Lagoa Materials for Softimage ICE

Autodesk has entered into a license agreement with Lagoa Technologies Inc. for its Lagoa Materials multiphysics simulation technology.

Built by Thiago Costa with Autodesk Softimage software’s ICE (Interactive Creative Environment), the Lagoa multiphysics simulation framework helps create realistic simulations of the dynamic behaviour of liquids, cloth, foam, plastic deformations and soft body collisions.

Lagoa Materials multiphysics simulation technology is included in the recently announced Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites Premium and in the just released Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack. With Lagoa, Softimage users will be able to create highly customised simulations with control properties that help govern incompressible fluids as well as inelastic, elastic and plastic deformations. Artists will be able to simulate fine detail interactions and collisions and use Lagoa simulator data to help create user-defined materials, particles and meshes. Lower resolution, interactive setups can be more quickly created from preset materials, allowing for more rapid effects previsualisation of simulations requiring millions of points.

The multi-threaded Lagoa simulation framework was built using the highly flexible Softimage ICE development environment. Softimage ICE is a node-based, visual development platform for creating custom tools and visual effects. ICE is designed to help reduce the complexity of creating custom effects by providing a visual development paradigm, reducing the need to write complex scripts or computer code. Users can be more creative and efficient, exploring new creative ideas with greater ease and simplicity.

“ICE affords developers greater speed and agility when it comes to creating custom effects. It is also fully multi-threaded making it unique among simulation capabilities integrated into other 3D animation applications,” said Stig Gruman, Autodesk vice president Digital Entertainment. “We’re tremendously proud that Thiago Costa seized the potential of ICE to design such an incredibly realistic simulation framework – one that also allows multiple physics solvers to operate at the same time in the same scene and even to interact.”

Thiago Costa participated in some of the first beta tests for Softimage ICE and began developing Lagoa Materials multiphysics simulation framework soon thereafter. He spent close to two years developing Lagoa before presenting it to Autodesk. “I had a solid pool of testers on my beta program, but once it was ready I wanted to make Lagoa available to the broader 3D community. Autodesk is an ideal partner to help me do that,” said Thiago. “ICE is revolutionary in many ways. It is an excellent platform to develop this framework because it’s the fastest, most flexible system I know. Developing a powerful multiphysics framework was relatively easy and extraordinarily fast using ICE.”

A native of Brazil, Thiago Costa created Lagoa Technologies (lagoa means small lake in Portuguese) to generalise physics formulas into one unified formulation. He has worked extensively in the post-production industry in Brazil, the United States and Canada. Lagoa multiphysics engine grew out of his desire as an artist to help resolve the technical obstacles he encountered in creating his art.

Lagoa Multiphysics is included in the Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack which is now available to Autodesk Subscription customers.
Autodesk said the Subscription Advantage Pack would provide customers with significant new functionality:

  • Lagoa Materials Multiphysics Simulation Framework
  • ICE for artists — a new ICE module menu toolbar facilitates building common ICE effects: particles, deforms and kinematics. Using the menu structure, artists can see nodes and compounds connect automatically in the ICE Tree, and create or modify Lagoa Multiphysics materials and other preset effects.
  • Stereoscopic 3D support — new stereo camera rigs for stereoscopic productions and in-viewport stereoscopic viewing of 3D scenes
  • Softimage Composite — a high-performance, high dynamic range (HDR) compositor with support for stereoscopic production pipelines; Autodesk Softimage Composite will include advanced keying, color correction, tracking and 3D compositing tools and will be compatible with Autodesk Maya 2011 Composite and Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 Composite.
  • Polygonizer operator — will help create smoother polygon meshes for liquids
  • Maya nCache — Maya nCache format reading and writing will be supported in Softimage
  • Autodesk MatchMover toolset— a high-quality professional camera tracker
  • Other enhancements: new shader compounds, ray traced shadows for infinite lights, improved OpenGL sprites, the ViewCube functionality and two new real-time shader wizards

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