance Painter connectors, and the option to use third-party renderers in the Omniverse viewport.
A USD-based collaboration platform for VFX, game development, design and visualization
Officially launched this January after a year in beta, Omniverse enables artists and designers anywhere in the world to collaborate on projects in real time.
Data is exchanged between compatible CAD and DCC applications and Omniverse in USD format, with connector plugins available for tools including 3ds Max, Maya, Revit, Rhino, SketchUp and Unreal Engine.
Omniverse 2022.1: complete new character animation toolset
Omniverse 2022.1 is a major update to the software, augmenting its scene layout capabilities with a complete new character animation toolset, and significant improvements to physics simulation.
Regargeting currently only works with bipeds, but there are presets for Reallusion’s Character Creator – and by extension, characters from its ActorCore library – and other third-party libraries like RenderPeople.
However, the toolset is structured more like that for a game engine than a DCC app like Maya or Blender, with other features including a node-based Animation Graph for runtime animation playback and blending.
Users can also create runtime interactions – for example, triggering a character to move in response to a keyboard command – via the Action Graph, a node-based visual scripting environment.
In addition, an Unreal Engine-style Sequencer for ordering animation clips into a cinematic.
Soft-body physics based on PhysX 5.0
Omniverse Create 2022.1 also adds support for soft-body physics, on top of the existing rigid body dynamics.
The implementation supports cloth, deformable objects, inflatable objects like balloons, and being based on PhysX 5.0, the latest version of Nvidia’s real-time simulation framework, is GPU-accelerated.
The update also integrates Warp, Nvidia’s framework for translating Python code into CUDA code, making it possible for developers to author sims in Python, and have Warp translate them to run efficiently on the GPU.
New rendering features: NURBS curves, AOVs and shadow catchers
Users also get supoort for editing and rendering NURBS curves, making it possible to work with imported characters with curve-based hair.
Other new rendering features include support for Arbitrary Output Variables (AOVs), for finer control over the look of rendered output via compositing.
The update also adds what Nvidia calls Matte Objects, but which users of DCC apps will probably know as shadow catchers: invisible objects that catch shadows and reflections, to ground 3D objects in environments.
Other new features
The update also provides a set of readymade ground planes with shadow catchers via the Sky Browser, now renamed the Environment Browser to reflect its broader functionality.
Other changes include support for USD Primvars and support for USD Geom Points in Omniverse’s built-in RTX Renderer, for rendering effects like rain, dust and sparks.
It is also now possible to switch the viewport from RTX Renderer to a range of Hydra render delegates: initially the native USD HdStorm renderer, with third-party renderers like Redshift and V-Ray to come.
Availability and system requirements
Omniverse Create 2022.1 is available for Windows 10 and CentOS 7/Ubuntu 18.04 Linux. It installs from the main Omniverse launcher. It requires a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU or better.
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