COLLADA 1.4 released

SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.1 now includes COLLADA 1.4 support; COLLADA 1.4 includes a 3D digital asset schema, a shader FX framework and the industry’s first Physics Data Definition for 3D APIs

22nd March, 2006 - Game Developer Conference (GDC), San Jose, California - The Khronos™ Group is pleased to announce that the new, royalty-free COLLADA™ 1.4 specification has been ratified and released under the Khronos standardization process; that Emdigo, Feeling Software and Softimage have joined as New Members to participate in further development of COLLADA and other Khronos technologies; and that in another press release yesterday, Softimage has announced that SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.1 now includes COLLADA 1.4 support.

“The rapid evolution of COLLADA and the news that big players like Softimage have joined the Khronos Group, is positive proof that Khronos is a very effective new home for COLLADA,” said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of the Tiburon CA based market research firm, Jon Peddie Research. “Sony and all the others members of the COLLADA Work Group have demonstrated a clear commitment to evolving the specification and driving ecosystem of tools, conformance tests and sample implementations.”

COLLADA 1.4 represents a significant advance in asset, shader and physics data format definitions enabling 3D authoring applications to freely exchange digital assets without loss of information. COLLADA 1.4 has been developed by numerous companies including 3Dlabs, Alias, AGEIA, Autodesk, ATI, Feeling Software, NVIDIA and Softimage; and has been reviewed by over sixty game developers to ensure that it enables multiple software packages to be seamlessly combined into powerful game production pipelines. The COLLADA 1.4 specification is available for adoption and royalty-free use by the industry at www.khronos.org/collada/.

“We have joined the Khronos Group to participate in the development of COLLADA and OpenGL ES as an important part of Emdigo’s strategy is to leverage industry standards as key components of our products,” said Steve Gleitsmann, President of Emdigo Inc. “This makes the content download business more accessible and cost effective for our customers who will no longer have to worry about proprietary technologies that limit their ability to deliver a great variety of content from a large number of sources to their consumers.”

“Every day, thousands of game artists and developers use COLLADA-based tools to author and process their next-generation game assets. With the addition of shading effects and physics to COLLADA 1.4, we expect this adoption rate to significantly accelerate,” said Christian Laforte, CEO, Feeling Software. “Technologies such as COLLADA and OpenGL ES enable exciting new games, graphical applications and devices that are becoming an integral part of our everyday life. This resonates strongly with the Feeling Software spirit. This is why we are thrilled to join the Khronos Group and to further contribute to this next wave of 3D innovation. “

“We are leveraging the strengths of XML and XML Schema to provide better content models for your game data in COLLADA 1.4,” said Mark Barnes, chairman of the Khronos COLLADA working group. “COLLADA FX has a well defined structure that can be parsed and validated more easily then other effects formats that rely on scripts. By working with standard technologies, industry leading companies and open source developers alike, we are defining a standard format that expands the tool horizon for artists and developers, enabling these creative people to use the best tools available to create the amazing experiences of next generation games.”

“This new version of COLLADA is accelerating industry adoption and there are already COLLADA 1.4 exporters for leading tools such as 3DStudio, Maya, Blender and Lightwave,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group, chairman of the OpenGL ES Working Group and vice president of embedded content at NVIDIA. “Tools such as NVIDIA’s FX Composer 2.0 and gaming engines ranging from the Unreal Engine and Agent FX; to open source software such as Blender and OGRE are incorporating support for COLLADA - making COLLADA not just a specification but a genuine force in the industry to encourage and enable the creation of great gaming content.”

The COLLADA 1.4 data digital asset schema is the first cross-platform standard shader and effects definition written in XML and includes core features such as mesh geometry, skinning, morphing, animation and data validation. This new version of the digital asset schema will enable content creation pipelines that can automatically condition and scale 3D geometry and texture assets for real-time playback on a wide diversity of platforms including hand-held devices.

