Newsletter Archives

KHRONOS
March 7 2007 Press Invited to Conference on GDC Show Floor
Detail on the announcements at the show
Three Days of News and Technology Sessions
 

Khronos Technology Sessions on the GDC Show Floor
Khr Devu London

Are you a games developer?

If so, don't miss your chance to see technology experts deliver news & tutorials at the Khronos GDC Show Floor Theater, Booth #260, on March 7-9, 2007.

All Khronos sessions are free
http://www.khronos.org/news/events/detail/gdc_07">with reserved seating



We offer our main news conference in English & Japanese:

General Khronos News:
Wednesday March 7 - 12:00-12:50pm - (in English)
Friday March 9 - 2:00 - 3:00pm - (in Japanese)

- OpenGL ES 2.0 ratified!
- OpenVG Adopters program launched
- OpenKODE Provisional spec released
- OpenMAX 1.1 released

Special News Session:
New Work Groups Launched:
- Thursday March 8 - 11:15-11:50am
- FX & Composition Work Group Launch

Register For a Seat


OpenGL ES 2.0 ratified!
OpenGL-ES logo

5th March, 2007 - GDC, San Francisco, CA - The Khronos(TM) Group announced today that it has unanimously ratified and publicly released the finalized OpenGL(R) ES 2.0 specification for programmable 3D graphics that will significantly boost the functionality, flexibility and visual realism offered by a wide range of embedded and mobile devices. OpenGL ES 2.0 complements the widely deployed OpenGL ES 1.1 standard for fixed function graphics by defining the OpenGL ES Shading Language for programming vertex and fragment shaders and integrating it with a streamlined OpenGL ES 1.1-derived API. OpenGL ES 2.0 was previously released as a provisional specification to enable silicon vendors to initiate early silicon designs and for Khronos to fine-tune the specification as the industry gained silicon implementation experience of mobile programmable graphics. Multiple OpenGL ES 2.0 silicon devices are expected to commence shipment before the end of 2007. The OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 specifications are available for free download at www.khrono s.org/opengles/.

In order to minimize cost and power requirements of programmable graphics subsystems, OpenGL ES 2.0 eliminates from OpenGL ES 1.1 any fixed functionality that can be replaced by shader programs. For complete backwards compatibility, OpenGL ES 2.0 capable devices will typically ship with two drivers: OpenGL ES 2.0 drivers for visually advanced applications and OpenGL ES 1.1 drivers to support the growing number of native 3D applications coded to this widely adopted standard.

Khronos expects to release conformance tests for OpenGL ES 2.0 within six months, enabling interested companies to gain access to source code to test their implementations and use the OpenGL ES trademark on products that pass the defined testing criteria, ensuring that conformant OpenGL ES implementations provide a reliable, cross-platform graphics programming platform.


OpenVG Adopters program launched

5th March, 2007 - GDC, San Francisco, CA - The Khronos(TM) Group announced today it has released the official OpenVG(TM) 1.0 Conformance Tests that can be used by vendors to certify that the rapidly increasing number of OpenVG implementations are compliant with the OpenVG specification. Products that meet the requirements of the conformance tests may use the OpenVG trademark to encourage reliable, cross-platform vector graphics interoperability. Additionally, Khronos announced today that it has placed its Sample implementation of OpenVG 1.0 into open source under an MIT license to further enable OpenVG implementers and developers to leverage this innovative, royalty-free open standard in their products and applications. The OpenVG 1.0 specification and Sample source are free for download at http://www.khro nos.org/openvg/ and details of the OpenVG Conformance Tests can be found at http://www.khr onos.org/adopters.

Almost every graphics silicon vendor active in mobile graphics has now announced support for OpenVG and this unique API is becoming widely used to accelerate SVG and Flash players and applications, said Andrzej Mamona of AMD and chairman of the OpenVG working group. The OpenVG Working Group has been working diligently to expand the OpenVG ecosystem and so we are delighted to launch a comprehensive set of conformance tests and to put our Sample implementation into open source.


OpenKODE Provisional spec released
Open KODE 160

12th February, 2007 - 3GSM, Barcelona - The Khronos(TM) Group announced today that it has publicly released a provisional version of the OpenKODE(TM) 1.0 specification, on schedule, to enable widespread developer feedback and rapid industry implementation of this important new standard that is designed to bring portability and advanced media acceleration to mobile handsets. The conformance tests for OpenKODE 1.0 are expected to be publicly released during the second quarter of 2007 to enable conformant implementations to use the OpenKODE trademark. Numerous Khronos members are demonstrating provisional OpenKODE implementations at 3GSM and the OpenKODE 1.0 specification is expected to be finalized by mid-2007 after integration of industry feedback. The OpenKODE 1.0 provisional specification is free for download at http://www.k hronos.org/openkode/ and may be used royalty-free by implementers and developers. Feedback and comments from the mobile and embedded industries are encouraged on the Khronos OpenKODE technical message boards at http:/ /www.khronos.org/message_boards/.

As the work of the Khronos organization has progressed, it's been clear there is a real hunger for rich multimedia applications on a wide range of embedded devices, says analyst Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research. However, the industry has desperately needed a unifying architecture for the APIs that will enable this content to be delivered efficiently and across all platforms and operating systems. OpenKODE has the potential to move the mobile industry forward with giant steps in much the same way that DirectX enabled a generation of dynamic multimedia entertainment including 3D games, music, movies, and video on PCs.


OpenMAX 1.1 released

12th February, 2007 - 3GSM, Barcelona - The Khronos (TM) Group is pleased to announce that it has ratified and publicly released the royalty-free OpenMAX(TM) IL 1.1 specification. OpenMAX IL 1.1 defines enhanced media component interfaces to enable the rapid integration of media acceleration into streaming media frameworks on embedded devices. Today, Khronos has also launched the OpenMAX IL 1.1 Adopter's Program that provides access to a new set of conformance tests. Products that meet the requirements of the conformance tests may use the OpenMAX IL trademark which insures customers of reliable, cross-platform audio, video, and image codec interoperability. OpenMAX IL has been developed through the successful Khronos Working Group process, with Work Group Chair leadership provided by Texas Instruments and the support of many Khronos member companies including AMD, Beatnik, Broadcom, Motorola, Nokia, NVIDIA, NXP, SKY MobileMedia and STMicroelectronics. The OpenMAX IL 1.1 specification is free for download at http://www.kh ronos.org/openmax/ and details of the OpenMAX Adopter's Program can be found at http://www.khr onos.org/adopters.

The OpenMAX standard is ambitious in its goal to offer a set of APIs for the embedded device market to enable hardware acceleration of multimedia codecs, notes analyst Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research. The introduction of OpenMAX IL goes another step with a low level interface that abstracts codecs and provides portability across operating systems and software stacks. OpenMAX IL demonstrates the flexibility of the Khronos model in general, and specifically; the ability of OpenMAX to adapt to the changing demands of developers and manufacturers in the embedded device market.


COLLADA Contest at GDC
Collada larger

Today Khronos also announced a COLLADA contest to encourage open source COLLADA conditioning programs to be created and uploaded into the COLLADA Framework on Sourceforge. A growing body of conditioners enables any developer to construct sophisticated pipelines to condition content for diverse platforms. Winners of the COLLADA Contest will be announced at SIGGRAPH 2007 and prizes include airfare to San Diego and four night’s accommodation to attend SIGGRAPH and a SONY Playstation 3. Further details are at www.ColladaCo ntest.com.


Khronos Group Initiates New Working Groups and Gains Significant Additional Membership

Open call for participation to define visual effects framework and window system APIs for advanced user interfaces and window systems;

7th March, 2007 – GDC, San Francisco, CA – The Khronos(TM) Group announced today it is issuing calls for participation in two newly formed working groups. The glFX(TM) Working Group is defining a run-time API to enable advanced 3D visual effects contained in a COLLAD(TM) FX file to be easily and portably used in OpenGL(R) and OpenGL ES applications. The Composition Working Group is defining graphics APIs to enable window systems to be constructed using open standards for display composition to encourage mobile devices to use fully accelerated advanced user interfaces.

Come to the Special News Session to learn more:

- Thursday March 8 - 11:15-11:50am
- FX & Composition Work Group Launch

Additionally, Khronos is delighted to announce that Ardites, AZTEQ mobile, DaimlerChrysler, Coding Technologies, Marvell, Matrox, McubeWorks, Micron, NDS, NXP, Omegame, PineOne Communications, Tungsten and Vodafone have joined over one hundred existing 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. All Khronos members are able to join any working group to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications - further details are at www.khrono s.org/members/


KHRONOS
March 21, 2007 Khronos General News
CTIA Newsletter
In This Issue
 

What's Inside the Next Generation of Wireless Devices?
etf logo

Emerging Technology Forums is a new conference track at CTIA Wireless focused on the technology roadmap for next generation wireless systems and cellular handsets. Encompassing chips, software, media processing, communications standards, displays and more, ETF provides the opportunity you need to map your strategy through the next generation of technologies for wireless systems. Receive vital information, perspective and direction straight from the source. Against a backdrop of the debates over next generation technology trends, ETF assembles industry leaders, technology vendors and pundits to discuss the future of wireless technology platforms, chips, standards, and solutions.

Find out more....

Visit Our Sponsers


NVIDIA




Come to Emerging Technology Forums!

Event: Emerging Technology Forums @ CTIA Orlando
Date: March 26, 2007
Start Time: 09:00 AM
End Time: 05:00 PM
Location: Room 303
Event URL: www.ETF2007.com
CTIA URL: http://www.ctiawireless.com/events/event_ details.cfm?calID=507


Emerging Technology Forums @ CTIA Orlando
Helsinki 50K

Learn insider tips and tricks about the new media APIs you need to develop for the billion-dollar, billion- user embedded and mobile multimedia markets!

