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Autodesk Labs launches Project Khan

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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Donya Labs’ Simplygon platform automates the optimisation of assets for games. An “experimental partnership” between the two developers, Autodesk Labs’ Project Khan is a free Maya plugin based on the techology.

Autodesk Labs has launched Project Khan: a work-in-progress cloud-based service for automating the creation of level of detail (LOD) assets for games work.

The system enables users to simplify not only mesh density, as with the existing polygon optimisation tools built into applications like Maya and Softimage, but texture and rig complexity.

Based on Simplygon technology
The service uses Swedish middleware firm Donya Labs’ Simplygon technology, and is described by Autodesk as a “small experimental partnership” between the companies to “test whether there is more widespread interest in the 3D animation industry for such asset optimization services”.

Workflow is pretty straightforward: you install the plugin, open a 3D scene and select the asset to be optimised, adjust a few settings, then upload the job to Autodesk 360 to process in the cloud.

You can run multiple optimisations on a single asset in parallel to generate a set of LODs.

For Maya users only – for now
Currently, you’ll need to be using Maya 2014, although Autodesk says it is looking into extending the trial to users of Maya LT and 3ds Max.

Project Khan will be available until 28 February 2014. The plugin is free to download, although Autodesk “ask[s] that you do not include assets created using Project Khan in final commercial production work”.

Read more about Project Khan on Autodesk Labs
(Includes download link)

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