The new OpenGL 2.1 specification adds backwards compatible enhancements to OpenGL’s advanced programmable pipeline including: Pixel Buffer Objects for fast texture and pixel copies between frame buffer and buffer objects in GPU memory; texture images specified in standard sRGB color space for enhanced application color management flexibility; and numerous additions to increase the flexibility of shader programming including non-square matrix support, support for arrays as first-class objects, a fragment position query in shaders using Point Sprites and an invariant attribute for variables to enhance shader code reliability.
Also announced, the Graphic Remedy Academic program will offer a free one year license to its gDEBugger OpenGL debugger and profiler tool to OpenGL developers in academia.
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 latest release of the PowerVR Insider SDK, version 1.9, is the biggest yet. It features over 30 variants supporting a wide range of platforms, from SoC applications processors such as TI’s OMAP2 and Freescale’s iMX31 to consumer products using PowerVR-enabled SoCs such as the Sony Ericcson P990/M600/W950 mobile phones and Dell Axim X51v PDA. A wide range of API and OS are supported too, including OpenGL ES and OpenVG APIs running on Symbian, Linux, and WinCE5. A Beta OpenGL ES 2.0 SDK is available now to lead PowerVR Insider members.
The OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board), the governing body for OpenGL, has voted to transfer control of the OpenGL API standard to the Khronos Group. The Khronos Group has voted to establish an OpenGL Working Group that will control and evolve this vital standard for cross-platform 3D graphics. The full transfer of OpenGL to Khronos is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2006 with full support for OpenGL and its evolution to continue uninterrupted during this transition.
Acrodea, Apple, DAZ3D, Dell, Google, Gremedy, Codeplay, and S3 Graphics have joined well over one hundred existing Khronos Group Members to define open standards for the authoring and acceleration of dynamic media on platforms ranging from embedded systems such as mobile phones to high-performance desktop and workstation systems. Khronos grown to an extensive membership from all aspects of the industry including CPU and media silicon providers, operating system vendors, system and handset OEMS, middleware vendors, games and application developers and wireless carriers.
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.
gDEBugger is a powerful OpenGL debugger and profiler that traces application activity on top of the OpenGL API so you can find bugs and optimize application rendering performance. The new v2.5 contains the first publci bDEBugger ES beta version and brings all of gDEBugger's debugging and profiling abilities to the OpenGL ES developer's world. In addition gDEBugger ES acts as an emulator for OpenGL ES when working on Windows PC while using its own OpenGL ES implementation. gDEBugger is available as a 30-day free trial. To test the OpenGL ES debugger, follow the steps at http://www.gremedy.com/gDEBuggerES_setup.php).
Digital Media Professionals (DMP) announced their "PICA" 3D/2D graphics IP core for embedded systems with support for OpenGL ES. In the DMP's booth #409 at SIGGRAPH, Futuremark will show a demo for PICA that uses OpenGL ES extensions, procedural textures, cook-torrance shading, smooth shadows, silhouettes and subdivision surfaces. Screenshots and a movie are available. DMP also announced that they the PICA software development environment contains low-level drivers (libraries), PC emulators, and a suite of authoring support tools tools that will support OpenGL ES and OpenVG development.
This demo uses computer vision to track a Gizmondo's pose relative to a reference marker. It then uses OpenGL ES for hardware-accelerated rendering of an animated virtual character that appears to be world-aligned in the real environment. The combination of highly optimized computer vision code with the speed of the nVidia GoForce 4500 chip lets the demo run with 25 frames per second on the Gizmondo gaming device. A video as well as the demo itself are available for download.