Feeling Software has just released version 3.03 of its Feeling Viewer. Designed explicitly to support everything in the COLLADA 3D file format, the Feeling Viewer has advanced shading effects, complex character animations (e.g. skinning and morphing) and physics. If you're an artist looking for a good viewer to display your complex animated scenes, look no further: this is the most advanced 3D viewer available commercially. Your animated models will look just as good or better in the Feeling Viewer than in the original CAD or DCC application. The Feeling Viewer is not just for playback: the underlying Feeling 3D Engine is extensible and has been integrated in several 3rd party applications to enhance them with fast, top-notch 3D graphics with relatively little programming effort. The Feeling Viewer now runs on Linux, Mac OS X, Internet Explorer, Powerpoint and many more applications. This is accompanied by many new features including complex particle systems, trimmed NURBS surfaces and environment mapping.
LightWave Rendition for Adobe Photoshop will ship with its own 3D model art library and works with models from other sources, such as COLLADA. LightWave Rendition allows each format to be fully rendered in high-resolution with all of their properties.
This sample chapter on Gamasutra from COLLADA: Sailing the Gulf of 3D Digital Content Creation" explains why the COLLADA technology has been developed. It provides a global view, defines the problems addressed by the technology, the main actors, and the goals and perspectives for this new technology. It provides an historic overview and information on how COLLADA is being designed and adopted. The goal is to give the reader an insight into how the design choices are made and how this technology might evolve. Also see the COLLADA Scenes sample chapter.
"Recently, we've had the opportunity to play around with Papervision3D - a full blown open-source 3D engine for Flash. The simplicity and power of the engine are amazing (especially in AS3), but what really explains its recent popularity is the ability to parse COLLADA data. In other words, Papervision3D allows Flash Developers to work closely with 3D artists that could export low-poly models and environments directly from Max and Maya." Also see the Papervision 3D blog for more COLLADA details.
COLLADA and X3D are two royalty-free open standards that use XML schema technology to represent 3D content. This whitepaper will assist developers in understanding the similarities and differences between COLLADA and X3D, the design goals that informed their development, and how and where the two standards can be used together as a powerful tool set for developing Web and enterprise applications.
Adobe announced Photoshop CS3 Extended which will allow designers to leverage the Photoshop image editing toolset and paint engine when editing 3D content including COLLADA format models. This means that artists can can perform 3D model visualization and texture editing and see the result on the 3D model all within Photoshop and then update the 3D models using the edited textures (that are saved back to disk). This also offers a new tool for Google Earth users, since they can now take their 3D model from Sketchup, and paint on it using Photoshop, before uploading it to Google Earth, all in the same COLLADA format.
DeleD is a 3D modeler and level-editor combined into one and is specifically designed to create static objects/worlds. The DeleD 3D Editor Lite COLLADA Exporter Plug-in enables exporting to the COLLADA (.DAE) file format from within DeleD. The new exporter v2.0 works with DeleD 1.6 and above.
More content from GDC 2007 is now online. Videos: The Softimage|XSI Crosswalk video describes how to create a Half-Life 2 character out of mulitiple COLLADA assets coming from many different softwares, integrating and refining them in XSI, and then exporting for use in a game. The Feeling Software videos show short demos of the features of Feeling's COLLADA Tools for Max and Maya. Panel Discussion: Notes from the COLLADA panel discussion summarizes the thoughts of professional developers talking about using COLLADA in real world production Presentations: Pixelbox Academy presentations cover "COLLADA 101 - Fast Track to Getting Started" and "Everything you ever wanted to know about COLLADA". GDC Mobile presentations include: "Mobile 3D Hardware: They're Not Little PCs!", "Premium Phone Graphics: The New Generation of Mobile 3D Gaming" and "3D Convergence: Crossing Language and Platform Boundaries".
COLLADA used to bring interactive 3D assets to the web - new online PaperVision3D fighter game and Web3D GDC presentation
Interactive 3D on the Web (i.e. Web3D) is becoming a reality with COLLADA as the enabling intermediate format. The first PaperVision3D game Xwing Obstacle Course lets you control a simple fighter in real-time 3D over the web using Flash. The posting describes the workflow using COLLADA models. The COLLADA for the Web presentation from GDC explains how COLLADA, Ajax and X3D are used within Flux to enable real-time streaming 3D virtual worlds and games over the web.
Bullet is a state-of-the-art 3D Collision Detection and Rigid Body Dynamics Library for games with support for COLLADA 1.4 physics. It is released under a ZLib license, free for commercial use, including Playstation 3. The new v2.45 improves COLLADA import and enhances performance for convex polyhedral shapes.