Microsoft sheds some light on HoloLens' asset creation process

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As the HoloLens comes closer and closer to being a reality amongst consumers, it’s getting more exciting every day to hear about its progress, and the nitty gritty that goes into developing software for it. In the Building Apps for Windows most recent blog post, they went about explaining a few different ways that developers go about getting 3D assets for programs for use with HoloLens.
First up is the old fashioned way – creating assets from scratch. Just like any other 3D development platform, you can just go about molding a 3D image and render it pretty easily within the mixed world that HoloLens creates. Many developers like to use tools like Autodesk’s Maya, considering they can actually use it within the context of HoloLens itself. Like any other 3D software, the less polygons you use, and the more simplistic your lighting system is, the more easily the HoloLens is going to be able to handle it – classic development logic applies.
Not everything has to be hot off the presses, though. HoloLens isn’t rocket science behind the scenes, by any stretch of the imagination. At the end of the day, the device is still using software similar to other 3D engines. It’s really just as simple as converting the 3D model into a format that’s acceptable to HoloLens, and importing it over. It is important to note, however, that you may need to decimate the mesh of an object if it’s too complicated for HoloLens to handle.
Finally, we start jumping a bit into the realm of science fiction that HoloLens makes us all excited about. If you don’t feel like molding an object in Autodesk, and you don’t have anything that you can import from another program, maybe you can go ahead and scan an object from real life. Since the rise of 3D printing, 3D scanning has become more and more widely available, even getting to the point where it can be done just using your phone’s camera. The possibilities are endless – walking around a museum exhibit in your living room, previewing furniture before you buy it, reenacting “Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope” scene – it’s all possible with HoloLens’ capability to capture fully 3D video.
The Building Apps for Windows blog is going to continue going into detail about HoloLens app development, and lists some upcoming topics:

  • Interaction model (gaze, gesture, voice)
  • Spatial sound
  • Spatial mapping, location awareness
  • Designing holographic apps (placement, lighting, size, animation)
  • Types of apps (table top, surface locked, floating, companion, arcade, immersive)
  • Sharing and collaboration
  • Leveraging the strength of Windows (Cortana, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more)

So keep your eyes out for that if you’re as interested in HoloLens’ progress as we are.

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