Blog

1st September 2016 - We are pleased to announce the availability of the latest Carbon Plug-in build, which has some exciting new features.

1) Houdini 15.5 now supported. Our latest build now supports Houdini 15.5 and includes both python 2.6 and python 2.7 support.

2) NEW Carbon SOP Simulation nodes allow you to run Carbon with the Houdini standard license (rather than needing the more expensive FX license). Also the SOP nodes are much more artist friendly. The Carbon SOP Simulation has initially a smaller feature set than the DOP equivalent (no Carbon Plumage, Actor, Draping or Joint nodes for now), and is a little slower, but is way more Artist friendly with the ability to directly paint parameters maps and select constraint points from the relevant Carbon nodes. There are links inside the documentation to the SOP examples when they are available.

3) An exciting new feature is the ability to use the Carbon Binding node between two soft objects (Cloth/Cloth, Cloth/Tetra or Tetra/Tetra), allowing you to add things such as pockets onto garments without requiring matching points or tessellation on the geometry underneath. Check binding.hip for a Cloth/Cloth attachment example.

4) NEW Carbon Welding parameters now allow springy attachments between Cloth and Rigid Body objects. The new Carbon Welding Actor/Soft mode allows to tether Carbon Cloth or Tetra to the world without the need for a Carbon Collider. Look at the modified welding.hip file for an example.

5) You can now animate the Binding/Stitching/Welding/Seaming/Draping point groups and parameters, so its possible to emulate effects such as tearing, temporary pinning, ... etc. Check out the stitching.hip file for an example of a tearing effect.

In addition we have added a few general fixes, and various other improvements to all our constraints.

If you would like to evaluate this latest release please contact us -  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1st July 2016 - We are very excited to announce we have started a new Innovate UK supported project "Total Capture" with Andy Serkis' Imaginarium Studios and CVSSP @ University of Surrey.

TOTAL CAPTURE is an eighteen-month applied research project to research, develop and demonstrate new ways for teams of creative professionals to create real-time animation collaboratively on set, using enhanced performance capture technologies, without the need for extensive technician support. The goal is to develop highly automated, easy-to-use technologies that put the emphasis back onto the creative process, reduce costs, and merge the present five stages of development, pre-production, production, post and distribution. The outcome is designed to support the creation of animated feature movies, TV, video games, visual effects applied to live performance in the theatre or concert venue, and streaming content for immersive virtual experiences and novel types of game.

The partnership brings together Europe’s leading performance capture studio (The Imaginarium), a specialist in physics engines for VFX and video games (Numerion Software) and a leading UK research centre specialising in advanced video and performance capture technology (University of Surrey).

June 14th 2016 - By Popular request we've prepared some Houdini examples of how to use Carbon Tets to simulate sliding and deforming character skin, with volume preservation. These examples are immediately available on request and will also be included in the next Carbon release.

Read more about skin deformation with Carbon Tets here.

 

3rd May 2016 - We have just released our third soft body node for the Carbon Houdini Plug-in.

Carbon Plumage is available now. This easy-to-use solution delivers interactive to real-time simulations of thousands of rigid and soft feathers. Carbon Plumage fully interacts  with all Carbon nodes, allowing to have multiple Plumages, Rigid Bodies, Cloths and Tetras  in the same simulation with full collision and realistic behavior! Additionally, users can grow and shrink feathers, animate material properties, and create feather laminations. Each individual  Plumage contains up to 3 base feathers, which can be interpolated with a simple paint map to generate a Plumage with thousands of unique feathers. The seamless integration into Houdini, paired with a variety of tutorials, allows beginners and experienced users to achieve great results in a matter of minutes. Similar to Carbon Cloth, Carbon Plumage can be used for its obvious purpose and also for scales or spines, or even foliage. Read more about Carbon Plumage here.

