To explain this I need to go back a bit.
It looks like a big leap from Excel to Trees, and in some ways it is.
Excel the leading Spreadsheet Office App, loved and hated by everyone possibly equally, but here to stay, a cornerstone of the business community.
Digital Twin – the idea sweeping the world, we have the technology now to create a true ‘metaverse’ inside a computer. A world that looks just like our world, and Trees must be one of the most important parts of that world. So the release of a library such as the one Quixel has just launched must be a landmark in that journey.
Trees – Personally, I don’t want to build a virtual world without trees, if we are going to build a truly immersive metaverse or digital twin we need trees and Quixel has just done a massive thing for the display of trees in photorealistic 3/4/5D.
Looking forwards to 2022 as they roll out the trees one species at a time.
It turns out from their release video, that they had doubts about whether it was possible to do trees the necessary justice. It was a brave thing to do and I think they’ve done a great job.
When I started researching how we could best link Excel to a top end Graphics package I had no real idea where we would end up, or how fascinating a journey it would be! First you have to choose your graphics engine, and really there are 2 to choose from namely Unreal Engine and Unity. There are plenty of articles comparing the 2 so I won’t go into detail here suffice to say we chose Unreal Engine and have never looked back.
I think Unreal Engine or UE for short is simply the most remarkable piece of software I have ever seen. Many years ago I collected and worked with georeferenced 3d imagery for the Environment Agency and I worked with computer vision and AI during my Masters thesis but CAD was Solidworks I think and later I saw 3DstudioMax which was amazing for the time.
20 years later and we have an outstanding opensource CAD system given to us for free by Blender.org and Unreal Engine and amazing computer vision libraries such as opencv.org I mean really things have moved at an astonishing rate.