SiNi Software, a company started a little over a year ago by industry veterans Simon Donaghy (Si) and Nigel Hunt (Ni), both with extensive experience in AAA video games, visual effects and architectural visualisation.
Traditionally, larger studios can afford to employ R&D, pipeline and software development teams, costing hundreds of thousands a year to maintain. The founders started SiNi with the goal to give small to mid sized companies and freelancers access to the tools, technical support and advancements that they need to stay in the competition.
“There was a need to provide a service to smaller businesses to advance 3ds Max, adding tools to fix imported Sketchup and Revit geometry etc”, says Nigel. “Having extensive first hand experience running a production studio for 20 years, before setting up SiNi helps understand our members production issues. We’re not second guessing what the industry may need, we know.”
For just a small monthly or yearly fee, artists can expect a lot from the team at SiNi. From asset management, workflow improvement, streamline import, clean-up to modelling processes.
“Think of us as your ‘crowdfunded’ remote 3D development team, listening and adopting members ideas, continuingly adding to the toolset, as well as providing bespoke scripting if requested”, says Nigel.
With the architectural profession adopting virtual and augmented reality to scrutinise designs, 3d models need to be optimised extensively, especially if imported from Revit. SiNi tools allow artists to prepare models for exporting to Unity or Unreal Engine.
SiClone parametric tool is perfect for low poly modelling as it auto-optimises along a spline. “We needed to develop a tool that would would be easy to use, advanced UVW mapping and low-poly optimised”, says Nigel.
Early adopters to SiNi include leading Australian visualisation studio, Binyan.
"SiNi is a game changer. 100 Mount St was only possible because of Forensic and Ignite. We can't imagine going back. It's revolutionised our workflow here at Binyan." Michael Bao - Head of Modelling at Binyan Studios
Image: 100 Mount by Dexus - http://100mountstreet.com.au/
Globally there are thousands of artists and companies using SiNi Software, including Foster and Partners, Aecom, Arup, RSHP, Populous and dozens of architecture practices, as well as Ubisoft, ILM, IKEA and many more.
“Each new tool added to 3ds Max, be it from a 3rd party developer or even from Autodesk, further empowers the artist by multiplying its functionality. This is what we see with SiNi Software tools, their plugins are a natural enhancement to existing workflows by delivering more power to the 3D artist. This is truly amazing,” Edwin Braun - CEO cum Co-founder of Cebas Visual Technology
SiNi’s development plan extends beyond 3ds Max. Maya and Modo tools are on the way.
“Autodesk are certainly keeping a close eye on our development pipeline as we seem to be ahead of the curve!”, says Nigel.
Aside from Autodesk, they are also working with all the main render engines, plugin developers, The Foundry and businesses which are looking for Maxscript experts to extend in-house capabilities.
“We’ve developed proxy and asset management tools that will become cross platform, future proofing our members investment in their assets.” Says Nigel. “By remaining Render Engine unbiased, 3d assets and proxies should be transferable from software to software, independant of which render engine you use.”
For now, artists working with 3ds Max should check out what SiNi are up to. There are FREE tools which received a best in class, 5 stars, from 3d World magazine, earlier this year.
80 Collins Street, Melbourne. (Copyright © 2017 Black Rabbit Agency Group). SiNi Software used; ALL ACCESS. Forensic, IgnIte, SiClone, ProxSi.
SiClone sweep. The left image shows the UVW mapping compared to Autodesk 3ds Max sweep, on the right.
SiClone screenshot. This tunnel was created from one spline, sweeping shapes and distributing 3d objects, including, lighting and animation, in under 20 minutes. It can be saved to the asset library to share and reuse.