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.
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.
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.
STMicroelectronics released v0.2 of Bellagio, the open source sample implementation of OpenMAX IL for Linux. Bellagio enables Linux software developers and ISVs to familiarize themselves with OpenMAX IL API and to develop their own OpenMAX components for multimedia codecs and controls. The v0.2 release includes an MP3 decoder software component, a basic volume control and one audio sink software component . All of these components comply with the OpenMAX base and interoperability profiles, i.e. they can be tunnelled together. STMicroelectronics is also creating a set of GStreamer plug-ins that use Bellagio OpenMAX IL components that will enable any applications based on GStreamer to leverage multimedia acceleration for free!
If you are using and testing COLLADA 1.4, the COLLADA work group has setup a public version of Bugzilla for reporting and tracking any issues or problems. Khronos members may use the internal bug tracking system. Non-members can also participate by using the public Bugzilla system.
Houdini is world renowned for visual effects (e.g. Spider Man, XMen, I Robot, The Wild) with a feature set that includes procedural modeling tools, animation tools which support key-framed or expression-based animation, motion editing, particle effects, dynamics, lighting, compositing, integrated rendering, and character rigging tools. The new Houdini v8.1 beta adds support for COLLADA import.
Kynapse is an middleware solution for large scale A.I. behavior simulation that lets non player characters move around in any 3D dynamic world, understand
their environment, hide, communicate, cooperate, drive vehicles, etc. The 4.0 version supports hierarchical PathFinding and data streaming both for PathFinding and 3D perception, very large number of entries, and COLLADA import.
This book explains in detail how to use the COLLADA technology in a project utilizing 3D assets, and ultimately how to create an effective content creation pipeline for the most complex development.
It was created as a guide to the COLLADA 1.4 specification with the goal of providing readers with all the information that will help them understand the concepts, learn how the technology is already implemented by various tools, and provide guidance for using COLLADA in their applications.
The book will be useful for content developers interested in exchanging data between several tools, application developers planning to take advantage of COLLADA in their tool chain and tool providers wanting to add COLLADA compatibility.