X-Rite Incorporated, and its subsidiary Pantone LLC have announced that Next Limit Technologies Maxwell 4.1 natively supports the Appearance Exchange Format. Developed by X-Rite, AxF is a vendor-neutral format that enables the communication of all aspects of a physical material’s appearance – colour, texture, gloss, refraction, transparency, translucency, special effects (sparkles) and reflection properties – in a single, editable file to improve design virtualisation.
AxF allows Maxwell users to load physically accurate digital material files and convert them to Maxwell materials for a consistent look across platforms. AxF is the foundational component of the X-Rite Total Appearance Capture ecosystem, a solution that brings a new level of accuracy and efficiency to the capture, communication and presentation of physical materials in the virtual world.
Traditionally, the capture and rendering of complex materials such as special effects paints, meshes and synthetic fabrics have been a time-consuming and manual process. TAC addresses this challenge with a new level of precision in material scanning coupled with an ability to share the resulting data, via AxF, across an expanding set of rendering tools such as Maxwell.
‘AxF is quickly becoming the common language for communicating appearance characteristics in design visualisation, computer graphics and animation,’ said Dr. Francis Lamy, executive vice president and chief technology officer, X-Rite and Pantone. ‘The TAC ecosystem and AxF allow Maxwell users to visualise their creations using physically correct digital materials, providing a new level of realism to product designs and 3D imagery.’