PC magazine has defined 3D visualization as “A variety of technologies that make images and movies appear more lifelike in print, on the computer, in the cinema or on TV.” 3D Visualization is gaining impetus due to compelling customer requirements and the need to convert ideas to promotion media in the shortest possible time, at the best possible cost. Industries like automotives, architecture, medical, pharmaceutical and fashion that thrive on visual content can benefit immensely from 3D Visualization. The most obvious benefits of 3D Visualization include accelerated understanding, better data interaction, collaboration among teams and reduced development time.
As we move ahead, the trend will see more and more innovative visualizations in the form of multimedia narratives or stories for the end users’ benefit. For businesses, more visual analytics tools that enable performance measurements and emphasize the augmented use of Big Data in form of more creative, interactive visuals or diagrams in 3D environments will come into play.
More and more enterprises are increasingly using 3D Visualization as the obvious choice for displaying information effectively. However, with more than thirty different toolkits available for building engineering apps on the desktop, the challenge lies in selecting the toolkit best suitable for your business needs. With our decade long experience and insights, we at nCircle Tech decided to create a GUIDE on 3D Visualization toolkits primarily for internal use. Many of our clients also found it very useful and appreciated it, and thus, we decided to share it with you from one peer techie to another!
HOOPS Visualize is a graphics engine or graphics database by TechSoft 3D, a USA based company. HOOPS as a technology has been around since 1985 and was an Autodesk product till 1996. TechSoft 3D acquired HOOPS 1996 and introduced the HOOPS Product Suite, consisting of HOOPS Visualize, HOOPS Exchange and HOOPS Publish. These SDKs for visualization have been their prime products since then. Companies like PTC, Hexagon, Autodesk, and SolidWorks use Hoops Visualize to power their applications. Its capabilities include:
- Rapid development of high performance engineering centric visualization
- A fast and nimble visualize database that partitions the geometric data into objects with similar attributes. This optimizes the end output as it reduces the need for graphics hardware to change its display context during rendering.
- It works across platforms and supports a variety of industry standard 3D file formats
- Provides interfaces for creating, editing, manipulating, querying, and rendering the graphics’ information stored within
- The Visualize database stores graphical data in segments which not only contain geometry but also direct its usage
- A number of transparency algorithms with both high quality and high performance like Screen-door, Painters algorithm, Z-Sort and Depth Peeling
Unified Graphics SDK (REDSDK)
RED is the core technology of all products sold by REDWAY3D incorporated in 2004 and based in Paris, France. REDSDK offers all graphics features for real-time 2D, real-time 3D and photo-realistic visualization. This RED technology can be integrated into any software, through its 3D / C++ Software Development Kit called REDSDK. The unified graphics’ client list reads names like ABVENT, 2020, BRICSYS, Configura Sverige and Missler Software to name a few.
REDSDK is basically a multi –threaded Unicode engine or a unified Graphics C++ visualization toolkit. It has renders realistic photos of real-time 2D & 3D models through a single integrated API in concurrent environments.
- REDSDK offers capabilities such as graphic data management, visualization layout, material and lighting setup, application interaction and rendering.
- It has an open architecture and therefore allows integration of other graphics assets into your existing applications.
- REDSDK makes it possible to process millions of graphic primitives that can be visualized interactively across devices.
- It comes with two different rendering technologies – a GPU display engine for hardware platforms and software display technique for ray- tracing. Both technologies can work independently or concurrently to produce the same images for the same data while the technologies share the data they visualize.
- The ray-tracer in REDsdk is capable of almost linear scaling and provides a very accurate real-time scene feedback before the image calculation is complete.
devDept Software is one of the largest CAD and 3D graphics developer Components Company, established in 2006 in Italy. Its flagship product is Eyeshot, designed keeping in mind the needs of Microsoft Visual Studio users. Eyeshot is used globally by companies in different verticals. The Client list reads names like Babcock & Wilcox, BAE systems, Accenture, Honeywell, Intel, Autodesk etc.
