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The new Houdini v8.1 features an animator-friendly Auto Rig, Muscle System, Character Picker, Pose Library and enhancements to the Rigid Body and Wire dynamic solvers. For artists who want to bring their work from other 3D animation packages into Houdini, Houdini 8.1 includes support for the import of geometry, lights, cameras, transformations and keyframe animation through COLLADA. Animated character rigs can also be imported as a hierarchy of keyframed null objects that can be used with Houdini 8.1’s new muscle tools.

MOPET is a PocketPC-based application that uses a GPS device to monitor a user’s position and speed on outdoor fitness trails. In addition to map-based and audio navigation assistance, it also offers context-aware exercise demonstrations using an X3D Humanoid-Animation virtual trainer. When the user approaches a fitness trail station, the GPS identifies the station, and a humanoid demonstrates how to correctly perform the exercise. The application renders 3D on PocketPC using OpenGL ES 1.1 (Hybrid’s Rasteroid) and for Intel 2700G-based devices (e.g. Dell Axim X50V) using OpenGL ES 1.0.

The CELF forum and specifically the Audio Video and Graphics WG specifies a common set of software interfaces that can be used by multiple platform vendors and CE equipment manufacturers (e.g. digital Set Top Boxes or TV sets, and mobile phones) and as such reduce the overall investment required to implement Audio/Video products on consumer Linux devices. The Version 2.0 of the Audio Video Graphics specification has been ratified by the CELF Board of Directors and uses OpenGL ES for 3D graphics.

The COLLADA Document Object Model (DOM) has been updated with the 1.4.1 COLLADA Schema. The DOM 1.4.1 is source compatible with 1.4.0. Simply recompile your current application with this new release to load/modify/save 1.4.0 and 1.4.1 documents. COLLADA RT and FX have also been updated to the 1.4.1 specification. The new Refinery tool is a Java user interface / run-time, that let you assemble C++ conditioners (e.g. polygon optimization, copyright, triangulation, etc) into a COLLADA content pipeline.

AmanithVG is a commercial engine for graphics acceleration that is entirely built on top of OpenGL (from 1.1 to 2.0, using extensions where available) and OpenGL ES (1.1 and 2.0) APIs. By using exisiting OpenGL-savvy 3D hardware for acceleration, AmanithVG provides high quality graphics on any kind of 3D chipset already available on the market, achieving 10+ times faster performance than software rasterizers.

COLLADA 1.4.1 is an update to the COLLADA 1.4.0 XML Schema namespace. The update fixes issues reported by users without adding new features and is backward compatible with the existing 1.4.0 schema. COLLADA 1.4.0 documents will validate against the new schema. The COLLADA specification has been enhanced with more examples and clarifications about existing features. A new release notes document supplements the specification with additional information about effects bindings for material instancing, texture mapping, rigid constraints, transparency, and skinning calculations.

The Multiverse technology platform is a free complete end-to-end solution for developing Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) and virtual worlds. The goal is to enable independent game developers to compete with the big game companies. James Cameron, director of such movies as “Terminator” and “Aliens,” is on their advisory board. Multiverse uses COLLADA as the intermediate format for importing 3D assets.