Any developer working with the HoloLens knows that the fight for polygons is a very real conflict. For all of the magic it creates, the HoloLens is a high-powered mobile device that has all the typical processing limitations of a mobile device.
For a computer or a gaming console with high-powered dedicated graphics processing units, it's relatively easy to simultaneously render near photorealistic scenes with potentially millions of polygons, layers of particle effects, and complex shaders.
But mobile platforms, like phones, tablets, and yes, the HoloLens, use very different types of processors, and due to space and power constraints, have a far diminished capacity for graphics rendering in comparison. The polygon counts that will still perform well are far lower—much closer to the realm of 100,000-200,000—in my experience with the HoloLens. And that is not including the other elements that make 3D rendering look good.
For the last few months, my solution to those problems has been the application and Unity plugin Simplygon. The job of this wonderful application is to optimize the 3D models in a scene automatically; This takes far more pressure off of the processors and allows the developer to get better performance out of their 3D scene or add more to it and make it better.
And now, according to an announcement from Microsoft HoloLens Corporate Vice President Kudo Tsunoda, this ace little company, Simplygon, is part of the Microsoft family.
Simplygon is a 3D model optimization solution that works automatically for the most part. It has been used in many high-level game titles including recent hits like The Witcher 3 and Paragon. It is also part of the Sony PlayStation VR platform where hitting 120 frames per second is essential.
I am pleased to announce that Microsoft has acquired Simplygon, a premier developer of automatic 3D data-optimization solutions. This acquisition accelerates our 3D For Everyone vision and strategy, which we introduced with the Windows 10 Creators Update at our event this past October in New York.
This follows on the heels of last October's announcement of the Windows 10 Creators Update. As a part of this update, Windows Preview Insiders have the opportunity to try a new MS Paint program called Paint 3D, a major overhaul of the classic Microsoft painting program that adds many features related to making 3D art, with or out of 2D art. It's just as fun and easy to use as the original Paint.
Making 3D accessible to people of all ages seems a smart move for a company that is working so hard to bring the world into mixed reality with a variety of Windows Holographic devices coming down the pike soon.
Have you been using Simplygon in your projects? Does this move by Microsoft excite or scare you? Let us know in the comments below.