With over 1,000 tools and seemingly endless settings, the first time you open a 3D software, like Autodesk Maya or Blender, can be overwhelming. These software are notoriously complex. After all, they’re built to give 3D modelers freedom and creativity when designing interactive 3D content.
Maya has a steep learning curve. When starting out, users have to learn various theories, tools, and workflows – which takes a lot of time and practice to master. But as the saying goes, nothing good comes easy. And while learning Maya may not be a walk in the park, its powerful tools and array of options allow 3D modelers to create stunning visuals – making the effort worthwhile.
A screenshot of Maya’s UI showing it’s complex tools, an overwhelming sight for any beginner!
With the rise in demand for AR/VR applications across many industries, 3D modelers have found themselves in new territories. Not only relying on Maya and Blender, but having to venture out into the world of real-time game engines. To add to the complexity of what is already a complicated pipeline, when working on real-time visualizations, there’s another important step that 3D modelers must consider. And that is optimizing 3D files to make them compatible for game engines.
Looking at what is a spiderweb of 3D files in different formats, various 3D software and available pipelines, it quickly becomes clear that 3D modelers could greatly benefit from tools that help simplify and automate their pipelines, particularly in optimization.
The role of a complex UI in 3D design
When it comes to designing a visualization, having control over every aspect of your project is important. Whether you’re designing an architectural visualization, or a simulation of a factory assembly line, having full control over the animation, textures, UV mapping, etc. is necessary.
Here’s an example of a common pipeline: when converting a CAD into polygon mesh, 3D modelers have to quadrangulate their file, set pivot points, and generate new normals and UV’s. Because this is a complicated process, 3D modelers need to understand all the necessary tools and apply them manually to ensure no errors are made.
However, creating real-time visualizations – like an AR app, or an immersive experience – requires work in game engines like Unity or Unreal Engine. So after a 3D modeler designs, generates normal, UV’s, add lights, textures and materials in a 3D software like Maya, 3DS Max, or Blender, they need to optimize their file for game engines – an important step to ensure compatibility and performance.
Benefits of a simple UI for optimization
While 3D modelers learn and practice to understand 3D concepts such as modelling, rigging, texturing and animation, optimization is a process they learn on the job. In fact, it’s quite a tedious process that many don’t enjoy. Optimizing a file requires repetitive actions, like individually deleting unnecessary parts, deleting history, or having to go back and forth between the game engine and the design software to make necessary updates.
When optimizing, 3D modelers could greatly benefit from a simple UI with an automated workflow that is fine-tuned for their specific 3D pipeline. This is a factor we greatly took into account when creating our own 3D optimization software, Meshmatic.
An automated optimization workflow with Meshmatic
Based on our own experience with a number of different 3D content development pipelines, such as 3DS Max to Quixel to Unreal Engine, and Maya to Substance Painter to Unity, we knew that 3D modelers aren’t fully familiar with every single pipeline out there. That’s why when creating Meshmatic, we designed a simple and effective UI that minimizes the learning time required to get started and optimizing complex 3D files, especially for non-3D artsits.
Meshmatic has a simple UI equipped with automated powerful optimization tools, packaged into one button. This makes it easy for beginners as well as advanced users to use. Instead of using various optimization tools manually, users can select a desired objective for their file. Here are a few examples of what Meshmatic can help with:
- Preparing 3D file for game engine by optimizing FPS
- Combining and packaging a model for 3D printing
- Cleaning up meshes and optimizing LOD’s for faster animation rendering
- Optimizing duplicates and topologies for easier modeling and design
Meshmatic gives users the option to select from various project options (3D print, game engine, 3D design and render), and then uses powerful tools and algorithms to optimize accordingly.
After the user selects a project objective, Meshmatic’s Auto Optimizer reads the file and detects problematic areas. It then applies the appropriate optimization tools and algorithms to the entire file. For example, if a user wants to increase its real-time FPS for a game engine, instead of the user manually selecting from a wide array of tools from the UI – like generating LOD’s, deleing unnecessary parts and more – Meshmatic will automatically apply the necessary tools in just one click. The end result will be a file that’s thoroughly optimized for the user’s end application.
While Meshmatic greatly automates the optimization workflow, advanced users do have the option to fine-tune their optimization by individually selecting the tools they want to optimize with. For example, a user may find that their project needs a higher level of detail (LOD) and can use Meshmatic’s LOD tool to improve this detail.
Sign up today and get the latest information on automating your optimization workflow with Meshmatic’s simple and intuitive UI!