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Microsoft's latest HoloLens demo shows how it can be used in 3D modeling

The Microsoft HoloLens was a big part of the company's Worldwide Partner Conference keynote address, and one of the demos showed how the augmented reality headset could be used by 3D modelers to help them see their creations in a whole new way.

HoloLens with Maya

The demo used a version of Maya from Autodesk. Normally, in order to see a full version of a 3D object created in Maya, users would have to use a 3D printer, but that is both time consuming and expensive. Wearing the HoloLens headset, those same Maya creators will be able to see and manipulate a full 3D model of, for example, a motorcycle in the real world. As shown during the demo, that model can be viewed on the desk via HoloLens while the creator is using Maya to make changes to that model.

HoloLens communication

That same motorcycle can also be viewed, full-sized, in a room via HoloLens. Perhaps the most interesting part of the demo is how the headset can be used as a collaboration device. HoloLens users can see and/or hear notes from other team members suggesting changes to specific parts of the model. This kind of feature should make collaborating with projects faster while costing less money overall.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

35 Comments
  • Great but I want to use it With Autodesk 3ds max. 
  • Yeah but if you project the model on a projector... You could have the same virtual model life size.
    I think this is useful for the clients more than the designer.
  • Well yeah, but a) it will be in 2d b)you don't get the collab benefits 3)no overlay functionality either.
  • Not exactly... Autodesk software is 3d and collaborative.
    You'll still be able to rotate the model with any input device.
    At the end of the day a designer should be able to work with scale but you can't really replace a real model that you can feel..
    You can't touch the texture of a material with a virtual model.
  • give it time  -  i want it with solidworks
  • Well.... let's hope that, you know Autodesk is not really paying attention to 3ds Max for a while. They are doing little better than before on 2016 release but still compared to Maya, 3ds Max feels like just a software that is alive becuase of the userbase (unlike Softimage) not because Autodesk cares about it. But let's hope they add it to every software Autodesk owns, not only Maya. 3ds max has better modelling and faster tools than Maya, but let's hope, I like 3dsmax more, but Maya 2016 viewport and everything feels nice to be honest.
  • Yea, no, Maya is SOO much better than max. There is a reason it is the industry standard! And not just for films anymore. It has been crossing over into games for some time now. The interface of Max is unintuitive and working in it is clunky compared to the more hands on interactivity of Maya. I shouldn't have to select a modifier to reach my geometry's vertices, faces, edges or whatever sub-categories I want.
  • Maybe unintuitive for YOU. it's faster and better once you know how to use it. I never said Maya was bad software, it's just not any better for modelling than 3dsmax. if you don't understand the concept of modifiers is not my problem, but I am sure you are just a clueless person who doesn't know how to use 3dsmax yet insults it. we are not talking were about preferences, Maya is YOUR preference, I am talking about actual facts, if 3dsmax got the same features Maya got in these last releases, like mudbox sculpting, Bifrost, and had some sort fluid system, and one click export to game engines, there shouldn't be such obvious differences, but 3dsmax IS better for modelling, whatever you think. only because you don't know how to model in one software you can't say the other is better. because I am talking about modelling tools anyway. and that's all I am comparing. now you will say other software sucks and only maya is the best? again, stop talking like you know everything. learn the software and learn why people like me like 3dsmax modelling workflow, plugins and scripts. and you use shortcuts for a reason.... if you know the software you already know how to best reach the tools, so again. if you excuse for an "unintuitive" UI is having to select and work on sub-object stuff... then again, you are just another clueless 3d designer (if you really are) who doesn't know much.   Funny thing is I really learned in Maya after starting with 3dsmax. then I went to lightwave and stayed there for a while until I moved back to 3dsmax. but then I am sure you will say lightwave sucks too only becuase "it's not industry standard" funny thing is Adobe has alot of popular software and you can't treat them as the best when compared to other products. (PhotoLine  vs photoshop for example). industry standard means shit, and if you believe that you are better designer for knowing the "industry standard" software, then again, good luck with that mindset. The only software I don't touch it's Modo, never liked the company, and less now they are owned by The foundry, Cinema4d also didn't really hooked me up. but all these years I have learned more softwares that someone would care to know, because I want to know more, I am not closed to alternatives and software that can be cheaper and do the same, or can be as expensive as others but faster to work with. so again if you will at least discuss what's best and what isn't best, then don't add a stupid reason