Nvidia and Rimac have partnered to rethink the car configurator. This week, the computer graphics company and the electric automaker launched a new, real-time 3D configurator for Rimac’s Nevera hypercar. It’s powered by Nvidia’s new Omniverse Cloud, a software suite that allows artists, developers, and businesses to design and publish metaverse applications anywhere and on any device.
At first glance, the configurator doesn’t look different from others online. There is a row of options at the bottom as you’d expect – paint, wheels, interior, options, and backdrop. But play around with it, and the configurator looks and feels different. You can pan around the vehicle and watch the light interact with the various surfaces and materials, blowing out some styling features while obscuring others in shadow.
Changing the background also changes the lighting, switching the skybox from a bright and sunny day to an overcast one, drastically changing how the car looks, just like in real life. The configurator also renders the Nevera’s interior, and the lighting has the same effect, changing how the cabin’s various materials and colors appear. In some instances, the renderings look nearly photorealistic.
Rimac will use the Omniverse Cloud for more than just the Nevera configurator. The automaker uses the technology for the entire automotive process, from design to marketing. Mate Rimac, the company’s founder and CEO, said that the technology would allow designers to spend more time on the vehicle and less worrying about 3D design pipelines and processes.
The new 3D configurator allows Rimac to preview the car to customers without having to pre-render each new layer, whether paint, cabin color, trim, or wheels change, saving the company time and money. Nvidia’s Omniverse Cloud can work with full CAD fidelity datasets from Autodesk Alias, Houdini, Adobe Substance 3D, and more. Designers can work on their own Nvidia-equipped machines or stream the software.
You can experience the 3D configurator right now, but it only works with the latest Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers. Support for smartphones and tablets is coming soon. It’ll be interesting to see how Rimac uses the tech and whether any other automakers jump on board. It certainly looks neat.