Technologies 3D

WEBGL : des contenus de plus en plus riches
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 20/03/2011

Le navigateur Chrome a été le premier à intégrer WebGL dans une version diffusée à un large public (aujourd'hui Chrome 10 supporte nativement WebGL). Google a décidé de lister les expériences webGL les plus intéressantes.

Ces r√©alisations 3D montrent que la technologie WebGL est de plus en plus pertinante : pr√©sentation de produit, jeu en ligne et visualisation scientifique sont autant de domaines qui b√©n√©ficient de WebGL. A d√©courvrir sans plus tarder dans votre navigateur (sauf Internet Explorer qui reste incompatible avec HTML5/WebGL !). 

http://www.chromeexperiments.com/webgl

COUP DE COEUR : Fractal Lab
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 20/03/2011

Voici l'un des plus beau site 3D que nous ayons vu ! Fractal Lab vous propose de naviquer dans un objet fractal que vous pouvez param√©trer. Vous pouvez ensuite le d√©couvrir dans le mondre d√©tail avec un niveau de d√©tail inou√Į !

Le site utilise la technologie WebGL, un PC équipé d'une carte graphique (GPU) récent est requis !

 

http://fractal.io/

http://www.subblue.com/blog/2011/3/5/fractal_lab

REALITE AUGMENTEE : Démo Reverb'Air sous Shiva
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 20/03/2011

La société Reverb'Air a développé un outil de réalité augmentée. Le tout utilise le moteur 3D de Stonetrip et est exploitable sur PC et iPhone.

http://www.reverbair.com/realite-augmentee/reverbar-tool/

WEB3D 2011 : Conférence du 20 au 22 juin 2011 à Paris
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 07/03/2011

 

Q&A  Paris Web3D Conference 2011  

J√©r√īme ROYAN, Orange Labs, General Chair Web3D ACM Conference 2011
Marius PREDA, Institut Télécom, General Co-Chair Web3D ACM Conference 2011
Christophe MOUTON, EDF R&D, General Co-Chair Web3D ACM Conference 2010

 

?Cet événement international réunit chercheurs, développeurs, entrepreneurs, expérimentateurs, artistes et créateurs de contenus pour explorer et partager leurs connaissances, leurs développements et leurs créations dans les domaines du Web 3D, des technologies multimédias, du graphisme 3D interactif autour d'un large éventail d'applications et de périphériques partant du mobile haut de gamme aux environnements immersifs.?

Q1. A qui est destin√© la conf√©rence annuelle ACM consacr√©e au Web3D ? Bonjour √† toutes et √† tous, merci √† 3D-test pour cette opportunit√© de pr√©senter la 16√®me √©dition de la Web3D ACM Conf√©rence, pour son retour en France, √† Paris, les 20-22 juin 2011. Cet √©v√©nement international r√©unit chercheurs, d√©veloppeurs, entrepreneurs, exp√©rimentateurs, artistes et cr√©ateurs de contenus pour explorer et partager leurs connaissances, leurs d√©veloppements et leurs cr√©ations dans les domaines du Web 3D, des technologies multim√©dias, du graphisme 3D interactif autour d'un large √©ventail d'applications et de p√©riph√©riques partant du mobile haut de gamme aux environnements immersifs. Un appel √† communications scientifiques a √©t√© lanc√© d√©but f√©vrier 2011, les contributeurs peuvent proposer leurs propositions de papiers scientifique avant le 13 mars 2011 sur le site internet de la conf√©rence (onglet "submit", http://www.web3d2011.org ), le comit√© de programme international annoncera les papiers retenus mi-avril 2011. Q2. Pouvez-vous nous expliquer quels sont les r√īles du Web3D consortium, Khronos, MPEG et d'ACM, et comment ces association travaillent-elles ensemble ? Les Consortiums Web3D, KHRONOS et MPEG sont tous les trois acteurs, promoteurs de standards dans leurs domaines graphiques respectif : Le Web3D Consortium s'attache √† √©tablir des formats ISO ouverts pour int√©grer des sc√®nes 3D dans des pages Internet, via des Web Services ou des apps en lien tr√©s √©troit avec le W3C, KHRONOS anime les √©volutions de standards fondamentaux comme OpenGL, OpenGL ES pour les pariph√©riques mobiles, COLLADA pour le format d'√©change de fichiers 3D entre applications d'infographie, OpenCL pour le calcul sur acc√©l√©rateur graphique, et enfin WebGL pour le d√©veloppement d?interfaces 3D dans des navigateurs Web. MPEG est le consortium cr√©ateur et promoteur des technologies et standards bien connus du m√™me nom, offrant des solutions de streaming de contenus 3D. Ces trois organismes ont des partenariats formalis√©s d'√©changes techniques et scientifiques afin d'explorer tous les champs de recherche et d'applications. Ces liaisons s'√©tendent √©galement √† d'autres consortiums comme OpenGeospatial Consortium (OGC), DICOM pour l'imagerie m√©dicale etc. ACM, Association Computing Machinery r√©unit les professionnels de l'informatique au niveau mondial, l'organisation de grands √©v√©nements scientifiques et techniques permettant de faire le point annuellement, entre tout naturellement dans les missions de cette association savante internationale. Q3. Apr√®s plusieurs ann√©es dans l'ombre, la 3D pour le web semble de nouveau sous les feux des projecteurs. Pensez-vous que les conditions soient r√©unies pour que les contenus 3D se multiplient sur le web ? Nous ne pouvons dire que oui! Les deux orateurs (keynote Speakers) de cette 16√®me √©dition viendront nous transmettre leur analyse sur la situation enthousiasmante que nous vivons dans ce domaine : - Alain CHESNAIS, Pr√©sident d'ACM et Pr√©sident Directeur de la soci√©t√© SCeneCaster reviendra non seulement sur son parcours de la France au Canada, des premi√®res images de synth√®se pour Antenne 2 ( la fameuse Pomme!) √† ses travaux chez Alias/WaveFront puis ATI mais √©galement sur les d√©veloppements informatiques qu'il m√®ne actuellement √† l'aide de technologies Web Services et WebGL. - Neil TREVETT, Pr√©sident du consortium KHRONOS et Vice-Pr√©sident de la soci√©t√© NVIDIA pour les produits "Mobile Content" nous apportera son √©clairage sur les strat√©gies mises en oeuvre au sein du fameux organisme de normalisation et du c√©l√®bre fabriquant de processeurs graphiques. Q4. Le march√© des technologies 3D comprend une majorit√© de solutions propri√©taires (Unity, 3DVia, Flash 3D...). Quelles sont les atouts et le potentiel des technologies ouvertes ? N'y a-t-il pas un co√Ľt d'utilisation plus important avec les solutions Open Source qui ne profitent pas d'environnement de d√©veloppement complets ? Votre question est pertinente, le mod√®le opensource est ind√©niablement un instrument de partage de connaissances qui permet aux chercheurs et √† des d√©veloppeurs de cr√©er, d'√©changer sur de nouveaux concepts et id√©es en mutualisant les risques inh√©rents √† de tels investissements de temps et d'argent. En tant qu'organisateurs de la Web3D Conf√©rence 2011, nous sommes les premiers ravis de constater que de nombreuses universit√©s et instituts de recherche batissent de nouvelles hypoth√®ses gr√Ęce √† ce mod√®le. Cependant cela n'emp√™che pas une industrie de logiciel, propri√©taire, d'avoir toute sa place. L'√©tablissement de formats ouverts, interop√©rables et libres de droits est un √©l√©ment extr√™mement important de cet √©cosyst√®me et favorise l'existence de ces mod√®les opensource et propri√©taire. Q5. Le webGL permet aux navigateurs d'acc√©der aux instructions OpenGL afin d'afficher des contenus 3D directement sur la toile. Pensez-vous que le format X3D soit compl√©mentaire avec le webGL ? Les initiatives X3D et WebGL sont heureuses pour les communaut√©s informatiques aussi bien industrielle que scientifique ouvrant des champs d'exploration comme nous l'avons dit pr√©c√©demment. Il est cependant important de pr√©ciser que d'un point de vue conceptuel WebGL est plus proche d'un langage de programmation bas niveau de rendu interactif et X3D d'une pr√©sentation des donn√©es elles-m√™mes sous forme d'un graphe de sc√®ne et de descripteurs d'interactions. Des initiatives de convergence (X3DOM, XML3D...) seront pr√©sent√©es par un groupe de travail du W3C consacr√© √† la "3D d√©clarative" pour HTML5 au cours d'un atelier lors de la Web3D Conf√©rence 2011. Q6. En ce sens, le webGL n'est pas si diff√©rent de Flash 11 ? C'est en effet un challengeur s√©rieux. Mais ne nous m√©prenons pas! La Web3D Conf√©rence est consacr√©e √† toutes les technologies 3D interactives permettant une exp√©rience Internet ou connect√©e. Les r√©alisations sur des logiciels propri√©taires sont tr√®s appr√©ci√©es. Q7. Le succ√®s de webGL semble soumis au bon respect de la norme HTML 5 par les √©diteurs de navigateurs. Si Apple, Google, Mozilla et Opera ont d'ores et d√©j√† des navigateurs compatibles (en version public ou b√™ta) ; Microsoft ne semble pas dispos√© √† supporter ce standard. Est-ce l√† un frein aux buts poursuivis par webGL (√† savoir apporter la 3D √† tous sans plugin) ? L'industrie logicielle est tr√®s concurrentielle, les jeux ne sont pas encore faits : qui aurait pr√©dit que "l'iPad serait le nouveau TabletPC" comme il nous a √©t√© dit tr√®s r√©cemment? Nous ne pouvons que souhaiter que les inventions ing√©nieuses que nous voyons na√ģtre soient les innovations de demain, accessibles √† tous. Q8. A propos de l'√©v√®nement Web3D 2011, n'y a-t-il que des conf√©rences ? Des stands et des espaces de rencontres sont-ils pr√©vus ? La Web3D Conf√©rence 2011 pr√©sentera bien √©videmment les papiers scientifiques retenus par le comit√© de programme international. Des ateliers ainsi que des tables rondes seront anim√©s par des sp√©cialistes mondiaux de diff√©rents domaines pour faire le point, par exemple, - sur les possibilit√©s offertes par les technologies Web3D pour la visualisation m√©dicale et scientifique, - les technologies de rendu √† distance, permettant de jouer depuis un smartphone ou une t√©l√©vision sur des consoles de jeu ou PC haut de gamme distants. - les environnements virtuels bien entendu et un point sur les besoins d'interop√©rabilit√© en CAO pour les industriels. Un espace sera en effet consacr√© √† des √©changes informels, le domaine des Cordeliers de l'Universit√© Pierre et Marie Curie qui accueille la Conf√©rence au coeur du quartier latin offrira aux conf√©renciers un cadre privil√©gi√© en ce d√©but d'√©t√© que ce soit au travers de sa galerie ou du jardin int√©rieur de cet ancien couvent. Q9. Pour assister au Web3D 2011, faut-il s'inscrire ? Est-ce une manifestation ouverte √† tous ? Quel est le prix pour y assister ? Le site internet de la conf√©rence : http://www.web3d2011.org comporte un onglet d√©di√© aux formalit√©s d'inscriptions. Tout amateur, professionnel, √©tudiant, chercheur peut s'y inscrire moyennant le r√©glement des co√Ľts d'inscriptions que nous avons travaill√©s pour permettre √† tous d'y assister. Suivant votre statut et les associations savantes organisatrices ou partenaires auxquelles vous appartenez vous acc√®derez √† des tarifs pr√©f√©rentiels. Nous encourageons vos lecteurs int√©ress√©s par la Web3D Conf√©rence 2011 de s'inscrire au plus t√īt afin de b√©n√©ficier des tarifs pr√©f√©rentiels (l'organisation et la logistique d'un tel √©v√©nement ont des co√Ľts certains) : - Les √©tudiants acc√®deront √† la conf√©rence pour la somme de 150 euros, - les membres des associations savantes partenaires 350 euros. - Pour ceux qui ne rel√®vent pas des cas pr√©c√©dents, l'inscription est 450 euros. Nous tenons √† remercier les partenaires qui ont rendu possible l'accueil √† Paris de la Web3d ACM Conf√©rence 2011 et si vous nous le permettez : ACM SIGGRAPH, EUROGRAPHICS, Les P√īles de comp√©titivit√©s SYSTEMATIC et CAP DIGITAL, le Web3D Consortium, Paris ACM SIGGRAPH, l'Association Fran√ßaise de R√©alit√© Virtuelle, Mixte et Augment√©e et Interactions 3D (AFRV), le projet ANR COLLAVIZ, la r√©gion Ile de France en tant qu'√©v√©nement international du festival de la ville num√©rique FUTUR EN SEINE 2011, EDF, ORANGE, INSTITUT TELECOM, NVIDIA, BARCO.

WEB3D 2011 : du 20 au 22 juin 2011 à Paris
Soumit par Administrateur le jeudi, 02/03/2011

La 16ème conférence annuelle du web3D consortium se tiendra cette année à Paris. A l'origine, le consortium s'était réuni autour de la technologie VRML introduite en 1994. Depuis beaucoup de chemin a été parcouru. Aujourd'hui, même si l'évennement est essentiellement articullé autours des technologies ouvertes (WebGL, VRML, X3D, Collada, U3D, Java3D) un effort a été fait pour accueillir toutes les expériences 3D interactives. Vous pouvez aujourd'hui soumettre des "papiers" pour les conférences qui couvrent un large spectre :
- 3D sur le web,
- réalité augmentée,
- rendu déporté,
- avatars 3D,
- 3D Stereo ...

Rendez-vous donc du 20 au 22 juin 2011 à Paris !

http://web3d2011.org/

http://www.web3d.org/index-ee.php


EDITO n°65 - Février 2011
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 28/02/2011

Pour 500 ko, Adobe apporte une nouvelle dimension au web ! Le plugin Flash 11 actuellement en beta publique acc√©l√®re l'affichage de contenus 3D. Techniquement, la 3D de Flash n'a rien √† envier √† ses concurrents : 3D Via, StoneTrip, WebGL ou Unity. Adobe a pourtant fait un choix audacieux. Plut√īt que d'apporter un moteur 3D complet avec la gestion d'un format 3D, de la gestion des collisions (etc.), l'√©diteur a pr√©f√©r√© exposer aux d√©veloppeurs des ressources bas niveau (OpenGL). Ainsi au lancement de la b√™ta il n'y a pas moins que 6 moteurs disponibles : Alternativa, Away3D, CopperCube, Flare3D, Sophie3D, Zest3D... Les studios pourront ainsi faire leurs choix et customiser leur moteur s'ils choisissent une solution Open Source.

Le revers de la médaille est probablement les temps de chargement puisqu'il faut non seulement charger les contenus 3D, mais aussi les classes des moteurs 3D. Dans la pratique, cela reste tout à fait acceptable, d'autant plus que la qualité graphique est au rendez-vous !

Adobe compte surfer sur la vague des casual gamming d√©j√† largement d√©velopp√©s avec Flash. Les analystes sont enthousiates vis √† vis des perspectives de ce segment en plein essor. Bient√īt des FarmVille en 3D ? Certainement, il est fort probable que l'Advergamming puisse profiter de cette nouvelle dynamique.

Deux ombres au tableau malgré tout : cette solution n'arrive t-elle pas un peu tard ? D'autre part, les relations tumultueuse que l'éditeur entretient avec Apple ne favorisent pas son déploiement sur les équipements embarqués de la pomme.

Je pense que Flash 3D arrive bien tard, mais ce retard n'a pas que des inconvénients. Adobe a pu prendre du recul sur les autres technologies et profiter d'un hardware de plus en plus adapté. Même si les puces 3D intégrés d'Intel grèvent les performances 3D de la majorité des PC ; ces configurations restent suffisantes pour un petit casual game en 3D. Ce qui serait interessant c'est de comparer la progression du taux de pénétration du player Flash 11. Nul doute qu'au bout de quelques semaines il sera plus répandu que la plupart des technologies 3D concurrentes à base de plugin ! D'ailleurs, certains éditeurs pensent adapter leur moteur à Flash 11. Unity prévoit ainsi de pouvoir exporter son contenu vers la nouvelle version de Flash afin de tirer profit de la large base d'utilisateurs Flash.

