HP & Adobe launch Project Captis for materials capture

Published 07 November 2019

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: rendering, visualisation, hp, materials, vr, adobe

Prototype material scanning device from HP - image courtesy of PC Watch Magazine

Adobe has been running its Adobe Max event this week and one of the most interesting bits of news to emerge from the event is a collaboration between the company and HP.

You’re probably aware that Adobe acquired 3D materials and paint masters Allegorithmic earlier this year and we’ve all been waiting with baited breath for its tools to roll-out as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription.

While there’s no news on that front, this announcement looks interesting because it focusses on a pipeline to scan real-world, physical materials and quickly and efficiently turn those into materials ready for rendering.

Adobe/Allegorithmic has been developing it’s Substance library of materials as a subscription offering for sometime – it has even dipped a toe into the material capturing market before too (have a gander at this). It has also been beta testing Substance Alchemist, which looks to radically shorten time frames to prepare these materials them for the visualisation workflow.

Project Captis looks to take this to the next level, with the aim being to use HP’s technology alongside Adobe’s software to build a device capable of capturing physical material samples and generate, with Alchemist’s help, a ‘substance’ or material ready for rendering.

This isn’t a new process, other vendors have been offering similar services to create measured materials for a while (see Chaos Group’s VRScans library) or the hardware to do it yourself (see X-rite’s Total Appearance Capture systems), but it’s interesting to see Adobe taking an interest in the field and backing it up with HP.

The press release makes a fair bit of noise about capturing this content, using it both digitally and physically (with HP’s MJF machines), but for me, the real potential is in capturing usable and realistics materials for visualization without it costly a small fortune.

Substance support in the design and engineering visualisation realm is growing - CATIA, Cinema 4D, VRED and KeyShot have recently added in support for the Substance format alongside the more traditional measured material formats like .axf.

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