At the GPU Technology Conference in Munich on Tuesday, Nvidia invited experienced 3D designers to apply for early access to Holodeck, its photorealistic, collaborative virtual reality environment.
Nvidia said the tool is ideal for product designers and architects, but also for content creators or even “enthusiasts wanting to enjoy 3D and 360-degree content with their friends in a VR space.”
It could very well lead to extremely lifelike entertainment experiences–both gaming and interactive narrative experiences–in addition to enterprise solutions like product prototyping and telepresence.
What is Nvidia Holodeck?
Holodeck allows users to import, render and explore models at full fidelity, with no need for geometric simplification, in “life-like 3D worlds” that offer remote realtime collaboration. The environemtn supports models consisting of tens of millions of polygons with various materials and textures.
For example, when Nvidia demoed the technology in May, it showed engineers within the Holodeck environment as they performed a design review of the $1.9 million Koenigsegg Regera supercar with high visual fidelity and realtime collaboration. The model consisted of around 50 million polygons.
The engineers could also view embedded equipment either by making the vehicle’s body temporarily transparent or pulling the model apart, as you can see in the demo video. They could also view the vehicle in various lighting and weather configurations.
Holodeck is built on an “enhanced version of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4,” and employs NVIDIA GameWorks, VRWorks, DesignWorks, and Nvidia PhysX for its photorealistic textures and materials, and its physics simulation (Holodeck’s virtual worlds are built to “obey the laws of physics”).
Another aspect of Holodeck is that you can train AI to power, control or use the prototypes in VR and simulate the AI’s performance before bringing that AI-powered object into the real world.
All the pieces and parts behind Holodeck are already in play, but Holodeck brings them all together on top of its customized Unreal Engine 4 backend (which already powers numerous VR experiences for Oculus, Vive and more).
How can you use Holodeck for better VR narrative experiences?
Although Nvidia doesn’t have an entertainment-based use case on its website (it has Koenigsegg, NASA and KPF architecture firm), Holodeck could house 3D designs of objects within games or narrative experiences for collaborative exploration and review. And, that AI tool could be particularly useful to hone in on realistic behavior of various objects in all kinds of scenarios. Hopefully there will be some 3D designers in the entertainment sector included in Holodeck’s early access program so we can aactually see what it could do for our segment of the industry, rather than making vague hunches.
Early access Holodeck users will be able to import existing models from 3dsMax and Maya into Holodeck and start exploring its capabilities. You will need a VR-enabled system (GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, Quadro P6000 and TITAN Xp GPUs) to take advantage of Holodeck early access. More detailed requirements and more information is available here.