Le v√©ritable concurrent de Flash 3D est probablement le webGL. Mais ce dernier rencontre un succ√®s assez limit√© (en attendant un Google Earth en webGL/html5 ?). Adobe compte aussi sur les plateformes mobiles pour r√©pandre Flash 3D : en effet, sur certains sites partenaires on devine que la technologie sera disponible sur Android. Avec la vid√©o et maintenant la 3D, Adobe continue √† am√©liorer l'exp√©rience web. Safari sur iOs ne pourra pas offir √† ses utilisateurs ce type de contenus. Apple pr√©f√®re orienter ses utilisateurs vers des Apps d√©di√©es moyenant le plus souvent finance... Une belle redevance √† laquelle le constructeur ne souhaite pas renoncer de si t√īt. A moins que les utilisateurs nomades prennent go√Ľt √† l'internet enrichi de contenus Flash (video/3D) disponible sur Android. En tout cas, aux USA les ventes de smartphones Android d√©passent d√©j√† celles de l'iPhone.  

FLASH 3D : Sophie 3D 4.0
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 28/02/2011

Sophie 3D passe aussi en version Molehill. Les premières demos montrent des objets en 3D avec un antialiasing activé.

http://www.sophie3d.com/website/index_en.php

FLASH 3D : Alternativa 8.0
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 28/02/2011

Alternativa avait marqué les esprits en octobre dernier lorsque le studio russe avait présenté pour la première fois max racer. Désormais on peut y jouer directement sur le web. Notre première impression est très positive, malgré un temps de chargement assez élevé. Au final on est tout à fait au niveau de ce qui se fait sur les autres techno web (3dVia, Stonetrip ou Unity). Reste à voir si la version 8 d'Alternativa ser gratuite pour les développeurs ?

http://blog.alternativaplatform.com/en/

http://alternativaplatform.com/en/demos/maxracer/

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLASH 3D : Minko un nouveau moteur Flash 3D
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 28/02/2011

Minko est un moteur flash 3D édité par Aerys. L'éditeur a profité de la sortie de molehill pour dévoiler la version Flash 11 de son moteur.

http://aerys.in/minko-quake-3#Video

FLASH 3D : Unity y voit une opportunité !
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 28/02/2011

Alors que la plupart des éditeurs assistent passivement à la sortie de Flash 11, l'éditeur de Unity 3D a décidé de sponsoriser le Flash Gamming Summit. Au début, nous pensions à un gag ! Finalement l'éditeur a dévoilé ses intentions : il souhaite offrir à ses utilisateurs la possibilité d'exporter un projet vers Flash 11. Tout comme il le fait déjà pour iPhone, Android, plugin PC/Mac...

L'éditeur promet qu'il ne renonce pas à son plugin web, mais si Flash 11 est un succès il est fort probable que de plus en plus de développeur utiliserons ce canal de diffusion.

En tout cas, nous saluons cette initiative qui montre le fairplay et la réactivité de l'éditeur :

http://blogs.unity3d.com/2011/02/27/unity-flash-3d-on-the-web/

FLASH 3D : Away 3D 4.0
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 27/02/2011

 

Away3D le moteur Flash3D open source qui a su gagner le coeur des d√©veloppeurs (en partie √† cause du status quo de PaperVision) passe aussi √† Molehill. Les premi√®res d√©mos montrent une bonne gestion de l'acc√©l√©ration 3D : Shaders temps r√©el, d√©formations de mesh... 

http://away3d.com/

pour le code source :

http://away3d.com/downloads

http://code.google.com/p/away3d/ 

Voici les liens vers les démos :

http://www.ringo.nl/projects/away3d/broomstick/LoaderOBJTest.html 
Visage en 3D (quelques 17 000 triangles, affichage fluide, lumière annimée, temps de chargement relativement long)

http://not-so-stupid.com/clients/not-so-stupid/away4/duck/
Canards anim√©s en 3D (Cell Shading, jusqu'√† 200 000 triangles, fluide, temps de chargement cours, empriente m√©moire assez faible, vertex animation / bones) 

http://infiniteturtles.co.uk/projects/away3d/broomstick/LoaderMD5Test.html
Modèle Doom3 (MD5, ombre temps réel au sol)

http://infiniteturtles.co.uk/projects/away3d/broomstick/ShallowWaterDemo.html
Simulation de vague/ocean (80 000 triangles, reflections)

 

 

FLASH 3D : FLARE 3D 2.0
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 27/02/2011

Flare 3D se présente comme une solution complète pour créer des contenus 3D interactifs avec Flash. L'éditeur a lui aussi préparer une nouvelle version pour Molehill. Cette version est à tester sans hésitation tant son intégration avec 3ds max/collada est poussée.

http://www.flare3d.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/Flare3Dengine#p/u/0/5dE3Dvpeqe8

FLASH 3D : CopperCube 2.5
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 27/02/2011

Voici désormais au tour de CopperCube d'annoncer une version compatible Flash 11 ! Les temps de chargement des scènes créées sont courts, mais la première démo disponible n'est pas encore parfaitement finalisée.

http://www.ambiera.com/coppercube/index.html

http://www.ambiera.com/coppercube/demo.php?demo=backyard&molehill=1

WEBGL : Communauté 3D "KataSpace"
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 17/01/2011

Kataspace est une initiative nouvelle en matière de "chat 3D", l'intérêt de la solution est certainement l'utilisation du WebGL qui permet d'en profiter sans télécharger de plugin (pour peu que l'on utilise les dernières version de chrome ou FireFox).

http://kataspace.sirikata.com/

SILVERLIGHT : sur les traces de Flash...
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 17/01/2011

Adobe a annoncé la 3D accélérée dans Flash... Microsoft lui emboite le pas en dévoilant également les nouvelles fonctions 3D de Silverlight 5.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDIeijJkV14

AIRBUS : Toute la gamme en 3D interactive !
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 17/01/2011

Le constructeur Airbus a mis à jour son site web. La gamme de ses appareils est désormais représentée en 3D interactive (technologie Flash 3D). On peut ainsi les regarder sous tous les angles et parfaire sa connaissance du monde aéronautique.

http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a380family/

EDITO n¬į64 - Janvier 2011
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 03/01/2011

 

L'année dernière, je m'étais aventuré à faire des pronostiques pour la nouvelle décennie. J'avais fait état de mes réserves concernant l'adoption de la 3D stéréoscopique. C'était sans compter l'ennorme matraquage publicitaire opéré par les constructeurs de téléviseurs ! Les campagnes de marketing se sont succédées tout au long de l'année et les constructeurs ont mis en avant de nombreux modèles. Bref, il fallait être en orbite sur la station spatiale internationale pour y échapper ! Comme toutes nouvelles technologies les prix sont élevés. Les premiers rapports montrent que les ventes n'ont pas atteint les objectifs visés (La chaine Best Buy impute une partie de la baisse du chiffre d'affaire 2010Q3 aux faibles ventes de téléviseurs 3D, source EasyBourse).

Il faut dire que depuis le betamax et le VHS, les consommateurs connaissent la musique : les premiers équipements sont non seulement chers, mais souvent incompatibles entre eux, moins performants que les produits abordables qui ne manqueront pas de peupler les rayons dans quelques années... Cette méfiance des consommateurs entraine une grande inertie de certaines technologies : la vente de films en DVD est de 342 Millions en Europe (3ème trimestre 2010, source DEG Europe) contre 25 Millions d'unités pour le Blu-Ray.

Tout ceci, me pousse √† croire que la 3D arrivera probablement t√īt ou tard dans les foyers. Mais la v√©ritable question c'est de savoir si cette p√©n√©tration sera due √† une demande v√©ritable des consommateurs, ou bien parce que la 3D sera une fonction basique de tout t√©l√©viseur. Je continue pour ma part √† penser que la 3D st√©r√©o est un "plaisir" √† gouter avec mod√©ration : peu de titres exploitent ce proc√©d√©s convenablement ; d'autre pat la vision prolong√©e peut entra√ģner de la fatigue et le port des lunettes sp√©cifiques constituent un frein. La "3D st√©r√©oscopique" abusivement appel√©e "3D" sera probablement encore mis en avant par les constructeurs, mais quels seront les contenus ? Voir une √©mission de vari√©t√© en 3D, un match de foot ? On projette souvent sur le march√© du jeu vid√©o un fort potentiel en mati√®re de vision en relief. Mais l√† encore, comment peut-on mettre en avant une technologie qui peut engendrer des maux de t√™te √† la longue ? Vous l'avez compris : la 3D st√©r√©oscopique doit √™tre d'excellente qualt√© pour s'imposer et les contenus 3D doivent √™tre de faibles dur√©es pour assurer un effet "wow" !

En ce mois de janvier 2011, 3d-test f√™te ses dix ans. Le "web 3d" a su survivre tout une d√©cennie sans v√©ritablement percer. On a assist√© √† la naissance (et √† la mort) de beaucoup de technologies propri√©taires et l'√©mergence de petits acteurs qui tant bien que mal ont r√©ussi √† se faire un nom. Mais les v√©ritables changements sont √† venir : le casual gaming en 3D est sur le point de d√©ferler sur le web ! Il a trouv√© sa technologie (Flash 3D, Unity, 3DVia  ou WebGL) il faudra d√©sormais qu'il trouve son business √©conomique. Mais au vue de ce qui s'est pass√© dans le domaine du casual gaming 2D et des sites communautaires (+66% de croissance en 2010 selon newzoo), le potentiel √©conomique est tr√®s important et les acquisitions de petits studios ont d√©j√† commenc√©. 

Bref, il n'est pas impossible que la 3D pour le web change radicalement d'ici deux ans marquant ainsi une rupture avec plus de 10 années de statut quo.

 

Très bonne année 2011 à tous !

 

 

*NB westimages contribue au contenu éditorial de 3d-test depuis janvier 2001.

VU SUR LE WEB : Orange et Paris Dakar
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 03/01/2011

Orange propose pour les f√™tes une visite d'un espace Orange en 3D. La navigation est bonne et l'ensemble est plut√īt r√©ussi graphiquement (seule l'instalation d'Unity sur Google Chrome a √©t√© p√©nible). Autre univers : le Paris-Dakar ! Un jeu 3D est propos√©, mais l√† franchement je ne pourrai pas vous dire si c'est bien ; car pour y acc√©der il faut obligatoirement s'inscrire et laisser une adresse mail ! Peut √™tre qu'un jour les entreprises verront dans le jeu en ligne 3D autre chose qu'un collecteur d'adresse mail ? Il y a vraissemblablement d'autres id√©es pour rentabiliser cet investissiment ?

http://showroom.orange.fr/index.php

http://www.virtualrallygame.com/index_dakar.php

GOOGLE BODY BROWSER : Le corps en 3D avec WebGL
Soumit par Administrateur le jeudi, 22/12/2010

Google frappe fort en montrant le potentiel de WebGL √† travers une d√©mo prometteuse. Il s'agit d'une pr√©sentation 3D du corps humain (mod√®le fourni par Zigote). On peut se familiariser avec l'anatomie, les noms des organes (en anglais). Google oblige, il y a m√™me un moteur de recherche associ√© ! Un tr√®s beau travail qui montre le potentiel de la 3D sur le web dans les futures ann√©es. A quand Google Earth en 3D dans le navigateur gr√Ęce √† WebGL ? 

Google Body Browser est disponible sur FireFox, WebKit et Chrome. Il est n√©cessaire de t√©l√©charger des versions beta ou nightly build de ces navigateurs, puis d'activer WebGL... Petite nouveaut√© cependant la version beta de Chrome active par d√©faut WebGL. Visiblement, 2011 sera l'ann√©e qui amorcera un virage vers la 3D sur le web avec deux technologies qui vont √™tre introduites pour le plus grand nombre : Flash 3D et WebGL. Nous pr√©voyons en revanche qu'en 2012-2013 une "explosion" des contenus 3D pour le web avec un fort d√©veloppement du casual gaming dans le navigateur. Deux seules questions subsistent : est-ce que Microsoft va supporter WebGL dans Internet Explorer, et est-ce que ces technologies seront accessibles dans les navigateurs mobiles (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) ? 

 

http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/body.html

DreamGame
Soumit par Administrateur le jeudi, 22/12/2010

Q&A
DreamGame
Christophe Nazaret
 

 

 

?Le point fort de DreamGame se situe essentiellement sur sa facilité d?accès. Aujourd?hui, que ce soit "Flash" ou "Unity", il est impératif d?être développeur pour réaliser un jeu vidéo. DreamGame est le seul logiciel qui permet aux non-développeurs de créer leurs propres applications interactives.?

 

Q1. En quelques mots, pouvez-vous nous présenter Dream Up ?

Bonjour. Dream-Up est une société créée en janvier 2003 dont le but est de développer des outils d?aide à la production d?applications 3D temps réel.

En ce qui me concerne, je travaille dans l?industrie du jeu vidéo depuis 1993. J?ai fait mes débuts avec "Alone In The Dark" (Infogrames). J?ai ensuite commencé à créer des logiciels de modélisation et animation 3D.

Afin de pouvoir me concentrer sur le développement de ces logiciels, j?ai créé Dream-Up. Mon but est de rendre accessible la réalisation de jeux vidéo à un maximum de personnes. L?aspect technique est souvent un frein à la créativité. J?ai donc décidé de créer DreamGame. Le fait de pouvoir faire son propre jeu vidéo sans pour autant être développeur ouvre des portes à pas mal de personnes.


Q2. Il existe aujourd'hui pas mal de solutions pour concevoir des jeux vidéo, à qui s'adresse DreamGame ?

Effectivement, mais il est, malgré tout, nécessaire d?être développeur pour pouvoir faire un produit original. Contrairement aux autres middlewares, DreamGame offre réellement la possibilité de créer ses propres jeux vidéo sans taper une seule ligne de code.

DreamGame est aujourd?hui utilisé par plusieurs écoles spécialisées. Les étudiants sont, en règle générale, des artistes ou des Game Designers. Le fait d?utiliser DreamGame leur permet de concrétiser leur projet d?étude. Plusieurs jeux vidéo réalisés par des étudiants sont disponibles en téléchargement sur le site Dream-Up : http://www.dream-up.eu/services

Au final, la cible est assez large. DreamGame s?adresse autant aux particuliers passionnés qui souhaitent mettre un pied dans le monde du jeu vidéo qu?aux professionnels.


Q3. DreamGame propose de créer des jeux sans la moindre ligne de code, comment y parvenez-vous ?

L?intégralité de DreamGame repose sur un système évènementiel très simple à comprendre.

En fait, chaque action représente un évènement (jouer une animation, changer de texture, jouer un son ou une musique, lancer un effet spécial, détruire ou créer un objet, ?) et chaque évènement est associé à un déclencheur (cliquer sur un bouton, avancer, reculer, sauter, entrer en collision avec un objet, monter sur un objet, ?). L?utilisateur va simplement lier les déclencheurs aux évènements de son choix. Tout se fait à la souris.

En résumé : ACTION => REACTION (Trigger => Event).


Q4. Au final, ne pas utiliser de code ne complique t-il pas le développement ; n'est-ce pas limitatif ?

On pourrait croire, en effet, que l?absence de code limite les possibilités. Mais l?architecture de DreamGame est faite de manière à donner un maximum de liberté à l?utilisateur.

Prenons un exemple simple :

Une porte est fermée et a besoin de 4 clés pour s?ouvrir.

Dans un syst√®me standard il faudrait faire 4 tests pour v√©rifier si la porte peut s?ouvrir.  Ce qui, en effet, est plus facile √† faire avec des lignes de code.

Avec DreamGame, chaque évènement possède un pourcentage de capacité à s?effectuer. Celui-ci est modifiable par n?importe quel objet et à n?importe quel moment via le gestionnaire d?évènements.

