Friday, May 27th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Fabric Software launches Fabric for Unreal in beta

Fabric Software has launched Fabric for Unreal in beta. The new integration between Fabric Engine, the firm’s VFX tools development platform, and Unreal Engine makes it possible to load Alembic and 3DM files in UE4.

Import Alembic files into UE4, complete with hierarchies and material assignments
Pitched in Fabric’s blog post as a system for previsualisation and VR work, the new integration is designed to address some of the current limitations when importing assets into Unreal Engine.

Fabric describes the process of exporting FBX files from DCC tools like Maya and 3ds Max for import into UE4 as “a clunky [one] that destroys data [with] no path back to the source application”.

As well enabling Unreal Engine to import data in Alembic format, Fabric for Unreal preserves the internal hierarchy of the imported models, and retains material assignments based on user choice.

There’s also a path back to the original DCC application, although it doesn’t seem to be a full live link: the graphic in the demo video above describes it as support for “live markup and comments”.

Support for deforming meshes and openNURBS files
The system even supports deforming meshes – the video includes a demo of a facial animation – although their use isn’t recommended in the current release “for performance reasons”.

Fabric for Unreal also lets users import openNURBS (3DM) files created in applications like Rhino into UE4.

Pricing and availability
Fabric Software is currently signing up beta testers for Fabric for Unreal. You can read the application instructions for the beta program via the link at the foot of this story.

The current release of Fabric Engine, Fabric Engine 2.2, is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Pricing starts at $2,000 for one interactive licence and five headless licences, with a range of other options available.

In addition, individual artists get their first licence free, while studios can get the free ‘Fabric Fifty’ package of 10 interactive and 40 headless licences.

Read more about Fabric for Unreal on Fabric Software’s blog