Being able to export your Spore Creatures into .dae COLLADA format was a pretty cool trick. However, you could only preview your creatures as 2D images in your browser. Over the weekend, Mozilla was hard at work, fixing a few bugs in their implementation of WebGL. Over the weekend Vladimir Vukićevićwas was also busy putting together a very cool demo that will let you view your COLLADA exported Spore Creatures in 3D, right in your browser. If you have a browser with WebGL enabled, here is the demo page in action.
According to Bright Side of News, AMD is dedicated to support open physics standards, with Pixelux and Bullet taking the prime spots. Bullet Physics Library is an open source physics library that is now getting translated into OpenCL, thanks to the effort of companies such as AMD.
The Khronos Group has expanded the OpenCL section of their public forums, giving an area for users and coders to mingle together. The forums now contain categories for beginner and advanced coders, hardware and software issues for end users, OS specific question and help, and an area to discuss SDK's, toolkits and wrappers. The Khronos Group message boards are visited by the developers behind all the Khronos API's on a regular basis, and offer the best place to get help and give help. We look forward to seeing you on the Khronos forums soon.
Michael Smith posted on his twitter page this morning that WebGL has appeared in the Mozilla trunk. It was just three days ago that WebGL was first noticed in WebKit. From the homepage of Michael Smith, "I joined the W3C in 2007 as part [of] the W3C Mobile Web Initiative. I am involved with the work on The HTML Markup Language and on standards related to browsing technologies; in particular, the phenomenon known as HTML5, as well as other standards related to Web Applications."
MovieGate developer Christophe Ducommun has been optimizing his application for the new Snow Leopard operating system with Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL. His results show approximately 50% increase in video encoding speed when compared to the plain Leopard, while also reducing the CPU load during video decoding by passing some of the work to the graphics processing unit. These results highlight the potential performance gains OpenCL and Grand Central Dispatch can bring as developers begin to take advantage of them.
Pixelux will work with AMD to develop an OpenCL accelerated Digital Molecular Matter engine. Pixelux are the folks who developed the Digital Molecular Matter engine used by Lucas Film for some of their effects. Recently, Pixelux released an end user plug-in version of the Digital Molecular Matter for Maya.
The upcoming Palm Pixi will have the new MSM7627 chipset from Qualcomm giving close to the same performance as the Pre. Featuring two ARM cores integrated as a single chip – a dedicated CPU core and a dedicated modem processor – 320MHz application DSP for multimedia supporting full 30 fps WVGA encode/decode, 200MHz hardware-accelerated 3D graphics core supporting OpenGL ES 2.0, high-resolution camera and integrated GPS.
gles2-bc is an open source C++ library which makes the non-backward compatible OpenGL ES 2.0 API backward compatible to ease the development with various OpenGL ES APIs. The initial version was just released providing most of the backward compatibility.
Over the past weekend, and very quietly, support for WebGL started to appear in WebKit. If you are interested in seeing what WebGL is all about, watch this video on youtube. If you want to see WebGL it in action, you will need to check out a copy from the WebKit repository, as it is not available yet in the nightly builds. A list of browsers that use WebKit is available on Wikipedia. Some of the more popular browsers that use WebKit include Safari, Chrome, Omniweb, iCab, Android browser and the WebOS browser.
As the 3D wars heat up, many folks see COLLADA's .dae format as a front runner for Digital Content Creation (DCC). In the Engineering CAD field the STandard for the Exchange of Product model data (STEP) has been declared as a clear winner by some. This article is an attempt to start a conversation on whether or not the COLLADA format is the next 'STEP' for the DCC industry.