Khronos is a not-for-profit consortium that has developed the OpenGL ES, OpenVG, OpenMAX, OpenSL ES, OpenKODE and COLLADA open API standards for accelerating handheld and embedded media. These royalty-free, market- enabling APIs have been created over the last four years by Khronos Member companies, and at Emerging Technology Forums , these experts teach you how to use them.

If you develop games and multimedia for cell phones or consumer electronics... or advanced embedded graphics applications... Then you don't want to miss this event!


Multimedia Trends 9:00 - 10:30 - Room W304

Covers advanced media processing ICs, image sensors, display technologies, power, standards, content, and more.

  • Richard Doherty, Envisioneering - Moderator
  • Neil Trevett, NVIDIA – VP of Embedded Content - panelist
  • Michel Windal, NXP - Operators & Partnerships Director, Cellular Systems – panelist
  • Shiv Ramamurthi, TI - Software Technology Manager
  • I3A


Handset ICs 10:30 - 12:00 - Room W304

Covering silicon trends and requirements for future wireless media driven handsets, processors, flash & DRAM, silicon integration roadmaps.

  • Samsung
  • Freescale
  • ARM


Khronos Session: Creating an Embedded Media Processing Ecosystem 10:30 - 12:00

This presentation runs alongside Handset ICs

Graphics and media acceleration in mobile handsets is one of the largest ever opportunities for both the hardware and software industries. The Khronos Group is creating a royalty-free ecosystem of API standards for advanced dynamic media on handheld, console and embedded devices to turn this opportunity into economic reality. This breakout session will run the gamut of topics covering key features and the roadmap of Khronos standards.

  • Neil Trevett - Khronos, OpenKODE, OpenGL ES, OpenVG overview
  • Shiv Ramamurthi, TI - MAX and SL overview
  • Oliver Baltuch – Benchmarking and ecosystem


Wireless IP 1:00 - 2:30 Room - W304

Covering media, standards and applications, data and voice applications and services, including architecture and platform requirements for handsets.

  • Moderated by analyst Jagdish Rebello
  • PhD of iSuppli
  • CDMA Dev Grp,
  • Streamezzo
  • Envivio


Mobile Software Integration 2:30 - 4:00 Room - W304

Covering operating systems, application software, content adaptation, DRM, media processing algorithms, real time services, gaming, user interfaces, and more.

  • Bill Hughes, Instat - Moderator
  • Symbian
  • Tao Group
  • Jeff Moles, Tao-Group, Director, Technology & Business Development


Where to find us

The Khronos Group sessions are near the exhibit area, upstairs in the west building in rooms W303 and W304.

(We reference W303 on this map because it is actually a little easier to identify. W304 is larger and has several entrances, whereas W303 only has one.)


OpenGL
March 27, 2007 OpenGL News
OpenGL Pipeline
In This Issue:
 


Quick Links...




Hello from the OpenGL Work Group Chair:

The OpenGL ARB is working hard and playing hard in 2007! We plan to deliver not one, but two, OpenGL specification revisions - code named “OpenGL Longs Peak” and “OpenGL Mount Evans.” If you’re not familiar with these names, checkout this edition of the OpenGL Pipeline for an overview. In addition to these dual OpenGL revisions and conformance tests; Im also excited to tell you that ARB is producing an OpenGL SDK. This SDK will become a valuable resource for you, our developer community. You can find more about the SDK in the Ecosystem TSG update in this issue. And last but not least, we are happy to bring you the first Official OpenGL Coding Competition in a decade! Get going and don’t miss the "Ascent to the Top

Barthold Lichtenbelt


OpenGL and Windows Vista (TM)

So Windows Vista is here, but what does it mean for an OpenGL user and developer? In this article we will try to give OpenGL application developers a quick peek at what to expect and the current state of OpenGL on Windows Vista.

Windows Vista supports two primary OpenGL implementations:

  • Hardware manufacturers provide OpenGL ICD (installable client driver) with variable renderer string. The OpenGL version supported depends on the hardware manufacturer.
  • Microsoft's software OpenGL 1.1 implementation (renderer string is GDI Generic), is clustered in higher numbered pixel formats.
Just like Windows XP, Windows Vista does not contain an OpenGL ICD "in the box." End users will need to install drivers from OEMs or video hardware manufacturers in order to access native hardware- accelerated OpenGL. These drivers can be found on the Web sites of most hardware manufacturers


New Features in OpenGL Longs Peak

OpenGL Longs Peak will bring a new object model, which was described in some detail in the last OpenGL Pipeline. Since that last update, we made some important decisions that I would like to mention here:

  • Object creation is asynchronous. This means that the call you make to create an object can return to the caller before the object is actually created by the OpenGL implementation. When it returns to the caller, it returns a handle to this still to be created object. The cool thing is that this handle is a valid handle; you can use it immediately if needed.
  • Multiple program objects can be bound. In OpenGL 2.1 only one program object can be in use (bound) for rendering. If the application wants to replace both the vertex and fragment stage of the rendering pipeline with its own shaders, it needs to incorporate all shaders in that single program object. This is a fine model when there are only two programmable stages, but it starts to break down when the number of programmable stages increases because the number of possible combinations of stages, and therefore the number of program objects, increases. In OpenGL Longs Peak it will be possible to bind multiple program objects to be used for rendering.


Other ARB Activities

The work on OpenGL Mount Evans has also started in earnest. The Next Gen TSG is meeting on a weekly basis to define what this API is going to look like. OpenGL Mount Evans will also bring a host of new features to the OpenGL Shading Language, which keeps the Shading Language TSG extremely busy. You can find more in the Next Gen update article in this issue.

Another area the ARB is working on is conformance tests for OpenGL Longs Peak and Mount Evans. We will be updating the existing set of conformance tests to cover the OpenGL Shading Language and the OpenGL Longs Peak API. Conformance tests ensure a certain level of uniformity among OpenGL implementations, which is a real benefit to developers seeking a write-once, run anywhere experience. Apple is driving the definition of the new conformance tests.

Lastly, a few updates on upcoming trade shows. We will be at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday March 7, presenting in more detail on OpenGL Longs Peak and other topics.


Introducing OpenGL ES

If you're a regular reader of OpenGL Pipeline, you probably know that you can use OpenGL on Macs, PCs (under Windows or Linux), and many other platforms ranging from workstations to supercomputers. But, did you know that you can also use it on PDAs and cell phones? Yes, really!

Okay, not really, at least not yet; but you can use its smaller sibling, OpenGL ES. OpenGL ES is OpenGL for Embedded Systems, including cell phones in particular, but also PDAs, automotive entertainment centers, portable media players, set-top boxes, and -- who knows -- maybe, someday, wrist watches and Coke® machines.


First Look at OpenGL SDK

By the time you see this article, the new SDK mentioned in the Autumn edition of OpenGL Pipeline will be public. I will not hide my intentions under layers of pretense; my goal here is to entice you to go check it out. I will try to be subtle.The SDK is divided into categories. Drop-down menus allow you to navigate directly to individual resources, or you can click on a category heading to visit a page with a more detailed index of what's in there.


Using the Longs Peak Object Model

In OpenGL Pipeline #002, Barthold Lichtenbelt gave the high-level design goals and structure of the new object model being introduced in OpenGL Longs Peak. In this issue we'll assume you're familiar with that article and proceed to give some examples using the actual API, which has mostly stabilized. (We're not promising the final Longs Peak API will look exactly like this, but it should be very close.)

In traditional OpenGL, objects were created, and their parameters (or “attributes,” in our new terminology) set after creation. Calls like glTexImage2D set many attributes simultaneously, while object-specific calls like glTexParameteri set individual attributes.


GLSL: Center or Centroid?

When should you consider using Centroid?

  • When using an extrapolated value could lead to undefined results. Pay particular attention to the built- in functions that say “results are undefined if!”
  • When using an extrapolated value with a highly non-linear or discontinuous function. This includes for example specular calculations, particularly when the exponent is large, and step functions.

When should you not consider using Centroid?

  • When you need accurate derivatives (explicit or implied, such as with mipmapped or anisotropic texture fetches). The shading language specification considers derivatives derived from centroid varings to be so fraught with inaccuracy that it was resolved they are simply undefined. In such a case, strongly consider at least adding: centroid varying float myMixer; // beware of derivative!
  • With tessellated meshes where most of the quad or triangle boundaries are interior and well defined anyway. The easiest way to think about this case is if you have a triangle strip of 100 triangles, and only the first and last triangle might result in extrapolations, centroid will make those two triangles interpolate but at the tradeoff of making the other 98 triangles a little less regular and accurate.
  • If you know there might be artifacts from undefined, non-linear, or discontinuous functions, but the resulting artifacts are nearly invisible. If the shader is not attacking (much), don't fix it!


OpenGL Mount Evans Update

As noted in the previous edition of OpenGL Pipeline, the OpenGL ARB Working Group has divided up the work for defining the API and feature sets for upcoming versions of OpenGL into two technical sub- groups (TSGs): the “Object Model” TSG and the “Next Gen” TSG. While the Object Model group has the charter to redefine existing OpenGL functionality in terms of the new object model (also described in more detail in the last edition), the Next Gen TSG is responsible for developing the OpenGL APIs for a set of hardware features new to modern GPUs.

The Next Gen TSG began meeting weekly in late November and has begun defining this new feature set, code-named “OpenGL Mount Evans.” Several of the features introduced in OpenGL Mount Evans will represent simple extensions to existing functionality such as new texture and render formats, and additions to the OpenGL Shading Language. Other features, however, represent significant new functionality, such as new programmable stages of the traditional OpenGL pipeline and the ability to capture output from the pipeline prior to primitive assembly and rasterization of fragments.