Eyeshot is a 3D graphics and CAD control for .NET Frameworks that helps you create exciting CAD applications on the WinForms and WPF platforms. It comes with modeling tools for triangulation and meshing, curves, solids and surface reconstruction from point clouds as well as geometry import or export.
- Eyeshot is easy to deploy and can be easily configured as 2D or 3D viewport. It is written in C# and provides integration with Visual Studio .NET IDE. Multi-viewport support allows mixed configurations as well
- You can access all available model data: Tessellations, B-Rep, topology and geometry, full product structure, PMI and metadata, as well as perform heavy modeling operations asynchronously. RedSDK is always aligned with latest DWG/DXF versions
- Eyeshot makes use of the Taks Parallel Library, the best in class ZPR and nine different selection modes. You can select entities on front throughout the scene by pick, by box or by polygon.
- Linear and quadratic FEM elements and modeling tools allow you to test your design efficiency and optimize them.
The Visualization Toolkit (VTK) is an open-source, cross platform 3D computer graphics, image processing and visualization system. It functions on a C++ class library and supports a wide range of visualization algorithms like scalar, vector, tensor and advanced modeling techniques like implicit modeling and Delaunay triangulation.
VTK was originally a companion software written as a part of a text book called “The Visualization Toolkit: An Object –Oriented Approach to 3D Graphics” by Will Schroeder, Ken Martin and Bill Lorensen back in 1993. The book was an attempt to collaborate with other researchers and develop an open framework for creating visualization and graphics application. The global developer community has been contributing to improving the system ever since. The VTK toolkit is capable of the following:
- Parallel processing and integration of various databases on GUI toolkits such as Qt and TK.
- ParaView, which is a front end for visualization. VeloView is built on top of Paraview for visualization or capturing 3D LiDAR data from Velodyne’s HDL line of sensors, while 3D Slicer is a free, open-source, extensible application for visualization and image analysis, particularly for medical images
USA based FEI Visualization Sciences Group is a well known provider of advanced 3D visualization and analysis software tools for developers and scientists in natural resources, medical, engineering and life sciences. VSG has been servicing the industrial and scientific community for 27 years and assisting them in accessing new visualization technologies with user friendly tools and applications. Open Invertor is essentially a 2D/3D graphics toolkit for high performance applications that require visualization.
VSG’s client list includes names like SYAC -Systems and Consulting of Colombia AC, GeoTeric and OPTIMAD to name a few.
Open Inventor’s capabilities include rapid integration of 2D/3D data visualization for industrial and scientific applications. It easily integrates advanced 3D capabilities into your applications with its object oriented API and extendable architecture. Capabilities include:
- Built –in components in Open Inventor range from 2D image processing operators to 3D primitives, advanced viewers, manipulators and engines. There are more than 1300 ready to use classes to manipulate high level concepts.
- Open Inventor comes with pre-compiled source code project examples and enables access to out-of-core 3D volume data with optimized multi-resolution management.
- The Open Inventor RemoteViz service enables applications to remotely display very large or complex 3D data on any distant device, while maintaining high-performance computing and visualization.
- RemoteViz allows data import from Medical imaging devices (DICOM), Seismic (SEG Y), CAD (CATIA, IGES, etc.) and other standard geometry formats, as well as interaction though advanced mechanisms, including support for touch interface.
Bird’s eye view of all the above mentioned tools!
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nCircle Tech (inCorporated in 2012) empowers passionate innovators to create impactful 3D visualization software for desktop, mobile and cloud. Our domain expertise in CAD-BIM customization driving automation with the ability to integrate advanced technologies like AI/ML and VR/AR; empowers our clients to reduce time to market and meet business goals. nCircle has a proven track record of technology consulting and advisory services for the AEC and Manufacturing industry across the globe. Our team of dedicated engineers, partner ecosystem and industry veterans are on a mission to redefine how you design and visualize.
Over the last 7+ years, the organisation has worked on more than 150 large and complex projects for 50+ customers across 15+ countries.