NVIDIA Omniverse has been released in open beta. In its current form it appears to be an extensible virtual production studio, giving teams the ability to… “simultaneously work together on projects with real-time photorealistic rendering” but also to “work concurrently between different software applications” via Omniverse Connectors which bridge into “leading” content creation software. Most interestingly, there is a promised Connector bridge to the free Blender in the near future. Naturally, your studio’s creatives all need to be brewing their wizardry on fast n’ shiny NVIDIA graphics cards and Windows.
The Omniverse platform is only in open beta at present, but already has several working modules within it. Including ‘Omniverse View’ for architects, and ‘Omniverse Create’ for designers and creators. It seems to use the Pixar USD format for universal ‘in-out porting’ of the 3D scenes and moving them around the various applications?
“Early next year” this virtual studio platform will see the release of…
“‘Omniverse Audio2Face’, AI-powered facial animation; and ‘Omniverse Machinima’ for GeForce RTX gamers”.
Machinima being the term for real-time WYSIWYG animation using a game-engine, and from the sound of it ‘Omniverse Machinima’ seems to be tilted toward Unreal Engine users and TV studios — rather than the hobbyist crowd that is currently using iClone.
The ‘Audio2Face’ module is more interesting and will aim to have an AI… “generate expressive facial animation from just an audio source” without any need for expensive and fiddly camera-based mo-cap. That makes a lot of sense. Train an AI to match millions of audio vocalisations with visual expressions, then have it generate expressions purely from audio. In fact I’m a bit surprised such a thing doesn’t already exist in software — beyond the existing ‘vocal audio to mouth phonemes’ lip-sync automation. But perhaps animating a full face and escaping from ‘the uncanny valley’ in real-time may need a Cloud connection and a zillion back-end NVIDIA GPUs to work? My guess is that you would need a second AI to weed out the “ugh, no… uncanny valley” results.
Anyway NVIDIA Omniverse looks good and may even be free(?), albeit after the entry-ticket price of a 30-series NVIDIA graphics card and (ugh) Windows 10. When it’s all polished up and hooked to a Blender bridge, that could make it very interesting for small indie animation studios. But what are the prospects for non-techie hobbyists? Well, DAZ is also an NVIDIA partner, so I guess if DAZ Studio implements a Pixar USD-format bridge then they could also enter the Omniverse?