Optimize Your Application Performance

In the previous article "Clean your OpenGL usage using gDEBugger", we demonstrated how gDEBugger can help verify that your application uses OpenGL correctly and calls the OpenGL API commands you expect it to call. This article will discuss the use of ATI and NVIDIA performance counters together with gDEBugger's Performance Views to locate graphics pipeline performance bottlenecks.

The graphics system generates images through a pipelined sequence of operations. A pipeline runs only as fast as its slowest stage. The slowest stage is often called the pipeline bottleneck. A single graphics primitive (for example, a triangle) has a single graphic pipeline bottleneck. However, the bottleneck may change when rendering a graphics frame that contains multiple primitives. For example, if the application first renders a group of lines and afterwards a group of lit and shaded triangles, we can expect the bottleneck to change.


COLLADA
April 24, 2007 COLLADA Community News
 

Post-GDC COLLADA News Wrap-up

We are pleased to report that there has been an amazing amount of COLLADA news since GDC in San Francisco and this newsletter will give you a fast look at the highlights. We post most of these stories on the www.khronos.org home page every day, so if you have news or projects you are working on using COLLADA, we invite you to send it to us and we'll be delighted to review it.

If you did not get to San Francisco to see the COLLADA sessions and demos at GDC, then you are in luck because you can catch COLLADA sessions next at the "fmx|07" show in Stuttgart, Germany on May 1-4. We have more info in this posted below.

Translated news for Asian COLLADA developers:



Check out the COLLADA book - for free!


Buy the COLLADA Book here


Khronos and Web3D Enter Official Cooperation as Mobile & Internet Continue to Converge

Two 3D standardization organizations initiate cooperation to accelerate market adoption of pervasive 3D; Initial focus is synergy between X3D and COLLADA

Last week at the Web3D Symposium in Italy the Khronos(TM) Group and the Web3D(TM) Consortium announced that they have executed a liaison agreement to enable the flow of draft specifications and feedback between the two organizations. This liaison will enable cooperative initiatives to align and combine the use of standards from both groups to drive the growth of connected 3D on mobile and embedded devices as well as on the Web. The initial focus of this liaison is to leverage the existing synergy between the X3D(TM) and COLLADA (TM) standards from Web3D and Khronos respectively.

It's ironic that over the past decade, two not-for-profit groups have been working diligently behind the scenes to lay the cornerstones of what is now becoming a white-hot, multi-billion dollar market. Many years ago, the founders of these organizations envisioned a whole new way of communicating and sharing data. Since then, the Khronos Group has successfully set the foundation for mobile 3D, TV and video; and the Web3D Consortium has made significant progress in introducing and commercializing real-time, connected 3D into the medical imaging, military simulation, geospatial, CAD, and web-based visualization markets.

Although these two groups have long shared the common dream of "rich media and connectivity everywhere," the news today that they have executed a liaison agreement to enable the flow of draft specifications and feedback between the two organizations means that they will now be able to more rapidly use both these groups' standards to create ground-breaking opportunities. This synergy will allow each organization to focus on their own areas of expertise, and yet leverage and align with the work of the other - to facilitate, richer, faster and more effective 3D-based communication whenever and wherever it is needed. Read the full press release


White Paper on Developing Web Applications with COLLADA & X3D
Web3DLogo

Dr. Remi Arnaud from Sony CE and Tony Parisi of Media Machines Inc., and a Web3D board member, have collorarated on a white paper that sheds light on the compatible relationship between COLLADA and X3D. Both COLLADA and X3D are royalty-free open standards that use XML schema technology to represent 3D content.


New version of Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended

COLLADA has redefined game development by making simpler and more fun to create 3D content

The Khronos group is pleased to announce that Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended has selected COLLADA. Users can import 3D content from most major 3D CAD and modeling programs using industry standard formats including COLLADA.

Photoshop is already widely used for many imaging applications including the creation of textures and special effects. The ability to bring in and work with 3D content expands the usefulness of Photoshop for content creation applications including game development, film and video production, and scientific visualization.


GDC 2007 News Round Up

XNA Games Made in Four Days
One of the activities at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2007 was the XNA Game Studio Express Challenge. The Challenge required four developer teams from four countries to each come up with a completed XNA game (from scratch) in four days.

NVIDIA announced six new developer tools at GDC 2007: NVIDIA announced six new developer tools at GDC 2007. In case you missed it, the tools are:

  • FX Composer 2. Featuring DirectX and OpenGL support via HLSL, Cg, and COLLADA FX, as well as powerful pipeline integration features for real production environments.
  • Shader Library . The world's largest shader library.
  • SDK 10 . All-new code samples for DirectX and OpenGL .


First COLLADA flash games using Papervision 3D

Anyone remember the original 1992 Xwing game? When you first started playing the game, you had to do Obstacle courses to learn how to fly the various ships. They all had their strengths and you needed to learn how to navigate using those strengths basically.


CLManager - COLLADA Utilities

CLManager is a utility program designed to aid in the content management of Collada DAE files. The program supports versions 1.4.0 and 1.4.1, and saves to both versions.
About CLManager
Nodes can be copied, removed and rearranged. Libraries can be created, removed, sorted or merged. Node ids and their references can also be changed.


XNA game engine Using COLLADA

Benjamin Nitschke has posted a fantastic XNA tutorial about skeletal bone animation and skinning using Collada models, which allow for complex animations exported as XML that DirectX .X files can't handle.


GIS 3D Data Support

GIS systems are based on the vast amount of data. And we are talking here about maintaining enormous databases which eventually have to be updated as well. However, still there is a lot of static-data, based on offline sources - CD's for instance. We have to bear in mind that when it comes to decisions or visualizations made in GIS, we got to keep that data as fresh as possible in order to make GIS and our work valuable.


FlashLib - Using Flash Library assets in Flex2

Grant Skinner just posted his FlashLib extension for the Flash 9 alpha IDE / Flash CS3 with a great explanation of how it prepares your library for use in Flex2. He calls em' "Shake n' Bake SWF's"


FMX /07

See COLLADA at fmx!

COLLADA is the standard all 3D developers have been waiting for. The release of its 1.4.0 specification allows companies to collaborate and design a common asset description language. Since then, COLLADA has been growing in features, included by many more tools, adopted in the GIS industry by Google Earth and many other applications, and recently embraced by the Automation industry.

For more information on this click here.


KHRONOS
May 7, 2007 One More Week to Sign Up!
 

Khronos at Handsets World Amsterdam May 14-18

Intended audience:
Developers, content providers, carriers and device OEMs interested in bringing compelling content to handhelds.

Handsets World
(May 14-18, 2007)

5 whole days with:
80 speakers
31 operators & OEMs
6 different tracks
(strategic & technical)
15 keynotes
11 panels
63 presentations
5 workshops &
great networking
opportunities!

Quick Links...




Khronos Group proudly Invites you to attend a special pre-conference workshop on May 14, 2007, at Handsets World Global Industry Summit in Amsterdam:


Creating an Embedded Media Processing Ecosystem
Khronos_panel

If you manufacture mobile devices and/or develop multimedia content, join this All Day workshop to learn about the new industry standards for royalty-free multimedia development.

Register Now and get a Discount as a Khronos Associate! Attend one day or attend them all


May 14 - 10:00-16:30 Khronos Session Details

We are proud to present excellent quality session material: "marketing-free." We know you won't come back to hear what we have to say if you are subjected to corporate "commmercials," so count on getting a high-quality, educational overview of all that is important in the technical developments for mobile devices.

10:00 - 11:15 - OpenKODE: Unlocking the native content of multimedia handsets
Neil Trevett, Vice President of Embedded Content at NVIDIA will cover the recently-announced OpenKODE platform for native games and media applications

  • Why do we need industry standardized APIs?
  • Barriers on the path to interoperability
  • Overview of OpenMAX for Streaming video and image processing
  • Overview of OpenSL ES for advanced audio acceleration
  • OpenKODE: efficient, mixed mode, multi tasking acceleration for graphics acceleration
11:30 - 1:00 - OpenKODE: Content Development & Implementation in Handsets:
Tao Group will demonstrate the benefits of developing in OpenKODE and of having an OpenKODE implementation in handsets

Tao Group speakers:
Francis Charig - Chief Executive
Jay Abbot - intent GamePlayer Product Manager
Tim Renouf - Systems Architect & OpenKODE Specification Editor

2:00 - 3:30 - Ever Expanding OpenGL ES & OpenVG Market Opportunities

Kristof Beets, PowerVR 3rd Party Relations Manager at Imagination Technologies, will provide an insight into the exciting opportunities for Hardware and Software Providers enabled by Hardware Accelerated Graphics using the Khronos OpenGL ES and OpenVG APIs.

Topics include:
  • Key Market Opportunities for Semis and OEMs/ODMs
  • Key Application Opportunities for Software Developers and Publishers
  • Maximise Application Performance using OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenVG APIs
4:00 - 4:30 - 3D content authoring and getting involved in Khronos
Neil Trevett, Vice President of Embedded Content at NVIDIA and President of the Khronos Group

No acceleration APIs are useful without authoring tools - this session will show how Khronos is creating standards to enable the efficient authoring of advanced mobile media content

The afternoon will conclude with a brief summary on how interested companies may get involved with Khronos and its activities.

