The Khronos Group Announces Significant COLLADA Momentum at SIGGRAPH 2009

Industry-Leading Open Format for the Exchange of 3D Assets Supporting New Compliance Opportunities; OpenCOLLADA Support for 3ds Max & Maya; Dassault Systemes Announces Broad Support for COLLADA, Integration with Google, EA, Blender & Yumetech

August 5, 2009 – New Orleans, SIGGRAPH 2009 – The Khronos™ Group, an industry consortium creating open standards for the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media, today announced a wide range of new cross-industry support for COLLADA™, the Khronos-developed standard for 3D asset sharing.

COLLADA defines an XML-based schema making it simple to transport 3D assets between applications - enabling diverse 3D authoring and content processing tools to be easily combined into a production pipeline. As an intermediate language, The COLLADA schema provides comprehensive encoding of visual scenes including: geometry, shaders and effects, physics, animation, kinematics, and even multiple version representations of the same asset.  COLLADA FX enables leading 3D authoring tools to work effectively together to create shader and effects applications and assets to be authored and packaged using OpenGL® Shading Language, Cg, CgFX, and DirectX® FX. The Khronos Group has also made the COLLADA 1.5 specification and release notes available in Japanese at http://www.khronos.org/collada.

Among the wide range of CAD/CAM/CAE, gaming, consumer and professional 3D leaders supporting COLLADA at SIGGRAPH this year are Google®, through the company’s O3D plugin for the viewing of 3D objects on any Web page; Maxis®/EA® via their award-winning Spore® game, and Blender™, being showcased in the Blender Foundation booth #3701.

“The Blender Foundation supports the efforts of the individuals working on the import and export of COLLADA into Blender. With COLLADA support in Blender now, our artists can enjoy open interchange with the many DCC tools that support COLLADA. This will only enrich the art developed in Blender,” said Ton Roosendaal, President of the Blender Foundation.

In a major move of COLLADA support, Dassault Systèmes (DS) (Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), the world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced that 3D models hosted on the 3DVIA.com library, will now be automatically converted to both the Dassault Systèmes’ 3DXML format and the COLLADA™ open 3D format. The addition of COLLADA support further connects the 3DVIA product lineup to the wide range of digital content creation (DCC) software and applications that also support COLLADA .dae documents.

“Our goal is to make it extremely easy for a broad community to leverage 3D as a communication medium—empowering all kinds of people to create and share professional quality, 3D experiences,” said Lynne Wilson, CEO of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DVIA brand. “Having both 3DXML and COLLADA uniquely positions 3DVIA.com to collect, showcase and share the wide array of 3D content created by the both the CAD and DCC communities.”

Demos are at the 3DVIA booth #3009, where 3DVIA will demonstrate its complete product line, including the new COLLADA support. Additionally, Dassault’s SolidWorks and Bitmangement will also showcase updated COLLADA support.

After one year of Beta, NetAllied Systems finally released the next generation of COLLADA exporters and importers for Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya built on the latest OpenCOLLADA SDK. OpenCOLLADA plug-ins are available for immediate download at http://www.opencollada.org

The OpenCOLLADA plugins support all major versions for 3ds Max (8 to 2010, Win32, Win64) and Maya (2008, 2009, Win32, Win64, MacOSX). The most important new features include:

     
  • First available tools that fully supports COLLADA 1.5.0
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  • Embedded into 3ds Max is a 3d Google Warehouse client that allows seamless import of hundreds of thousands of 3d models (see http://www.youtube.com/netallied)
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  • Performance boost up to five times for importing and exporting compared to any other solution available
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  • Interoperability has been tested with many tools, including the newly released Electronic Arts Spore and Daz Studio exporters or Bentley Microstation 8i
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  • Plug-in installers are available on www.opencollada.org under a freeware license that allows commercial usage
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  • The underlying OpenCOLLADA SDK offers direct write and SAX parsing import that are far superior than any other existing import/export technology. They are available under the MIT license and allow integration in any commercial and proprietary solution. OpenCOLLADA is the basis for the upcoming Blender/COLLADA support and is already built into multiple commercial tools that support data conversion to DAE from CAD systems like CATIA V5, MicroStation or JTOpen. Source code for the complete OpenCOLLADA SDK is available on http://sf.net/projects/opencollada.

