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.

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