COLLADA FX, new in version 1.4, supports high-level and shader effects with next generation lighting, shading and texturing capabilities and supports DX shader models 1.x, 2.0 and 3.0 under the Cg and GLSL profiles. Khronos and members of the COLLADA working group are developing open source example code for COLLADA and will release a COLLADA conformance test suite during 2006.

COLLADA 1.4 standardizes three related data formats for flexible data exchange between state-of-the-art authoring applications to provide the creative power needed to forge today’s leading gaming content. The COLLADA 1.4 digital asset schema enables lossless 3D data exchange while fully preserving asset data, triples the number of supported data elements compared to COLLADA 1.3 and provides strongly-typed definitions for improved validation of content data.  COLLADA FX is the industry’s first cross-platform standard for defining visual effects that targets both high-end systems such as gaming consoles as well as embedded and hand-held systems. Effects may be authored to support many different profiles which may include the use of the OpenGL Shading Language, NVIDIA’s Cg shading language, or OpenGL ES 1.1 state setting and texture combiners. COLLADA Physics is the industry’s first open standard data definition for physics effects including rigid body dynamics, rag dolls, constraints and collision volumes enabling data interchange between AGEIA (Novodex), Havok, Meqon, ODE and other game physics middle-ware.

See COLLADA Demos at Game Developer Conference on Khronos Booth #1632
There will be COLLADA demos by Emdigo and Softimage on the Khronos Booth at GDC. Emdigo will demonstrate its Go3D system, an advanced content platform that enables wireless service providers, publishers and content aggregators to rapidly deliver vast amounts of dazzling, real-time 3D graphics based mobile entertainment content and messaging applications. The Emdigo content platform leverages both the COLLADA content exchange format as well as OpenGL-ES implementations on industry leading handsets.

Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc., will demonstrate a workflow for next-generation games character authoring based on the COLLADA standard file format. The presentation will include character animation and realtime visual effects creation using SOFTIMAGE®|XSI® and NVIDIA’s FXComposer 2.

COLLADA offers educational sessions at Game Developer Conference, March 20-24

    http://www.khronos.org/news/events/detail/gdc_2006/
  • Full Day GDC Tutorial: Graphics Rendering With OpenGL ES
  • Mobile 3D Development and COLLADA
  • Collada for Playstation3
  • M3ds Max Data Exchange Interface (previously known as IGame) and COLLADA
  • COLLADA Panel

About Khronos
The Khronos Group is a member-funded industry consortium focused on the creation of open standards such as OpenKODE™, OpenGL® ES, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenML™ and COLLADA™ to enable the authoring and acceleration of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. Please go to www.khronos.org for more information.

 

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Khronos, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenMAX and OpenSL ES are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. COLLADA is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. used by permission by Khronos. OpenGL and OpenML are registered trademarks and the OpenGL ES logo is a trademark of Silicon Graphics Inc. used by permission by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Monotype Imaging, Scaleform, TAT

Khronos Announces New Members Monotype Imaging, Scaleform, TAT and Accelerated OpenVG Demonstrations

OpenVG a catalyst for widespread adoption of 2D vector graphics hardware for mobile; stimulates development of advanced high quality 2D applications and user interfaces

22nd March, 2006 - Game Developer Conference (GDC), San Jose, California - The Khronos™ Group is pleased to announce that numerous members are now shipping devices accelerating OpenVG™ 1.0, a royalty-free, open standard for low-level 2D vector graphics, and that new members Monotype Imaging, Scaleform and TAT have joined to participate in ongoing development of the API. 

OpenVG enables hardware acceleration of libraries such as Flash and SVG, enabling high-quality, anti-aliased, scalable 2D vector graphics on embedded and handheld devices with highly interactive performance and low levels of power consumption. The OpenVG standard has been designed to seamlessly interoperate with OpenGL® ES 3D graphics; creating a high-performance, fully integrated 2D and 3D embedded graphics acceleration environment. The OpenVG API specification is available for free download at http://www.khronos.org/openvg/.

