Many leading authoring packages add support for COLLADA; Specification to be extended to add support for vector graphics assets such as fonts; Documentation update released; Conformance Tests nearing fourth quarter release; COLLADA Contest Details Announced
7th August, 2007 – SIGGRAPH - San Diego, CA – The Khronos™ Group is pleased to announce that industry momentum of the COLLADA™ standard for 3D asset interchange format continues to grow rapidly with significant standardization activity and widening industry adoption. Many authoring packages have now added support for importing and exporting COLLADA assets including: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Agency9 MADLIX, Anark Core Platform, Caligari trueSpace 7.5, DAZ Productions DAZ|Studio 1.7, E Frontier Poser 7, Google Sketchup 6, NVIDIA FX Composer 2, Omegame Menus Master, Remograph Remo3D 1.3.1, Terathon C4 Game Engine and Wordweaver DX Studio 2.0.4. In addition the Khronos COLLADA working group has initiated extending COLLADA to include 2D vector graphics assets, such as high quality fonts, enabling authoring of user interfaces and scenes that seamlessly mix 2D and 3D assets in a unified geometry and effects environment.
“COLLADA answers a tremendous industry need,” said Stephen Collins, CEO of Anark Corporation. “The challenge of maintaining an industry-wide standard is enormous in light of the growing number of users and the complexity of the data they are exchanging. At Anark we have experienced this problem first hand as our clients struggle to exchange mission critical product design data and other 3D graphics assets. We developed the Anark Core platform to enhance design, collaboration and communication applications, and we chose COLLADA as a key ingredient in our product strategy. This provides our customers with a dependable exchange format that they can count on.”
“COLLADA has been instrumental in making FX Composer 2 the power house shader tool it is today. By enabling a tight coupling of 3D scenes, materials and shader effects, graphics developers and technical artists can create complex surface and full-scene renderings that can be interchanged with game engines and other digital content creation applications,” said Sebastien Domine, director of developer technology tools at NVIDIA.
2D Vector Graphics Assets in COLLADA
The COLLADA UI initiative within the COLLADA working group is extending the COLLADA standard to support high-quality, Bezier-based vector graphics, such as fonts, on an equal basis to 3D geometry. This will enable the seamless authoring of scenes and user interfaces that mix 2D and 3D assets with all the power of the COLLADA format, including animation, skinning, inverse kinematics and programmable shaders. Khronos invites any company interested in this initiative to consider joining Khronos to participate in this and any other Khronos working group.
“Omegame has joined Khronos to help bring enhanced 2D vector assets to COLLADA, leveraging more than ten years of UI design experience,” said Nicolas Perret, associate managing director and Technical Director of Omegame. “COLLADA UI will create the foundation for authoring mixed 2D and 3D assets in flexible and powerful ways that have not been possible before. For example, being able to import a high quality font and use it with advanced geometry and shader effects will open up many new application and user interface opportunities.”
COLLADA Conformance Tests and Documentation
The COLLADA working group is planning a fourth quarter release of the Conformance Test Suite for COLLADA 1.4.1. The COLLADA Conformance Test Suite is a complete GUI and scripting framework that integrates testing methodology with authoring tools and rendering applications and contains up to 500 COLLADA BASIC test cases.
At Siggraph, the Khronos Group also announced the availability of the updated Release Notes Revision B for COLLADA 1.4.1. The new release notes include highlighted corrections and additions to the current release note for COLLADA. The topics covered include transparency, animation, lighting, splines, and skinning.
“As COLLADA continues to evolve and include more features such as physics and complex shading effects, it is critical that applications keep up and be tested accordingly,” says Christian Laforte, President of Feeling Software. “For that reason,” he adds, “Feeling Software has collaborated with Khronos to develop the COLLADA Conformance Test Suite. The CTS will ensure that COLLADA-compliant tools are tested rigorously and objectively. Already, more than 300 test scenes have been developed and verified across popular COLLADA-compatible tools like ColladaMaya, ColladaMax and the Feeling Viewer.
Khronos today also announced details of the COLLADA Contest that will enable and encourage open source COLLADA conditioning programs to be written to interface with the COLLADA Refinery and uploaded onto Sourceforge. The contest is intended to encourage a growing body of open source conditioners to enable any developer to construct sophisticated processing pipelines to condition content for diverse platforms. The COLLADA working group will select outstanding uploads to be awarded prizes on a regular basis. Further details are at www.ColladaContest.com.
See COLLADA at SIGGRAPH 2007, San Diego; August 7-9 2007
Developers and members of the press are invited to visit the Khronos Booth #227 to see COLLADA demonstrations by Khronos Group members and to attend COLLADA events:
COLLADA is an XML-based asset interchange format that enables the use of diverse digital content creation tools to author sophisticated assets for use by 3D applications, including animation, shaders and physics effects. COLLADA represents authored data in multiple forms, enabling the transformation of assets as they journey from content tools that use high-level descriptions to run-time applications that require optimized, platform-specific representations. The COLLADA specification, documentation, and sample code is available on the Khronos.org website at http://www.khronos.org/collada
About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is a member-funded industry consortium focused on the creation of open standards such as OpenGL®, OpenKODE™, OpenGL® ES, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenML™ and COLLADA™ 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.
Khronos, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenMAX and OpenSL ES are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. Web3D and X3D are trademarks of the Web3D Consortium. COLLADA is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. used by permission by Khronos. OpenGL and OpenML are registered trademarks and the OpenGL ES logo is a trademark of Silicon Graphics Inc. used by permission by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.