The OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board), the governing body for OpenGL, has voted to transfer control of the OpenGL API standard to the Khronos Group. The Khronos Group has voted to establish an OpenGL Working Group that will control and evolve this vital standard for cross-platform 3D graphics. The full transfer of OpenGL to Khronos is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2006 with full support for OpenGL and its evolution to continue uninterrupted during this transition.
Acrodea, Apple, DAZ3D, Dell, Google, Gremedy, Codeplay, and S3 Graphics have joined well over one hundred existing Khronos Group Members to define open standards for the authoring and acceleration of dynamic media on platforms ranging from embedded systems such as mobile phones to high-performance desktop and workstation systems. Khronos grown to an extensive membership from all aspects of the industry including CPU and media silicon providers, operating system vendors, system and handset OEMS, middleware vendors, games and application developers and wireless carriers.
The new ImageModeler and VTour export photo-realistic 3D models (polygons and texture maps) to Google Earth using the Collada file format (available from version 1.4 in Google Earth). This exported file can be simply dragged and dropped to its exact location in Google Earth, then exported as a KML file that you can share with anyone on the planet.
Penumbra is an OpenGL-based adventure horror game, free from classic first person shooter elements, with an emphasis on puzzle solving and exploring. Users can create mods for new items, weapons, characters, enemies, models, modes, textures, levels, storyline, etc.. The mods use COLLADA so they can be created on any 3D editor that supports COLLADA export. Penumbra is available for download as a technology preview.
gDEBugger is a powerful OpenGL debugger and profiler that traces application activity on top of the OpenGL API so you can find bugs and optimize application rendering performance. The new v2.5 contains the first publci bDEBugger ES beta version and brings all of gDEBugger’s debugging and profiling abilities to the OpenGL ES developer’s world. In addition gDEBugger ES acts as an emulator for OpenGL ES when working on Windows PC while using its own OpenGL ES implementation. gDEBugger is available as a 30-day free trial. To test the OpenGL ES debugger, follow the steps at http://www.gremedy.com/gDEBuggerES_setup.php).
Digital Media Professionals (DMP) announced their “PICA” 3D/2D graphics IP core for embedded systems with support for OpenGL ES. In the DMP’s booth #409 at SIGGRAPH, Futuremark will show a demo for PICA that uses OpenGL ES extensions, procedural textures, cook-torrance shading, smooth shadows, silhouettes and subdivision surfaces. Screenshots and a movie are available. DMP also announced that they the PICA software development environment contains low-level drivers (libraries), PC emulators, and a suite of authoring support tools tools that will support OpenGL ES and OpenVG development.
This demo uses computer vision to track a Gizmondo’s pose relative to a reference marker. It then uses OpenGL ES for hardware-accelerated rendering of an animated virtual character that appears to be world-aligned in the real environment. The combination of highly optimized computer vision code with the speed of the nVidia GoForce 4500 chip lets the demo run with 25 frames per second on the Gizmondo gaming device. A video as well as the demo itself are available for download.
Full details have been posted for the Tech Talks and BOF presentations at SIGGRAPH 2006. Example topics include: OpenGL ES 1.1+ Techniques and Beyond; OpenGL ES debugging and profiling techniques using gDEBugger ES; Moving from OpenGL ES 1.1 to ES 2.0; OpenVG Training Course; An understanding of COLLADA features, capabilities, and applications; Multi-platform Shaders in COLLADA; “OpenGL 3.0” status; ARB Status & Khronos Transition Plans; OpenKODE: An Open Mobile Media Development Environment and more.
BlenderPocket is an open source, handheld devices port of Blender 3D open-source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering and playback. The new v2.42 is based on the new Blender 2.42 release and runs using the Rasteroid 3 OpenGL ES implementation (using a wrapper for any missing desktop OpenGL functions).
EE Times notes that Apple will be using Nvidia chips in their next Video iPod. Speculation is that this will add 3D graphics functionality. Nvidia’s GoForce handheld GPUs support OpenGL ES 1.1 with Pixel Shading Extensions. Nvidia also recently demonstrated OpenMAX MPEG-4 audio and video decoding on the GoForce 3D GPU.
The new OpenGL Pipeline newsletter announces that the Khronos Group and OpenGL ARB plan to merge. The goal is to maximize synergy and accelerate adaptation to market demands. This will give the OpenGL ARB the opportunity to pursue advanced graphics capabilities that are being used in AEC, digital content creation, visual simulation, and science research, and OpenGL ES, the ability to distill OpenGL down to its essentials for mass-market and consumer applications - both APIs building on a common architectural foundation. Also see the article on TG Daily which discusses the strategy more fully in terms of the other Khronos technologies.
The Inquirer talks about the Nokia93 phone and its support for OpenGL ES 1.1. The conclusion: “I think that we graphics people have to pay much more attention on the handheld market as things are beginning to get mildly exciting.”
Blender is a highly popular open source modeler and rendering suite. The new v2.24 release adds many news tools for enhanced modeling, shading (OpenGL Shading Language-based), and animation. This version also supports the Bullet physics engine and adds support for COLLADA 1.4 import and export, including support for basic physics and textures.
AmanithVG is a commercial solution for 2D graphics acceleration that is entirely built on top of OpenGL or OpenGL ES so it can use existing off-the-shelf hardware accelerators. This video of a real-time AmanithVG desktop session shows why accelerated vector graphics is so amazing. In real-time you can reshape, resize, and move vector graphics.
This video from GDC 2006 provides detailed descriptions of advanced rendering techniques made possible with OpenGL ES v1.1+. Several advanced rendering techniques used in the launch demo for ATI’s Imageon 2380 are showcased and described. You need to register to view the video, but registration is free.