Google has updated the 3D Warehouse with a significant new feature. Models in the 3D Warehouse can now be downloaded in the Collada file format (an open standard 3D file format). Collada files are supported by Google Earth. This is particularly significant because this means you now have an even faster way to bring models from the 3D Warehouse into Google Earth. The Collada files are downloaded in a Zip file. After downloading one you can simply drag the model's DAE file from the Zip file straight into Google Earth's Places folders and the model will be loaded on top of your current location. Note that if you are viewing the 3D Warehouse in a language other than English, you may not see the Collada file format option for a given model.
N-Sided wanted QUIDAM creations to be to be exportable in COLLADA, so they released a plugin to do just that. COLLADA is the best bridge for several major applications such as Softimage XSI and Blender already. The COLLADA export plug-in completes a wide range of already existing QUIDAM exports. Characters can now be exported in COLLADA at the resolution of your choice. All exports are ready to be animated, with textures, bones and skinning weights from low poly count to highly detailed meshes.
The Horde3D Physics Library Integration project has a small library connecting Bullet Physics Engine to the Horde3D Graphics Engine. A small sample application and example are included with the source code. The source also contains patch for the Horde3D Engine version 0.11 COLLADA Converter allowing usage of basic features of the COLLADA Physics extension.
This latest FX Composer version features improved COLLADA file compatibility between applications, as well as other minor bug fixes and improvements. FX Composer is a powerful integrated development environment for shader authoring. With support for DirectX and OpenGL, HLSL, COLLADA FX, and CgFX, as well as .fbx, .x, .3ds, .obj, and .dae formats, FX Composer provides true API cross-platform functionality.
The folks at Blender.org have announced Release Candidate 2.45 of Blender. Even better news is we can apparently expect a full release of Blender next week. Although Blender 2.45 is only a bugfix release to stabilize the 2.4x series and no new feature have been added, serious effort has been put in to tracking bugs and fixing them, as well as some performance issues getting addressed. Some of the more important fixes were FBX export now works for armature/poses, fixes in Collada export and shadow calculation bug fixes.
COLLADA announced today the latest Release Notes for 1.4.1 revision B of their Digital Assets Schema in Japanese. You can access the PDF of these Release Notes here. COLLADA defines an XML-based schema to make it easy to transport 3D assets between applications without loss of information, enabling diverse DCC and 3D processing tools be combined into a production pipeline.
Anark Corporation has announced a new version of Gameface, its artist-oriented UI development utility, adding over 20 new workflow and performance improvement features including real time previewing on consoles and further integration with various game engines. Additional features include a COLLADA graphics pipeline that enables artists to import 3D models, materials, textures and animations from 3Ds Max and Maya, and component-based workflow that allows large teams of UI artists and designers to work in parallel on any part of the UI project.
Ascollada, a AS3 library for reading COLLADA files was recently released. The library is geared towards Papervision3D but should work with any 3D-engine like Away3D or Sandy. Some features include simple models, material loading (watch your paths!) and biped animation. Note that this library is in its infancy so expect some bugs.
The NVIDIA Scene Graph Software Development Kit (NVSG SDK) provides a comprehensive set of classes that developers can easily combine and extend to create fast and reliable GPU-centric graphics applications. NVSG is the ideal platform for Vehicle Styling, Volume Rendering, Broadcast Graphics, and Vis/Sim style applications due to its shader-driven design and effective use of OpenGL extensions and GPU resources. Version 4.0 adds support for: OpenFlight, COLLADA / COLLADA FX, and OBJ file formats; FX Composer 2 and mental mill Artist Edition effect interchange; significant Animation extensions; HD SDI Graphics-to-Video Output support; new examples and many performance and usability enhancements. NVSG is available free from NVIDIA's developer site.
Members of the Khronos COLLADA workgroup wish to invite the entire 3D community to a special, first-time COLLADA Summit on Friday September 21st at the SAT. If you are an Artist, Technical Director or Software Programmer interested in content creation and mixed tool pipelines in any 3D application field (game, film, CAD, visualization, etc.) then this is a must attend session for you. Space is limited at this event and pre-registration is require. Complete information on this special event can be found on the Khronos COLLADA Summit Event page.