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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:/ /

"'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 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. 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.

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

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