Dans notre exemple, il suffit donc de donner 0% de capacité d?ouverture à la porte et de demander à chaque clé d?y ajouter 25% lorsque le joueur les ramasse. Au final, un seul test suffit, qu?il faille 4 ou 100 clés pour ouvrir la porte.


Q5. Un point crucial dans les middlewares dédiés aux jeux est probablement l'import des données 3D. Comment se passe le processus avec DreamGame : peut-on importer facilement des personnages avec leurs articulations et animations, les objets avec des matériaux avancés ?

Effectivement, l?import de données 3D est toujours délicat. DreamGame se compose en fait de 2 logiciels principaux : DG-Editor et DG-Manager.

DG-Editor va justement servir à importer les données pour de les rendre conformes avant de les intégrer dans DG-Manager.

Afin d?être le plus ouvert possible, DG-Editor importe le format Collada. Ce format comprend : modélisation, articulations, textures et animations. Ensuite, via DG-Editor, vous pouvez ajouter des informations supplémentaires qui sont utiles dans un jeu vidéo, comme par exemple les "Action-Points" qui sont des points sur les quels on pourra interagir via le gestionnaire d?évènements ; comme attacher un objet ou un émetteur de particules par exemple.

De plus, DG-Editor offre un panel de fonctionnalités permettant de modifier les ressources, tant au niveau de la modélisation que de l?animation ou du texturing.


Q6. Au niveau du rendu, pouvez-vous nous parler des points forts de votre moteur 3D ?

Le moteur 3D est très performant et permet d?afficher des scènes relativement complexes.

Cependant, j?ai tenu à conserver une compatibilité ainsi que de bonnes performances sur un maximum de machines, y compris les petites configurations. Le moteur actuel n?intègre donc pas de "Shaders" mais tourne sur des petites cartes vidéo (OpenGL 1.2).

Parallèlement, le moteur est très ouvert et permet d?y ajouter ses propres "Shaders" (GLSL). Ceci est, bien entendu, réservé aux développeurs confirmés.


Q7. Le HUD ou IHM est un point également important, comment se passe la cohabitation 2D/3D ?

DreamGame intègre un système complet de gestion de HUD, lui-même lié au gestionnaire d?évènements. Un HUD 2D n?est ni plus ni moins qu?un objet avec un affichage particulier. Du coup, ceux-ci peuvent être animés et bénéficier de la 3D pour encore plus de liberté.


Q8. Aujourd'hui il est possible de générer un executable windows avec DreamGame. Prévoyez-vous de proposer de jeux en ligne pour navigateur ou bien de supporter le Mac ?

Les portages sont en cours de d√©veloppement. Actuellement, nous sommes en phase de finalisation de la version Windows Mobile (OpenGL ES). L?iPhone et Andro√Įd vont suivre juste derri√®re. Concernant le d√©veloppement Web, le fait qu?OpenGL soit natif dans les browsers √† compter de 2011 va nous permettre de lancer le d√©veloppement en cours d?ann√©e.

On me demande souvent s?il existe une version Mac de DreamGame. Je crois que je vais finir par être obligé de la développer?


Q9. Peut-on concevoir des jeux de types vari√©s (FPS, simu, reflexion...) ou des serious games avec DreamGame ? 

Tout à fait. Des jeux de types très variés ont déjà été réalisés : Plateforme, 3D Side scrolling, Aventure full 3D, TPS, FPS, Racing Game sans oublié un "Serious Game" sur les cétacés.


Q10. Face à une version de Unity gratuite, une arrivée prochaine de Flash sur le segment 3D ; comment voyez-vous l'avenir de DreamGame ?

Le point fort de DreamGame se situe essentiellement sur sa facilité d?accès. Aujourd?hui, que ce soit "Flash" ou "Unity", il est impératif d?être développeur pour réaliser un jeu vidéo. DreamGame est le seul logiciel qui permet aux non-développeurs de créer leurs propres applications interactives. En résumé, DreamGame met la technologie au service de la créativité.

JAVA : Le moteur jMonkeyEngine 3
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 26/11/2010

Il ne faut pas enterrer Java trop vite ! Le moteur de jeu jMonkeyEngine revient en force avec la version 3 qui int√®gre des fonctionnalit√©s int√©ressantes. D√©sormais compatible OpenGL 2/3, il a fait de gros prog√®s en rendu. Pour la physique il fait confiance √† Bullet, pour l'IHM il s'en remet √† NiftyGUI. Les infographistes appr√©cieront de trouver des outils pour visualiser et contr√īler l'export de sc√®nes 3D.

http://www.jmonkeyengine.com/

JAVA : WireFusion 6 beta en version d'évaluation
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 26/11/2010

Vous voulez savoir à quoi ressemble la version 6 de WireFusion ? Tandis que l'éditeur semble prendre son temps pour peaufiner les dernières fonctions, il met à disposition une version d'évaluation. La nouvelle version est une évolution de la 5 : n'attendez pas une révolution. En revanche l'éditeur annonce la disponibilité prochaine d'une version serveur capable de diffuser sur des équipements embarqués des images 3D calculées sur un serveur Java. Intéressante possibilité, après Nova Server et RealityServer espérons que le calcul d'images 3D sur le "cloud" devienne une réalité interactive...

http://www.demicron.com/wirefusion/v6/download.html

MENTAL IMAGES : iRay pour Catia v6
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 26/11/2010

Nous vous l'annoncions il y a quelques mois, c'est désormais officiel : Dassault proposera iRay pour Catia v6. Au programme : un rendu photoréaliste plus rapide et plus facile à paramétrer. En revanche, il semble bien que pour tirer profit de cette nouveauté il faille disposer d'une très bonne carte graphique NVIDIA (inutile de rappeler que mental images fait désormais parti du groupe NVIDIA).

http://www.mentalimages.com/news/detail/article//iray-rendere.html

TORQUE ENGINE : les développeurs jettent l'éponge ?
Soumit par Administrateur le vendredi, 25/11/2010

 

Il semblerait que le moteur 3D Torque, qui comptait de nombreuses déclinaisons (version web, iPhone, 2D, 3D...), ne soit plus maintenu par son équipe de base. Dans un bref message, Eric Preisz explique que la maison mère de Torque - Instant Action - a réduit ses activités et attend un repreneur. Ce n'est jamais une nouvelle réjouissante de voir un moteur 3D stopper son développement, les utilisateurs pourront sans doute encore utiliser la dernière version qui avait été complètement refondue, avec un éditeur plus moderne (import Collada, terrain editor évolué, etc.). Stonetrip, l'éditeur de Shiva, propose aux utilisateurs de Torque de les rejoindre avec une remise de 60% sur le tarif de Shiva 3D Avanced. D'autres éditeurs proposent des offres équivalentes (Leadwerk, DXStudio)

Avec l'arriv√©e de WebGL et de Flash3D, les √©diteurs de technologies 3D pourraient souffrir en 2011-2012. Ils doivent d√®s maintenant s√©duire et fid√©liser leurs clients - si possible gr√Ęce √† des fonctionnalit√©s que ni WebGL , ni Flash3D ne proposent.

 

http://www.stonetrip.com/

http://leadwerks.com/werkspace/index.php?/page/products/_/tools/leadwerks-engine-r3

http://www.dxstudio.com/news.aspx?newsid=5d1c9d54-2f61-4e46-b1d5-a3ba120c9b51

http://www.torquepowered.com/community/blogs/view/20495

 

 

UNITY3D : la version 3.1 et le résultat du concours
Soumit par Administrateur le vendredi, 25/11/2010

Unity compte bien capitaliser sur sa large base d'utilisateurs (l'éditeur met en avant le chiffre de 250 000 utilisateurs à travers le monde). Avec Unity3.1, l'éditeur compte rattraper son retard par rapport à l'expérence communautaire proposée par 3DVia. Avec l'Asset Store il est possible de vendre et d'acheter des contenus 3D prêts à être intégré dans Unity (mesh, textures). Unity propose de rémunérer les créateurs de contenus : 70% de la somme leur est restituée. Nous saluons cette initiative ; même si contrairement à la plateforme de Dassault (3DVia) ou Google (Google WareHouse) elle s'adresse exclusivement à la communauté des utilisateurs Unity.

Nous sommes également très agréablement surpris par la quantité et la qualité des résultats du concours Unity qui montre à quel point cette plateforme est très populaire en ce moment.

http://unity3d.com/

http://unity3d.com/awards/

http://unity3d.com/unity/editor/asset-store

EDITO n°63 - Novembre 2010
Soumit par Administrateur le vendredi, 25/11/2010

 

Collada : o√Ļ en est le format 3D standard ?

Dès les premiers pas de Collada, 3d-test vous a informé sur ce format 3d. Il faut dire que ce format a de nombreux atouts : ses initiateurs ne sont pas des éditeurs de logiciels 3D qui cherchent à imposer un nouveau standard propriétaire ! A l'origine, il s'agit d'une initiative de développeurs de jeux vidéo (Sony Computer US) qui cherchent à industrialiser la création de contenus 3D. Ils souhaitent ainsi gommer les disparités entre les différents logiciels utilisés afin de facilité l'intégration des "assets" dans les jeux vidéo. Collada est un format moderne, extensible et paramétrable. Il était destiné à un avenir radieux : pensez donc, le groupe Khronos qui compte comme membre les plus grands acteurs de l'informatique (Intel, Apple, AMD, Sony, etc.) veille à sa destinée. Malheureusement, ce qui s'annonçait comme un standard universel de la 3D penne à s'imposer. Pire : certains lui prédit le même sort que le X3D, l'U3D et autres standards ouverts.

Mais pourquoi le Collada ne s'impose-t-il pas ? La raison est toute simple : les √©diteurs ont interpr√©t√© comme bon leur semblait les sp√©cifications. Du coup, il existe presqu'autant de Collada que de logiciels 3D ! Autodesk a voulu masquer son visage h√©g√©monique a fait des efforts en cr√©ant une passerelle entre le FBX et le Collada, mais il √©tait compatible avec tr√®s peu de middleware. Les infographistes sous 3ds max ont le choix entre 3 formats Collada diff√©rents : celui de Feeling Software, OpenCollada et celui d'Autodesk ! L'ouverture du format Collada √©tait un atout qui s'est retourn√© contre lui. En effet, si un format est trop ouvert, les sp√©cifications peuvent devenir trop laxistes et tout le monde fait n'importe quoi avec. On peut probablement faire un rapprochement avec ce qui se passe dans l'univers Linux : la multiplication des distributions brouille les cartes et peu rebuter certains. Avec Collada c'est ce qu'il se passe, le groupe Khronos l'a bien compris et a entrepris une large campagne de benchmark visant √† certifier la conformit√© des passerelles Collada. Mais cela ne suffit visiblement pas. Les gros √©diteurs ne jouent pas compl√®tement le jeu √† notre avis : il est urgent qu'ils se r√©unissent et d√©cident de faire les arbitrages n√©cessaires pour que Collada devienne une norme. Sans cela, les chaines de production de contenus 3D ("pipeline") resteront complexes et co√Ľteuses. Aujourd'hui, les infographistes 3D essayent tout ce qui leur tombe dans la main : le FBX (concurrent du Collada estampill√© Autodesk), l'obj (un format qui a pr√®s de 20 ans), le 3ds (plus de 22 ans et oui !)... Bref de nombreux formats obsol√®tes et compl√®tement incapables de repr√©senter fid√®lement les sc√®nes 3D actuelles : mat√©riaux avec shaders, multiples coordonn√©es de textures, articulations et skinning...

3d-test a fait peau neuve, mais il y a encore beaucoup de travail pour transférer les anciens articles dans notre nouveau système de publication. Il y a désormais un forum et la possibilité de commenter les actualités et les articles. Nous vous invitons donc à contribuer à notre site en utilisant ces nouvelles possibilités.

 

SHIVA : version 1.9
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 02/11/2010

Shiva3D - un moteur développé par la firme française Stonetrip - passe en version 1.9. Au menu : la possibilité de développer des plugins (il sera ainsi possible de "pluger" différents moteurs de physiques : dont nVidia Physics...), une publication multiplateforme simplifiée, la possibilité de compiler le code script LUA en C++, la déformation des mesh... Bref, Shiva3D compte à travers des fonctions avancées et son ouverture se différencier de ses concurrents.

Voici la liste des nouvelles fonctions :

http://www.stonetrip.com/new-features.html

 

Pour assister à la présentation de la nouvelle version :

http://www.stonetrip.com/developer/1203-its-here-shiva3d-1-9-has-gone-live-today

FLASH 3D : Connaissez-vous Noob3D ?
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 02/11/2010

Noob3 est un moteur Flash3D tout récent. Pour le moment il n'est pas accéléré 3D, il offre cependant des performances tout à fait correctes pour un moteur "software". A vous de juger :

http://www.awesay.com/demo/

Lien vers le forum de développeur :

http://blog.badnoob.com/index.php/topic,26.0.html

EDITO n°62 - Septembre 2010
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 02/11/2010

Adobe lance enfin "Flash 3D" !
Dans notre dernier édito nous évoquions la position centrale d'Adobe en matière de standards web et sa capacité à doper le marché des technologies 3D pour la web. Hasard du calendrier, l'éditeur américain annonçait quelques jours plus tard son intention de prendre part à ce marché. Ainsi, le 27 octobre prochain se teindra lors de la conférence MAX dédiée aux développeurs Adobe ; une session relative aux technologies 3D de la prochaine version de Flash.
Cette fois-ci, l'√©diteur ne compte pas faire les choses √† moiti√© ; contrairement √† la version pr√©c√©dente o√Ļ seuls les calques pouvaient √™tre manipul√© en 3D). D√©sormais, Adobe vise clairement le march√© des jeux en ligne : casual games, advertgaming et pourquoi pas des jeux plus √©labor√©s (AAA, jeux massivement multijoueurs...). Inutile de prendre des gants : la disponibilit√© du flash player compatible 3D (10.2 ou 11 ?) redistribuera les cartes et seuls les comp√©titeurs biens arm√©s pourront r√©sister. Ces derniers temps, on a assist√© √† l'√©rosion de la p√©n√©tration de Java sur les PC ; et la rar√©faction des technologies 3D bas√©es sur le langage d'Oracle. Les technologies √† base de plugin (Unity, Shiva, 3DVia...) qui sont √† l'√©chelle du web encore discr√®tes sont les seuls comp√©titeurs valables, car le standard WebGL - tant attendu - n'est pas encore l√†. Compte tenu des pr√©tentions d'Adobe sur le march√© de la 3D en ligne - il ne fait aucun doute que l'√©diteur proposera un moteur acc√©l√©r√© digne de ce nom capable d'afficher des centaines de millier de polygones.
Plusieurs scénarii sont envisageables. Le plus optimiste consiste à projeter le succès des vidéos Flash sur l'univers de la 3D ! Youtube et autres Dailymotion n'auraient pas pu voir le jour sans la mise à disposition de fonctionnalités vidéo dans Flash ! Un autre scenario consiste à anticiper le virage "web" des jeux vidéo. Finalement, le scénario le moins favorable serait que la 3D dans Flash rencontre le même destin que les autres technologies 3D (du VRML à Unity) : un succès modeste en comparaison aux usages générant le plus de trafic sur la toile. Il est très peu probable que Flash 3D reçoive si peu d'écho tant la vitesse à laquelle le plugin d'Adobe se répand est grande.
Du coup, les comp√©titeurs d'Adobe vont devoir innover et s'am√©liorer pour continuer √† rester comp√©titif. M√™me s'il est trop t√īt pour conna√ģtre les points faibles du futur moteur 3D de Flash : nul n'est parfait ! Reste √©galement √† conna√ģtre le calendrier d'Adobe : quand le plugin sera-t-il disponible pour le plus grand nombre ? Quand les outils auteurs seront-ils disponibles ?

3d-test va subir un lifting dans les prochaines semaines avec un contenu plus collaboratif. Le site est susceptible de proposer un contenu réduit pendant cette mise à jour.