31st March 2016 - "Project Zero" was our second Innovate UK supported project, and once again we found ourselves in the world of fashion.
Building on the experience from the last project, we moved from simple fabrics to simple garments and then eventually complex garments.
Working hand in hand with fashion designers, render specialists and computer vision specialists, the goal was to evaluate the feasibility of using virtual representations of garments to

During the course of the project, we started working on our own garment stitching tool in Houdini, a pattern importer, and representation of seams and zippers. Although these are not finished products yet, we made good progress and plan to develop them further when funding allows. The main insight we gained from the project was that in order to reproduce a virtual garment replica that looked pretty much identical on, for example a catwalk, each and every individual piece needs to be as close to reality as possible. A small deviation in the garment design, avatar's body setup combined with a slightly different walk already makes a big difference. In addition to that, we learned that in most (complex) garments, the material properties of the fabric play only a minor role in the garment behaviour. The driving force is the structure of the garment, the way it is assembled with stitching and multiple layers.

 

January 29th 2016 - Celebrating another great movie release from DreamWorks Animation today – Kung Fu Panda 3.
Not a lot of clothing in this movie, but Panda's have fat arms and Carbon Cloth was used for pinch management between the arms and the body.


14th December 2015 - Great to see Carbon cloth simulation on the big Screen at Piccadilly Circus today. Congrats to Burberry and DreamWorks Animation/Nova for the great interactive scarf experience.  Burberry partnered with Nova to "create the first interactive luxury marketing campaign using Nova's 3D technology." 

Nova relies on Carbon Cloth for cloth simulations as it reliably produces high-quality, stable and fast simulations. Besides providing Carbon, Numerion worked closely with the Nova team to tune simulation parameters and develop new technology to accommodate an ever growing need for art direction. Read more here.

Interactive cloth simulation at Piccadilly Circus in London.

9th October 2015 - We are excited to announce that a new soft body node has been added to our Carbon Houdini Plug-in portfolio.
Carbon Tetra works with native Houdini tetrahedrons and has segment and volume constraints.
Also, by using signed volumes, we guarantee that no spontaneous tetrahedron inversions happen.
This means that Carbon Tetra can preserve shape and/or volume reliably.

The underlying physics structure parallelizes extremely well and allows for real-time (24Hz) simulations of geometries containing 300,000 tets.
The noodle bowl below is simulating at 7.68 million tets/sec. (and 10.6 million segments/sec.) in the Carbon test bed on Dual 14 core system.
(Note: Houdini overhead will slow that down in the plug-in).

Moreover, being a soft body, artists can take advantage of Carbon’s goal posing to art direct the Tet behavior they need, in the same way they goal pose Carbon Cloth.

The versatility and speed of Carbon Tetra makes them the perfect solution for skin layers, deformable bodies, shoe soles, ropes and certain types of plants. Read more about Carbon Tet applications  here.

2nd April 2015 - The next release of Carbon will include these cool features developed under our "Feasibility of real-time, high quality, simulation of real fabrics, in the Cloud" project. We developed these exciting technologies that support a smoother more fashion accurate work flow for fashion centric garment simulation. They include;

1) Tailored cloth model - the most sophisticated cloth model that Carbon has to offer and with the ability to define warp and weft directions, it supports features such as Anisotropy. It is recommended to always choose this model for garments that are created from flat panels.

2) Anisotropic properties - the introduction of the Tailored cloth model allows us to use the warp and weft directions to define anisotropic properties for the fabric.

3) Designed Garment import - the technology to import garments from virtual garment design tools and extract the original flat fabric panels alongside the pre-draped garment. This creates the ability to apply the correct pre-draped metrics for each individual panel.  In combination with the new Tailored cloth model, we not only guarantee the preservation of metrics, but also enable users to simulate anisotropic fabrics.

One of the most important advantages of Carbon over other cloth simulations is that we enforce Lagrangian limits and do not stretch garments indefinitely. This is invaluable for designers as they can now predict if a garment would fit an actual human being or not and if there are any problems during typical movements like a catwalk.