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Nevercenter Launches Unreal-Powered Real-time Renderer and VR Viewer Milo, Alongside Major Silo Update
3D Modeling / April 14th, 2021 9:43 pm



Nevercenter has released Milo, a new kind of standalone real-time renderer and VR viewer which is powered by Epic Games' Unreal Engine, alongside Silo 2021, a major new update to its 3D modeler.
 

 

Milo, available free with a purchase of Silo 2021, is an innovative new way to view, explore, light, render, and generally show off 3D models and designs, including in VR. Epic Games awarded Nevercenter a prestigious Mega Grant to aid in Milo’s development, due to its innovative use of the industry-leading Unreal Engine for hyper-realistic lighting, materials, shadows, and effects. Currently in Early Access and rapidly developing, it's the ideal tool for product shots, game asset visualization, ArchViz/architectural walkthroughs, portfolio renders, VR previews, turntable gifs for social media, and instantly showing off all your 3D creations in the best light possible.
 

 
 

Silo is a lightweight and lightning-fast 3D polygonal modeler and UV mapper, offering a deep, industry-grade toolset and easy-to-master workflow at an insanely affordable price. It's perfect for both hard surface and organic modeling for characters, product design, architecture, and more, featuring easy export to other apps and game engines like Unity and Unreal. For 2021, we've added blend shapes, variable SubD edge creasing, PBR materials setup, and much more. This is Silo’s largest feature update in years.

 

Silo and Milo feature a tight linking, where files saved in Silo are automatically updated in Milo. For example, an architect could update a 3D building design using Silo’s precise desktop interface while a client views the changes seamlessly inside a VR headset. Together, Silo and Milo make it possible to model, texture map, and render complete scenes and images, and fit in seamlessly in a larger workflow providing modeling and rendering upgrades to all-in-one apps like Maya and Blender.

 

Silo 2021 (with Milo) is available now as a cross-platfo...

Silo Beta Testers Needed!
Dev Notes / October 8th, 2020 9:33 am
Hey everyone,

We're officially restarting the Silo Beta Test Team!

Big things with Silo are in the works, so we need to put together an elite beta tester team with some good testers, which means we're calling out to the best ones we know: the fantastic Silo modeling community. :)

We want to put together a diverse beta team—and one that will cover a variety of setups/modeling styles. If you'd like to help us run THE NEXT VERSION OF SILO (hooray!) through its paces, head on over to https://nevercenter.com/silo/betateam and let us know you'd like to help out.

We are super excited to finally be here with Silo and to share what we've been working on. We are also really looking forward to your feedback, because the Silo community has always been a key strength in guiding Silo into becoming the tool that it is.

Thanks!
Jamchild, Feed, and Presque
Milo Update: Multiplayer?
3D Modeling / November 20th, 2019 12:06 am

Milo Update: Multiplayer?


Milo report! The question currently on our minds is this: how can we best make use of UE4's built-in networking capabilities? We're building into the core architecture the ability to support multiple connections if we want to use it. It seems pretty cool! Here are some fun potential ways we envision using it:

Co-working: Milo's core could allow for multiple machines to be working in the same project at the same time, with one acting as host. What happens when two people try to do conflicting operations? We have no idea yet, but that shouldn't be an impossible problem to solve. Do people even want this capability? We also have no idea, though we suspect so. It's definitely intriguing.

VR: We're in the process of adding VR support to Milo, and we've always intended it to be VR-fluid, meant to work equally well both inside and outside of VR, and even side by side. With networking and the ability to join a session, you can have Milo up with a project loaded on one machine on your regular screen, and join the session with another VR-dedicated machine to work on your model in VR. It saves on processing power, allows easy access to a non-VR version when you need it, and allows others nearby to view progress more easily while one or more people are lost in VR working.

Remote client demonstrations: This one's particularly useful for archviz (we think), but your clients in a different location could open Milo and join your session via networking, allowing you to easily show them what you've been working on or take them on a fly-through. Perhaps a free viewer-only version of Milo could be available to send to your clients to install.

Modeling lessons: Have a bunch of students join your "class," either as observers only, as co-editors, or perhaps each with their own little model they have ownership of, so you can move around the scene and talk to them at their stations (with supported voice chat?) as they work.

As a point of clarification for any who may have wondered, Milo will be its own, standalone application, just like Silo; it's running on the Unreal Engine but doesn't require you to have the Unreal editor installed. We also have a question for you: what other 3D tools are you aware of which support multiple users in these ways? How (and how well) do they work? Any other interesting networking uses you've seen or would like to see?

We also enabled and tested raytracing support, and all is working there. We'll need to grab a newer graphics card at some point, though, before we can really see that shine and have something to show you all. We're excited to try it out more fully in the future!

-John
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

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