MAX : Présentation de Flare 2.0
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 02/11/2010

Nous avons d√©j√† √©voqu√© le moteur Flare3D venu d'Argentine. Lors de la conf√©rence MAX ce moteur a fait sensation du fait de sa simplicit√© d'utilisation et de sa richesse fonctionnelle. L'√©diteur annonce plus de 500 000 triangles avec un affichage fluide, le support des shaders et en plus du workflow tr√®s pratique avec 3ds max, Flare3D s'enrichit du format Collada. 
Regardez la session filmée lors de la conférence MAX :
http://2010.max.adobe.com/online/2010/MAX271_1288136737328YWGG 

MAX : Nouvelles fonctions 3D dévoilées
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 26/10/2010

Adobe a tenu ses promesses : la 3D en DirectX et OpenGL sera belle est bien pr√©sente dans les futures versions de Flash ! A l'occasion de la keynote de Kevin Lynch (CTO d'Adobe) une d√©mo en flash 3D mettant en sc√®ne un jeu de voitures dans les rues de San Francisco autour du Convention Center a fait une impression. Le jeu tourne sur Alternativa 8 et met en avant le potentiel de Flash dans le jeu en ligne. 

Voici la vidéo du jeu :

Et quelques screenshots :

 

Pour revoir la conférence :
http://max.adobe.com/online/monday/ 

FLASH 3D : Alternativa devient gratuit
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 24/10/2010

A la veille de la conf√©rence MAX, durant laquelle Adobe a pr√©vu de pr√©senter des nouvelles fonctionnalit√©s 3D de Flash ; une certaine effervescence touche les moteurs Flash 3D. Le moteur Alternativa pr√©sente de bonnes performances gr√Ęce √† la tesselation dynamique des maillages pour r√©duire le "Z-fighting" (mauvaise gestion des faces cach√©es du √† l'absence de Z-buffer). Mais, ce n'est pas tout, l'√©diteur annonce 4 changements :
1. Alternativa 7 devient gratuit (l'éditeur ne mentionne pas en revanche si les versions ultérieures suivreont aussi ce modèle économique)
2. l'éditeur travaille déjà sur Alternativa 8 basée sur la nouvelle génération d'API 3D du flash player.
3. Alternativa est partenaire technique sur des projets utilisant la version 8. 
4. L'éditeur russe sera présent à la conférence MAX.
Pour en savoir plus : http://blog.alternativaplatform.com/en/ 

Alternativa n'est pas le seul à se préparer aux nouvelles perspectives promises lors de la conférence MAX. Ainsi Away3D, prépare aussi des démos pour la conférence.
http://away3d.com/ 

Enfin, parlons d'un moteur Flash 3D qui surprend par ses excellentes performances et la richesse de son API et qui compte de nombreuses fonctions orientés jeux en ligne : Flare 3D. Il propose une bonne interface avec les contenus 3D produits à l'aide de 3ds max. Ce moteur venu d'Argentine est très prometteur et l'éditeur a communiqué sur sa présence lors de la conférence d'Adobe. Il en profitera pour dévoiler Flare 3D 2.0.
http://www.flare3d.com/ 

Etrangement, PaperVision qui fut très présent sur la scène Flash3D n'a pas fait d'annonce officielle au sujet des nouvelles fonctionnalités 3D apportés par Adobe. Rendez-vous donc le 27 octobre 2010 pour l'annonce officielle. Vous pourrez suivre la conférence en direct :
http://max.adobe.com/online/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROUTE DU RHUM : Le monocoque Foncia en 3D
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 18/10/2010

Gr√Ęce √† cette nouvelle application 3D interactive, les fans de nautisme peuvent d√©couvrir le monocoque de Foncia sous tous les angles ! Il est ainsi possible de plonger dans l?eau sous la car√®ne afin de d√©couvrir la fameuse quille pendulaire invent√©e par Michel Desjoyeaux et adopt√©e par la majorit√© des monocoques de course. (Technologie 3DVia / Virtools).

 

Pour découvrir l?expérience 3D : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXOEgUtJiu0

Pour visiter le nouveau FONCIA rendez-vous sur : www.3ds.com/fr/desjoyeaux3d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTEUR 3D : Esperient Creator 3.8
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 15/10/2010
Fichier attachéTaille
ScreenShot.jpg18.17 Ko

Esperient creator - anciennement connu sous le nom de Deep Creator - passe en version 3.8. Cette version est compatible Windows 7 64 bits et corrige de nombreux bugs. Le logiciel devrait √©voluer encore plus dans les prochains mois gr√Ęce √† une version 4.0.
> Esperient 

OGRE3D : NeoAxis 0.9
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 15/10/2010
Fichier attachéTaille
object_selection_border.jpg238.42 Ko

NeoAxis est un middelware architectur√© autour du moteur 3D Ogre3D. Il est assez populaire - m√™me si les principaux jeux sortis sur Ogre3D (tels que Torchlight) ne l'utilise pas. La version 0.9 et 0.91 ajoutent des fonctionalit√©s interessantes : 
- Parallel-Split Shadow Map (PSSM) ,
- Point light shadows
- un nouveau plugin web avec le support du réseau,
- une compatibilit√© 64 bits, Visual Studio 2010 et .NET 4.0,
- des exporters pour 3ds max, maya et la lecteur du Collada.
Le NeoAxis Group met √† disposition des d√©veloppeurs une version gratuite pour un usage non commercial.

> NeoAxis Game Engine

UNITY3D : Version 3 dispo
Soumit par Administrateur le jeudi, 29/09/2010

La version 3.0 - tant attendue - est d√©sormais disponible en t√©l√©chargement sur le site de l'√©diteur. Il int√®gre une quantit√© monstre de nouveaut√©s, comme l'√©diteur les a divulgu√© au compte-go√Ľte depuis 6 mois nous nous √©tendrons pas dessus.

>Unity3D 3.0

WebGL : EnergizeGL
Soumit par Administrateur le jeudi, 09/06/2010
Q&AEnergizeGL
Denny Koch
June 2010,
 

 

?With WebGL we now can unleash the power of the graphics card on top of that. Unlike with Plugins like Flash or Silverlight you can use all the information on a website, like texts, images, videos, browser-, network and user information seamlessly.?

<EnergizeGL polling Twitter and generating one rectangle for each message in the current Twitter timeline. The size, colors and rotating are representing the length of that message.

  
Q1Please give a brief description of EnergizeGL
A1EnergizeGL is a WebGL Framework. It does the basic OpenGL programming for you and provides you with easy to use commands, so you can start programming WebGL right away.
Most of the current WebGL Frameworks are obviously designed to build games, or are addressing to skilled programmers by using complex programming patterns like object orientation and scene graphs.
My goal with EnergizeGL is to make it as simple as possible for you to start programming your projects.
I'm an interface design student and therefore I'm interested in things like generative design, social networks, information visualization and the new ways website interfaces can be designed with WebGL.
EnergizeGL is not only a Framework I develop, but will be my daily used tool, too.
  
Q2There are a lot of experiments conducted on webGL. What make webGL so interesting although it is not finished yet?
A2In my opinion WebGL (in combination other HTML5 features) is a big step in the history of the Web. At first there are the technical advantages. You need no Plugin to run WebGL and it is open source, so it will be developed by a wide range of people.
WebGL is based on OpenGL, an industry standard that is far behind its early days, therefore running stable and there is a lot of software available that could be ported to WebGL. More explicit WebGL is based on OpenGL ES which is the OpenGL version running on modern Cell-/Smartphones, so viewing 3D websites on your Phone should be possible, too.
This is all about the technique. Whats really catching my attention is how WebGL extends the way we can think about Web Interfaces and 3D content either way. Javascript has become very performant and with great tools like JQuery it is so easy to build more interesting, useful and responsive web interfaces.
With WebGL we now can unleash the power of the graphics card on top of that. Unlike with Plugins like Flash or Silverlight you can use all the information on a website, like texts, images, videos, browser-, network and user information seamlessly. Session handling, multi tabbing, listening on user input and server requests are tasks your browser natively performs and is really good at. Local storage, WebSockets, HTML5 Audio and -Video are going make the difference between websites with some media content included, and webapplications, with every needed technique just seamlessly working together.
Instead of building basic functionalities from scratch, a browser environment allows you to focus completely on the quality of your program and to spend more time thinking about your users!
 This is the real thrill for me, when it comes to WebGL (and HTML5).
  
Q3Actually it's complex to enable webGL in a browsers. Is there a risk that users find webGL to complicate?
A3Yes! I already got a customers asking for native 3D content, but in my opinion, selling a WebGL site at this moment would be unprofessional.
The current WebGL implementation is great for testing ideas and developing the basic techniques but far away from being ready for commercial use.
  
Q4What is the current workflow to publish a 3D scene using EnergizeGL? Is it possible to import 3d models from a DCC app?
A4EnergizeGL is rewritten at the moment, so there will be huge changes in this process (it's being simplified), but at the moment you need to:
- Download it
- Unpack it to a folder
- Include all JS Files in that folder into a HTML file
- Put a canvas tag into your DOM
- Write your EnergizeGL Program
Currently, it is possible to import Wavefront OBJ files and i hope i can release COLLADA support with the rewritten version.
  
Q5Why does EnergizGL give different visual results with chromium and firefox?
A5While i was writing the first versions of EnergizeGL, i learned a lot about WebGL, OpenGL, Shader and even Javascript. Thats why i published it as an alpha version.
I drew less attention on compatibility, but that will change from now on. The first lines of code of the new version have been written and it runs in all three browser (WebKit, Chrome, Minefield) and is producing the same visual results!
  
Q6 What are you plans with EnergizeGL?
A6As mentioned before i am rewriting the hole framework at the moment, to implement a lot of features and techniques i came up with, during my first experiments. A browser provides every kind of tools and HTML combined with EnergizeGL will enable you to design interfaces and interactive programs faster and easier than ever before.
I hope the way I design EnergizeGL shows my ideas about the future web and helps a lot of people to realize their projects!
Asynth Space Designer
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 08/06/2010
Q&AAsynth
Space Designer
Juin 2010,
 

 

?Actuellement, afin de créer un déplacement souple en vue 3D, nous étions obligés d'incruster les ombres et les lumières dans les textures des objets (texture baking). Mais nous allons améliorer progressivement l'affichage 3D. Cela commencera avec des ombres simples pour ensuite proposer un éclairage plus sophistiqué.?

  
Q1Lorsque l'on utilise Space Designer 3D on est frappé par sa simplicité d'utilisation. Est-ce que cela a été obtenu au détriment de la précision des outils ?
A1En effet, Space Designer 3D n'est pas con√ßu pour remplacer les applications de CAO existantes mais plut√īt pour permettre de visualiser rapidement des id√©es d'am√©nagement. Cette vitesse concerne tant l'utilisation que la prise en main. Il fallait donc r√©aliser un outil aussi intuitif qu'un crayon, car, nous croyons que de nous jours, les utilisateurs n'ont plus le temps d'apprendre un nouveau logiciel.
  
Q2Le fait d'utiliser Flash permet de rendre l'outil tr√®s accessible. Cela est tr√®s diff√®rent des outils propos√©s par les grandes enseignes (Ikea, Fly, Conforama...) qui proposent des outils longs √† installer (ex√©cutables, plugins...). Pensez-vous qu'ils offriront bient√īt √† leurs clients des outils aussi pratiques que Space Designer ?
A2Plus on est grand, moins on prend des risques. Space Designer essaye de relever le d√©fi que les grandes enseignes n'ont pas encore os√© prendre : proposer au grand public l'immersion 3D ¬ę en ligne ¬Ľ.
C'est un travail risqué car, avant même de pouvoir convaincre par la 3D, il fallait trouver la plateforme la plus adaptée pouvant accueillir ce type de contenu sur Internet. Il existe une série de technologies extraordinaires pour ce faire - par exemple HTML5 (1) et WebGL (2), intégrées dans les nouvelles versions des navigateurs ou Unity (3) - cependant aucune n'est actuellement assez répandue.
Alors, quand les grandes enseignes proposeront-elles des outils comme Space Designer 3D ? Avec la démocratisation et la standardisation des moyens 3D en ligne, nous verrons dans un avenir très proche la multiplication d'outils similaires. Et qui sait, peut-être trouvera-t-on Space Designer 3D dans les sites web d'Ikea, Fly ou Conforama ? :)
  
Q3Pouvez-vous nous parler des petits détails qui permettent à l'utilisateur de gagner du temps dans leurs configurations de l'espace (aides, ancrages, intelligence....).
A3Tout d'abord, il y a le magnétisme des murs sur la grille en fond d'écran qui s'adapte à son tour à l'unité de mesure choisie - métrique (cm) ou impérial (pied). Le deuxième magnétisme est celui des objets sur les murs : les portes, fenêtres, mobiliers de cuisine, tableaux sont attirés et orientés par le mur le plus proche. Si on déplace le mur, les objets magnétisés se déplacent avec ce dernier.
Nous voulions créer des systèmes de magnétisme qui se proposent mais qui ne s'imposent pas. Par exemple, les tableaux sont aimantés aux murs mais rien ne vous oblige de les placer ailleurs que sur des murs. Comme le reste du logiciel, l'utilisation de ces accélérateurs se force d'être intuitive.
Sans oublier, Space Designer est bien documenté : à tout moment vous pouvez accéder à la page d'aide en anglais et en français, et aux tutoriaux vidéos.
  
Q4Le rendu 3D permet de visionner le résultat final, est-ce que tous les utilisateurs peuvent profiter de cette fonction ?
A4Oui, c'est l'ultime but et c'est la raison pour laquelle nous avons choisi flash comme plateforme de développement. Le plugin flash a une propriété peu connue mais forte : Il marche à vitesse identique dans tous les ordinateurs indépendamment de la configuration matériel. Vous aurez donc la même visualisation et le même confort d'utilisation dans un ordinateur agé de 5 ans, dans un ultra-portable ou dans une "workstation" dernier cri.
  
Q5Le rendu 3D n'offre pas d'ombres, ni de gestion de la lumière (lorsque l'on bouge la lampe, etc...). Est-ce quelque chose d'envisageable dans le futur et est-ce compatible avec vos choix technologiques ?
A5Tout est une question de vitesse. Actuellement, afin de créer un déplacement souple en vue 3D, nous étions obligés d'incruster les ombres et les lumières dans les textures des objets (texture baking). Mais nous allons améliorer progressivement l'affichage 3D. Cela commencera avec des ombres simples pour ensuite proposer un éclairage plus sophistiqué. Nos choix technologiques (notamment l'excellent moteur Away3D(4)) nous le permettent.
  
Q6 Un mot peut-√™tre au sujet du back office ? Comment sont stock√©s les objets, est-ce un projet adaptable √† diff√©rents acteurs ?
A6Chaque objet et chaque texture est une ligne dans la base de donnés MySQL (5). C'est le framework Zend (6) qui crée la connexion entre le client et le serveur. Les objets 3D sont constitués de plusieurs fichiers de différents formats (DAE, PNG, SVG) et sont transférés à l'ordinateur de l'utilisateur lors de leur utilisation.
Nous avons opté pour des formats de grands standards tel que DAE et SVG afin d'offrir un jour une exportation vers les autres plateformes telles que Sketchup (7), Rhinoceros 3D (8), des formats comme PDF, DAE, X3D (9) ou les moteurs de rendus photo-réalistes comme Sunflow (10).
  
Q7Quels sont vos projets pour l'avenir ?
A7Il y en a beaucoup. A vrai dire nous ne sommes qu'au début d'une aventure.

* Nous allons avant tout améliorer la communication du logiciel avec les plateformes voisines : l'exportation, impression et "rendu photo-réaliste".
* "Le partage" est aussi un mot-clé. Il est déjà possible de partager son projet sur Facebook. Nous pensons non seulement améliorer cette fonctionnalité mais aussi multiplier les moyens de partage.
* Nous essayerons d'élargir la bibliothèque d'objets. Nous prendrons contact avec les grandes enseignes pour partager leurs catalogues avec nous.
* Dans le temps libre qu'il nous reste nous expérimenterons sur les technologies alternatives : HTML5 et WebGL, Unity, et même Android, iPhone et iPad.

