The COLLADA open standard XML-based digital asset exchange schema for interactive 3D applications is gaining rapid industry acceptance. COLLADA 1.4 is now supported by the industry's leading 3D authoring tools including 3ds Max, Blender, DAZ|Studio, Feeling Viewer, FX Composer, Google Earth, Houdini, Maya, Sketchup, and XSI as well as Khronos' COLLADA Test Framework, COLLADA DOM/FX/RT/Refinery COLLADA 1.4 includes core features such as mesh geometry, skinning, morphing, animation and data validation as well as COLLADA FX for defining visual effects and COLLADA Physics for physics effects including rigid body dynamics, rag dolls, constraints and collision volumes.
The new ImageModeler and VTour export photo-realistic 3D models (polygons and texture maps) to Google Earth using the Collada file format (available from version 1.4 in Google Earth). This exported file can be simply dragged and dropped to its exact location in Google Earth, then exported as a KML file that you can share with anyone on the planet.
Penumbra is an OpenGL-based adventure horror game, free from classic first person shooter elements, with an emphasis on puzzle solving and exploring. Users can create mods for new items, weapons, characters, enemies, models, modes, textures, levels, storyline, etc.. The mods use COLLADA so they can be created on any 3D editor that supports COLLADA export. Penumbra is available for download as a technology preview.
Full details have been posted for the Tech Talks and BOF presentations at SIGGRAPH 2006. Example topics include: OpenGL ES 1.1+ Techniques and Beyond; OpenGL ES debugging and profiling techniques using gDEBugger ES; Moving from OpenGL ES 1.1 to ES 2.0; OpenVG Training Course; An understanding of COLLADA features, capabilities, and applications; Multi-platform Shaders in COLLADA; "OpenGL 3.0" status; ARB Status & Khronos Transition Plans; OpenKODE: An Open Mobile Media Development Environment and more.
Blender is a highly popular open source modeler and rendering suite. The new v2.24 release adds many news tools for enhanced modeling, shading (OpenGL Shading Language-based), and animation. This version also supports the Bullet physics engine and adds support for COLLADA 1.4 import and export, including support for basic physics and textures.
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.
COLLADA DOM, RT and CFX updated to to v1.41; new Refinery tool for assemblying conditioner pipelines
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.
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.
3D-Test feature interview about COLLADA helps explain the difference between an “interchange” format and an “intermediate” format
This interview on 3D-Test discusses COLLADA and how it is a unique solution to simplify the workflow between the different tools and the game engine. It explains the difference between interchange formats and an intermediate format such as COLLADA, and how COLLADA is designed so that a content creator can split apart a document into component pieces (e.g. model, physics, shaders), each of which can be processed by the best tool, and then re-assembled in the final game or visualization engine.