Google has just released the latest beta for Google Earth 4. Google Earth 4 adds a simpler interface, time animation, enhanced layers, GIS data importing, compressed textures, movie making, and drawing tools. The latest beta adds a progress indicator, real-time GPS tracking, and greatly improved performance for COLLADA models (textured buildings). Available for OS X, Linux and Windows XP.
The Japanese translation of the COLLADA 1.4.1 specification is now available. You can download the Japanese translation from the COLLADA page as well as access the COLLADA DOM and the RT FX, and Refinery developer tools and code.
Anark Studio is a Windows rapid application authoring tool for creating interactive 3D content. The new v4.0 adds enhanced speed and memory management, improved workflow, optimized play-back and visual enhancements, and import of Max and Maya animations via integrated COLLADA 1.4.1 support.
Softimage will be demonstating SOFTIMAGE|XSI and SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT v.1.5 in Seoul (Dec 5th, 2006) , Shanghai (Dec 8th, 2006) and Tokyo Dec 12th, 2006). AMD will be discussing workstations tailored to the CG market. COLLADA will be shown as a way to offer interoperability and improved collaboration among teams in mixed-software studio environment, allowing Softimage artists and technical directors to create and work easily in next-generation game development pipeline.
MeshLab is an open source portable and extensible mesh processing system for processing and rendering of large unstructured 3D triangular meshes (typical 3D scanning meshes). It provides a set of tools for cleaning, healing, inspecting, rendering and converting this kind of large unstructured meshes. The new v0.8 adds support for COLLADA read and write, new filters, and new OpenGL API shaders.
The Khronos Group has launched the first episode in the Mobile Media Developer podcast series. In this new series, the developers behind the industry standards for 3D, 2D, video and audio for mobile devices describe how the new technologies work and how they can be used by developers, carriers and manufacturers to create applications for mobile phone, handhelds and game consoles.
The first podcast previews the new OpenKODE APIs. OpenKODE provides functionally similar to DirectX on the desktop, except it is cross-platform, royalty-free and streamlined for handheld devices. The goal of OpenKODE is to make it easier for developers (and carriers) to deploy rich media applications on mobile phones, by providing system abstraction so that develoeprs don’t have to worry about the underlying handset hardware or OS. It also offers state-of-the-art media acceleration technologies as well as access to operating system resources, input devices and displays.
A basic summary of resources and steps for getting started using COLLADA as a digital content creator or as a software developers. The guide the steps to take if you want to use COLLADA to import/export data from tools or if you want to implement COLLADA in your application.
The COLLADA Test Model Bank is a model repository for developers working on COLLADA related projects. Developers can post and exchange sample models to be shared with the community and used to test COLLADA implementations.
Starting directly from digital photographs, or from full 360-degree panoramas, VTour facilitates the creation of 3D scenes such as interiors or urban areas using polygonal photo-textured primitives. Users can export or publish results as a 3D movie or export COLLADA 1.4.1 as geo-referenced 3D scenes for Google Earth.
Anark Gameface is a bundle of Anark Studio, an advanced 3D authoring platform, and Anark Format SDK, designed to export your UI data directly into your game engine. The new v3.7 ncludes an enhanced workflow for game artists and performance upgrades for game engineers for more efficient UI authoring. It also includes support for the COLLADA file format, which allows for the direct data transfer of animation created in 3ds Max and Maya. Support for COLLADA will continue to grow with future releases.