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.
Khronos Group today announced the winners of the Siggraph 2007 COLLADA Crawl. There was a great turnout for the event and lots of winners. Thank you to every one who participated in the COLLADA Crawl. We look forward to seeing you all back again next time. For a complete list of winners, please visit the Khronos Open Space website.
e frontier, Inc. has announced Poser Pro, a high end addition to its flagship Poser product line. Geared toward a multitude of production environments in both the 2D and 3D realms, Poser Pro offers the features and functionality of Poser 7 plus professional level application integration, a 64 bit render engine, and network rendering support. Poser Pro now supports the COLLADA exchange format for content production, pre-visualization, gaming and film production, and offers the ability to fully host Poser scenes in professional applications such as Maxon's CINEMA 4D, Autodesk's 3ds Max and Maya, and Newtek's Lightwave. Other features include increased support for Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended (via COLLADA) and export of HDR imagery.
Futuremark Announces 3D Content Creation Tool Chain for OpenGL ES 2.0 today at Siggraph 2007. Futuremark's new toolset provides hardware developers and the mobile gaming community with a solution for creating, developing, and running OpenGL ES 2.0 3D games and applications content in real-time from popular 3D graphics applications including SOFTIMAGE|XSI®. The Futuremark Content Creation Tool Chain supports all important OpenGL ES 2.0 features from common effect frameworks including effects, render passes, render to texture, post processing and shadow maps. The toolset consists of three major components: Futuremark BFP™ (Big Fat Pipeline), Futuremark RSCGE™ (Radical Shader Crunching Game Engine), and Futuremark FMS™, a COLLADA™ compliant content data file.
COLLADA 3D Asset Intermediate Standard Accelerates Adoption and is to be Extended for 2D Vector Graphics
7th August, 2007 – SIGGRAPH - San Diego, CA – The Khronos™ Group is pleased to announce that industry momentum of the COLLADA™ standard for 3D asset intermediate format continues to grow rapidly with significant standardization activity and widening industry adoption. Many authoring packages have now added support for importing and exporting COLLADA assets including: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Agency9 MADLIX, Anark Core Platform, Caligari trueSpace 7.5, DAZ Productions DAZ|Studio 1.7, E Frontier Poser 7, Google Sketchup 6, NVIDIA FX Composer 2, Omegame Menus Master, Remograph Remo3D 1.3.1, Terathon C4 Game Engine and Wordweaver DX Studio 2.0.4. In addition the Khronos COLLADA working group has initiated extending COLLADA to include 2D vector graphics assets, such as high quality fonts, enabling authoring of user interfaces and scenes that seamlessly mix 2D and 3D assets in a unified geometry and effects environment.