  
Q8Android 2.2 offre un support de Flash 10.1. Avez-vous essayé votre application sur ce type d'équipements?
A8La mise à jour sur nos portables Android sera disponible dans moins de 10 jours. Nous attendons impatiemment de voir le résultat. Cependant, le mieux serait de créer une nouvelle application entièrement adaptée à leur dimension d'écran et à l'ergonomie tactile.

---

1. HTML5: http://www.w3.org/TR/html5
2. WEBGL: http://www.khronos.org/webgl
3. Unity: http://unity3d.com
4. Away3D: http://away3d.com
5. MySQL: http://www.mysql.com
6. Zend: http://www.zend.com
7. Sketchup: http://sketchup.google.com
8. Rhinoceros 3D: http://www.rhino3d.com
9. X3D : http://www.web3d.org/x3d/
10. Sunflow : http://sunflow.sourceforge.net

 

 

Unlimited Detail Technology
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 09/05/2010
Q&AUnlimited Detail Technology (UD)
Bruce Dell 
May 2010
 

 

?Polygons were great and served us very well in the past but because of these issues the 3D industry in recent times has taken a turn towards researching better systems that don?t need polygons, [...]. Raytracing seemed to be the way forward, but its still very slow, and is very hardware dependent, UD is about 200 times faster so in a merit based world it would be the best path forward.?

  
Q13D is mainly a questions of triangles (polygon), why are you using Voxel?
A1The main method of making 3D graphics in games today is called the Polygon System. It has been around for a long time now, it began as a way to make games were you run around in hall way games like Doom and Wolfenstein. The polygon system builds things out of little flat shapes with pictures on them, that?s why in the past games looked a little bit ?angular?, and they still look angular if you go up close to the bases of trees or objects that are meant to be round. The polygon system has a few major problems: the artists have to build there objects to strict polygon budgets, they also have to build the objects multiple times at different polygon counts (about 4-8 times), so that they can do distance model swapping. If an object is far away then they use a small model made of few polygons, but if the object is close up then they use a big model made with many polygons. Have you played games and noticed objects changing in the distance and popping up and doing strange things ? That?s because of distance model swapping. Polygons were great and served us very well in the past but because of these issues the 3D industry in recent times has taken a turn towards researching better systems that don?t need polygons, the company Id is doing a lot of work in to a ray tracing system, ATI, NVIDA, Intel and many other smaller names have all been doing research in to 3D without polygons. Raytracing seemed to be the way forward, but its still very slow, and is very hardware dependent, UD is about 200 times faster so in a merit based world it would be the best path forward.

 

  
Q23D graphic cards accelerate triangles rendering, can Voxel compete with such hardware power?
A2The present polygon system has a use by date, what we mean is the polygons are getting smaller to make objects look more rounded, as this continues to happen the time will come were the polygons are so small they are all only a few pixels big. At that point there not really polygons anymore there more like little 3D floating atoms. When this occurs the polygon system has evolved in to a new system, one that is more like our real world. Our world is made of atoms, and ideally we would want to build our 3D artificial worlds out of atoms as well. The reason we don?t is because the computing power to look after and organise all those trillions of atoms would be huge, and only super computers would be able to do it, and even then there would be volume limitations as to how much could be processed.
You gain a much higher appreciation of Unlimited Detail technology when you understand that is making all its objects out of little 3D atoms. It doesn?t need a super computer it runs on any ordinary computer, we even think we can make it run on a mobile phone, it doesn?t process thousands or millions or billions of atoms, it processes unlimited atoms. You could store the entire world in 3D form and Unlimited Detail would run it all with no problems, you could begin in outer space and then fly down to the earth then the ground then the grass then the ants on the grass then fly in to the cells of the ants, and you could have this power running on your home computer. Now please don?t misunderstand, we aren?t talking unlimited memory here, we are talking unlimited on screen geometry. They are quite different things, the one gives you lots of objects the other lets you show those lots of objects.
  
Q3Voxel have a huge memory footprint. Is it necessary to have a 64 bit system and a large amount of RAM to handle large 3D scene made of Voxels?
A3Because of the way we redirect and recycle data we cant put a direct figure on the amount of points we can hold per gigabyte. It is like asking how many pictures will fit in a win.zip file that is 1 gig in size ? , the answer is: simpler pictures compact much smaller then complicated pictures. In the same way we are running off a data type that is literally zipped
while it is being used, the unusual thing is that it doesn?t have to unzip first, we run it in its compressed form. A rough figure to use is that objects in our format are about 8% of the size they use up in polygon format.
  
Q4On your video, it is clear that Voxels overpass rasterisation to display a large amount of 3D data with a lot of details? What kind of PC are you using for this vidéo, what would be the frame rate of the same scene made of triangles?
A4In those demonstrations we aren?t using any part of the graphics card ( except sending a frame to the screen ). Whilst it is dual core, we are only using one core, we run at about 28 fps at the moment in one core, this is expected to speed up a lot in our next version. If we tried to make the ?pyramid of animals demo? out of polygons and run it in real time, I think it would slow down to movie rendering speeds ( minutes per frame )
  
Q5Do you think that your technology can be used to display 3D content on the internet? Can it stream 3D voxels?
A5Yes and Yes !
  
 Q6Excepting 3D scanning and few programs like 3D coat can generate voxels content. Is it a constraint to adoption of voxel?
A6Unlimited Detail gives total artistic freedom, and you can use it in a number of ways :
1) You can make your polygon objects at the highest quality on 3dS max, maya etc, and then convert them in to 3D atoms.
2) You can use voxel or point cloud based editors that are more and more appearing on the market.
3) You can laser scan data in from the real world, using either out door large laser scanners or indoor small laser scanners.
4) You can combine all 3 techniques to make sub parts and then collage and mix them together in a point cloud/ voxel editor, once imported.

 

  
Q7What are your plan about Unlimited Technology?
A7We didn?t expect the resent media wave, we thought that we could just hide and appear from no where with something brilliant, but unfortunately we got caught working quietly in our corner, and so now we have a lot of people saying ?that doesn?t look good enough yet !?, but on our end we feel like a mother who put cookies in the oven and little children are pulling them out and saying ?they don?t taste right !? a bit of patience and the cookies will be fine.

The planned form of the SDK is as follows:
IMPORT OF DATA:
Data can be imported from a variety of sources. We expect to directly support some popular scanning and modelling applications and file formats for both point cloud and polygon style data. The SDK will provide a simple way to import data from any source.
ENGINE:
The Unlimited Detail Engine displays 3D models or groups of models which may be positioned, rotated, scaled and viewed from any direction and with any projection. The technique allows geometry of unlimited complexity to be displayed at interactive frame rates without the need for 3D acceleration hardware.
ANIMATION:
Unlimited Detail supports Animation. (Please see attached video clip of an articulated bird. And remember this is a simple first attempt for R&D purposes so it doesn?t look ?polished?)
http://www.mediafire.com/file/ndumvromniq/bird_articulated.wmv
In addition to animation, we will be supporting dynamic and destructible environments.
MEMORY STORAGE
The Unlimited Detail rendering technology does not require significant system memory to run. The geometry may be compressed, instanced and streamed to allow the best mix of runtime and disk based storage as well as support unique geometry.
SHADOWS:
Unlimited Detail will have both real-time shadows and pre-calculated lighting as well as a variety of advanced lighting options.
DEMONSTRATIONS AND DOCUMENTATION:
Demonstrations will be available for a great variety of industries, mining, architecture, science, medical, games, and movies/entertainment. In all cases these demonstrations will use industry specific data and will be downloadable from the website.
PRICE:
Pricing will be chosen in such a way that this technology can be accessed by all, including those in developing nations were graphics cards are not commonplace and software based 3D graphics are vital to industry purposes.
MAILING LIST AND WEBSITE:
Nearer to completion we will be releasing short newsletters to inform interested parties of our progress, we will also have a new website in a few months as there have been comments about the inadequacy of the current website, whilst we do agree with the comments please understand we are primarily creators of technology and the recent media wave was unexpected. Please expect a more commercial incarnation of our public image soon enough.
Downloadable Demos will be available before the SDK release date
Esenthel Engine
Soumit par Administrateur le dimanche, 08/05/2010
Q&AEsenthel Engine
Grzegorz ?lazi√Īski
May 2010
 

 

?DirectX 11 Tesselation feature is a new addition in the Esenthel Engine which I'm proud of. The developers don't need to do anything more than just ask the engine to enable tesselation and the models will automatically get more smooth. No additional work on the models is required in order to gain more quality.? 

< Esenthel Engine in action

  
Q1Please give a brief description of Esenthel. Why are you naming this engine Esenthel?
A1Esenthel Engine is a next-gen game engine developed by me (that is Grzegorz ?lazi√Īski) over the past several years.
The project started originally as a hobby, however during its development I've observed that I like working on it and later I've also realized that I actually can achieve something with it. After all those years it's not only a piece of software, it's also a piece of my life.
The name Esenthel was first used as a title for a simple 2D RPG game for DOS operating system which I was working on for fun. The name "Esenthel" comes from a combination of words "Essence" and "Essential".
When I've decided to focus only on engine development and I was looking how to name it, I thought - "why not use the Esenthel name".

 

  
Q2Could you please describe Esenthel workflow from the DCC software to the release of the 3D game?
A2Esenthel Engine is compatible with which most of the companies use for asset creation, that is 3D Studio Max, Maya and similar.
The engine can handle both low and high poly models and features support for a variety of different texture types like : color, specular, opacity, bump, normal, glow, detail, macro, reflection and light maps. The workflow is as straightforward as - creating the asset in external software, importing the asset to the engine format using provided tools - that's it.
The tools also provide a great deal of customization of the models. For example in the Mesh Editor tool you can perform lots of various operations like transform the mesh, set custom material parameters, create or adjust skinning and animations, simplify models (optimization), create LOD's and Physical representation.
  
Q3About importing 3D assets, is reliable even for importing large scenes, complex riging character... Is there any exporter for 3dsmax, Maya or Softimage, or Esenthel support 3D formats such as Collada or FBX?
A3Yes, the importing is handled mainly by the use of Collada format. The engine supports many other formats as well such as Wavefront OBJ, Milkshape3D, Blitz3D, Ascii Scene Export ASE, Biovision Motion Capture BVH or even formats supported by the Unreal Engine like PSK and PSA, however using the Collada format is the most recommended because it offers the greatest set of features supported.
As for importing large scenes, the engine handles it pretty well, typically all you need to do is just import the model into Esenthel Engine native MESH format, and just place that mesh in the World Editor tool. The World Editor will automatically handle all the operations needed for optimized rendering and streaming of the model, such as for example splitting the model into smaller parts when needed.
And as for the rigging, there's also not a problem, the engine supports up to 256 bones, which is more than enough to handle realistic body and facial animations.
  
Q4Could you please describe the editors that come with Esenthel? Is it easy to apply a material, configure a mesh?
A4The engine comes with a rich set of features, starting with the most simple ones like a custom calculator or mathematical functions visualizer, both can be very helpful to a programmer, then we've got a tool for autoupdating the Engine SDK to the newest version from esenthel server, we've got Converter tool to convert textures, perform automated operations on files and create PAK files, then we've got tools for creating 2D icons from 3D models, previewing images and textures, previewing PAK files, synchronizing files across multiple computers.
And finally going to the more important tools there is Gui Editor used for visual Gui System creation, using point and click methods.
There is Mesh Editor which is basically a miniature version of 3dsMax, used to perform basic operations on models and mainly import them from external files.
And finally and most importantly there is World Editor, which key features are support for unlimited sized worlds, collaborative world editing, version control system, mini map generation, and lot more.
I always try to put most effort in making the tools as easy to use and as most feature rich as possible.
  
Q5HUD based on Flash technology are more and more popular (Scaleform, Hikari... ) are you supporting such technology ?
A5Personally I haven't looked much into this technology, but I remember that one of the users on Esenthel Forum has been successful with using Hikari with Esenthel so I guess it could be pretty simple.
  
 Q6 You have published a demo concerning DX11 tesselation. How can 3D artists and developers can handle this feature : do they need to generate displacement maps? Can dynamic tesselation be used to replace LOD?
A6 Yes, DirectX 11 Tesselation feature is a new addition in the Esenthel Engine which I'm proud of. The developers don't need to do anything more than just ask the engine to enable tesselation and the models will automatically get more smooth. No additional work on the models is required in order to gain more quality. Soon I'm planning on extending the tesselation to also support displacement maps.
I doubt that the tesselation will completely remove LOD system, because tesselation can only add the details to a model, it cannot dynamically reduce detail (by removing triangles). The recommended method is still to have some different LOD's and use tesselation only on models close to the camera, in order to make them even more smooth.

 

  
Q7Is it possible to handle different profile : for exemple displaying dynamic tesselation for 3D users that have DX11 graphics chips, and normal map for the others?
A7Of course, the engine scales very well from modern DX11 systems to DX10.1, DX10 and DX9 (with Shader Model 3.0 and even 2.0).
The engine automatically detects which features are supported and uses the most optimal set of shaders.
  
Q8Every Software editor claims that it's 3d engine is faster to learn, bring better graphics, etc. About Esenthel, could you please give us few example that show it's benefits?
A8Many people choose Esenthel over other engines because of its simplicity and power. Typically companies when developing an engine focus on features that attract the clients visually, however they often forget to put the same effort in the internal core of the engine. I on the other hand, before developing various features focused only on the core itself. I've spent great deal of time on just planning the general architecture, data and object management systems. The invested time now pays off, the engine now isn't just rich in features, it's also very "programmer-friendly". I like to think about Esenthel as not only as a game engine, but as a complete "development platform". The developers when using Esenthel not only have access to automated Game Engine functions which perform the most of work for them, but also have access to hundreds of low level functions which plainly speaking gives unlimited possibilities in game and software creation.
However not to skip the general features, from the most important I would need to mention - support for truly unlimited world sizes, next generation graphics and physics (technologies such as DX11, PhysX, fully dynamic lights with soft shadows, per object motion blur, SSAO, depth of field, realistic cloth and soft body simulation) and of course previously mentioned simplicity, unlimited potential and tools.
  
Q9What do you think of the evolution of the engine market between proprietary and open source 3D engines?
A9It's quite amazing how quickly the games and engines have evolved, I remember that not so long ago there was only Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum with their 8-bit games and pixelated graphics. Now we've got games which look almost real. But back to the subject, when it comes to open source 3D engines, the idea is generally good, let's have an open source engine and let the whole world develop it, but in practice it doesn't go that well. People without organized coordination, serious motivation and financial investments will always be behind commercial teams. Current open source engines are just good enough that they can be used for a simple commercial game, and that's about all that they can offer. I don't think that it will change anytime soon - regularly new hardware comes out, new technologies are developed for that hardware, games need to be more competetive so they need to use that technology (they need to look good). Open Source would be attractive only if there wouldn't be any new hardware, technologies, and it would have time to keep up with commercial products. But it's great to have open source alternative, you can use it for learning programming, I've learned much from the Allegro library back in the old days.
Q10More and more 3D engines are now ready for the web (Torque, Trinigy...) do you plan to support web browser also?
A10Personally I don't think that browser based games have much future, it's just a different way of starting a game, which offers absolutely nothing more than starting a game from an executable file.
Neither of my clients have expressed interest in such technology, definitely more interest is put into the support of other platforms.
Esenthel Engine has proven to be a great success for Windows PC platform, now I'm planning to extend it into other platforms, right now I'm in the middle of porting the engine to Mac, after that, other platforms will follow. I am most interested in supporting platforms such as iPhone and XBOX, for more on that, please stay tuned.
SimplyCube
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 09/04/2010
Q&ASimplyCube
Bertrand Copigneaux, directeur opérationnel & co-fondateur de SimplySim.
April 2010,
 

 

?Nous travaillons sur un modèle de physique réaliste. Notre interface physique a été conçue pour maximiser le réalisme des comportements physique, nous ajoutons des fonctionnalités au différents moteurs pour les rendre plus proches du comportement réaliste.?

