Adobe releases Medium 2.4
Friday, August 28, 2020 | Written by Jim Thacker
Adobe released Medium 2.4, the first update to the virtual reality sculpting tool since it was acquired by Facebook last year.
The update adds features designed to make it possible to shape more complex assets within the software, including the option to freeze sculpture layers and import an existing sculpture into a new session.
The software has now been renamed "Medium" instead of "Oculus Medium" by Adobe.
Medium: Forming and painting 3D shapes in virtual reality
First released in 2016, Medium is a dedicated VR package for sculpting and painting for Oculus headset users that allows models to be exported in OBJ or FBX format to DCC applications.
As you'd expect, the toolset is simplified compared to traditional sculptor packages like ZBrush, but includes a basic set of tools for creating 3D forms, as well as over 300 pre-made shapes, or "stamps".
Objects can be arranged on layers and manipulated through operations such as duplicating, merging, and mirroring.
The Painting toolset is similarly compressed, but has sliders for brush size, opacity, and hardness.
The software is used by a number of well-known concept artists and illustrators. Marc Simonetti recently described it in a test in the Oculus Store as “simply one of the best” sculpting apps.
An image created by Marc Simonetti using assets chiseled in Medium.
New in Medium 2.4: Freeze sculpture layers or import existing shapes into a new session
Medium 2.4 adds features that should make it possible to create much more complex assets in VR.
This includes the option to freeze sculpting layers: when a layer is locked, the voxel data is removed from memory without changing the rendering mesh, reducing the chance of errors due to memory shortages.
The voxel data can be restored by unlocking the layer in memory again.
Users can now also import another sculptor file into their current sculpting session that includes all sculpting layers, meshes, images, lights and transform nodes.
New space camera for screenshots, better FBX export
Other major changes include the addition of a space camera to middle scenes that can be used for screenshots and video recordings of sculptures.
FBX export has also been improved: meshes are now exported with the specified pivot point, along with vertex location data, vertex color, normals, and a single UV set, although texture maps and materials are not yet supported.
In addition, mean processes will now resume when you take your head off. This means you don't have to stay in virtual reality until the export process is complete.
Prices and availability
Medium 2.4 is available for free from the Oculus Store. You'll need an Oculus Rift or Rift S and Touch controller.
Adobe also recommends a workstation with at least an Intel Core i5-7400 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 490 GPU, and 16 GB of RAM.
Read an overview of the new features in Medium 2.4 on the Adobe blog
For a complete list of the new features in Medium 2.4, see the Changelog on the Oculus website
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