X-Rite and its subsidiary Pantone LLC, report that Gerber Technology’s YuniquePLM and AccuMark will natively support the Appearance Exchange Format (AxF) in 2018. Developed by X-Rite, AxF is a vendor-neutral format that enables the communication of all aspects of a physical material’s appearance – color, texture, gloss, refraction, transparency, special effects (sparkles) and reflection properties – in a single, editable file to improve design virtualization.
AxF is the foundational component of the X-Rite Total Appearance Capture (TAC) ecosystem, a solution that brings a new level of accuracy and efficiency to the capture, communication and presentation of physical materials in the virtual world, according to the company. TAC is said to offer precision and quality in material scanning coupled with an ability to share the resulting data, via AxF, across an expanding set of virtual design and product lifecycle management (PLM) tools like YuniquePLM.
“AxF will allow Gerber Technology customers to create physically accurate digital material libraries for a collection and virtually see a material’s texture, gloss or sheen in a 3D model to understand how a material drapes and looks under various lighting conditions,” says Dr. Francis Lamy, executive vice president and chief technology ffficer, X-Rite and Pantone.
The TAC ecosystem is comprised of the TAC7 scanner, PANTORA Material Hub desktop application and Virtual Light Booth (VLB). Physical material samples are scanned using the TAC7 scanner, which captures appearance properties digitally to create AxF files that store appearance data. The files are stored, managed, viewed and edited in the PANTORA desktop application. The AxF files can be shared with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and rendering applications including Allegorithmic Substance Designer; AMD Radeon ProRender; Autodesk VRED Professional 2017; Gerber Technology YuniquePLM and AccuMark; Lumiscaphe Patchwork 3D; Luxion KeyShot Next Limit Maxwell; and NVIDIA Iray.
The Virtual Light Booth is an immersive 3D visualization environment for evaluating material appearance. It allows users to accurately and efficiently visualize and compare 3D digital material renderings side-by-side with physical samples. The VLB combines X-Rite’s SpectraLight QC professional light booth technology with a high-brightness, color-calibrated, LCD display; color management technology; and motion tracking sensors. This allows the VLB viewing environment to control parameters that influence the perception of appearance from illumination to contextual to observational factors. With the VLB, design teams can easily verify these conditions to see changes in material performance. This helps ensure consistency between digital prototypes and final physical products and empowers designers to make more informed material selection decisions reducing approval cycles and accelerating time to market.
Sources: Press materials received from the company.