<L'interface de SimplyCube

  
Q1Pouvez-vous décrire "l'écosystème" dans lequel SimplyCube se positionne et comment il interagit avec XNA, .Net ?
A1Le SimplyCube se base sur .Net 3.5 et 4.0 qui nous permet de d√©velopper principalement en C# et avoir des temps de d√©veloppement tr√®s courts. Ensuite, pour la partie rendu 3D, nous utilisons XNA 3.1 et 4.0 (donc DirectX9) qui offre une compatibilit√© PC, Xbox 360 et Window Mobile. L?architecture orient√© service ainsi que la gestion concurrente du SimplyCube est assur√©e par Microsoft CCR/DSS (issues de Microsoft Robotics Developper Studio) et offre donc une compatibilit√© Visual Programming Language (VPL : programmation visuelle pour de la composition de services). Nous utilisons WPF pour la gestion des interfaces graphiques de nos √©diteurs nous permettant d?avoir une IHM intuitive et agr√©able. Enfin, pour la gestion de la physique, nous ne sommes li√©s √† aucune technologie particuli√®re puisque le SimplyCube peut utiliser indiff√©remment n?importe quel moteur physique du march√©.
  
Q2Il existe une grande quantité de moteurs 3D sur le marché, en quoi l'approche de SimplySim se distingue des autres solutions pour créer des contenus 3D interactifs ?
A2Il y a plusieurs points diff√©rentiant dans notre solution, qui sont tous li√© √† l?orientation de notre produit vers les utilisations ¬ę s√©rieuses ¬Ľ de la 3D : simulation, r√©alit√© virtuelle, serious games, advergaming?
Tout d?abord, puisque c?est l?√©l√©ment qui se distingue en premier, le r√©alisme graphique. Notre produit utilise les derni√®res technologies d?affichage 3D temps r√©el pour un rendu de haute qualit√©, cela nous distingue d√©j√† de bien des moteurs 3D. Mais il y a √©galement une orientation r√©aliste assez particuli√®re dans la fa√ßon dont nous g√©rons le rendu 3D : par exemple pour les ¬ę lens flare ¬Ľ nous proposons une dizaine de ¬ę lens flare ¬Ľ diff√©rent bas√© sur les effets observ√©s sur de vrais mod√®les de Cam√©ra, autre exemple, nous proposons un ciel ¬ę atmosph√©rique ¬Ľ bas√© sur de vraie donn√©e atmosph√©riques pour pouvoir tr√®s facilement cr√©er un ciel r√©aliste correspondant √† un lieu et une date.
Autre aspect int√©ressant du moteur : nous travaillons aussi sur un mod√®le de physique r√©aliste. Notre interface physique (compatible avec diff√©rents moteur physiques) a √©t√© con√ßue pour maximiser le r√©alisme des comportements physique, c?est en effet plus qu?un simple wrapper, nous ajoutons des fonctionnalit√©s au diff√©rents moteurs pour les rendre plus proche du comportement r√©aliste.
Une autre fonctionnalit√© assez unique de notre produit est la possibilit√© d?utilisation d?une architecture dite ?orient√©e service? pour contr√īler le moteur. Cela signifie que n?importe quel √©l√©ment d?une sc√®ne 3D peut √™tre contr√īl√© comme un ¬ę service ¬Ľ (au sens ¬ę webservice ¬Ľ). Cette particularit√© permet une tr√®s bonne interconnexion de notre moteur avec d?autres applications logicielles
Enfin, et c?est probablement le plus important, notre produit a été entièrement conçu autour de la facilité d?utilisation. Même si le SimplyCube permet d?utiliser des techniques 3D très poussées et complexes, nous avons voulu conserver une grande facilité d?utilisation. Cette facilité d?utilisation tiens pour bonne part de nos éditeurs graphiques, conçue pour être conviviaux et d?apprentissage facile, ils permettent d?éditer et de créer des scènes 3D complexes en quelques clics. Mais la facilité d?utilisation passe aussi par l?API du SimplyCube, conçue sur une architecture logicielle moderne et sur la plateforme .NET
  
Q3Sur votre stand au Laval Virtual, nous avons pu apprécier deux points forts de SimplyCube : le rendu et les deux moteurs de physique.Pouvez-vous nous décrire plus en détail ces deux aspects ?
A3En effet ces deux aspects sont parmi les plus beau point fort du SimplyCube. Pour ce qui est du rendu, nous utilisons de nombreuse techniques avanc√©es pour obtenir un rendu de qualit√©, notamment de nombreuses techniques de Shader : Normal et Parallax mapping permettent de donner du relief aux objets, les filtres de post processing (depth of field, distorsion, color correction) permettent d?am√©liorer le rendu, et nous avons √©galement un gros travail sur les √©clairages : gestion des effets de sur illumination (HDR), de l?occlusion ambiante (SSAO), possibilit√© d?avoir un tr√®s grand nombre de source lumineuse dans une sc√®ne sans affecter les performances (defferred shading) ou encore gestion des illuminations indirectes (SSGI). 
Enfin il est important de rappeler la facilit√© d?utilisation de toutes ces techniques dans notre outil : la plus part peuvent √™tre ajout√©e √† une sc√®ne en faisant un simple glisser-d√©pos√© √† la souris, et configurer en quelques clics dans nos √©diteurs.

Pour la gestion de plusieurs physique (car nous ne nous limiterons pas √† deux) : c?est une particularit√© tr√®s int√©ressante dans notre produit. Il existe aujourd?hui de nombreux moteurs physiques, ayant chacun des caract√©ristiques diff√©rentes : certains sont plus performants, d?autres plus r√©alistes, d?autres encore permettent de g√©rer des effets avanc√©s (clothes, soft bodies). Suivant l?application qu?on souhaite r√©aliser, il peut √™tre int√©ressant d?utiliser l?un ou l?autre de ses moteurs physique, et plut√īt que de contraindre nos utilisateurs √† l?utilisation d?un seul moteur, nous avons d√©cid√© de leur laisser le choix. Ainsi les utilisateurs du SimplyCube peuvent choisir √† l?ex√©cution quel moteur physique est utilis√©, sans avoir rien √† modifier dans leur code. Aujourd?hui nous int√©grons deux moteurs physiques (Newton Dynamics et Nvidia PhysX) et nous en int√©grerons d?autres dans les prochaines mises √† jours du produit.
  
Q4Compte tenu du fait que SimplyCube utilise le moteur XNA, quel est la valeur ajoutée de la solution ?
A4Nous avons longtemps h√©sit√© et r√©fl√©chi sur quelle(s) technologie(s) s?appuyer pour notre moteur de rendu 3D temps r√©el. Dans ce domaine les choix sont nombreux? La premi√®re d√©cision que nous avons prise est d?√©carter les moteurs 3D d√©j√† existants (type Ogre ou Irrlicht) car trop limit√©s et nous voulions avoir un contr√īle maximal sur ce point de d√©veloppement. Ensuite le choix a port√© sur OpenGL, DirectX ou XNA. L?√©tat de l?art en termes de performances et de qualit√© au moment de notre prise de d√©cision nous a fait √©carter OpenGL assez rapidement, et notre besoin de simplicit√© d?utilisation nous a conduits naturellement vers XNA. Ce choix apporte donc au SimplyCube une grande facilit√© d?utilisation et de d√©veloppement (plateforme .Net, gestion du contenu facilit√©e gr√Ęce au ¬ę ContentPipeline ¬Ľ, compatibilit√© Xbox 360), de tr√®s bonnes performances et une qualit√© de rendu importante (m√™me si XNA s?appuie sur DirectX9, nous en faisons une utilisation intensive). Dernier point √† noter, nous comptons porter le SimplyCube sur OpenGL, DirectX10 et 11 d?ici 2012.
  
Q5Le fait d'utiliser des technologies Microsoft ne représente-t-il pas une limitation en terme de diffusion des contenus 3D. Peut-on diffuser des contenus 3D générés avec SimplyCube sur les plateformes Mac, Linux et équipements embarqués ?
A5Aujourd?hui, du fait de notre utilisation de la plateforme Microsoft, nous sommes effectivement limit√©s au d√©ploiement sur plateforme PC, Xbox et t√©l√©phone Windows mobile. Cependant le fait que nous puissions contr√īler le moteur du SimplyCube par webservices, signifie qu?il est tout √† fait envisageable d?utiliser une machine sous Windows pour le rendu et de contr√īler l?ensemble de l?application depuis une machine sous linux ou Mac.
Aujourd?hui l?utilisation de la plateforme Microsoft nous permet d?avoir un rendu de haute qualité, garanti une simplicité d?utilisation à nos utilisateurs, et permet de toucher une communauté importante. Cependant l?émergence des plateformes mobiles nous intéresse et nous travaillons sur une version web du SimplyCube qui permettra d?utiliser les applications sur de nombreuses plateformes.
  
Q6 Pouvez-vous nous parler d'exemples d'utilisation de SimplyCube, et de quelle mani√®re les outils que vous proposez ont simplifi√© le d√©veloppement ?
A6Nos premiers contrats de simulation 3D furent sur des projets de simulation robotique. Ce cas d?utilisation est assez int√©ressant : le d√©veloppement d?un robot est un processus long et couteux qui implique non seulement du d√©veloppement m√©canique et √©lectronique mais de plus en plus logiciel. La simulation 3D permet de tester de valider le comportement du logiciel de commande d?un robot avant m√™me que le robot n?existe physiquement, ce qui est un gros gain de temps et d?argent.
Notre outil a entre autre √©t√© con√ßu avec ce cas d?utilisation en t√™te, il est int√©ressant car les contraintes sont forte : besoin de r√©alisme aussi bien graphique que physique, liaison avec du mat√©riel r√©el (comme les dispositifs de contr√īle d?un robot, ou le robot r√©el), et surtout simplicit√© d?utilisation car les utilisateurs sont des d√©veloppeurs robotique qui ne sont pas sp√©cialis√© en 3D temps r√©el.
Ce sont aujourd?hui les caractéristiques majeures qu?on retrouve dans notre produit, et qui peuvent être appliquée à toute sorte de projet dans de nombreux domaines.
  
Q7SimplyCube est actuellement téléchargeable en pré-version, une version 1.0 devrait voir le jour dans les prochains mois. A qui s'adresse SimplyCube ? A quel prix sera proposé le logiciel ?
A7En effet le SimplyCube est aujourd?hui disponible en version b√©ta :
http://www.simplysim.net/index.php?p=support-download&id=1
Le SimplyCube s?adresse √† tout d√©veloppeur souhaitant cr√©er des applications utilisant de la 3D temps r√©el, ou int√©grer de la 3D temps r√©el √† ses applications. L?offre commerciale, disponible d?ici quelques mois, proposera plusieurs versions : une version d?essai gratuite (avec une limitation d?utilisation sur les √©diteurs, mais un acc√®s complet au moteur de simulation), une version destin√© √† l?√©ducation et aux applications non commerciales (environ 250? par utilisateur) et une version destin√© √† un usage professionnel (environ 800? HT par utilisateur).
Une particularit√© de notre offre est qu?il s?agit d?un abonnement annuel, qui inclut le support et les mises √† jour. Nous partons du principe que les technologies 3D √©voluent tr√®s vite et que nous souhaitons continuer √† innover r√©guli√®rement, donc plut√īt que de sortir une nouvelle version payante tout les 6 mois / 1 ans, nous avons opt√© pour un principe d?abonnement avec des mises √† jour r√©guli√®res qui assurent √† nos clients de toujours avoir un produit au maximum de ces capacit√©s. Evidemment si vous souhaitez arr√™ter d?utiliser notre produit et interrompre votre abonnement, les applications d√©velopp√©es restent bien sure utilisable. A noter √©galement qu?il n?y a pas de royalties sur notre produit, les prix concerne uniquement les licences ¬ę d√©veloppeur ¬Ľ.
  
Q8Comment situez-vous SimplyCube dans le contexte concurrentiel actuel ? Comment se positionne-t-il face aux solutions OpenSource et face aux outils de développement de jeux / serious games (3DVIA Studio, Nova, Unity...) ?
A8Le SimplyCube a un positionnement un peu particulier, nous avons dès le départ choisi de nous orienter vers des utilisations différentes du jeu vidéo et plus proche de la réalité virtuelle, la simulation 3D, du marketing 3D ou des serious games. Il est vrai que l?industrie du jeu vidéo a énormément contribué au développement des technologies 3D que nous utilisons aujourd?hui mais nous pensons que la 3D a de nombreuses autres applications qui sont aujourd?hui sous exploitées.
L?orientation du SimplyCube s?inscrit dans cette d√©marche : rendre la 3D utilisable par tout d√©veloppeur pour tout type d?application. Ce choix strat√©gique de ne pas s?orient√© sur le jeu vid√©o a des cons√©quences directe sur les aspects techniques du produit, la premi√®re cons√©quence √©tant la facilit√© d?utilisation car notre cible n?est pas des d√©veloppeurs sp√©cialis√© dans le jeu vid√©o et la 3D mais tout d√©veloppeur informatique quelque soit sa sp√©cialit√©. Bien sur cela ne doit emp√™cher personne d?utiliser le SimplyCube pour du jeu vid√©o, il s?agit uniquement d?une orientation strat√©gique sur les axes de d√©veloppement prioritaire de notre produit.
Nous pensons avoir une offre bien diff√©renti√© de nos concurrents : abordable financi√®rement et techniquement tout en √©tant de qualit√© et int√©grant les derni√®res innovations du domaine.
Unity3D France
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 09/04/2010
Q&AUnity 3D France
Christophe Luro.
mars 2010
 

 

Unity a frappé un grand coup en rendant Unity Indie gratuit, ce qui a un peu tué dans l'oeuf les autres alternatives existantes, car il représente une solution incroyablement complète contre laquelle auront du mal à suivre des softs comme virtools (célèbre usine à gaz), Torque (dont certains membres on rejoint Unity), ou Shiva.?

<Le site Unity3D-France.com qui fédère la communauté Unity francophone.

  
Q1Comment en êtes-vous venu à créer un site sur Unity ?
A1A la base j'avais un blog orient√© flash et geek nomm√© spotnik-tv (http://www.spotnik-tv.com/dotclear/) et c'est dans le cadre de mon travail de concepteur multim√©dia que j'ai d√©couvert Unity. Nous cherchions un moteur 3D facile d'utilisation et d'une grande portabilit√© et le choix c'est orient√© vers Unity.
J'ai commencé Unity sur la bêta 2.5 PC sortit en janvier 2009 et au bout de quelques mois et passionné par le soft, j'ai décidé d'y consacrer un site dédié afin de monter une communauté française.
  
Q2Les moteurs 3D OpenSource ont souvent une grosse communauté d'utilisateurs, comment se caractérise la communauté francophone d'utilisateurs de Unity ? Grandit-elle ?
A2La communaut√© fr d'Unity est naissance car rien n'existait avant hormis des topics sur certains forums 3D. Le site existant depuis √† peu pr√®s 4 mois, il tourne autour de 600 visites par jour ce qui est pas mal et le forum commence √† monter en puissance gr√Ęce aussi √† des intervenants r√©guliers et passionn√©s. Par contre, je trouve quand m√™me tr√®s bizarre que tr√®s peu de flasheurs ne viennent sur le site car si il y a bien un logiciel reprenant enti√®rement la philosophie (pour pas dire repompe) de Flash, c'est bien Unity. Pour l'exemple, vous avez dans le logiciel, une sc√®ne, l'√©quivalent de la timeline, une biblioth√®que, des fen√™tres propri√©t√©s et un d√©veloppement en javascript qui ressemble furieusement √† l'actionscript. Pour un flasheur, comme moi, c'est √™tre en terrain connu et je pense puisqu'on parle d'Adobe, que ces derniers en abandonnant le d√©veloppement de Shockwave et de la 3D temps r√©el ont commis une erreur fatale. Apr√®s, il,se peut qu'ils rach√®tent la boite comme ils l'on fait avec Macromedia :)
Cependant il existe des alterantives 3D dans Flash, mais elles sont principalement en pure coding, donc très limitées pour l'instant et sans vraie accélération 3D.
  
