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Tim Borgmann 2002
article - dynadream 2

Dynadream Update

Carlo Lanzotti kindly allowed us to "interview" him on the 9th March 2004. This is the full transcript from the conversation:

B: Carlo, you have been working hard to produce a suite of plugins at Dynadream now for several years. Your primary package, RealCloth, has been plagued with delays. Can you tell us what contributed to the continual delay for the release date of RealCloth ?

C: Well, the main reason was due to the fact that when i started developing RealCloth i was totally new to the new API interface of Realsoft3D. Then over time I learned more, and got the feeling with it and i decided to make the plugin a little (a big...) more then a simple cloth simulator, so i started developing a system that would be able to handle more complex simulations like garments on animated characters, animated colliders and so on. This slow downed the whole development process but the result is actually much more than I originally anticipated.

B: You have several other plugins in the "DynAtomic" pipeline, Real Wobble, Real Hair - can you give us a rundown on each and what they do ?

C: Yes, they are respectively a semi-rigid-soft body simulator plugin (RealWobble), a particle system simulator plugin and an hair simulator plugin (RealHair).
They can interact together without setting up complex dependencies, simply create them, define some properties, add some force field if required and click the play button on you Realsoft3D timeline. The system will do all the work for you: check for collisions, resolve them and so on. Also you can do complex things, like 'attach' a soft object to a cloth object, or use a particle flow to move some objects, fill an object volume with a thousand articles and so on.

B: How does RealCloth work ?

C: It relies on various techniques developed by myself, i've not used any type of external library-code. Describing the internal mechansim would require a month ;)

B: You have finally got your website online now - its looking terrific too btw - how does the website integrate into the software ? Will it be used as an online help / FAQ ?

C: Yes, it will be the place for all the user needs, actually i've setup a complex system to manage bugs, beta tester feedback and so on. People will be able to find tutorials, materials, sample scenes and so on.

B: When you release your products - will they be sold via CD or downloaded from the web ?

C: Actually i've planned to sell it only from the web. The main reason is tr cut-down the additional costs that would inevitably end up being paid by the end users. Anyway the CD media are planned and if i get a sufficient numbers of user requests i'll start supporting this kind of distribution.

B: How does your simulation "engine" differ from Realsoft's standard collision detection system ?

C: Uhmm, i don't know how the standard collision system of Realsoft3D works in detail, but surely they are two different things. Actually my collision engine is able to handle point-triangle/edge-edge collision with different type of collision response based on the type of objects and also it use some spatial subdivision tecnique to speed up things.
I think that Realsoft's engine is made to support different types of geometry (CSG, NURBS, Subidivison and so on). They generalize it's internal
algorithm i think with it's pro and cons. My choice was to support any type of geometry but with an independent internal representation.

B: What inspired you to make these plugins in the first place ?

C: At the time Realsoft3D V4 release was announced I had already some kind of realtime simulator developed for other applications. When i stopped using Real3D to move forward (for professional reasons) to other 3d apps i never forgot about it, and when i saw that the new version was released I was totally awestruck. Immeditately I contacted peoples at Realsoft to ask for making some useful plugins. And the story began.

B: What was your target market for these products ? Consumer, Prosumer or Generic ?

C: Big question, actually RealCloth is comparable to those high end cloth simulator software that claim to be the best made in the world (with a cost of $2000/3000 per license). The same goes for the other products, but it's a fraction of the price. Surely my objective is the prosumer market, but the support for the consumer market will be adressed as well.

B: Have you ever discussed integrating DynAtom into Realsoft ? (ie not as a plugin)

C: Acutally no.

B: Many people are excited about RealHair as a product. Can you tell us what sort of functionallity you plan on integrating into that package ? ie - self collision, waving hair, std hair types, blowing in the wind etc ?

C: This kind of simulation already exists for RealWobble as it can use NURBS for simulating 'fake hair'. RealHair will inherit all these things plus some advanced specific tools for modeling hair.

B: Why did you choose RealSoft over some other larger mainstream packages ?

C: Because i think it is the best developed-advanced software on the market. But mainly because it was the first 3d app i manage to use in the nearly 80's. I still loving it and i'll never stop to support it. I've to admit that peoples from other software package contacted me about a future planned of porting my plugins to they'r software... Actually i've answered every time: no, there are no plans.

B: Kristian wanted to know about goal weights and if it was possible to paint these interactively onto a mesh - eg firm parts vs soft parts.

C: Surely! All these features already exist in the package, just look at the free plugin i've released (SkinManger) it already shows how 3d painting system work for controlling weight and fidelity for skin. The same will be for all, interactively painting of weights, mass, stiffness and so on.

B: Can particles act as soft bodies ?

C: The internal engine of RealWobble uses particles to simulate soft objects, so - yes ! :)

B: What other packages do you use for comparison purposes and why ?

C: Uhmm, sincerely i've never looked at other packages except for those modules that exist in Maya. But it is difficult to make a comparison because they use an entirely different approach.

B: Have you thought about a pricing point for your packages yet ?

C: Yes, but none of them can be officially announced. I can say that their price will be very low compared to other similar software.

B: And what of other plugins in development ? Can you give us a tease as to what other ideas are going on at Dynadream ?

C: There are a lots of ideas and prototype here, unfortunately i'm the only Person that is work on such things.

I can announce that there is research into an advanced fluid simulator... ;)

B: Many thanks for you time carlo - and good luck with the plugins.

C: Thank you Bernie to give me the opportunity to say some words here :)

Carlo, thank you very much for taking time out to talk about Dynatomic with us. We all wish you the best of luck with the plugins and look forward eagerly for their release.


other related articles - Interview with Delta Engineering. Previous interview with Dynadream

Page updated on Saturday, 13 March, 2004 . For feedback / model submissions or articles - please email us.
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