Hi, I'm in the process of evaluating Collada for use as a model interchange format at my company. We have a lot of the same goals that I imagine many companies using 3d modeling content do:
- We want our artists to be able to use their preferred tool for 3d content creation.
- We'd prefer not to write importers/exporters for every package our artists or customers might possibly use.
- The model format should be extensible and the import/export tools for the dcc packages should preserve custom data in the model as much as possible.
To that end, I have a few questions about Collada's capabilities and dcc support.
(1) Many of our artists are fond of LightWave. Does anyone have any word on the status of Collada support in LightWave? I'm familiar with LwCollada, but it's just a geometry importer (no exporter) that looks like it hasn't been worked on in months. I also read a post where remi mentioned that NewTek engineers had told him at Siggraph 05 that they wanted to support Collada. Searching on the NewTek boards turns up a bunch of people asking for Collada support, but no response from NewTek representatives. Any word on this?
(2) If I understand things correctly the <extra> element is the key method for extensibility in Collada. Can anyone offer insight about how well the dcc tools preserve <extra> data blocks during the import/export process?
(3) Regarding the conformance tests, what does the "Sch" column heading mean? Also, I notice conformance results are posted for SoftImage and Maya, but not Max or Blender. Any particular reason?