The Khronos Group has officially begun two new working groups. The glFX Working Group is defining a run-time API to enable advanced 3D visual effects contained in a COLLADA FX file to be easily and portably used in OpenGL and OpenGL ES applications. The Composition Working Group is defining graphics APIs to enable window systems to be constructed using open standards for display composition to encourage mobile devices to use fully accelerated advanced user interfaces. See Press Release.
The COLLADA contest is designed to encourage open source COLLADA conditioning programs to be created and uploaded into the COLLADA Framework on Sourceforge. A growing body of conditioners enables any developer to construct sophisticated pipelines to condition content for diverse platforms. Winners of the COLLADA Contest will be announced at SIGGRAPH 2007 and prizes include airfare to San Diego and four night’s accommodation to attend SIGGRAPH and a SONY Playstation 3.
Menus Master is a flexible and user-friendly solution to create game user interface (UI) for any C++ platform. The new v2.5 add new tools that make much easier to create all user interface mechanisms: buttons animations and special effects, carousels, page transitions, pop-ups, and automated variable management. The Omegame team will show how COLLADA eases the authoring of 3D user interfaces with Menus Master. Menus Master v2.5 will be publicly demonstrated Tuesday March 6 in the Khronos booth and again on March 8 and 9, at Omegame’s booth, in the Game Connection area, in the Gateway Ballroom.
This comprehensive XNA tutorial explains how to do skeletal bone animation and skinning using COLLADA models, which allow for complex animations exported as XML that DirectX .X files can't handle.
Ballistic COLLADA viewer is a simple but efficient free COLLADA viewer, It is written in C++ and uses the OpenGL API for rendering. The new version adds support for textures and can reads models from the Google 3D Warehouse and models exported to .dae from the latest Google SketchUp, or Blender. It features game like navigation for better immersion.
PaperVision3D is an open source project that lets you import COLLADA files and render 3D objects in real time using Flash. The 3D Flash engines works with ActionScript 2 and 3, and features linear texture mapping, optimized for rendering speed and quality. This "how to" lets you experiment with creating a simple first person shooter using a COLLADA model and an AS2 class package. Also check out the summary blog which has some great example references.
COLLADA FX provides a way to package up shaders objects, describe the full visual style of a shader and provide a simplified model for operating them. This new Conditioner for the COLLADA Refinery (a COLLADA-based conditioning pipeline application) will convert a COLLADA FX-effect from profile_CG to profile_GLSL.
CodeSynthesis XSD is an open-source, cross-platform XML Schema to C++ data binding compiler. Provided with an XML instance specification (XML Schema), it generates C++ classes that represent the given vocabulary as well as parsing and serialization code. This lets you access the data stored in XML using types and functions that semantically correspond to your application domain rather than dealing with intricacies of reading and writing XML. XSD supports a wide range of industry standards and schemas including COLLADA in the new XSD v2.3.1 (i.e. translates COLLADA 1.3.1, 1.4.0, and 1.4.1 to C++). It is available on GNU/Linux, Windows, Solaris, Mac OS X, HP-UX, and AIX and supports many compilers. Dual-licensed under the GPL and a commercial license.
Updated release notes in Japanese for COLLADA 1.4.1 are now available (Release Notes Revision A). These notes offer corrections and additions to the earlier release notes, and are all indicated by colored shading.
Tony Parisi one of the co-creators of VRML, reviews "COLLADA: Sailing the Gulf of 3D Digital Content Creation". Quoting from the review: "...the laser-focus of the COLLADA design team seems to have paid off: the industry now has a common exchange format for game assets, and there is hope yet for developers who would rather spend their time building games than building tools to make games. This clarity of focus on the design comes through in the book as well. ... A detailed and lucid book that explains COLLADA from concept through implementation. If you are a programmer with a reasonable understanding of 3D graphics programming and/or authoring using 3D scene graphs, you will be able to learn the basics of COLLADA. If you are an experienced 3D toolmaker, COLLADA contains everything you need to get up and running to build your game, game engine or content pipeline tool. If you are a manager or decision maker, you get the added comfort of knowing that — finally — you just might be able to write that tool once and not over and over again."