Using physical material properties in a digital world isn’t anything new, but it’s definitely a process that’s become easier over the years, as technologies continue to advance and companies like HP continue to push out new products utilizing those technologies. With Project Captis, both HP and Adobe want to make it easier for any studio to transform real materials into digital ones, with important characteristics captured automatically.
The ultimate goal with Project Captis, and the reason it’s so effective, is that it’s meant to be an end-to-end solution. HP’s side of the equation is tied to hardware, especially the Z-series workstation products. If you were so inclined, you could go all-in with HP for this kind of venture, with desktops, laptops, monitors, VR kits, and 3D cameras all being available right now. Some of these can be seen in the show above.
With Captis, cameras and the process of photometry are used to analyze the characteristics of a material and how it reacts to light, ultimately assigning properties to it so that it behaves naturally in a digital environment. When a scene is built only with PBR-based textures, the end lighting results will likewise be accurate, since whatever render engine is being used will understand how to bounce light off of different materials appropriately.
HP’s Project Captis
The Project Captis device seen above can be considered a beta, as it’s part of a pilot project that will steer future solutions. Whoever gain access to Captis in the near-future will use it to figure out how to best use the technology to improve their workflows, and when the finished project hits the market, it’ll be better prepared for broader adoption.
Where Adobe comes in is with its software, and while the company produces a huge toolbox of potential solutions for all sorts of development, it’s Substance Alchemist that’s getting the lion’s share of the attention here, as it’s able to be used by content creators to improve the efficiency in their workflow. We’re actually planning on taking a look at Substance Alchemist soon, so the timing here is pretty coincidental.
Adobe’s Substance Alchemist
Of course, because HP’s announcement is happening at the annual Adobe MAX conference, we’re inevitably going to be treated to info on upcoming Adobe software updates that will improve our workflows (and techniques) further. Also at the conference, HP’s Z booth has a number of speakers on-hand to extol the virtues of the company’s solutions, such as Joshua St. John, head of Creators at HP, as well as visionaries who put HP’s hardware to good use.