like "industry standard" becuase if I cared about popularity I wouldn't be in Windows Central and I would be on Android Central or iMore. and I wouldn't learn all the software I know, and just close my eyes to what can be better or not, only becuase "oh this feels confusing, I will never use it" after 5 minutes. Maya is good in some things (especially Animation, no secret about that, that's why many companies use it ONLY for that), not exactly at modelling compared to other software, so I am sorry but I really think you are a mediocre designer, who is clueless about other 3d software outside your Maya and industry standard bubble. Like if it was the only software used in the world and every field and like if only becuase you owned it you would automatically be a better 3d artist. I hope people like you wake up and stop pretending only because big companies use certain software, you automatically should emulate that.
  • IMO blender is even faster, modeling 90% of what you need without ever seeing a menu, size/scale is actually the s key, rotate is actually the r key, grab is actually the g key, knife is actually the k key.  I know you can keymap but its so easy to learn when over half of what you need is left hand touch, right hand mouse from the get go. Blender also has maya key interface so its easy to switch if you dont have a bootleg or real key.  Plus Blender has all the tools one would need to even make a movie from it.
  • Just start using Maya. It's better.
  • Sounds too much interesting
  • They had that fake FOV again on keynote demos. Or that issue has been resolved.
  • It's not fake, they specifically state that they are using a special camera, that lets you see everything the wearer "can" see. The special camera is able to show the entire hologram, without the same FOV issue the HoloLens has. Yes, it could be viewed as a bit misleading. But, the purpose is to show you that the entire hologram is there, regardless of what you are actively looking at.
  • The whole debacle could have been avoided if they said that exactly, as you phrased it, from day one. When Kipman took to the stage, he could have simply said, "The special camera is able to show the entire hologram, [the Hololens will have a smaller FOV for the user]. .... But, the purpose is to show you that the entire hologram is there, regardless of what you are actively looking at." Boom, yes, you limite the awe and excitement, but from there on out, it's only (or primarily) positive coverage, with more journalists jumping to the defense than to the tear down. Anything from, "Although MS had stated since January that the FoV will be different for the end user, we still wish they'd offer more to extend it, either by tehthering it to a more powerful PC, or ...." To, "Microsoft has shown a pretty good device in January, they highlighted the difference between the actual helmet and what the audience got to see during the presentation. We wish we'd get peripheral vision, but at least we know what we're signing up for and it doesn't take away from this awesome step forward..." Instead what we have now is a whole lot of.... misleading, name calling, praying from Magin Leaping (which based on the tech they describe, shouldn't have a FoV issue. But we'll see!
  • Absolutely agree!  They have always said (all the way back to the reveal Jan 21st) that the camera was adapted to see what the HoloLens wearer sees. This definitely helped fuel the FOV debacle. Now, when people see a demo from the cameras perspective, it generates confusion; "did they fix the issue or are they still lying about the FOV". THe truth is, they never really lied about it, they just didn't cover it, nor disclose the details, as well as they should have. This was definitely a mistake on their part, and they should have done a better job to avoid this issue. In retrospect, I can certainly agree that in many ways it feels like they intentionally mislead the public regarding how the holograms would appear to the user. Which, as you said, was a BIG mistake.
  • If you watch that and that is all you can think off, I don't think they can do anything to change your mind. If you think a bit you will see that FOV is not tehnology problem but simply hardware power problem. Faster hadrware, wider FOV. Now, there is no real product there. This is not comercial for something they are trying to sell. It is just demonstrantion. We don't know when and to whom they are going to sell it. We don't know how fast will be that hardware and we don't know FOV of that actual device. For all we now they can introduce two devices. One with mobile hardware and small FOV and the other one (used on that camera) with external computing with 180 FOV. There is no reason for them to make actual device especially not the only one. They can let OEMs make all kind of devices for all kind of customers in all kind of price ranges. That is how M$ usually operate.
  • As if any company shows the negatives or provides limitations to a device in their demos. The demos and presentations are done to highlight the positives. It like Apple cherry picking all the positive data for their product and completely ignoring info that would give you better prospective on the data and, thereby, being very misleading. All companies do this. You get better info when a product is closer to launch and the lawyers step in to cover the comapnies ass.
