It’s been just over 18 months since we first released Oculus Medium, and we’ve been blown away by the community that’s formed around this immersive sculpting tool. We’ve seen people express their creativity in new ways and professionals successfully incorporate it into their production pipelines, with Mashable going so far as to declare VR “the artists' tool of the future—no programming skills needed.” Today, we’re excited to announce our biggest update yet—Medium 2.0!
Today’s update delivers many of the Medium community’s most frequently requested core sculpting features, like increased layer limit, grid snapping, and multiple lights, which helps solidify Medium’s position as a powerful—and professional—creative tool.
“I’m super excited for this release because we’ve added a lot of features our community have been asking for—more flexible scene management, better memory and performance, and more sculpting precision, just to name a few of the larger themes of this release,” says Technical Art Director Lydia Choy. “Lots of our underlying systems have been rearchitected, which sets us up to build some powerful features in future releases as well.”
Earlier this month, we added support for importing user-generated content to decorate your Oculus Home in Rift Core 2.0. With today’s Medium 2.0 update, you can export your sculpts created in VR directly into your Home inventory. Check out the full UGC guide for more information, and stay tuned for some more Rift Core 2.0 news coming soon!
Medium 2.0 also introduces a new file management system, scene graph, and a major UI facelift that allows for faster and more intuitive navigation of Medium’s tools, settings, and options. That means you can spend more time in creative flow, ideation, and production.
“We’ve redesigned the interface to streamline the process of moving content between Medium and your software projects,” explains Software Engineer Joseph Virskus. “Meshes now move seamlessly between Medium and your development platform of choice.”
Beyond new tools and improved integration with artists’ existing production pipelines, Medium 2.0 increases your rendering horsepower for improved performance among professionals and novices alike.
“I’m especially excited about the new rendering engine under the hood of Medium,” notes Graphics Engineer David Farrell. “We rewrote the renderer to use Vulkan, which lets us more directly control the GPU, leading to smoother frame rates and better memory management for higher resolution sculpts. Plus, you can now have up to 100 layers!”
Medium 2.0 also brings with it new tutorials to help you adopt the new tools as part of your workflow, like Layer Resolution Visualization and the new Elastic Move tool.
You can watch these tutorials and more any time at oculus.com/medium/learn.
Thanks to its robust community, active forum, and Featured Artist Galleries, the Medium team had plenty of material to work with as they plotted out a product roadmap leading up to today‘s release. Moreover, the Oculus Medium Artist Council—a group of over 100 highly esteemed professional artists from the film and games industries—has been phenomenal in providing feedback and helping guide our development to make Medium a professional art tool.
“A lot of work on Medium 2.0 was based on data from real-world usage of Medium,” adds Farrell. “For example, the improvements to memory usage came from careful analysis of sculpts that people had made, and then improving our data structures to better support those sculpts. We’ll continue to tune Medium based on the community’s creations.”
Medium 2.0 represents months of research, development, and integration. We’re excited to share it with the VR community—and already looking forward to what’s next. And in keeping with Rift’s newly updated recommended and minimum specs, Windows 10 is now required.
“This is the culmination of a year of listening to our users and not only seeing what they’re creating but how—and learning what tools and features they love and lack,” says Software Program Manager Jessica Zeta. “With 2.0, we’ve built a strong experience and powerful tool, but what we’re really saying is, ‘Create more art!’ We want to help you!”
A lot of time, work, and energy went into today’s release, and we can’t wait to hear what you think. Reach out to Oculus Medium on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share your feedback, and follow the team to stay on top of the latest updates!
— The Oculus Team