News Archives

This interview on 3D-Test discusses COLLADA and how it is a unique solution to simplify the workflow between the different tools and the game engine. It explains the difference between interchange formats and an intermediate format such as COLLADA, and how COLLADA is designed so that a content creator can split apart a document into component pieces (e.g. model, physics, shaders), each of which can be processed by the best tool, and then re-assembled in the final game or visualization engine.

STMicroelectronics released v0.2 of Bellagio, the open source sample implementation of OpenMAX IL for Linux. Bellagio enables Linux software developers and ISVs to familiarize themselves with OpenMAX IL API and to develop their own OpenMAX components for multimedia codecs and controls. The v0.2 release includes an MP3 decoder software component, a basic volume control and one audio sink software component . All of these components comply with the OpenMAX base and interoperability profiles, i.e. they can be tunnelled together. STMicroelectronics is also creating a set of GStreamer plug-ins that use Bellagio OpenMAX IL components that will enable any applications based on GStreamer to leverage multimedia acceleration for free!

Rasteroid 3 is a middleware package with stand-alone implementations of the embedded graphics standards we promote in our main product Hybrid Framework. The APIs include binary versions for several mobile platforms (such as Symbian, Series60, Windows Mobile, BREW) as well as Windows desktop implementations. It includes the following API implementations:

  • Stand-alone OpenGL ES 1.1 software implementation for Symbian Series60, BREW, Windows Mobile and x86 Windows
  • Hybrid's OpenVG API for Symbian Series60 and x86 Windows
  • Hybrid's EGL 1.3 interface API
  • Windows (J2SE) implementation of the JSR 184 API (M3G)

Imagination Technologies and Sony Ericsson have released the first version of their OpenGL ES 1.1 SDK for UIQ 3 using Symbian OS v9.1. The new OpenGL ES 1.1 SDK integrates seamlessly with the UIQ 3 SDK and includes all the tools, technical documentation, white papers, problem solving tips and tricks, FAQs, tutorials and sample programs required to create 3D hardware accelerated graphics for the Sony Ericsson P990, M600 and W950 mobile phones. A collection of tutorials is included in the SDK to help developers get started using the OpenGL ES 1.1 API.

Wired features a story on how a study by the Human Interface Technology Laboratory in New Zealand used a pair of OpenGL ES enabled Nokia Series 60 phones in a game of Augmeted Reality Tennis - tennis played without a real ball, using a virtual tennis court model superimposed over the real world as seen through the mobile phone camera. Players interact by simply swinging their phones to hit it across a net, just as in ordinary tennis. The study notes that mobile phones have developed into an ideal platform for augmented reality because they have full colour displays, integrated cameras, fast processors, bluetooth for synchronization and dedicated OpenGL ES 3D graphics chips. When the player points the camera phone at the markers they see a virtual tennis court model superimposed over the real world. The full pdf paper discusses the sample application that was developed using peer to peer Bluetooth, vibration for tactile feedback and OpenGL ES for 3D graphics and visual overlays.

Synthetic Vision (SV) in avionics displays refer to computer-generated 3D representation of the environment an aircraft is operating in includings terrain, flight paths, other hazards, automation cues, air data, runways, etc. This PDF article (July 2006 issue, page 10) discusses the difficulty in developing SV systems and how the demands of embedded systems and safety critical standards such as DO178B require a solution that is different from solutions for PCs. While OpenGL is the standard for avionics and should be used, it is usually prohibitive to safety certify an entire large library like OpenGL. A well-defined subset is required to provide a target rendering capability for embedded applications that is small enough to be certified. OpenGL ES is that subset. In particular the safety critical profile for OpenGL ES is oriented primarily toward traditional avionics and can form the basis for SV research and development.

If you are using and testing COLLADA 1.4, the COLLADA work group has setup a public version of Bugzilla for reporting and tracking any issues or problems. Khronos members may use the internal bug tracking system. Non-members can also participate by using the public Bugzilla system.

Houdini is world renowned for visual effects (e.g. Spider Man, XMen, I Robot, The Wild) with a feature set that includes procedural modeling tools, animation tools which support key-framed or expression-based animation, motion editing, particle effects, dynamics, lighting, compositing, integrated rendering, and character rigging tools. The new Houdini v8.1 beta adds support for COLLADA import.

Kynapse is an middleware solution for large scale A.I. behavior simulation that lets non player characters move around in any 3D dynamic world, understand their environment, hide, communicate, cooperate, drive vehicles, etc. The 4.0 version supports hierarchical PathFinding and data streaming both for PathFinding and 3D perception, very large number of entries, and COLLADA import.

This book explains in detail how to use the COLLADA technology in a project utilizing 3D assets, and ultimately how to create an effective content creation pipeline for the most complex development.

It was created as a guide to the COLLADA 1.4 specification with the goal of providing readers with all the information that will help them understand the concepts, learn how the technology is already implemented by various tools, and provide guidance for using COLLADA in their applications.

Sample Pdfs:

The book will be useful for content developers interested in exchanging data between several tools, application developers planning to take advantage of COLLADA in their tool chain and tool providers wanting to add COLLADA compatibility.

Pre-order on Amazon

KML V2.1 is announced and supported by the new Google Earth 4 (beta) and by Google Maps. KML 2.1 supports textures (add photos, patterns, and 2D graphics onto the surface of polygons for 3D models) level of detailing for both placemarks and imagery (to improve performance), hi-resolution imagery (four fold increase), and support for COLLADA. In KML 2.1, you can import 3D models—such as buildings, bridges, monuments, and statues—in the Collada interchange file format. Models are defined independently of Google Earth in their own coordinate space, using applications such as SketchUp, 3D Studio Max, Softimage XSI, or Maya. When a 3D model is imported into Google Earth, it is translated, rotated, and scaled to fit into the Earth coordinate system. Models already loaded into Google Earth can be repositioned and resized using the <Update> element, another new feature in KML 2.1.

The 2006 International Mobile Gaming Awards are designed to encourage the mobile developer community to push the boundaries of technology, creativity and quality. OpenGL ES and OpenVG entrants are invited to submit initial proposals by 6pm CET September 11, 2006, and the best 20 will be announced September 20, 2006. Those shortlisted will then have until January 26, 2007, to produce a demo version of their concept for judging, and winners will be announced at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona on February 14, 2007.

The open source Bullet Collision Detection and Rigid Body Dynamics Library offers support for COLLADA 1.4 content. supports. The Bullet Collada 1.4 Physics Viewer can import Collada 1.4 Physics, generated by ColladaMaya, or ColladaBlender, or other DCC tools (untested). Using either FCollada or COLLADA-DOM, basic Rigid Body information and Collision Shapes (Box, Sphere, Cylinder, Cone (tapered_cylinder), Convex Polyhedron and static TriangleMesh) are created. Early alpha release so no support for constraint yet.