  • The FOV represented in the video is that from the perspective of the audience members.  If they were wearning a HoloLens, they would see the entire stage.  However, I agree that the FOV of the device itself is too narrow.  It should be full left to right or 180 degrees minimum.
  • I see FOV promoted by one section of media. When did MS promise "Immersive experience"? MS said they are working on it always but not going to change. If your object is not in displayed Application display window, you scroll the window up/down or left/right or you zoom it . It is similar to working in any applications in a PC. It is like dragging a photo into your photo APP and zoom in/out. Or scrolling a web page Left/Right or up/Down. This is normal in any computing device. How do you expect an video to show it? Display the half-webpage in advt or the full web page in advt? Showing the full-webpage in the Video is called faking? It is the job of the user to bring the object  by clicking it and dragging it into the full view area.We do it today, day in and day out in a PC.
  • Oh I have an idea for the HoloLens adaption for one of my apps I am working on... Going to be nice
  • It was really fascinating to see the way they demoed it. I agree the FOV might be less but the applications that can be created using this is unimaginable.
  • I'm hoping my school gets this.  I've been talking with the technology manager in the engineering department, and I hope they get a few of these, especially with our 3-D printing lab
  • You guys are starting to sound like a broken record with all this FOV reporting. Just give Microsoft an A+ for this one of a kind technology they've created.
  • I need to talk to our department VP about this. If we started implementing this in our teaching I bet we'd enroll a ton of new and excited students.
  • So Microsoft are Still pedling Hololens demos with fake FoV demos.
    Misleading or dishonest?
  • It's not fake, what the (special rig) camera is looking at - that is what we are seeing. The FOV is similar to glasses you need to turn / move your head.
    Of course there is always a chance things could change last minute.
  • Its not dishonest.  It is the correct field of view for someone sitting in the audience.  They are able to see the entire set from that distance.
  • They showed off a video of what the FoV would kind of look like to someone actually
  • It's the only way to show it, short of being only able to show it to people who are there wearing a Hololens. It's not that hard to understand.
  • This is great news for the auto industry, most car companies will save huge on designing future car prototypes using 3D holograms instead of using standard 3D models on a flat monitor. This should also be the way future designers study and do their lab assignments at college, instead of being sit down on a monitor they will interact with the 3D model using their hands to tweak virtual/augmented reality controls.
  • This is amazing, designers will get a lot out of it. Really, seeing what it brings to this kind of application any comment on the FOV being narrow is only a concern from narrow minds who miss the point.
  • I want World of Warships of this!
  • I see FOV promoted by one section of media. When did MS promise "Immersive experience"? MS said they are working on it always but not going to change. It is the job of user to bring the object in their view by clicking it and dragging it into the full view area.We dod it day in and day ouy in a PC.If your object is not in displayed Application display window, you scroll the window up/down or left/right. It is similar to working in any applications in a PC. It is like dragging a photo into your photo APP. Or scrolling a web page Left/Right or up/Down. This is normal in any computing device. How do you expect an video to show it? Display the half-page in advt or the full web page in advt? Showing the full-webpage in the Video is called faking? 3D TV glasses for a TV do not make every photos and paintings in your room as 3D. This is like watching 3d TV and the effect is on the TV - which is kind of FOV for a TV, but in this case, as it is really big enough like 100 inch TV on a wall . The problem is with the bloggers/journalists who can not imagine a small amount of technology presentation. And some has said that "FOV" is good in object display area - beautiful and they did not want to leave behind the Hololens. This complaint is like = When Time machine is invented with 2 years limit, you are complaining it can go back only 2 years in time.
  • Another complaint by a section of media against Hololens, So many APPs in a room, the Hololens does not show all of them in 360* - open and seen at the same time :- all 6 degress of freedom of view.   The correct analogy will be the use of PC. We have tons of ICONS in any PC. Imagine some APPs are running(open) in a PC. Can we all of them seen at once. Nope. They are casacded or snapped to a few . If we want to see a few at the same time, we add monitors - Multi-monitors - each one showing one or 2 open applications.Can we see all the APPS at once, no -  we need to move our heads. This analogy will not apply to smartphones/tablets, since smartphones/tablets even today - media favorite  smartphone/Tablets can not handle more than on APP at any time on the screen. But as a consumer we do not have any issues or compliants against it becuase of my favoritism and write all supporting arguments why is it very good for the consumers to see and use only one APP at a time.
  • FYI.  You can watch the video at 4:12:00 in the MS Partner Network video (from the Source).