4.30 - End of Workshop


May 15, 2007 - Khronos Members' Sessions

Learn from numerous Khronos Members that are keynote and session speakers as described below:

May 15, 2007

09:00 - Operator Keynote Address
"A Global Operator's Perspective on Key Handset Industry Trends"
Jens Schulte-Bockum, Group Director of Terminals, Group Marketing, Vodafone, Germany

09:40 - OEM Keynote
"The Mobile Device Balancing Act: Challenges Myths, and Reality"
Carsten Schmidt, Corporate VP & General Manager Europe, Motorola, UK

10:00 - ODM Keynote
"Shifting from Market Acquisition to Customer Loyalty"
Mats Lindoff, Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Sony Ericsson, Sweden

11:30 - Handset Manufacturer Case Study
"Concept Phones: Communications Beyond Time and Place"
Dr Ceol Kim, Head of Product Planning Europe, LG Electronics Mobile Company, France

11.50 - "OpenKODE: Like DirectX for mobile phones"
Neil Trevett, VP of Embedded Content, NVIDIA & Khronos Group President

12:10 - "The Future Role of ODMs in Delivering Advanced Consumer and Business Propositions"
Enrico Salvatori, VP & General Manager, QUALCOMM CDMA Technologies Europe

14:30 - Panel Debate
"The Next Generation Web Browsing"
Dr Jin-Sung Choi, Senior Vice President, LGE, Korea

15:10 - "Open Source Disruptions and the New Generation of Mobile Software - The Fantasy and the Reality"
David Wood, Executive Vice President - Research, Symbian, UK

16:40 - "Advanced Technology for Dual-mode Handsets and Improved Battery Life using Efficient Powersaving in WLAN"
Dr. Lindsay Frost, 3G Technologies Manager, NEC Network Laboratories Europe

17:00 - "Coping with Multimedia Handset Storage Consumer and Industry Demands"
Yves Leonard, Chairman, MMCA and Business Development Director, Samsung Electronics


May 16, 2007 - Khronos Members Sessions

09:20 - Handset Manufacturer
"Striving for Segmentation: Putting People in the Centre of Multimedia Experiences" Mark Selby, Global Vice President Multimedia, Nokia, Finland

11:50 - "UI Technology to Create Niche Devices in Less Time"
Hampus Jakobsson, VP Business Development & Co- Founder, TAT, Sweden


May 17, 2007 - Khronos Members Sessions

09:45 - Presentation Titles TBC
Jari Alvinen, Chairman of the Board, Open Mobile Alliance and Director, Standardization and Industry Relations, Nokia

14:30 - "Fuelling Innovation to Change The Way We Operate in Today's Market"
Simon Nicholson, Director, Business Strategy and Development, Sun Microsystems, USA

15:40 - Title TBD
Dr. Jin-Sung Choi, Senior Vice President, LGE, Korea


OpenKODE
25th May 2007 OpenKODE News
SOFTBANK MOBILE adopts OpenKODE graphics standard

In This Issue



Quick Links...




SOFTBANK MOBILE Adopts OpenKODE to Provide Rich Media Acceleration in its New Handset Platform

New POP-i platform provides native application access to OpenKODE APIs

News Release
For Further Information
Khronos Group Executive Director
Elizabeth Riegel
+1 (888) 222-1899
eliz abeth@goldstandardgroup.com

Khronos Group Japanese Business Manager
Hitoshi Kasai
+81(422) 47-5319
khronos@miacis. c om


Use of OpenKODE ensures application portability across multiple handsets




The Khronos (TM) Group announced earlier this week that SOFTBANK MOBILE Corporation has adopted the OpenKODE standard for advanced graphics and media processing in its new Portable Open Platform Initiative (POP-i) platform for mobile phones, also announced today. The POP-i platform will enable native applications to access the full power of the OpenKODE media stack architecture which enables 2D graphics, 3D graphics, video and audio to be accelerated and flexibly combined to unlock the full potential of rich media silicon. The use of OpenKODE will encourage and protect the investment of software developers in the POP-i platform by ensuring application portability across multiple handsets - both now and into the future as new handsets are introduced.


SOFTBANK MOBILE sets stage for innovative content with OpenKODE

"As the open and royalty-free industry standard API, OpenKODE is expected to drive the growth of active community of application and middleware developers for the common platform under development for mobile phones," said Hiroshi Ohta, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Product & Service Development, SOFTBANK MOBILE. "Because of its comprehensive scope of multi-media sources, including 2D/3D graphics, audio and video, OpenKODE can help us setting a stage for innovative, rich content offerings that can fit a new era of mobile multimedia."


Many operating systems & handset platforms will adopt OpenKODE

"The Khronos Group is delighted that SoftBank Mobile has selected the OpenKODE standard to provide the advanced graphics and media capability in the POP-i platform," said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president of embedded content at NVIDIA. "We expect that many operating systems and handset software platforms will adopt OpenKODE to provide state-of-the-art media and graphics acceleration, significantly reducing industry fragmentation and enabling a new class of native applications to innovatively mix multiple media types to create compelling user experiences."


About OpenKODE

OpenKODE is a royalty-free, cross-platform standard that combines a set of native APIs into a comprehensive media stack specification for accelerating rich media and graphics applications. OpenKODE aims to make advanced media capabilities consistently available across multiple devices for increased native source portability and reduced mobile platform fragmentation. OpenKODE 1.0 brings together the OpenGL® ES and OpenVG (TM) Khronos media APIs to provide state-of-the-art acceleration for vector 2D and 3D graphics and provides the new OpenKODE Core API that abstracts operating system resources to minimize source changes when porting games and applications between Linux, Brew, Symbian, Windows Mobile, WIPI and RTOS-based platforms. Subsequent versions of OpenKODE will add the OpenSL ES(TM) and OpenMAX(TM) media APIs to provide accelerated video and audio that is fully integrated with graphics processing. More information in OpenKODE can be found at www.khrono s.org/openkode/.


About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is a member-funded industry consortium focused on the creation of open standards such as OpenGL®, OpenKODE(TM), OpenGL® ES, OpenMAX(TM), OpenVG(TM), OpenSL ES(TM), OpenML (TM) and COLLADA(TM) to enable the authoring and acceleration of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. More information is available at www.khronos.org.


COLLADA
June 13, 2007 COLLADA Newsletter
In This Issue
 
Learn about COLLADA for Content Authoring
Remi Arnaud

Summer is a good time to go to Canada...
and if you're in GIS, it's a very good time to go to Vancouver, British Columbia where GeoWeb 2007 will be held in July.

The theme this year is "From Mashups to Infrastructure," and COLLADA developer and author Remi Arnaud is scheduled to speak on July 26th on the subject of content authoring using COLLADA.

For more details go to http:/ /www.geoweb.org/2007/overview.asp

"'COLLADA in Production - Next Gen Asset Management"

The COLLADA in Production - Next Gen Asset Management DVD is the first DVD ever created dealing with COLLADA and all the aspects related to the use of it in several DCC applications. It was created in response to the demand of the PixelBox Academy student base that wanted to know more about COLLADA and how to efficiently integrate it in a production pipeline and covers all the functionalities of COLLADA.

Asset interchange (including animation, rigged characters and complex scenes with full screen shader effects), creation of shaders using FX Composer, COLLADA physics (including working with Nima on Maya), integration of COLLADA with game engines and COLLADA with
Photoshop CS3 Extended.

The content of this DVD applies to everyone from artists to programmers. Besides video content, the DVD features all the example files and a dynamic menu with links to download trial versions of all
the software used.

Order now

COLLADA RESOURCES


COLLADA for the people!
Kathleen Maher, Analyst

Technologies are like children. They get born and then they wander off to become something their parents never expected. Take COLLADA for instance. COLLADA was created as an exchange medium for game developers, but as it finds its way out in the world, it is becoming used as an exchange tool for a variety of applications and the effect is more than simply a lot of programs adapting COLLADA as an exchange format. That's great, it increases the usefulness of COLLADA as a tool for professionals. But there's a larger effect as COLLADA makes 3D more accessible to more people for their own uses. We're seeing COLLADA being used for CAD models as well as content being developed for games and movies. It's also becoming a mode of communication for people who want to show off the 3D creations made with easy tools like Google's SketchUp.

Teapotters.com is just such a site. It offers models in various formats including COLLADA. Users can upload models and download models in various formats and the site also provides a 3D viewer to let users add 3D models to their site. 3D Warehouse, as the name implies offers thousands of free models for use in SketchUp projects.

In addition, MADLIX has announced an exporter tool that enables 3D artists to export their 3D artwork from Autodesk Maya to the MADLIX gallery. MADLIX offers users a stand alone viewer. MADLIX is a project of Agency9. The company makes software tools for real- time 3D applications and games and has created its own 3D engine called AgentFX. CTO Tomas Karlsson says that MADLIX was developed to connect 3D artists with end-users and "enable 3D content for everybody."

The company has several projects in the works including adding functionalities for personification a.k.a."pimping" models, and they're adding support for other 3D modelers in addition to Maya. The company's long range vision includes adding a payment capability so artists can sell their 3D content through the site.

www.teapotters.com
sketchup.google.com/3Dwarehouse
www.madlix.com

Google 3D content for Photoshop users

For two releases, Adobe has increased the 3D features in Photoshop. At the same time Adobe has added 3D intelligence into PDF with Adobe 3D. Most recently, Adobe has announced a plug-in for Google 3D Warehouse and Photoshop CS3 Extended. The plug-in lets users to find and download 3D content from the 3D Warehouse from within Photoshop.

Adobe has added support for COLLADA so objects downloaded from the Google 3D Warehouse can be edited and manipulated in Photoshop CX3 Extended. Downloaded models are converted to KMZ (Google Earth's native format). Photoshop also supports 3D formats 3DS, OBJ, and U3D.

