CAD Tech News (#42)

26 May, 2016 By: Cadalyst Staff

▶ Autodesk ReMake Creates 3D Meshes from Reality Capture Data

Cloud-powered solution combines high-definition output with an interface that's accessible to everyone, including users new to modeling software.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Autodesk released ReMake, née Memento, as a commercial product this week. Tatjana Dzambazova, senior product manager at Autodesk, explained that development of Memento was spurred several years ago by technology trends: "We were seeing that the sensors that can digitize reality were becoming more accessible and affordable." Those reality-digitization technologies include high-quality photography, laser scanning, and motion sensing systems such as the Microsoft Kinect.

Attendees got a peek at Memento during Autodesk University 2014, where it was touted as consolidating the capabilities of multiple data manipulation tools into a single, easy-to-learn interface. That early description holds true in the finished product, which can be used by professionals with no CAD experience in addition to engineers, architects, and designers. "We wanted a [museum] curator, an artist, a biologist to be able to use it, not just CAD professionals," said Dzambazova. Autodesk claims that "ReMake's focused toolset and fun, clean, modern [user interface] can be learned in 20 minutes."

Another aspect of accessibility is the hardware prerequisite: there isn't one. Thanks to cloud computing, users without workstations can still get the full benefits of the software. "Because ReMake can [perform its computing tasks] locally or on the cloud … you can create a 3D model without having a strong desktop machine," Dzambazova explained.

These qualities that make ReMake more accessible don't mean that it's a consumer- or hobbyist-oriented product, however. "The majority of [ReMake] users are professionals; they just come from a very broad range of industries," explained Dzambazova. She estimates that 20–30% of those who adopt ReMake will be existing users of CAD and design software, including engineers and architects; 30–50% will be media and entertainment professionals, including augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) content producers; and the remainder of the audience will be employing the technology for diverse applications including medical, artistic, and historic preservation projects.

One application of ReMake is documentation of historically significant pieces for education-, preservation-, and restoration-related projects. “We are creating part of a collective memory by saving our heritage,” said Dzambazova.
One application of ReMake is documentation of historically significant pieces for education-, preservation-, and restoration-related projects. "We are creating part of a collective memory by saving our heritage," said Dzambazova.

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's editor in chief.



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