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Exciting news for Milo!
3D Modeling / September 20th, 2019 12:22 pm




We're thrilled to announce we've received a MegaGrant from Epic Games for Milo, our Unreal Engine-based companion to Silo which we envision as a realtime renderer, modeler, and much more. Milo was already under active development in the background, but this grant makes a huge difference; it will allow us to take several months and really focus on experimenting and exploring the possibilities.

 

We're excited. Epic's Unreal Engine offers a ton of potential new avenues to explore, beyond the rendering capabilities we're already taking advantage of. We're asking the same questions we had when first developing Silo: how can we as a small team make something new and innovative that's also practical and genuinely useful for artists working today? (For example: we're intrigued by Unreal's VR capabilities, but can we make something non-gimmicky that you'd want to use day in and day out?)

 

Please keep in mind that some of what we show in the coming months will be experimental. But the end result should be a more exciting and interesting product than we could afford to develop otherwise.

 

Our progress so far has given us both a solid base to work from and a crash course in the inner workings of the Unreal Engine, which we'd never used before. So far, so good! But we've got a lot to learn. We're excited to share our progress with you along the way.

 

-John

Update on Silo+Milo: PBR materials support
3D Modeling / September 5th, 2019 3:18 pm


We've been making some good progress lately on Milo, our experimental Unreal-based companion to Silo which we envision as a realtime renderer and possibly much more.

 

We've already shown a base version of Milo up and running using Unreal, including basic scene navigation and UI. (I'm trying to be better about blogging, but if you've missed updates so far on Silo/Milo, the best place to get realtime info is our social media: Facebook and Twitter.) This includes a lot of custom code to allow for shape generation and potential modification directly inside Milo, as well as generating models from loaded files. It also can export quick turntable renders to gif at the press of a button, which is handy for sharing your work online.

 

As the next step, we've added experimental PBR (physically based rendering) multimaterial setup tools in Silo. Those of you who have used Unreal or Unity will recognize the PBR material workflow. These materials besides diffuse are not rendered in Silo, but are rendered in realtime in Milo. We've set up a bridge between the two apps using modified FBX (though we're keeping an eye on PBR-native formats such as Pixar's USD; currently FBX can't export PBR to third party applications.) These developments are good for both apps: more robust FBX and materials support is a natural next step for Silo, and it's a lot of fun to be able to see the results in realtime in Milo.

 


Here's an example model with diffuse, specular, displacement, emissive, normal, and bump maps applied, along with values set for metallic and roughness, in a modified version of Silo. Milo auto-updates from the model whenever you save it in Silo.

 

So far we've focused on establishing a strong base for Milo, but we're also hoping to get a little more experimental with its future and features in the coming months. Unreal offers some intriguing possibilities. We've recently had some good news in that regard, and we'll share it with you as soon as we can!

 

-John

Silo 2.5.6 with beta GoZ support is now available!
3D Modeling / November 30th, 2018 11:30 am
Silo 2.5.6 is now available, and it adds a significant new feature: GoZBrush support for sending models back and forth between Silo and Pixologic's ZBrush. Please note that this feature is currently in beta and may not work for all users. *You may lose work*, so avoid using it for critical tasks during the beta. Theoretically, though, all should be well. If you run into any trouble, please let us know by emailing support[at]nevercenter.com.

Silo + GoZBrush

Download the v2.5.6 update here

Here's how to get up and running:
Step 1: Make sure ZBrush is installed on your machine.
Step 2: In Silo, go to "File > GoZBrush > Setup GoZBrush". This will add Silo to ZBrush's list of applications it can interact with.
Step 3: Try sending a test model from Silo to ZBrush via "File > GoZBrush > Send To GoZBrush". This is how you save files out from Silo when you want them to appear in ZBrush.
Step 4: Within ZBrush, use the GoZ button to send a model to Silo. You can read more about the GoZ interface on the ZBrush side here: http://pixologic.com/zbrush/features/GoZBrush/

That should be all you need to do. If you run into trouble, restarting ZBrush might help. If you still run into trouble, let us know. We appreciate your beta feedback.

Note for Steam users: GoZ may have extra trouble locating Silo within Steam. You should still be able to send files back and forth as long as both applications are already open (and you've performed the steps above). You can also try specifying the path yourself within ZBrush. (Find the path by right clicking on Silo in Steam and going to "Properties".)

Cheers!

-John
The new Segmented Bevel in Silo 2.5.5
3D Modeling / August 22nd, 2018 11:55 pm
We have a video all about it up on YouTube! Take a look:
 
Coming soon to Silo: Bevel improvements!
3D Modeling / July 20th, 2018 2:20 am
Hi folks,

Here's an update on the next feature coming to Silo, still in progress: segmented bevel with adjustable rounding. This has been a much-requested feature for a long time. It's a doozy to implement due to the complex geometry that can be created, but we think it will be well worth it once it's in! 

This will be integrated within the existing Silo bevel, with two new fields added to the options window: Segments, and Rounding. Rounding is a positive or negative value, so you can do inverted rounding as well. Zero rounding will be the same as a flat bevel, and of course 1 segment will be a bevel just as you know it now. Here's a gif of the current implementation in action: 
 
Silo Bevel In Action

We'll keep you posted when we solve the last few technical hurdles and release this version. (Want to never miss an update? Sign up for the Nevercenter Updates Newsletter!) Let us know what else you'd like to see when it comes to improving the Bevel tool.

p.s. We've really appreciated all of the feedback on our Silo Feature Requests Trello board! Keep it coming!
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