Today I was at the presentation of Fabric Engine 3d Creation Platform and I was really impressed. So here are couple of notes:
It is a development and TD environment project which has its own 3d application GUI (so you can run something that creates window with perspective view and buttons which look like Maya or XSI). That application has its node editor and it is node network architecture. Quite similar to Houdini. The main difference is that this provides access for developpers to absolute core of the system. Also it is OS independent and its purpose is to provide platform to process and visualize 3d data for visual effects productions. This is focused on those productions who have their R'n'D staff and TDs. These really can benefit from such advanced tool and they actually spend lot of time writing such custom tools. But here is a system which provides very good base and a lot of ready-to-use code dedicated to this purpose.
The platform allows for example implement custom real time rendering engine with easy to change parameters, supporting multi-threading and both CPU and GPU operations. One of its main focuses is to be competitive in scalability and performance and the architecture is built for that.
Another example is deformers, which can be implemented and then interfaced into Maya, XSI or other applications or it can be performed inside Fabric Engine 3d application. It actually can take FBX, Alembic or OBJ geometry, process it and export back to the same format.
What is also good to notice is that most of the developpers of this software are originally from Autodesk, originally developping Softimage XSI. Here is the team background.
Creation Platform CAPI Deformer in Softimage from Fabric Engine on Vimeo.