The Adobe web site warns that models over 5 MB will load very slowly. Adobe is not building a CAD system... yet. The models are designed to be used within a design and can be manipulated to a limited extent. Models can be rotated; there are lighting modes, render modes, and a cross section tool.

It's also possible to edit the textures of 3D models using Photoshop's image editing and painting capabilities. The plug-in is free and can be downloaded at the Adobe Labs web site.

Learn More About Photoshop

Autodesk extends support for COLLADA in AutoCAD

The latest updates on Autodesk Labs for AutoAD 2007 and 2008 features improvements to the export to Google Earth KML features. AutoCAD support dramatically increases the power of Google Earth. Sure, SketchUp is a great tool for creating models on the fly but there is so much data already in AutoCAD. The process of building virtual worlds that reflect our real one is picking up speed.

Among the improvements is the ability to support materials attached to AutoCAD entities as they're exported to Google Earth 4 through COLLADA. In addition there is new support for terrain data and also support for attaching time to AutoCAD entities which can be used with Google Earth's time slider features. So for example, the slider could be used to show project changes over time in Google Earth.

More Information on Autodesk

Lightsprint adds COLLADA support

Toolmaker Lightsprint has added support for COLLADA. The company gives users the ability to add global illumination to their rendering thanks to their realtime radiosity technology. The company has included support for COLLADA in its SDK since March, 2007. COLLADA is supported as an input file and FCDocument of FCollada is supported as an internal scene representation in memory.

New demos with COLLADA content are in the works but for an idea of Lightsprint's global illumination capabilities check out their downloadable demo at www.3d-test.com.

More Information on Lightsprint


Anark uses COLLADA to address new markets

Gamasutra recently interviewed Anark's Frank Black, Director of business development, Gamasutra. Black said that his company is very excited about ongoing development with COLLADA. As developers of Gameface, a game development tool, Anark represents the type of company COLLADA was developed to help. The company takes advantage of COLLADA in order to keep its tools within the development pipeline so that it's not disruptive to do some work in Gameface and other work in other products.

Anark has its roots in the game development world but the company's flagship product, Anark Studio is an interactive 3D development tool that is being used in the aerospace and automotive industries. Anark has found that COLLADA is a useful medium for the exchange of CAD information. Studio takes advantage of COLLADA to bring in CAD models. This is a space that will be interesting to watch as large enterprises try to take advantage of the libraries of models.

More Information on Anark


Worldweaver introduces DX Studio with COLLADA support

DX Studio is a 3D PC game development tool. The new 2.0 version includes a 3D model editor allowing users to create their own interactive applications. This latest version of the product will also include support for COLLADA. DX Studio is available in Freeware, Standard, and Pro editions.

In addition to COLLADA support Worldweaver has also added a new lighting engine, post-processing effects, per pixel bump/opacity/specular map support, and COLLADA open model format. And, the new version allows users to connect into the DX Studio online library to share models, materials, and script with others, an addition that Worldweaver believes will encourage "Web 2.0" collaboration.

"DX Studio has always been good for the final development stage of interactive 3D applications. Now it's the only package in the world to support the complete application development process in a single integrated editor," said CEO and founder Chris Sterling.

More detailed information on these and other new features and their use is available at the DX Studio website. The official site also offers a full download of the new version.

More Information on Worldweaver

COLLADA
Thursday June 28, 2007 COLLADA Newsletter
In This Issue
 


Think you know COLLADA?

Prove it! Enter the COLLADA
"Create the Best Conditioner" Contest
And showcase your skills!

For more information visit: www.colladacon test.com

--------------------------------

San Diego SIGGRAPH 2007
Aug 7-9, 2007

Held in the San Diego Convention
Center, SIGGRAPH 2007 will attract
25,000 attendees. Join Khronos
Members for three days of BOF
sessions & Booth demos.

For more information, click here.

COLLADA Tool Chain BOF Effective Content Creation Pipeline
Wednesday, August 8th
2:00pm - 3:45pm

COLLADA SIGGRAPH Party
Games, Giveaways & Demos
Wednesday, August 8th
3:45pm - 4:45pm

Click here to Register for the BOFs

COLLADA RESOURCES


Buy the COLLADA Book here


COLLADA for the people!
Kathleen Maher, Analyst

Technologies are like children. They get born and then they wander off to become something their parents never expected. Take COLLADA for instance. COLLADA was created as an exchange medium for game developers, but as it finds its way out in the world, it is becoming used as an exchange tool for a variety of applications and the effect is more than simply a lot of programs adapting COLLADA as an exchange format. That's great, it increases the usefulness of COLLADA as a tool for professionals. But there's a larger effect as COLLADA makes 3D more accessible to more people for their own uses. We're seeing COLLADA being used for CAD models as well as content being developed for games and movies. It's also becoming a mode of communication for people who want to show off the 3D creations made with easy tools like Google's SketchUp.

Teapotters.com is just such a site. It offers models in various formats including COLLADA. Users can upload models and download models in various formats and the site also provides a 3D viewer to let users add 3D models to their site. 3D Warehouse, as the name implies offers thousands of free models for use in SketchUp projects.

In addition, MADLIX has announced an exporter tool that enables 3D artists to export their 3D artwork from Autodesk Maya to the MADLIX gallery. MADLIX offers users a stand alone viewer. MADLIX is a project of Agency9. The company makes software tools for real- time 3D applications and games and has created its own 3D engine called AgentFX. CTO Tomas Karlsson says that MADLIX was developed to connect 3D artists with end-users and "enable 3D content for everybody."

The company has several projects in the works including adding functionalities for personification a.k.a."pimping" models, and they're adding support for other 3D modelers in addition to Maya. The company's long range vision includes adding a payment capability so artists can sell their 3D content through the site.

www.teapotters.com
sketchup.google.com/3Dwarehouse
www.madlix.com


"Create the Best Conditioner" Contest

Showcase your COLLADA talents!

The Khronos Group invites you to demonstrate your knowledge of COLLADA by participating in the first COLLADA "Create the best conditioner" contest. Participants are asked to write one or more conditioners for the COLLADA Refinery. By participating you'll not only make your mark among your peers but you'll be helping the development community build a set of useful tools to share and improve the lot of 3D content developers throughout the world. You will be a hero.

But, if the respect and appreciation of your peers is not enough, there will be prizes too.

Submissions will be shown at the COLLADA party at Siggraph and winning conditioners will be made available in Open Source using the MIT license.

Additional details can be found on the COLLADA Contest website.

Google 3D content for Photoshop users

For two releases, Adobe has increased the 3D features in Photoshop. At the same time Adobe has added 3D intelligence into PDF with Adobe 3D. Most recently, Adobe has announced a plug-in for Google 3D Warehouse and Photoshop CS3 Extended. The plug-in lets users find and download 3D content from the 3D Warehouse from within Photoshop.

Adobe has added support for COLLADA so objects downloaded from the Google 3D Warehouse can be edited and manipulated in Photoshop CX3 Extended. Downloaded models are converted to KMZ (Google Earth's native format). Photoshop also supports 3D formats 3DS, OBJ, and U3D.

The Adobe web site warns that models over 5 MB will load very slowly. Adobe is not building a CAD system... yet. The models are designed to be used within a design and can be manipulated to a limited extent. Models can be rotated; there are lighting modes, render modes, and a cross section tool.

It's also possible to edit the textures of 3D models using Photoshop's image editing and painting capabilities. The plug-in is free and can be downloaded at the Adobe Labs web site.

Learn More About Photoshop


Autodesk extends support for COLLADA in AutoCAD

The latest updates on Autodesk Labs for AutoAD 2007 and 2008 features improvements to the export to Google Earth KML features. AutoCAD support dramatically increases the power of Google Earth. Sure, SketchUp is a great tool for creating models on the fly but there is so much data already in AutoCAD. The process of building virtual worlds that reflect our real one is picking up speed.

Among the improvements is the ability to support materials attached to AutoCAD entities as they're exported to Google Earth 4 through COLLADA. In addition there is new support for terrain data and also support for attaching time to AutoCAD entities which can be used with Google Earth's time slider features. So for example, the slider could be used to show project changes over time in Google Earth.

More Information on Autodesk


Lightsprint adds COLLADA support

Toolmaker Lightsprint has added support for COLLADA. The company gives users the ability to add global illumination to their rendering thanks to their realtime radiosity technology. The company has included support for COLLADA in its SDK since March, 2007. COLLADA is supported as an input file and FCDocument of FCollada is supported as an internal scene representation in memory.

New demos with COLLADA content are in the works but for an idea of Lightsprint's global illumination capabilities check out their downloadable demo at www.3d-test.com.

More Information on Lightsprint


Anark uses COLLADA to address new markets

Gamasutra recently interviewed Anark's Frank Black, Director of business development. Black said that his company is very excited about ongoing development with COLLADA. As developers of Gameface, a tool used to create game front ends, Anark represents the type of company COLLADA was developed to help. The company takes advantage of COLLADA in order to keep its tools within the development pipeline so that it's not disruptive to do some work in Gameface and other work in other products.

Anark has its roots in the game development world but the company's flagship product, Anark Studio is an interactive 3D development tool that is being used in the aerospace and automotive industries. Anark has found that COLLADA is a useful medium for the exchange of CAD information. Studio takes advantage of COLLADA to bring in CAD models. This is a space that will be interesting to watch as large enterprises try to take advantage of the libraries of models.

M ore Information on Anark


Worldweaver introduces DX Studio with COLLADA support

DX Studio is a 3D PC game development tool. The new 2.0 version includes a 3D model editor allowing users to create their own interactive applications. This latest version of the product will also include support for COLLADA. DX Studio is available in Freeware, Standard, and Pro editions.

