Shifting to real-time engines for visualization has unlocked the possibility of experiencing the nature of a product long before it’s ever built. Instead of looking at a static image of a rendered scene, designers and stakeholders can step inside and roam freely, exploring the design in a far richer manner than before. The flexible capabilities of real-time engines let artists iterate rapidly and output assets for games, film, product design, marketing, and more — all without having to recreate their work or burn hours re-rendering from scratch.
The time and money this saves can be put back into the creative processes and directly improve the resulting concept or design. Real-time feedback allows for faster decision making and removes the hassle of having to wait hours, or days to update design renders. You can make a change and see immediate results. We call that unlocking the potential of “now.”
Industry-wide, future workflows for digital content creation are all pointing towards real-time solutions, which means staying competitive in the creative market will require artists expand and adapt their skillset. Fortunately, the barrier to entry for real-time platforms like Unreal Engine is lower than ever before, thanks to accessible, artist-friendly features and time-saving pipeline tools that streamline workflows for maximum productivity.
Frictionless Workflows with Unreal Datasmith
Data bottlenecks can be a major barrier for artists working in real-time workflows, but importing complex assets into a real-time engine doesn’t have to grind production to a halt. With the right tools at hand, shifting over to real-time can be a seamless experience. This is where Unreal Datasmith makes a big difference for today’s digital artists and designers looking to get ahead of the curve.
Unreal Datasmith is a new workflow toolbox for simplifying the process of moving data into Unreal Engine for real-time design, product development, and architectural visualizations. This powerful set of extensions and plugins enables Unreal Engine users to easily import and manipulate data from over 20 CAD/DCC sources, including Autodesk 3ds Max.
Creating a frictionless workflow at high production values is at the heart of Datasmith, which automates many once-tedious manual tasks, like setting up lightmap UVs and converting materials into UE4 versions, converting and placing lights into the UE4 scene, and much more. This toolset also substantially speeds up the process of ingest, conform, and optimize — particularly for larger, more complex assets. Beta users are already reporting, on average, a productivity gain of nearly 60%, and that’s only expected to grow as Datasmith’s development continues.
Datasmith addresses the boring drudgery of getting data prepared for real-time use, allowing more time to be spent pouring creativity into those real-time assets.
Getting On-board with Real-Time Production
The limitations of traditional offline rendering have long been a frustration for digital artists in many creative industries. Designers have developed workarounds and production tricks to minimize the impact on their workflow, but waiting minutes, hours, or even days for your designs to render remains as stifling as ever.
To gain maximum creative freedom, you want a responsive medium — which real-time gives like few other technologies. By removing the limitations of traditional offline methods, artists have more flexibility to improve their work without sacrificing valuable time in the process.
There will always be a need for static images and predetermined shots. We’re not suggesting these will be eliminated, but the process of creating them can be greatly accelerated by adopting real-time tools.
It’s also not only about freeing up artists to focus on creativity, either. Tapping into new ways to present creative content — through animation, high-resolution stills, and adjustable real-time video — unlocks even greater potential to impress clients and stakeholders. Designing a customizable interactive experience can be an incredibly captivating way to express ideas and allow adjustments dynamically based-on real-time feedback. With generations of people growing up with video games, the expectation of future decision makers will be for a more immediate experience of an idea, process, design, or brand. Those who make the shift to this new workflow stand to make the most gains with customers and in reduced production costs.
As the shift to real-time occurs, those who stick with slower offline rendering and more traditional design formats risk struggling to stay relevant in an ever-changing professional creative landscape.
Ready to see how Unreal Datasmith can unlock the potential of “now” for your work? Find out more and register for the beta today!