The Khronos COLLADA WG also announced today the availability of the first release of the OpenCOLLADA framework to fully support the reading and writing of COLLADA 1.4.1 and 1.5.0 files. Further performance improvements and minor bug fixes have been included. MathML support (required for Kinematics) is available as well. Downloads are available at http://www.opencollada.org/download.html.

Lastly, Khronos today announced upcoming availability of the COLLADA™ 1.4 Conformance Test Suite for Khronos Adopters this fall.  Originally put up for open bid in April of 2009 to select an industry leader capable of developing a conformance suite matched to the full range of the COLLADA specification, Yumetech™ (Seattle, WA) was awarded the contract.

Based on their years of experience in working with 3D and open source software, for 3D graphics development, Yumetech is developing the Test Suite on-time with a wide range of additional test cases and is currently entering closed beta with Khronos members that include Autodesk Inc. The company has prior experience developing portions of the X3D conformance suite and is a current member of Khronos and participates in the COLLADA work group.

”The COLLADA Conformance Test Suite and Khronos Adopter’s Package will enable adopters to attain the highest degrees of conformance, interoperability, and robustness,” said Mark Barnes, Khronos COLLADA work group chairman. “Khronos and Yumetech are creating a comprehensive testing framework that will evaluate all aspects of COLLADA import and export for adopting applications. The test results can award a COLLADA badge of conformance for the Adopter’s products and help market their quality COLLADA support to the Adopter’s customers and users.”

About The Khronos Group
  The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenCL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenKODE™, and COLLADA™.  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. More information is available at http://www.khronos.org.

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Khronos Details WebGL Initiative to Bring Hardware-Accelerated 3D Graphics to the Internet

JavaScript Binding to OpenGL ES 2.0 for Rich 3D Web Graphics without Browser Plugins;
Wide industry Support from Major Browser Vendors including Google, Mozilla and Opera; Specification will be Available Royalty-free to all Developers

4th August, 2009 – New Orleans, SIGGRAPH 2009 – The Khronos™ Group, today announced more details on its new WebGL™ working group for enabling hardware-accelerated 3D graphics in Web pages without the need for browser plug-ins.  First announced at the Game Developers Conference in March of 2009, the WebGL working group includes many industry leaders such as AMD, Ericsson, Google, Mozilla, NVIDIA and Opera.  The WebGL working group is defining a JavaScript binding to OpenGL® ES 2.0 to enable rich 3D graphics within a browser on any platform supporting the OpenGL or OpenGL ES graphics standards.  The working group is developing the specification to provide content portability across diverse browsers and platforms, including the capability of portable, secure shader programs.  WebGL will be a royalty-free standard developed under the proven Khronos development process, with the target of a first public release in first half of 2010.  Khronos warmly welcomes any interested company to become a member and participate in the development of the WebGL specification.

The WebGL specification will leverage recent developments in Web technology including the Canvas element defined as part of the HTML 5 specification and the marked increases in JavaScript performance across all major browsers.  Accelerated OpenGL ES functionality that is directly accessible from JavaScript is expected to encourage a wide variety of 3D-enhanced Web applications including those using rich user interfaces for enhanced navigation and functionality - making the Web more enjoyable, productive and intuitive for end-users.

“The Web has already seen the wide proliferation of compelling 2D graphical applications, and we think 3D is the next step for Firefox. We look forward to a new class of 3D-enriched Web applications within Canvas, and for creative synergy between OpenGL developers and Web developers,” said Arun Ranganathan of Mozilla and chair of the WebGL working group.

“Google is committed to open web standards and is very excited to be part of the WebGL initiative,” said Matt Papakipos, engineering director at Google.  “We believe that WebGL is an important step toward making high-performance 3D possible in the browser.”