As an open industry standard interface, OpenVG will be an important catalyst for driving widespread adoption of 2D vector graphics hardware for the mobile industry,” said Andrzej Mamona, Architect at ATI and the OpenVG Work Group Chair. “This hardware acceleration will stimulate development of a new class of more complex high quality 2D applications and user interfaces.”

See Demos of OpenVG by Hybrid Graphics, Imagination Technologies, Mitsubishi, Renesas and Scaleform at GDC on the Khronos Booth #1632 at GDC.

Among many other demos, attendees are invited to see Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR MBX combined with the Scaleform VGx vector graphics driver accelerating Flash content using the OpenVG and OpenGL ES APIs.

“Mobile devices need smooth, high-quality 2D vector graphics to enable high-quality user interfaces and ultra-readable text on small screens,” says David McBrien, vice president business development, Imagination Technologies. “With support for the OpenVG standard developed by the Khronos Group, PowerVR can provide a low-power consumption solution with a high level of acceleration for 2D graphics such as SVG, Flash, PDF and Postscript. This accelerated, scalable anti-aliased vector graphics solution opens up new possibilities for advanced UI, navigation applications, games, e-books, screensavers and multimedia content.”

“Bitboys was the first company to introduce a dedicated hardware vector graphics processor to the wireless market. The OpenVG 1.0 compatible Bitboys G12 is extremely compact in size and offers more than 100-fold rendering performance improvement over software-based solutions. This technology will become a standard in wireless devices over the next few years,” said Petri Nordlund, CTO of Bitboys. “You can see our OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics processor Bitboys G40 here at GDC and are invited to see a variety of our OpenVG demos at the Khronos Mobile forum in Tokyo on April 28th.”

“HUONE has developed a software implementation of OpenVG API called “AlexVG engine” and a SVG tiny player running on OpenVG called “AlexVG t-player,” said Hwanyong Lee, HUONE (formerly MTIS). “We released an OpenVG API evaluation version for Windows at CeBit 2006 Hannover, and more than 300 evaluation copies of the CD were distributed, and we expect to distribute evaluation version of AlexVG engine running on the OpenVG API via internet in June 2006.”

“Hybrid sees OpenVG as a crucial graphics technology for mobile phones and other embedded devices, and Hybrid’s OpenVG serves as the acceleration platform for vector-based content formats like SVG and Flash,” says Ville Miettinen, CTO of Hybrid Graphics. “Hybrid has been involved with 2D and SVG since 2002, and now see a strong demand for low-level 2D vector graphics standards.
Hybrid’s commercial OpenVG implementation is already on the market, and our non-commercial version will be made available April, 2006.”

“The adoption of OpenVG as the interface to hardware accelerated 2D vector graphics will propel the development of rich graphical content applications and services,” said Brad Sipes, VP Operations and CTO of Ikivo. “With over 60 million units deployed, Ikivo is the leading provider for vector graphic software for mobile devices. We are uniquely positioned to bring reach media and graphic services to mobile users and leverage the additional performance capabilities that OpenVG enables. Ikivo Multimedia SVG Player, a W3C SVG 1.2 compliant viewer, may be the world’s first commercially available software that integrates to the OpenVG API.”

“Monotype Imaging’s goal is to help ensure that the Khronos OpenVG™ specification will become an efficient hardware acceleration layer for scalable fonts and multilingual text composition, allowing mobile application developers and content creators to benefit from rich graphic capabilities, with the highest quality of scalable, legible text supporting all languages of the world,” said Jack Murphy, vice president of research and development at Monotype Imaging Inc.

“TAT is very happy to join Khronos as a Contributor member and be part of the development process to see that the user interface industry will be well represented,” said Ludvig Linge, CEO of TAT. “TAT believes that the standardization of the graphics hardware interface through APIs like for example OpenGL ES or OpenVG is necessary and will improve the adoption rate of advanced user interfaces.”

