While Nemetschek Vectorworks Inc. has been praised for its decision (several years ago) to adopt the Siemens Parasolid geometry modeling kernel, a decision aimed at laying the foundation for its 3D modeling future, that task took several years and several major updates to complete. The full conversion to Parasolid completed itself in version 2013 last year.
(see, Architosh, “Architosh Talks to Dr. Biplab Sarkar about Parasolid,” 13 September 2008. )
With that huge task behind it, Nemetschek Vectorworks this past year focused its sights on other major updates to more fully modernize its core technology, prepare for the future, and provide substantial benefits to is users in this latest release.
With an important and newish software development center in Bulgaria behind it, in addition to their headquarters and development center in Maryland, the company turned its attention to something quite important: its OpenGL abilities. New in this release is a complete rewrite of its OpenGL pipeline. So dramatic is this new “plumbing” that the company has named this entire set of software code Vectorworks Graphics Module.
What’s VGM and Why Should I Care
Dr. Biplab, Sarkar, Nemetschek Vectorworks’ chief technology officer and head of development, took the time this week to explain to me the basic essentials behind Vectorworks Graphics Module and the sub-components behind it.
It should first be stated that the company didn’t have to rewrite their own OpenGL render pipeline from scratch. They could have–and actually considered–several third-party APIs that would have aided in that process. For instance, they did look at RedSDK (see, Architosh, “Redway 3D rendering API is new for Mac platform joining others such as Lightworks,” 14 August 2013) as well as others, including HOOPS by Tech Soft 3D.
Yet despite how good these third-party technology API solutions are–and they are indeed proven solutions to hundreds of leading products around the globe–Nemetschek chose to innovate using its own development team. What they have ended up with, in the end, with VGM is what Dr. Sarkar noted was a cross between HOOPS and the Unity Game engine, itself a worldwide innovative leader. If this doesn’t pique the interest of existing Vectorworks users it should. And others as well.
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