In addition to COLLADA support Worldweaver has also added a new lighting engine, post-processing effects, per pixel bump/opacity/specular map support, and COLLADA open model format. And, the new version allows users to connect into the DX Studio online library to share models, materials, and script with others, an addition that Worldweaver believes will encourage "Web 2.0" collaboration.

"DX Studio has always been good for the final development stage of interactive 3D applications. Now it's the only package in the world to support the complete application development process in a single integrated editor," said CEO and founder Chris Sterling.

More detailed information on these and other new features and their use is available at the DX Studio website. The official site also offers a full download of the new version.

More Information on Worldweaver


Learn About COLLADA for Content Authoring
Remi Arnaud

GeoWeb 2007

Summer is lovely in Canada... and if you're in GIS, it's a good time to go to Vancouver,British Columbia where GeoWeb 2007 will be held in July.

The theme this year is "From Mashups to Infrastructure," and COLLADA developer and author Remi Arnaud will present an abstract titled "Content Authoring Using COLLADA"

Click here for details
----------------------------------------

COLLADA at 07 Eurographics

See COLLADA at 07 Eurographics in the Game Industry Presentations Program.

Dynamic Content Creation Using COLLADA will be presented by Remi Arnaud, Sony SCEA.

Click here for details

07 Eurographics
Prague, Czech Republic
September 3 - 7, 2007




Hello Colladanses!

New COLLADA specifications

The COLLADA WG is pleased to announce that COLLADA 1.5 is complete and will be announced at our Siggraph BoF in August along with the newly releases COLLADA 1.4.1 2nd Edition! Expect to see a formal PR for these specifications from Khronos.org shortly.

Join us at the COLLADA Plug Fest on July 22nd and 23rd in Redwood City, CA

Intel will sponsor a COLLADA plug fest to be held at the Hotel Sofitel on July 22/23. More details coming very soon. Please email me if you wish to be on the invite list. The participants who successfully demonstrate working COLLADA implementations will be invited to join Intel in showing off their efforts in the Intel booth, booth theatre or Intel Tech Talk to be held on Tuesday, August 12th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM on the Siggraph show floor. Of course, we also encourage all new COLLADA implementations in progress, or complete, to join us in presenting their work at the Khronos COLLADA BoF at Siggraph. Please note that the overall goal of the plug fest is to bring developers and technical artists together to work on any outstanding COLLADA implementation (and content) issues and for COLLADA experts to share their time and skills with those building COLLADA implementations—so they can be the best they can possibly be!

Speaking of Siggraph…

If you support COLLADA or you will be showing off any COLLADA implementations in your booth, do let Rita know so we can help you to promote your booth. This year, we will not be doing a booth crawl like we did last year, but we may be placing COLLADA support placards (similar to the ones we used last year) in COLLADA supporting exhibits.

Also, see COLLADA in the Intel booth (booth 511) on August 12-14. And, while at the Intel booth, check the booth theatre schedule to find out when the COLLADA related presentations will be held.

     
  • Join us at the Intel Tech Talk theatre presentation on Tuesday, August 12th, from 4-6PM on the show floor. COLLADA will play a special part in the presentation(s)
  •  
  • If you would like an Exhibits only pass, please use the Intel code: “Exhibits Only Code” is “Int2062”. http://registration.expoexchange.com/ShowSIG081/ and then choose the Attendee option. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Exhibits Only selection and enter your Exhibits Only Code where specified.

Please join us at the COLLADA BOF Thursday, August 14th at 4:00PM - 6:00PM in the LACC Room 511A. Contact Rita, rita.b.turkowski@intel.com for more info or if you wish to present at the BoF!

After Siggraph, we will have the COLLADA Summit again this year in Montreal. More details in our next newsletter.

Introducing the new Facebook Group for COLLADA

Please visit the collada.org wiki, http://www.collada.org/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page, and there you will see some updates. Note that we added a new section for "Social Networks" and also under the "Useful COLLADA Links" tab you-ll now find a link to the Facebook COLLADA Group page. The COLLADA Facebook Group can be found here. We hope you will join us there for interesting COLLADA tidbits and hopefully some good COLLADA discussions!  Rita posts on the Facebook page frequently, and we hope you will add your own voice there as well!

See you all at Siggraph!

By Rita Turkowski, COLLADA WG Marketing Chair

Siggraph Luncheon :: The Palm :: with Jon Peddie

Block out your calendar now. Jon Peddie Research is going to hold another industry acclaimed panel discussion on computer graphics. This is a press “by invite only” event. Lunch will be served and you will have the opportunity for one-on-one interviews with the leading pixarti of the industry. These are Jon’s buddies and not many people get to talk to them. The discussion will be rich, unlike anything else at the conference, and you will be a party to it. We’ll start with the What’s next in CG (and discuss the controversy and merits of raytracing vs. rasterization) and end up with the collision of expensive simulation systems and game engines - the democrazation of VizSim.

We’ve rented a banquet room at the Palm, two blocks away from the convention center. It’s a cool place, but there is limited capacity so it will be on a first come first served basis. We’ll start at 12:00 noon and wrap up by 2:00pm.

We’ll have some cool take-aways for you too. A poster on the history of 3D, some white papers on pixel metrics, a glossary on some of the gobbledygook, some samples of reports, and of course whatever backgrounder and/or quotes you can use.

 

   
Khronos Handheld API Newsletter banner
Khronos Group Handheld APIs Updates - July 16 2008

NVIDIA FEATURES KHRONOS STANDARDS AT NVISION MOBILE VISUAL COMPUTING CONFERENCE

When: August 26th, 2008

Where: San Jose, CA

NVIDIA and Khronos are co-hosting an all-day mobile visual computing conference at NVIDIA’s NVISION® 08 event that will strongly feature a number of Khronos’ mobile API standards. This all day track on Tuesday August 26th is tailored for the mobile developer, operating system vendors, carriers and manufacturers looking to bring richly intuitive user interfaces and visually intensive applications to the next generation of mobile devices.

The conference will include to-the-minute updates on Khronos mobile media and graphics acceleration APIs - and demonstrate how those standards are being leveraged on NVIDIA Tegra applications processors. Sessions throughout the day will provide both broad perspectives and detailed insights into how NVIDIA is using the power of OpenGL® ES 2.0, OpenMAX™ IL and OpenKODE™ to build a state-of-the-art visual computing framework that includes the ability to rapidly create and deploy fully-accelerated, composited, 3D user interfaces.

NVIDIA will also demonstrate a number of development and authoring tools – including NVPerfHUD ES – a new 3D performance analyzer for OpenGL ES applications.

“NVIDIA is committed to using open standards to enable our developers to access the acceleration capability of our applications processors - and we have built a complete media and graphics solution around the family of Khronos APIs,” said Neil Trevett, vice president of mobile content at NVIDIA. “Not only do APIs such as OpenGL ES and OpenMAX provide state-of-the-art access to graphics and media functionality – OpenKODE has proven to be the ideal foundation for integrating portable applications into an advanced, composition-based, user interface framework.”

Register for the Mobile Visual Computing Conference at NVISION 08 today. Save $50 by registering before July 31, 2008!

   
Khronos Handheld API Newsletter banner

COLLADA Updates - August 4th 2008

Khronos Group Releases the COLLADA 1.5.0 Specification with New Automation, Kinematics, and Geospatial Functionality!

The release of COLLADA 1.5 is important as it contains new functionality that enables completely new market segments to use COLLADA, as well as enabling wider use of the standard in traditional content-creation markets.

The expanded functionality includes B-reps (boundary representations) and kinematics for CAD, automation, and interactive entertainment applications, and georeferencing of geospatial assets for GIS and mapping software.  Many authoring packages have now added support for importing and exporting COLLADA assets, including Autodesk’s 3D Studio Max and Maya, Crytek, Daimler Automation, Google’s SketchUp, Harris Broadcast, and virtual world applications including Vivaty and SceneCaster. 

Khronos has also released the COLLADA 1.4.1 2nd Edition specification and is planning a Conformance suite for COLLADA 1.4 for release in 2008.  The new COLLADA specifications are publicly available at www.khronos.org/collada.

“As more and more applications support COLLADA, the world of 3D content is becoming more open and accessible,” said Mark Limber, SketchUp product manager at Google.  “Google is pleased to participate in and support this important effort.”

COLLADA is the only true open format that facilitates 3D data interchange, said Marc Stevens, general manager of Softimage, and vice president of AVID Technology, Inc. “The latest release adds many features, including a referenced texture archive and support for real-time shaders—exemplifying how COLLADA is leading the way in open workflows.”

Khronos invites you to the COLLADA BOF Thursday, August 14th at 4:00-6:00PM

This year’s COLLADA BOF (Birds of a Feather) offers an exciting array of speakers who will talk about their work in gaming and visualization, demonstrate some cool new content creation tools, and even show COLLADA used for communicating with 3D digital printers for the first time! Expect to hear almost a dozen presenters at the Siggraph COLLADA BOF in LACC Room #511A.

Sign up for the COLLADA BOF

COLLADA events are all over SIGGRAPH 2008! Check ‘em out:

Saturday August 9th  - Watch Bruno Patatas from Biodroid Entertainment again deliver the highly-regarded COLLADA for the Web tutorial at Web3D2008 on Saturday, August 9th from 11-12:30. More information here.

Sunday August 10th  - Hear Remi Arnaud on a panel about “The Future of Web3D” at Web3D2008 on Sunday August 10th from 1:30-3:00. Remi will discuss the value of an open content interchange format (COLLADA) for use in virtual world asset sharing. More information here.

