Thursday, November 2nd, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Skybox AI to get automatic NeRF generation capabilities

Blockade Labs has previewed new automatic NeRF-generation capabilities for Skybox AI, its browser-based platform for generating 360-degree skybox environments for games.

When rolled out publicly, the new technology promises to make it possible for users to generate complete 3D environments from simple text prompts or rough sketches.

A browser-based generative AI platform for creating 360-degree environments for games
Currently available in early access, Skybox AI is a generative-AI-based online tool that lets users generate 360-degree panoramic images for use as backgrounds in games or DCC applications.

Users can guide the image generated by entering a text prompt to define its look and content, and, optionally, by drawing a rough sketch to control its layout.

The site offers a range of preset art styles, including both photorealistic and stylised looks suitable for games, animations, matte paintings or architectural visualisations.

Once generated, the skybox can be downloaded as a cube map or latlong image in JPEG, PNG, EXR or HDR format, with a corresponding depth map.

R&D demo shows 2D images being ‘auto-NeRFed’ into navigable 3D environments
On top of that, it will soon be possible to download the environment as an actual 3D asset.

Blockade Labs’ latest demo shows the use of NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) to synthesise a 3D environment matching to 2D environment map.

The tweet at the top of the story shows a 3D environment generated from this 2D image.

However, it’s probably clearer in the video above, where the process has generated geometry for foreground objects like cables and machinery.

So when will NeRFs be available in a public build of Skybox AI
The demo shows early R&D work, so Blockade Labs hasn’t announced when NeRF generation will be added to the public version of Skybox AI.

However, 3D generation of a different sort will be available this month, with the firm also announcing that its “experimental 3D rendering app for mesh generation [will be] launching next week” for users on its Technowizard subscription tier.

According to Blockade Labs, “what the demo really shows is that we’re replacing more and more of the pipeline of manual or procedural generation [for games content], and leaning on [machine learning], while maintaining integration possibilities with tech such as Unreal Engine”.

Price and system requirements
Skybox AI is currently in beta. It’s browser-based, so it should run in standard modern web browsers, although some features are only available on desktop machines or larger tablets.

Users with free accounts can generate up to 15 skyboxes per month. Exports are watermarked, and are licensed under a CC-BY licence.

Basic accounts cost $120/year, support a wider range of export formats and depth map generation, and can generate 1,200 skyboxes per year under a CC-BY licence.

Pro accounts cost $240/year, and include 3,000 generations per year, plus full commercial licensing. Technowizard accounts cost $578/year and support unlimited generations.

Read more about the new features in the latest public release of Skybox AI

Try browser-based generative AI tool Skybox AI in early access

Read the Skybox AI terms of service
(Grants Blockade Labs a perpetual non-exclusive licence to content created using Skybox AI)

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