Donya Labsâ?? 3D optimisation technology Simplygon is increasing art efficiency as it decreases game assetsâ?¦

TOOL FOCUS: Simplygon 2

Price: Available on request

Company: Donya Labs

Contact: +46 733 14 94 00

It’s a mark both of how specialised game development has become, and the complexity of games themselves, that Swedish technology vendor Donya Labs exists.

A provider of 3D optimisation technologies, it follows a similar vein of Scandinavian innovation as Finish outfit Hybrid Graphics, now Umbra Software. Its dPVS software is used to optimise 3D environments by automatically culling overdraw; something that has proved highly attractive for MMOs.

Donya’s Simplygon technology provides all developers with a similar performance boost, working on a more atomic scale by automatically enabling you to optimise 3D models in terms of mesh complexity.

“Developers need to reduce the number of polygons in a scene, preferably without losing visual quality. Simplygon is a mesh-decimation or polygon-reduction tool, meaning that when you integrate it in your content pipeline, it sits in the background optimising all the content you build,” explains CEO Martin Ekdal.

The technology is already in use with companies such as Crytek, Evolution Studios, EA and CCP. Simplygon does require integration within your art pipeline however.

“Our approach to 3D optimisation isn’t dependent on what DCC tools you use,” Ekdal says. “We find that by integrating Simplygon elsewhere in the pipeline, you can achieve greater efficiency. Our customers have chosen to integrate Simplygon in different ways depending on their content pipeline’s configuration.”

That process may be eased in the medium term however, with Simplygon likely to find its way into the various partner programs of the larger middleware engine companies such as Epic and Emergent, although nothing has been formally announced.

There are plenty of other aspects of development that the technology could be used for, too, says Ekdal: “Instead of creating new content to cover the stepdown from Wii to DS, PS3 to PS2 to PSP, or generally to iPhone, Simplygon could do it automatically. It would also be useful in terms of optimising downloadable content for MMOs and like, before or during the download process.”

Even further into the future is Donya’s Xtreme Polygon Reduction & Repair System. XPRSS (a working title) is an experimental technology that produces simplified meshes. As well as the mesh, a new texture is created, with the result being something that’s extremely low-poly and optimised for a particular screen resolution. “We’re really looking forward to introducing these re-meshing and re-texturing abilities sometime during 2009,” Ekdal says.

Better watch this 3D space, as it gets smaller and smaller.

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