Monday-Thursday August 11-14 – Intel’s booth #511 hosts demos from Luxology, Maxon’s Cinema4D, Smith Micro’s Poser and Google’s SketchUp for interoperable content demonstrations using COLLADA.  

Tuesday, August 12th at 12:30pm – Hear Remi Arnaud give a brief update on COLLADA 1.5 at the Intel in-booth theatre #511.  

Tuesday, August 12th from 3:30-5:30pm – Attend the Intel Tech Talk on applying game technology and standard content pipeline (COLLADA) solutions in the non-gaming industries.  Hear about the role COLLADA plays in the 3D content pipeline solutions of those using gaming technology in non-gaming fields.

Wednesday, August 13th at 1:30pm - Wei Sun of the Intel game engine team will deliver a presentation, "Pathfinding with COLLADA" for game development at the Intel in-booth theatre #511.  

Reporting a Successful First “Annual Intel COLLADA Plug Fest” 

July 24th, 2008  - At the first annual Intel-sponsored “COLLADA Plug Fest,” Intel chose new implementations of popular Digital Content Creation tools to demonstrate COLLADA at the intell booth at Siggraph 2008:  Maxon’s Cinema4D, Smith Micro’s Poser and Google’s SketchUp.  All attendees expressed real satisfaction with the technical depth of the event, the great software support offered by experienced COLLADA developers, and the synergy and effectiveness of working together as a group.

To quote Tony Arciuolo, Intel GET team representative at the event: "This was awesome, especially from a “getting ready for Siggraph” perspective. I think most who would come to plugfest are already sold, so no speeches needed. And those that did come to see what COLLADA was all about saw a lot of companies actually working to make it happen. And getting success there and then. That was a pretty powerful message”

It was gratifying to see experienced COLLADA developers from Sony, Intel, NVIDIA, Softimage and NetAllied and many more, assisting developers of nascent COLLADA implementations from Forterra, DAZ3D, Naughty Dog Productions, Avatar Reality and Sun Microsystems.  Everyone was pleased with the progress made, and more than a few developers said "we should do this more often!"

Attend the Second “Montreal COLLADA Summit” – September 26th 2008

On September 26th  in Montreal we will host our Second Annual COLLADA Summit (immediately following the “Members Only” Khronos development meetings held there). If you are interested in demonstrating your COLLADA implementation or presenting a product update or a brief tutorial of your work, please contact Rita Turkowski, rita.b.turkowski@intel.com. Details on the venue and time coming in the next newsletter.

Hope to see you in sunny Los Angeles in August and in Montreal in September!!

Warm regards,

Rita Turkowski
Graphics Software Marketing Manager
Visual Computing Software Division
Intel Corporation

What do Papervision3D, Unity, O3D, and WebGL have in common? ... COLLADA!

All these technologies bring 3D graphics to the Web and they can all import and display COLLADA models. Each takes a slightly different approach towards providing a "3D on the Web" solution. PaperVision3D is an Actionscript library for Flash. WebGL and O3D are APIs that add 3D rendering to JavaScript running within a browser. Unity is a fully functioning application with web engines, viewers, and APIs. One thing that bonds them into a shared ecosystem is their support of the intermediary 3D content language of COLLADA. Understanding the value of content allows each of these solutions to import vast warehouses of 3D models in the popular COLLADA .dae format standardized by The Khronos Group.

Their future success in the market will depend on how well they can display, manage, and archive valuable content. This year at GDC, COLLADA will have a special WebGL focus. By leveraging the web archival success of COLLADA (see Google Warehouse, DAZ 3D, TurboSquid, 3DVIA, and other warehouses for web-friendly COLLADA content), developers of WebGL are leveraging content that will accelerate WebGL adoption and provide guaranteed longevity. COLLADA and WebGL coexist harmoniously to bring users the real potential for content interactivity, reuse and extensibility - key factors that drive the economics of content development today.

This year at GDC, Khronos is pleased to see its WebGL Working Group and early adopters using COLLADA content to show the value of the WebGL API, based on OpenGL ES 2.0, running Web apps and games in your browser without the need for any plug-ins. In our GDC sponsored session, Khronos will be delivering presentations and demos that showcase the work done to further advance the vision and goals of applications and games in the 3D Web. In the COLLADA session (see the top right bar here), we are pleased to present Canvas 3D, GLGE, SpiderGL, Kanzi, and Unity.

Khronos COLLADA Sponsored Session at GDC – Featuring WebGL

March 12th, 2010 - Attend the COLLADA session to discover how COLLADA assets and tool chains fit naturally with WebGL’s acceleration of 3D on the web - and how the combination of COLLADA and WebGL provide a compelling 3D pipeline for 3D Web content creation and deployment. Also learn about the new COLLADA 1.4 Conformance Test Suite for Khronos Adopters.

Timeline

March 15th, 2010 - COLLADA 1.5 second anniversary! Let’s Celebrate! The specification has been downloaded over 25,000 times in the past year. Get your copy today!

February 15th, 2010 – Shade 10 updated for 3D and COLLADA. Mirye Software releases Shade 10 modeling, animation, and multi-rendering suite with 3D hair, Toon Renderer, and Poser 8 and COLLADA support.

January 29th, 2010 - Collada Contest 2009 Winner’s latest news. Check out COLLADA contest winner NaviCAD running full-screen on the iPad simulator.
  – Twitter

January 14th, 2010 - Collada Duck on SketchUp. Google SketchUp 7.1 release now lets you output to the increasingly popular COLLADA open standard for 3D exchange (something that might be of interest for non-professional 3D users too as Photoshop Extended also supports DAE files).
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Hello Colladenses!

This year at GDC we are pleased and proud to bring you some exciting updates from the COLLADA community. Two new industry COLLADA implementations will be discussed and demo-ed at GDC this week in the Khronos booth. The first is OurBricks, the latest brainchild out of KataLabs. KataLabs will be both in the Khronos booth demoing OurBricks and we’ll also host a presentation of OurBricks at the Khronos COLLADA DevU, which can be found in Room 301, Esplanade Level on Thursday at 1:30PM. OurBricks is a REST API inspired implementation to bring 3D to the web within a WebGL infrastructure and using COLLADA as the 3D format in a highly efficient web implementation. You can read all about OurBricks right here in this newsletter below where Paula Berinstein of Mechnicality has interviewed Henrik Bennetsen, founder and CEO of KataLabs, on the vision and implementation of OurBricks. Secondly, we have a wonderfully informative interview from the smart folks at Linden Labs on Second Life’s brand new implementation of COLLADA, Linden’s choice for mesh support within Second Life, also in this issue, courtesy of Paula. You can also find the Linden implementation of Second Life at the COLLADA station in the Khronos GDC Booth #1444.

COLLADA Conformance Testing: Toward a More Efficient Content Pipeline

A clear message emanating from the 3D content creation community these days is that the plethora of content creation tools, no matter how they are deployed, or for what 3D graphics market they are intended, do not interface seamlessly in a content pipeline. However, today’s content rich world increasingly demands such a seamless integration of tools but such a highly functioning content pipeline is still not a reality in practice. Relying on one or two proprietary standards may suffice near term to achieve an artist’s or engineer’s goals, but is not likely sustainable for all the reasons that make large corporate "standards" difficult to adopt and adhere to long term. What can stand the test of time is a robust content interchange standard, accessible in a way possible for implementers to take advantage of to achieve maximum pipeline efficiency. COLLADA offers this and the Khronos Group is making the COLLADA 1.4 conformance test suite more widely available as the next phase in this vision for a open standard content pipeline.

Not for nothing is the ethos of the digital world becoming increasingly about openness. Digital citizens are realizing that the more proprietary the tools and formats, the more constrained they are, and the more money and time they have to spend in order to get their work done. Tools and formats that use open standards enable them to be more productive and creative because components move effortlessly along the pipeline, freeing up creators to do what they do best: make cool content. Is it any wonder that folks are becoming impatient with the old way of doing things?

Khronos COLLADA conformance is designed for the forward-thinking tool developer and provider: you. Conformance testing your products and regression testing your tools confers valuable benefits: highly interoperable tools, credibility and good will, protection against product regression, easy-to-create use cases, streamlined procurement, clear customer expectations, and consistency of implementation with other vendors, not to mention happy and productive users.

What the Tests Are

COLLADA conformance involves running a suite of automated tests on your product(s) and tools to prove objectively, there are no opinions involved, that they conform to the COLLADA 1.4 specification. The test suite includes over 500 test cases and a scripted framework that you integrate your software command line with in order to drive your software through the tests.

COLLADA isn’t a rendering standard, although you must be able to render to be integrate with the conformance testing framework. The tests are about parsing syntax and implementing correct semantics and comparing images is just one method used to prove compliance. That doesn’t mean all your output has to have the same look, though. COLLADA documents can describe whatever visual appearance you or your customers want. COLLADA offers extensible lighting models and direct access to industry standard GPU shading languages, for example.

Levels of COLLADA Compliance

There are three levels of COLLADA compliance that are automatically tested by the suite:

     
  • COLLADA Baseline. Basic geometry and appearance interoperability
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  • COLLADA Superior. Adds dynamic lighting (normals), skinning, and animation interoperability
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  • COLLADA Exemplary. Supports and preserves the most information robustly

Best practices

Alan Hudson of Yumetech, Inc., the company contracted by Khronos to complete development of the COLLADA conformance test suite in cooperation with the COLLADA working group, offers these tips for getting the most out of the conformance process:

     
  • Read the documentation carefully and often
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  • Run the installer in administrator mode (Windows)
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  • Use the external software dependencies that come with the tests

Obtaining the COLLADA Test Suite

The Khronos Group is pleased to offer the COLLADA 1.4 conformance test software to registered developers. Please visit our web site at http://www.khronos.org/implementers to obtain your copy today!