Q3Depuis l'introduction d'une version standard gratuite, avez-vous noté un regain d'intérêt pour la plateforme ?
A3En fait, j'ai créé le site lors de l'arrivé de Unity gratuit, mais il est clair que sur les forums officiels que je fréquentais, la communauté à littéralement explosée.
  
Q4Avec la version 3, Unity intègre des technologies réservées à des moteurs très couteux (Gamebryo, Unreal....). Pensez-vous que Unity va devenir incontournable pour le jeu en ligne ?
A4Unity va devenir un incontournable du moteur 3D. Le grand avantage si on achète la version adéquate est qu'à partir d'un projet source, vous pourrez faire des exports web, PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Iphone, Ipad, Android, PC et Mac, et celà en un clic ce qui règle des problèmes de portabilités et de conversion de jeux pour différentes plateformes. Après, la 3D dans le webplayer est une solution de confort du joueur qui n'a pas forcément envie d'installer une démo en dur sur son ordi et qui appréciera d'essyer un jeu dans son navigateur. De plus, certains jeux proposent aussi des clients locaux en plus du webplayer.
  
Q5Unity est enrichi par beaucoup d'addon et de scripts, pour vous le moteur soit suffisamment ouvert pour les développeurs ?
A5L'éditeur d'Unity est une plateforme ouverte qui permet d'ajouter des fonctions supplémentaires. Pour faire un comparatif avec flash, on doit dans ce dernier, compiler des add-ons avant de les intégrer sous forme de composants ou de fichiers mxp, alors que dans Unity les add-ons se font directement par des scripts que vous placez dans un dossier "Editor", très utile si vous voulez modifier un add-on que vous jugez incomplet. Ainsi on a vu apparaitre un éditeur de terrain avancé, d'explosions, de routes, de lightmaps, de sprites 2D...
  
Q6 Quel regard portez vous sur les autres moteurs 3D ?
A6Unity a frapp√© un grand coup en rendant Unity Indie gratuit, ce qui a un peu tu√© dans l'oeuf les autres alternatives existantes, car il repr√©sente une solution incroyablement compl√®te contre laquelle auront du mal √† suivre des softs comme virtools (c√©l√®bre usine √† gaz), Torque (dont certains membres on rejoint Unity), ou Shiva. De plus, lorsque l'on voit ce que va apporter Unity 3, il est √©vident que la soci√©t√© √† un boulevard devant elle, ramenant par l√† m√™me toute une communaut√© de d√©veloppeur de jeux vid√©os n'ayant pas les moyens d'acheter un moteur 3D pro, ou permettant de r√©duire les co√Ľts de production de gros √©diteurs comme Electronic Arts qui produira le prochain Tiger Woods sous Unity.
  
Q7D'après vous, quel usage de Unity est le plus demandé : faire des serious games, des jeux sur iphone, des jeux online (etc.) ?
A7Le principal domaine d'activité est bien évidemment le jeu vidéo en général, mais dans le cadre de mon travail, je m'en sert pour des applications 3D à destination de l'industrie ou pour des projets architecturaux permettant d'avoir ainsi des visites ou procédures industrielles en 3D temps réel. Le domaine d'activité est très large tant que l'on reste sur de la 3D.
  
Q8Quel objectif visez vous avec Unity3d-france.com ?
A8J'ai plusieurs objectifs avec Unity3d-france mais peu de temps pour les atteindre :)
Dans un premier temps, en faire un endroit communautaire sympathique dans lequel échanger des sources et des projets et apprendre par des tutoriels les fonctions principales du soft.
Dans un deuxi√®me temps, j'aimerais orienter le site vers un mod√®le √©conomique du style de www.videocopilot.net c'est-√†-dire proposer des formations sur supports num√©riques compl√®tes et √† prix raisonnable, des formations aux entreprises, et conserver le c√īt√© tutoriels gratuits et communautaire mais √ßa demande pas mal de boulot mais je m'y emploie. Dans tous les cas nous n'avons pas finit d'entendre parler d'Unity, et j'esp√®re surtout que la communaut√© flash commence √† s'y int√©resser pour en faire un succ√®s.
3DVIA Studio : Premières impressions
Soumit par Administrateur le jeudi, 07/04/2010

 

Premières impressions à propos de 3DVIA Studio
Dassault Systemes

Lors de la GDC 2010, le premier √©diteur fran√ßais a pr√©sent√© un nouvel outil de d√©veloppement pour la 3D interactive. 3DVIA Studio est original dans sa conception : il est parfaitement int√©gr√© au portail 3DVIA avec lequel il entretient des rapports privil√©gi√©s. Le logiciel peut √™tre utilis√© enti√®rement gratuitement, il y a cependant des contraintes li√©es √† la publication. La gratuit√© des outils de d√©veloppement est en vogue (UDK, Unity...) ; mais les √©diteurs ? qui ont bien besoin de vivre de leur labeur ? monnaient quelques fonctionnalit√©s avanc√©es. Dans le cas de Dassault Syst√®mes, la publication des contenus est gratuite sur le site communautaire de l'√©diteur (on peut √©galement int√©grer les contenus sur son blog au m√™me titre qu'une vid√©o Youtube). Ainsi, les utilisateurs b√©n√©ficient des infrastructures serveurs mises √† disposition par 3DVIA. Globalement il s'agit d'une excellente nouvelle pour les d√©veloppeurs ind√©pendants et √©tudiants. En revanche, les studios risquent de regretter l'absence de politique tarifaire simple. En effet, contrairement √† un produit ¬ę sur √©tag√®re ¬Ľ (Unity, Stonetrip, Flash...), la fa√ßon dont le logiciel sera licenci√© n'est pas clairement √©tabli √† ce jour. Esp√©rons que l'√©diteur tienne compte du contexte concurrentiel qui l'entoure pour rassurer les studios √† ce propos.

3DVIA est un v√©ritable √©cosyst√®me qui permet d'√©changer et de vendre des contenus 3D. D'apr√®s l'√©diteur, m√™me si le volume de mod√®les 3D reste inf√©rieur √† celui de Google Warehouse, un tr√®s grand nombre d'utilisateurs √©changent leurs mod√®les dont la majorit√© de fa√ßon priv√© (et donc pas accessible aux autres utilisateurs). 3DVIA va prendre des allures d'AppStore, puisque l'√©diteur va proposer en plus des mod√®les 3D des ¬ę exp√©riences ¬Ľ. Il s'agit d'applications 3D d√©velopp√©es avec 3DVIA Studio. Ces applications pourront √™tre h√©berg√©es et vendues sur le portail communautaire.

Jetons un coup d'oeil plus détaillé sur 3DVIA Studio. L'interface reprend les ingrédients des éditeurs moderne : les fenêtres sont paramétrables, l'outil est WYSIWYG, le code peut être édité en lecture... Franchement, à première vue cela semble tout à fait convainquant d'autant plus que plusieurs types de profils d'utilisateurs sont gérés : si vous êtes allergiques au code : vous pouvez glisser déplacer des objets, des comportements, des éléments d'interface sans vous prendre la tête ! Pour les autres, vous avez le choix entre un mode nodal (qui rappellera les building blocks de son ancêtre Virtools), et la programmation dans un langage proche du C++. Plus on creuse et plus on s'apperçoit que le logiciel n'a rien d'un soft au rabais et que le fait qu'il soit proposé gratuitement est une véritable bonne nouvelle ! Jugez-en par vous même : l'outil est très collaboratif vous pouvez bien importer par drag and drop des objets (modèles 3D, éléments d'interface, comportements...) depuis 3DVIA.com mais aussi collaborer à plusieurs sur une même scène. Il s'agit vraiment d'un outil moderne et efficace. Nous avons été séduit par l'interface à la fois sobre et clair sans être austère. L'éditeur a développé pour l'occasion son propre moteur de physique et les graphismes sont à la hauteur ; même si certaines feature avancés ne sont pas encore supportés à ce jour : tesselation dynamique (DX11 / OGL4), Ambiant Occlusion (FSAO), Defered Rendering...
3DVIA Studio dans sa version de base est limité à l'export pour le web, en revanche la version commerciale pourra générer des contenus multiplateforme (mac, pc et consoles). L'éditeur n'a par contre rien communiqué en ce qui concerne la publication pour équipements embarqués. Les utilisateurs de Mac apprécieront certainement le fait que le logiciel auteur puisse tourner également sur leurs machines.

Au vu de cette pr√©sentation faite par Dassault Systemes, il est √©vident que l'√©diteur revient en force sur le secteur avec un outil r√©solument professionnel qui devrait acc√©l√©rer le d√©veloppement de contenus 3D interactifs. Avec la mont√© en puissance de solutions telles que Unity, cela fait plaisir de voir Dassault sur le devant de la sc√®ne √† nouveau. L'√©diteur cible ¬ę tous les publics ¬Ľ au risque de compliquer son offre aupr√®s des professionnels. Ce m√©lange des genres est tout √† fait assum√© par l'√©diteur, qui prone une exp√©rience au sens large. Peut-√™tre sommes nous "ringard", mais il nous emble qu'un professionnel du jeu vid√©o peut se sentir perdu parmi des logiciels aussi divers que 3DVIA Scene qui cible le grand public et 3DVIA Composer qui cible la documentation technique. Toujours est-il que la strat√©gie ¬ę 3DVIA ¬Ľ de l'√©diteur semble de plus en plus claire √† nos yeux et f√©d√®re l'ensemble de la gamme Dassault en pr√īnant le travail collaboratif et partag√©. L'avenir nous dira si cette approche est gagnante et si le mode de diffusion bas√© sur un plugin ne sera pas trop p√©nalisant sur le long terme.

 

Les plusLes moins
- développement collaboratif en ligne
- partage des assets
- développement rapide
- documentation complète
- gratuité des outils de développement
- interface
- diff√©rents mode de programmation d'interactions propos√©s 
- import de nombreux formats 3D
- contraintes de publication 
- on regrette l'absence du support de Flash pour le GUI

 

 

 

C3DL
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 23/03/2010
Q&AC3DL
Catherine Leung
March 2010,
 

 

WebGL has something truly unique that I don't think has been fully explored. WebGL is part of the Web. I think that it would be wrong to assume that the games made with WebGL will simply be a remake of what you see on the desktop (ie doom in the browser). I think that there is an opportunity here for something completely new that we have not yet seen. ?

<Particles editor

  
Q1Please give a bref description of C3DL.
A1C3DL is a JavaScript library that makes it easier to write 3D applications using WebGL. It provides a set of math, scene, and 3d object classes that makes WebGL more accessible for developers that want to develop 3D content in browser but do not want to have to deal in depth with the 3D programming needed to make it work. C3DL was originally part of the CATGames research network and was developed with Canvas 3D (the precursor of WebGL). We made our first official WebGL release around February 2010.
  
Q2Can C3DL run on any browser compatible with webGL [Chrome, FireFox, Safari, Opera (?), FireFox Mobile (?)]?
A2We test on Chrome, Firefox and Safari before each release. However, there will be times when a feature works with one browser but not others as updates are made to WebGL but we try to stay as current as possible. We have not yet tested on Firefox mobile or with Opera.
  
Q3C3DL can load Collada files. Does it only load geometry, or does it also support animation (bones, transformation), materials (texture)?
A3Currently we load geometry, transformations, materials and textures. We do not currently support animation but it is one of the things that we plan to support in the future.
  
Q4Why choosing Collada ? It is reputed to be generate larger files than other 3D format. Do you plan to support .zae (ziped collada file) in order to reduce download time?
A4We chose Collada because it is an open XML format that is supported by many of the 3D tools today (or at least as a plug-in). We felt that supporting Collada will make it easier for people to use our library because they would be able to use the tools they currently use. As for .zae and other compressed formats, we have not yet explored these optimizations but it is certainly something to consider as download time is becoming a bigger and bigger issue as our demos become more complex.
  
Q5C3DL.org features nice demo : particles, mocap,... What is you opinion concerning online game : is WebGL enough fast to manage games with physics, AI and sounds?
A5I think it depends on what you are trying to do. JavaScript is getting faster and faster. When we first started we had this issue with garbage collection where we saw our animation pause completely every few seconds. As time went on this pause became less and less noticeable. While I don't think that WebGL will ever be able to achieve the same speed as the latest native desktop app, I think that it is fast enough to be able to deliver a game. 
On the flip side, while WebGL may not have the same performance of a game written natively, it has something truly unique that I don't think has been fully explored. WebGL is part of the Web. I think that it would be wrong to assume that the games made with WebGL will simply be a remake of what you see on the desktop (ie doom in the browser). I think that there is an opportunity here for something completely new that we have not yet seen. When I first started teaching 10 years ago a good friend of mine said that his biggest pet peeve about how programming is taught is that we teach networking as an afterthought. That is we write programs and slap a network on top it without truly thinking about what it means to be connected. 10 years ago, the web was often thought of as a 1 to many broadcast medium. You might write a web page but there would be no real sharing, feedback or connection. Today, the web is much more social. Think of all the things that we now do on the web with sites such as YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook and many others too numerous to mention. These sites offer something that you cannot find in traditional medium such as television, books and newspapers (even if you were able to publish in that media easily). To use WebGL to simply duplicate what is done with traditional desktop 3D languages would not be taking full advantage of WebGL in the same sense that to write a book with html is not taking full advantage of the web.
  
Q6 Internet Explorer will probably not support WebGL, does it mean that WebGL will never be a standard for web3D content?
A6It would be sad if all innovation begins and ends with whether or not IE will support it. If that was the case much of what we see as the future of the web would not occur. WebGL is new but it is based on proven technology. I think that this approach has a much better chance at adoption than other approaches in the past.
  
Q7What is the license of C3DL?
A7MIT. Our license can be found here
  
Q8C3DL comes with a lot of features, what would be next milestones?
A8We would like to add Collada animation as a feature. Beyond that, our features are sometimes driven by other related projects that we are working on with industry partners.
  
Q9 There are a lot of Javascript library for WebGL, why not merging all this work for offering advanced tools for 3d artists/developers?
A9Each library offers something slightly different and its development paths and goals are often different. For example, our library added better support for lines and dots for a related project for a 3D viewer for a motion capture web app. Part of developing openly means that we welcome others to look at our code and extend on what we do. Similarly when we see a feature in another library we may end up implementing it ourselves, changing it to suit the direction of the development of our library. We also welcome contributors to our project and are taking steps to making it easier for people to get involved. We are using github for our source repository and lighthouse for bug tracking. Any feedback would be most welcome.
Bullet Physics
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 09/03/2010
Q&ABullet Physics
Erwin Coumans
March 2010,
 

 

We are working towards general data parallel optimizations, both for OpenCL and Direct Compute.
Performance gains vary, in some cases the GPU can be up to 10 times faster.
?

<Bullet Physics used in 2012, ©Columbia pictures

  
Q1According to a survey published in Game Developers Magazine, Bullet is a popular Physic engine among games developers (3rd engine after PhysX and Havok). According to you, what are the key features that make developers preferring Bullet?
A1The key features are 
1) Bullet is fully open source under a permissive license (Zlib license)
2) Bullet is free for commercial use for any purpose, no strings attached
3) Bullet C++ code can be fully customized, optimized and extended as you like
4) Bullet has been used in several well-known games and movies
5) Bullet performs well, it has good stability and is under active development
  
Q2What is the license of Bullet? Does it offer more flexibility than its competitors?
A2Bullet's Zlib license is very permissive, you can freely use it in commercial projects. Zlib is similar to MIT and BSD license, you are not even required to mention if you use Bullet.
This license is much better than Havok and PhysX. Both of them don't provide full source code (for example Havok practically never provides the most interesting parts of their source code, such as the innerloop of the constraint solver or the GSK/EPA collision detection code). Those proprietary licenses encourage vendor lock-in. Both Havok and PhysX also typically have logo display requirements,
unlike Bullet.
  
Q3Cinema4D, Blender, Maya, Lightwave Core can use Bullet. Is it important that physics attributes are defined in the DCC software? What is the best workflow?
A3More complex setup such as ragdoll limits can be easier setup in a DCC tool. Most game developers use an authoring tool with Bullet support. From the authoring tool you can save collision/physics data using the .bullet file format, or your own.
  