About Khronos
The Khronos Group is a member-funded industry consortium focused on the creation of open standards such as OpenKODE™, OpenGL® ES, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenML™ and COLLADA™ to enable the authoring and acceleration of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. Please go to www.khronos.org for more information.

 

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Khronos, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenMAX and OpenSL ES are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. COLLADA is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. used by permission by Khronos. OpenGL and OpenML are registered trademarks and the OpenGL ES logo is a trademark of Silicon Graphics Inc. used by permission by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Intel joins as Promoter

Intel Joins Khronos Group as a Promoter Member

Now over 100 companies working together in the Khronos Group on industry-wide APIs for portable, high-performance games and rich media applications

22nd March, 2006 - Game Developer Conference (GDC), San Jose, California - The Khronos™ Group is pleased to announce that Intel has joined the Khronos Group as a Promoter member and will also hold a seat on the Board of Directors to further advance the evolution of open standards that enable the authoring and acceleration of games and media on a wide variety of platforms and devices, such as mobile phones. Also announced in other Khronos news today, new members Emdigo, Feeling Software, Monotype Imaging, RadVision, Reigncomm, Scaleform, Softimage and TAT bring the total number of companies participating in the Khronos Group to over one hundred. Khronos is an open, member-funded consortium committed to developing royalty-free standards for mobile and embedded markets, including the new OpenKODE initiative to create a coherent development and deployment platform to enable portable, high-performance games and media applications for mobile handsets. Khronos has extensive membership from all aspects of the mobile industry including carriers, handset OEMs, middleware vendors, games developers and CPU and graphics silicon providers. Further details about joining Khronos for any interested company may be found at: http://www.khronos.org/members/.

“Khronos has been at the forefront of creating enabling standards for the mobile industry for many years, and it is good to see even more industry heavyweights such as Intel join the group to ensure this important work continues to gain momentum,” said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of the Tiburon CA based market research firm, Jon Peddie Research.

“We welcome Intel and all our new members, as our extensive open membership ensures that we have the industry representation to ensure our standards genuinely meet the industry’s needs,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president of embedded content at NVIDIA. “We invite members of the press and interested developers to come by the Khronos Booth #1632 at Game Developer conference to see dozens of demos of the latest technologies developed by the Khronos Group.”

“Khronos is more than just an open standards group; it is a catalyst for the development of graphically advanced and compelling mobile gaming content and technology,”  said David McBrien, VP business development, Imagination Technologies.  “Our tenure as a Khronos Promoter Member and working closely with our partners also in the Khronos Group has proven to be a very valuable experience for Imagination Technologies.  We encourage participation in the group by new members, and we are committed to the continuing development of the Khronos Group family of open standards under the OpenKODE platform.”

Advanced media applications, including 3D games, are driving enhanced revenue for the mobile industry by raising the value of advanced handsets, enabling higher games revenue and driving network data service usage. However, the rollout of compelling applications is being held back by disruptive platform variability, forcing software developers to create many different variants of each application, raising costs, and slowing the widespread availability of advanced content. The new OpenKODE initiative will bring together the family of Khronos Application Programming Interfaces (APIs): OpenGL® ES for 3D graphics, OpenMAX™ for streaming media, OpenVG™ for vector 2D graphics and OpenSL ES™ for audio; and will define a new user-input API and potentially add new APIs for access to functionality such as multi-player networking and operating system resources to create a complete, coherently designed, reliably available coding platform that can be implemented across a wide variety of mobile and embedded devices and operating systems - including closed real-time operating systems.


About Khronos
The Khronos Group is a member-funded industry consortium focused on the creation of open standards such as OpenKODE™, OpenGL® ES, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenML™ and COLLADA™ to enable the authoring and acceleration of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.  Please go to www.khronos.org for more information.

Khronos, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenMAX and OpenSL ES are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. COLLADA is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. used by permission by Khronos. OpenGL and OpenML are registered trademarks and the OpenGL ES logo is a trademark of Silicon Graphics Inc. used by permission by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

 

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