OurBricks + COLLADA Makes Sharing 3D Content a Snap!

We in the 3D community have long been struggling with a contradiction: everyone loves 3D, but because it’s so complex, it has yet to conquer the Web the way 2D, video, and audio have.

Fortunately, our patience is about to be rewarded. Now that the WebGL(tm) spec has been released, you can view 3D content in your browser as easily as you can crank up a YouTube video. Hurray!

One of the most exciting of the new 3D-on-the-Web services is OurBricks, and COLLADA(tm) is their language of choice. OurBricks is a construction project conceived by Katalabs, a startup that originated at Stanford University and is dedicated to creating services based on the open source Sirikata games/virtual worlds platform. At the OurBricks site, you can upload and share 3D models, then do simple editing right on the site. Each model then becomes a "brick"—a building block that can be used in any 3D project anywhere on the Web: make a brick, build stuff with it, share it.

No matter what format your content is in or how wonky, OurBricks will clean it up for you, optimizing and normalizing it, and deliver it to you as a ZIP archive that contains your 3D assets as COLLADA documents, as well as your texture image files. They’ll also give you a URL that can be embedded into your site so that, with a WebGL-enabled browser, your visitors will be able to experience your 3D scenes directly; no more having to shoot video or take screenshots to display your work.

Katalabs’ vision is to make 3D on the Web as easy to use and share as video. The key to doing that is to convert your content from proprietary formats—any format, really—into open content that can be used anywhere. That’s why Katalabs chose COLLADA, explains Henrik Bennetsen, CEO of Katalabs, who says, "3D content types are not well-suited for the browser in the same way that video files weren’t great for browsers until we figured out how to hide the complexity. But we see COLLADA as a hope for a very Web-like 3D format. We think everything that has made the Web great has been open and use-case agnostic. COLLADA is the best hope for a native-to-the-Web 3D content type."

That is why Katalabs is so deeply committed to supporting the COLLADA ecosystem. Bennetsen says, "We would like to see everybody in the ecosystem do everything they can to ensure that COLLADA implementations really are compliant to the spec. That’s going to make our job much easier. But I think maybe one of the more unique contributions we can make is to insure that the ecosystem is fine, so we’re very aggressively trying to work with people who write exporters to make sure that they always export right. We think the pipelines are still way too difficult, and that’s a big part of OurBricks’ hope: to take the pain out of the pipelines."

Nothing would make Bennetsen and Horn happier than to see 3D content flow freely on the Web. Bennetsen says, "Rather than saying ‘I’m making this tree for my game, and the only way people ever see my tree is if they buy my game,’ our philosophy is make a tree and put it on OurBricks; then that tree can bloom in a million games because there’s lots of reusability. For that to be a reality, we need a lingua franca around this stuff, and COLLADA seems well-positioned to be that."

Katalabs is so determined to remove friction from the user experience that they’ve configured OurBricks to accept invalid COLLADA files: whatever it takes to keep customers happy and productive. Sometimes that quest involves their filing bug reports with content creation tool providers, says CTO Daniel Horn. "We have filed some bugs with Blender, for instance," he says. "We’re trying our best to look at what’s coming through our database, and when we see weird stuff, try to go to the source rather than to the channel. We don’t want to punish the messenger."

Katalabs’ longer-term vision is for artists, modelers, and just plain folk to be able to build 3D worlds in the browser. Horn says, "If you check out http://sandbox.ourbricks.com, you can see that we can actually take content from OurBricks and put it into a multiuser 3D environment. I think the future is going to be people logging into these sandbox areas, dumping a bunch of 3D content, and saying, ‘Look at the world I’ve constructed.’ We’re at the very early stages of that, but that’s where I see it going. When that happens, OurBricks will become a content delivery network—the place to go when you want to make something with 3D—because you get all your bricks there, and you put them together in your own place. There are a lot more people who can put together stuff in 3D than there are people who can make the 3D themselves."

There are still issues to be resolved, of course. Right now, the only way to use OurBricks, or any WebGL-enabled site, is by downloading the beta version of a Web browser. But eventually the browsers will be stable, and "then getting 3D in front of someone will just be a matter of sending someone a link in an email," says Bennetsen. "OurBricks wants to be part of the wave of change that’s washing over the Web. People don’t want to install plugins or client software. The Web is about establishing a common language. That is why we have spent a lot of effort trying to help settle this new frontier of the Web under HTML5. Imagine the potential when you take all this friction away and send people right into the experience."

OurBricks was just launched this January and is still in beta itself. Katalabs invites you to try out the service and let them know what works and what doesn’t—especially what doesn’t, because that helps them improve the system.

As Bennetsen says, this day has been a long time coming. "All of us with some sort of history in the 3D space have seen hopeful things come and die. There’s so much energy, though, and we think this time it’s going to be great because 3D on the Web is part of a much larger change that’s afoot. The Web is outgrowing its origins as a document delivery mechanism and is becoming a full-fledged application environment. As part of that much larger wave, 3D is being lifted up through WebGL and COLLADA. It’s very exciting for us to be a part of that."

COLLADA Opens Up a World of Possibilities in Second Life’s New Mesh Project

The popular virtual world Second Life has selected COLLADA(tm) as the basis for their new Mesh Import project, which is designed to take Second Life mesh building to the next level.

The project, currently in beta, allows COLLADA content created in mainstream 3D tools such as Sketchup, Maya, and Blender to be imported directly into Second Life, in much the same way that you can currently upload animations and textures.

Until now, Second Life artists have constructed 3D objects in-world with a set of tools built into the Second Life Viewer, the client software used to access the virtual world. These tools enable the creation and manipulation of 3D primitive shapes, or "prims." To add textures, users must create 2D files outside Second Life and upload them.

The new COLLADA-based mesh project will allow users to work with a larger range of shapes more efficiently than is possible with the base set of Second Life primitives. The imported meshes will feature the vertex-level control users are accustomed to with sculpties (the shapes you can make from prims), but without the topological limitations.

Users will also be able to specify custom UV maps and apply skin weights to rig meshes to their avatars’ skeletons, allowing for more intricate shapes and more realistic movement than under the current system. The new scheme supports meshes that are rigged to the avatar’s skeleton. Any existing character animations in Second Life can be used with a rigged mesh attachment.

"We see COLLADA meshes as an important way to empower content creators to make the in-world experience even richer and more creative than it is today," says Charlie Hite, Sr. Product Manager at Linden Lab. "We looked at several file formats for the import of meshes into Second Life. We wanted a format that was exportable from most industry-standard tools (Maya, Blender, 3d studio Max, Google SketchUp, etc). We also wanted a format that would be simple to parse and would be extensible for enabling more advanced features later on in development. COLLADA was the best-suited interchange format for our needs."

How to work with COLLADA files in Second Life

Start by creating triangular mesh objects—with texturing and rigging—in whichever tool you prefer, then export each model as a COLLADA .dae document. Once you’re logged into Second Life, go to the upload function and specify levels of detail and the way you want your model to berepresented in the physics engine. Then upload. Voila! The model is available in the your inventory, to be worn or used.

Some features of the COLLADA specification aren’t supported by Second Life and won’t import correctly. Second Life does support the import of raw static geometry, texture mapping data, and bone rigging data based on their current avatar skeleton. However, COLLADA documents that contain tags (XML elements) beyond these types or are mapped to other skeletons may not import correctly, or may require modification before uploading. The Second Life mesh importer is based on the COLLADA 1.4 specification but does not yet pass the conformance test suite. Some export plugins based on other versions of the spec may produce documents that don’t import properly. Also, meshes will be imported with the dimensions interpreted as meters, so be sure to check the settings of your tools before exporting, or your imported mesh may be the wrong size. The new upload tool provides a preview window, however, so you can easily tell whether your meshes will upload properly.

The maximum mesh asset size after compression is 8MB, roughly equivalent to a 256MB raw COLLADA file. An entire region in Second Life can support up to 128MB of distinct mesh assets after compression, not including attachments. The size of attached mesh assets is effectively unlimited, but overly complex meshes may not be fully downloaded by all viewers for performance reasons.

Of course, the official Linden Lab viewer, Second Life Viewer 2, will support COLLADA meshes, as will any third-party viewers based on the Viewer 2 code base.

Linden wants to make it easy to use COLLADA in Second Life, so they have created, and regularly update, a page offering tutorials, technical tips, and helpful resources for the new project at the official Second Life wiki: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh. To pose questions and share tips with other Second Life users, visit the forums (http://blogs.secondlife.com/community/forums/ mesh), or weekly office hours (https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Office_hours).

Costs

Mesh import is still in open beta testing, and so far, there is no charge. Eventually, you will have to cough up a Linden dollar payment at the time of upload, just as you currently do for texture files. For more information on potential mesh costs, see http://wiki. secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Costs_and_fees.

Second Life does charge for streaming. You can help control these costs by providing multiple levels of detail at upload time. Second Life provides integrated tools for automatically generating multiple levels of detail in their import pipeline if creators do not wish to create them by hand. The number of primitives a particular mesh will be equivalent to will depend on the complexity of each level of detail, its physics representation, and other factors.

Conclusion

Linden is excited about the new opportunities the mesh project is opening up. "Importing meshes to Second Life will give content creators much greater control over the creation process and let them use tools they are already familiar with outside of Second Life," says Hite. "We expect that enabling mesh import will allow for much richer, dynamic, and efficient content to be made for Second Life. Opening up to a much wider range of content creators and tools will make the virtual world a more beautiful and compelling experience, without sacrificing performance."

 

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