“The WebGL working group inside Khronos is a unique forum that is bringing together browser and silicon vendors to create a low-level, foundation API for 3D on the Web,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA.  “Khronos will be reaching out to the key Web standards groups and the wider community to ensure WebGL is an appropriate, dynamic and enabling piece of the Web ecosystem.”

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenKODE™, and COLLADA™.  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.  More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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

Latest desktop GPU functionality now fully accessible through cross-platform open 3D standard; Close alignment with OpenCL for p

3rd August, 2009 – New Orleans, SIGGRAPH 2009 – The Khronos™ Group, today announced OpenGL® 3.2, the third major update in twelve months to the most widely adopted 2D and 3D graphics API (application programming interface) for personal computers and workstations. This new release continues the rapid evolution of the OpenGL standard to enable graphics developers to portably access cutting-edge GPU functionality across diverse operating systems and platforms. The full specification is available for immediate download at http://www.opengl.org/registry.

OpenGL 3.2 adds features for enhanced performance, increased visual quality, accelerated geometry processing and easier portability of Direct3D applications. In addition, the evolution of OpenGL and other standards within Khronos, including OpenCL™ for parallel compute, OpenGL ES for mobile 3D graphics and the new WebGL™ standard for 3D on the web are being coordinated to create a powerful graphics and compute ecosystem that spans many application, markets and devices. The installed base of OpenGL 3.2 compatible GPUs already exceeds 150 million units.

The OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos has defined GLSL 1.5, an updated version of the OpenGL Shading language, and two profiles within the OpenGL 3.2 specification providing developers the choice of using the streamlined Core profile for new application development or the Compatibility profile which provides full backwards compatibility with previous versions of the OpenGL standard for existing and workstation applications.

OpenGL 3.2 has been designed to run on a wide range of recent GPU silicon and provides a wide range of significant benefits to application developers, including:

  • Increased performance for vertex arrays and fence sync objects to avoid idling while waiting for resources shared between the CPU and GPU, or multiple CPU threads;
  • Improved pipeline programmability, including geometry shaders in the OpenGL core;
  • Boosted cube map visual quality and multisampling rendering flexibility by enabling shaders to directly process texture samples.

In addition, Khronos has defined a set of five new ARB extensions that enable the very latest graphics functionality introduced in the newest GPUs to be accessed through OpenGL – these extensions will be absorbed into the core of a future version of OpenGL when this functionality is proven and widely adopted.
“Khronos has proven to be a great home for the OpenGL ARB,” stated Dr. Jon Peddie founder and principal of Jon Peddie Research. “Not only has the ARB has put the pedal to the metal to enable OpenGL to be a true platform for graphics innovation, but the synergy of coherently developing a family of related standards is leveraging OpenGL’s strengths - OpenGL is truly the foundation on which rich graphics for mobile devices and the Web is being built.”

“AMD is thrilled to be participating in the OpenGL ARB, which has delivered on its promise to frequently update the OpenGL API,” said Janet Matsuda, senior director, AMD Professional Graphics. “Producing three new versions of the specification in twelve months is a remarkable achievement.”

“NVIDIA is committed to the continued rapid evolution and adoption of OpenGL and we are proud to release our OpenGL 3.2 beta drivers on the same day as the specification itself is published,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, chair of the OpenGL ARB working group and OpenGL engineering manager at NVIDIA.  “The OpenGL ARB is committed to providing top-notch graphics features while protecting investment in OpenGL code. We are listening carefully to developer feedback and will continue to rapidly evolve OpenGL to meet the needs of the industry.”

“The strategy behind OpenGL 3 is to bring revolutionary changes to OpenGL through a rapid sequence of evolutionary updates, and the ARB continues to effectively execute to that plan,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. “OpenGL 3.0 set the stage with new mechanisms to enable OpenGL to respond to diverse market needs, OpenGL 3.1 used those mechanisms to streamline the API while adding new functionality. Now we have OpenGL 3.2 that fully exposes state-of-the-art GPU capabilities in a form that meets the needs of both new and experienced OpenGL developers.”

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenCL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenKODE™, and COLLADA™. 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. More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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Khronos, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc., COLLADA is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license 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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