X-Rite Announces AxF Appearance Exchange Format, Supported By NVIDIA Iray

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — July 26, 2017 — X-Rite Inc. and its subsidiary Pantone LLC announced today that NVIDIA Iray natively supports the Appearance Exchange Format (AxF™). Developed by X-Rite, AxF is a vendor-neutral format that enables the communication of all aspects of a physical material’s appearance — color, texture, gloss, refraction, transparency, translucency, special effects (sparkles) and reflection properties — in a single, editable file to improve design virtualization. AxF gives designers and visual effects artists using NVIDIA Iray, access to physically accurate materials that simulate appearances to accelerate the overall design process and deliver the most compelling, photorealistic 3D visuals possible. X-Rite and NVIDIA will showcase the AxF integration in Iray at SIGGRAPH 2017, July 30-August 3 in Los Angeles.

AxF is the foundational component of the X-Rite Total Appearance Capture (TAC™) ecosystem, a solution that brings a new level of accuracy and efficiency to the capture, communication and presentation of physical materials in the virtual world. Traditionally, the capture and rendering of complex materials such as special effects paints, meshes and synthetic fabrics have been a time-consuming and manual process. TAC addresses this challenge with a new level of precision in material scanning coupled with an ability to share the resulting data, via AxF, across an expanding set of rendering tools such as Iray.

Moreover, Allegorithmic Substance Designer allows connecting AxF and NVIDIA Material Definition Language (MDL) definitions in a unified workflow, allowing any engine supporting MDL to incorporate scanned data definition from TAC ecosystem, or any MDL material to be mixed or ingested by AxF compliant workflow.

“The TAC ecosystem is the most accurate, fastest and easiest way to take real materials and migrate them into the digital world,” said Dr. Tobias Rausch, Portfolio Manager Total Appearance Capture at X-Rite. “NVIDIA’s support of the AxF format means that Iray users can significantly streamline the overall creation process by starting with physically accurate files.”

NVIDIA MDL defines the materials properties for Iray cross-vendor rendering engines, enabling the quick exchange of materials between multiple software and rendering technologies. MDL supports popular material models such as those in AxF without additional changes in a renderers core shading code. Thus, Iray’s integration of AxF through the MDL technology combines measured materials with the fully programmable support for procedurally generated textures and functions with full GPU acceleration of MDL.

“AxF is the perfect companion to MDL for truly lifelike virtual experiences and imagery,” says Bob Pette, vice president of Professional Visualization at NVIDIA. “It slashes the time required to get photograph fidelity material into all render engines supporting MDL and fully aligns with the demanding photorealistic rendering quality required by our users.”

AxF is unique in its ability to compress raw scanned data from terabytes to megabytes, providing third-party software applications like Iray with efficient access to a full set of material appearance characteristics without compromising performance.

Posted July 26, 2017

Source: X-Rite Inc.