Q4Havok is popular because of it's integration in 3ds max. Do you plan to add a better support of 3ds max and Softimage?
A4We plan on providing an open source 3ds max plugin. Note that several game developers already wrote their own max plugin for Bullet.
  
Q5Collada is trying to standardize the export of physics data from a DCC tool. Does it really work? Have you heard of developers that successfully base their workflow on Collada for physics data?
A5The idea behind COLLADA is great, but there are still no decent DCC plugins. Lack of a stable standard import/export library means that everyone writes their own, causing many incompatibilities.

We recently switched to the binary .bullet format for better compatibility. The chunk-based .bullet format is loosely based on EA IFF 85, like AIFF, TIFF and the Blender .blend format. The exporter/import is very compact and build into the Bullet SDK, and deals with all platform conversions and forward/backward compatibility.

  
Q6 What do you think of projects such as PAL (Physics Abstraction Layer)?
A6An abstraction layer might be handy at the start of a new project, when evaluating several physics engines. But during full production using a native API is better. You might want to optimize, extend the library, use its unique features, file formats etc.
  
Q7Computing physics algorithms consumes a lot of resources. Bullet is one of the first physic engine to take advantage of OpenCL. Why OpenCL? What kind of performance gains can user expect?
A7We are working towards general data parallel optimizations, both for OpenCL and Direct Compute.
Performance gains vary, in some cases the GPU can be up to 10 times faster.
  
Q8There have been rumors about nVidia PhysX multicore support. AMD is claiming that PhysX does not take advantage of multicore architecture. What are the capabilities of Bullet in the field of multicore?
A8Bullet already can process narrowphase collision detection in parallel. We have a MiniCL wrapper that can process OpenCL kernels on multi-core CPUs, so all OpenCL optimizations also apply for multi-code CPU.
  
Q9  Are physics engines used for serious games, science visualization and simulation? Do physic engines such as Bullet offer sufficient precision models to be used in non-game applications?
A9The precision is not good enough for scientific simulation. Bullet is used for medical training etc but it should not be used for anything risky.
The approximations are generally good enough for games and special effects in film.
  
Q10DCC softwares use more and more physics in Special Effects for particles, mesh deformations (Softimage ICe, Houdini). Do you think that physic engines will be able to handle more FX in games?
A10Bullet has been extensively used for special effects in films, such as 2012, Hancock, Sherlock Holmes etc.
Many Hollywood studios have integrated Bullet rigid body simulation in their pipeline. Physics engines will also be able to handle more FX in games, with fracture, cloth, sph fluid simulation, particle effects etc.
  
Q11Can iphone games take advantage of Bullet engine?
A11Yes, Bullet was the first 3D physics engine available for iPhone. The open source SIO2 and Oolong Engine for iPhone use Bullet.
  
Q12What would be the next milestones for physics engine and Bullet?
A12Bullet 3.x is the next milestone, with OpenCL and Direct Compute support. Other milestones include improved authoring tools support including a visual debugger/standalone physics editor.
  
Q13You work at Sony. Do they think of Bullet, do they project to use more and more Bullet for PS3 games?
A13Sony lets us work on optimized versions of Bullet for various PlayStation platforms.
Also Sony provides support for those PlayStation optimized versions. It is up to the individual game team to select the physics engine. So we just have to keep on improving Bullet to stay attractive for game developers.
  
ZGameEditor
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 09/03/2010
Q&AZGameEditor, 
Ville Krumlinde
March 2010,
 

 

?Software like ZGE exists to remind people that software can be small and efficient. There is no need to swell with unnecessary features just to fill the limits of the current hardware.?

<ZGameEditor

  
Q1ZGame editor can create lightweight games : is it true that you can build 64 kb games?
A1Yes ZGameEditor (ZGE) generates executables that optionally can be compressed using Upx-compressor. Currently an empty application compresses to around 30kb which leaves plenty of room up to 64kb if you use procedural content generation of graphics and audio.
  
Q2In a context where program footprints are always larger ; why is it so important for you to produce optimized programs?
A2It is to prove a point. If developers just gave a little thought about footprint and efficiency then programs would not need to grow as much as they do. ZGE is definitely not built in optimized assembler or anything wild like that, instead it use a clean modern and structured object oriented design with readable and highly modularized source code. So you don't need to be an optimization expert to make efficient software, you just need a little bit of knowledge about the technology you use so you can pick the path that leads to the smallest footprint. This would make all the software we use much faster so we would not need to upgrade hardware as often.
The race to upgrade is driven by the hardware industry. It's always the same procedure for me: I buy a new PC once every three years. This PC has got specifications that are 4 times more powerful than the one I had before. All software runs lighting fast. Then a couple of years later the software has become too slow to use so I need to upgrade the hardware again. Simple maths would then suggest that the software I use have become at least 4 times more demanding in memory and cpu requirements during this time, and yet I sure haven't noticed any improvements in the software that would justify this increase.
For at least the last 10 years personal computers are really ridiculously overpowered for the tasks most people use them for: surfing the web, email and office applications. So the software houses try to think up new features that will use the extra performance and motivate people to upgrade the software. But in reality I cannot think of a single feature in those software packages that I really need. Instead I upgrade my computer because later software are more compatible with the ever-changing environment of internet standards and also because they keep fixing security holes (as well as introducing new ones of course). So I upgrade because the old software deteriorates, not because I need any new features.
So to summarize you could say that software like ZGE exists to remind people that software can be small and efficient. There is no need to swell with unnecessary features just to fill the limits of the current hardware. On the Linux platform people are much better making use of limited hardware and of course on mobile devices this is always an important concern.
  
Q3Is ZGame Editor capable of displaying rich graphics 3D objects ?
A3Yes, you can generate complex 3d-objects using procedural techniques. Either by using the built-in components or by typing mathematical expressions. You can also import geometry from files.
  
Q4What is the typical workflow with ZGame Editor (importing 3d assets, programing, generating exe...)?
A4It works best with a iterative approach. Say you want to create a game. You create some content you want to use, perhaps using simple placeholder graphics to start with, add some scripting to make it interactive and then when you are pleased with the result you can fine tune the content and adding detail.
ZGE does not enforce any specific order of tasks so you can work in any order you want. Perhaps you want to start with designing the sound effects, or developing a fragment shader, or simply choosing the colors of the background. All changes to the content are displayed in realtime in the ZGE designer. You can also at any time generate an exe-file, just press F9 and you instantly have a freely distributable self-contained executable.
  
Q5What is the language of ZGame Editor?
A5ZGE use a simple scripting language based on C-syntax. It currently supports strings, integers and floating point datatypes. You can write your own functions or import functionality from external DLL-files.
You can read about the details here:
http://www.zgameeditor.org/index.php/Main/WritingExpressions
  
Q6 As a very optimized engine, do you target embedded devices or web publishing?
A6ZGE can currently generate executables for Windows, Linux and OS X. The ZGE runtime is very portable because it use no other external references except OpenGL, so we are investigating other platforms. It is important to note that ZGE is a non-profit driven project completely developed by enthusiasts in their spare time. The source code is free and we welcome anyone to help in making ZGE a better product.
  
Q7What is you plans for the next release?
A7There is no large scale roadmap. We just pick the features that seem like a logical step to the next release. The scripting language needs more functionality so that is highly prioritized, also we could support more features of the latest OpenGL standards, and we must also think of additions that can make ZGE more intuitive to use.
Rightware Kanzi
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 16/02/2010
Q&ATeemu Uotila
Rightware
Feb. 2010
 

?Even though Kanzi? Solutions main focus is in user interface and graphical content creation, it can be used for game development also. Rightware?s intuitive content pipeline allows plug-ins for physics engines and of course any other third party software can be integrated, we do not limit it in anyway, so you can use Kanzi to create games.?

 

 

 

 

Q1Please give a brief description of Rightware.
A1Rightware is a spin-off company of Futuremarks Mobile & Embedded Business Unit. Recently Rightware received a capital investment; this enabled us to form a new company, where we could fully dedicated our work to mobile, embedded and automotive sectors. Rightware continues it work with the same group of people who were part of Futuremarks Mobile & Embedded Business Unit, and due to a significant capital investment, we are now able to accelerate our operations even more.
  
Q2Because of wide range of mobile technologies, developing for those devices is often a very hard task. How can Kanzi? reduce those costs?
A2Kanzi? reduces costs due to its unique design and intuitive pipeline. We approached this problem from designers? perspective. For example, when you create a user interface, the old way was to have a constant dialog, back-and-forth play with programmers and engineer, still the end-result wasn?t necessary what it should?ve been. With Kanzi?, this entire unnecessary dialog is reduced, and both the designer and engineer can better focus their efforts to their respective fields. Designer creates the user interface, and he/she can see instantly see what it would look like in the end-device and create appealing look & feel with great usability. This is a very effective way to slice time-to-market cycle and simultaneously utilizes your team?s resources and input in user interface, HMI or graphical content creation. Kanzi? toolchain can be described as a rapid and smooth way of creation.
  
Q3Is Kanzi? capable of deploying 3D content on new mobile systems such as iPhone OS and Android?
A3

Yes, Kanzi? is a platform independent solution. This means that you can use Kanzi? Solution in any operating system and run it on any hardware. Kanzi??s focus is in high-quality 3D graphics, so whenever there are new mobile phones and technologies entering in to the markets, we embrace their technological prowess and let Kanzi? Solution make the best out this situation.

  
Q4Rightware is also editing Furturemark benchmarks for mobiles (3DMarkMobile). What do you think of the evolution of 3D capabilities of mobile phones?
A4

3D user interfaces and applications are definitely coming to play a major role in the future. Obviously with 3D graphics, the power consumption becomes an issue. Luckily there are multi-CPU and ?GPU solutions on the horizon, so power management issues can be better addressed. With 3D graphics you can create more intuitive ways to use applications ? after all, we live in three dimensional world and things come more naturally to us in 3D, so why should mobile phone user interfaces and applications be any different.

  
Q5It seems that iPhone and other smartphones can compete with mobile console (PSP). But are there any tools for authoring AAA games on mobile platforms?
A5

Even though Kanzi? Solutions main focus is in user interface and graphical content creation, it can be used for game development also. Rightware?s intuitive content pipeline allows plug-ins for physics engines and of course any other third party software can be integrated, we do not limit it in anyway, so you can use Kanzi to create games. Kanzi? is a graphics engine, which means in order to do a game you will need to add the parts missing: audio, physics and the game logic itself.

  
Q6More and more applications are using 3D : geo-localisation, serious games... Are you also interested in those areas?
A6

Prospects in 3D environment and its use-cases are definitely growing. We are definitely looking in to these, but our main focus will still be in mobile, embedded consumer products and in automotive. For instance in geo-localization 3D applications are indeed a benefit, but the need of high-quality 3D applications in these areas are somewhat marginal.

  
Q7Rightware seems to focus on open and standard technologies: OpenGL ES, Collada, etc. Why?
A7

We use Khronos open standards because they are very widely adopted, and if we talk about the world of 3D, there is basically only one option, OpenGL, if you want to do graphics for multiple platforms. COLLADA on the other hand gives our customers the freedom to choose the digital content creation they prefer to use, for example 3DSMax, Maya, Softimage or Blender. The geometry and animations can be create in a tool which the designers already know, these can be then exported and imported to our Kanzi? tool through COLLADA. We do not want to reinvent the wheel again.

  
Q8What are the next milestones for Rightware?
A8Naturally we cannot disclose our internal milestones, but thanks to this spin-off and capital investment Rightware can now take mobile, embedded and automotive worlds by storm. We do genuinely believe, that 3D is the way of the future and growth in user interfaces and applications will be quite considerable in the coming years, and we will be on the forefront in this segment.
CopperLicht - CopperCube
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 09/02/2010
Q&A

CopperLicht 
Nikolaus Gebhardt

February 2010

 

? [...] CopperLicht is a 3D engine as well. It is an abstraction layer above this simple drawing API and makes it much easier to create 3D Applications: Instead of writing hundreds of lines of code to draw a few triangles to form a 3d world with WebGL, you can simply start up CopperLicht to do all this for you with one single line of code.?

  
Q1

Ambiera is well-known for irrEdit a level editor for irrLicht engine. Why are you developing tools for other engines such as Flash and WebGL?

A1

Ambiera's goal has always been to develop tools to help game developers creating games. That's also why Ambiera is developing irrKlang, the 3d audio library, for example. There are many game developer currently switching from old-school application development to web development, and we want to support them as well with our tools like CopperCube for 3D graphics in Flash or CopperLicht for WebGL.

  
Q2Flash 3D engines such as CopperCube have made huge improvements at the beginning, but it seems that they are still limited especially for 
displaying large scenes. Do you think that Flash 3D engines will be able to handle more complex scenes in a near future? What is your opinion about that?
A2

Yes, that's true. The big problem here is that one is quite a bit limited by the Flash platform: Obviously it was never designed to do
realtime 3d graphics, and all 3D engines for Flash such as CopperCube are hitting the wall. There are simply limits, and for 3D in Flash, those limits are reached very easily. 
Should Adobe extend their Flash API, and make real hardware accelerated 3D drawing functionality with Z-Buffer, Shaders and more available, this could change the game again, of course.

  
Q3CupperCube can generate interactions without any knowledge of Action Script, how far can people go without coding?
A3

The idea was to make it possible to create very simple scenes without the need to know anything about programming. For example you can create a 3D scene in CopperCube and make it possible to walk around in it. You can define simple actions like opening doors, moving objects, playing sounds and music, opening websites etc, triggered by different events. For example when the user walks near a specific object or clicks on something. It's all still very simple, but with a bit of creativity, you can create nice 3d scenes. By the way, all these events and actions are working in CopperLicht, the WebGL engine as well.

  
Q4The demos of webGL on your website look very promising ! It seems that webGL is much more ready to handle 3D contents than Flash. Do you think that Flash will be less and less used as webGL will begining to be available on browsers?
A4

Thanks! I was surprised myself how fast WebGL and especially JavaScript is, after I created the first tests with it. The Quake 3 Level rendered in realtime by CopperLicht for example speaks volumes: I guess there will be a lot of WebGL games created in pure JavaScript in the near future. And yes, I think needing a plugin for doing 3d graphics in the web won't work for very long. Plugins have a big disadvantage: They're plugins. You can simply omit them.

  
Q5webGL is a kind of binding of OpenGL for JavaScript. What is the role of CopperLicht ?
A5

webGL and OpenGL is, like for example Direct3D as well, only a drawing API. It is very primitive and it takes a bit of efford to write something complicated like a whole 3D game with it. That's why there are 3D rendering engines, like Irrlicht for example. And CopperLicht is a 3D engine as well. It is an abstraction layer above this simple drawing API and makes it much easier to create 3D Applications: Instead of writing hundreds of lines of code to draw a few triangles to form a 3d world with WebGL, you can simply start up CopperLicht to do all this for you with one single line of code.

  
Q6Actually CopperLicht and CopperCube UI looks more or less the same, do you plan to unify them so that people can deploy their 3D content "everywhere" (.exe, webGL, flash3D) ?
A6Actually, CopperLicht doesn't have any UI, it is just some code, the 3d engine. CopperCube is a 3D editor, and yes, it already is unified: It can publish to .exe, Flash 3d and now even WebGL using CopperLicht as rendering backend.
  
Q7About WebGL, it seems that Javascript must handle a lot of thing : parsing 3D models, interactions, collision, animations. Do you think that script language are enought fast for creating games?
A7I think it can do it, yes. The next release of CopperLicht will include a complete collision and response system, it is already partially
implemented in the current version. So with the next release, you will be able to run around in the 3d worlds and interact with items in there.
  
A8CopperLicht introduces a new compress file format, what is the benefit ?
Q8For CopperLicht, the whole 3d scene is compiled into one small binary file, the .ccbjs file (created by CopperCube). Since WebGL is web based and to draw the 3d world it needs to be downloaded first by the web browser, it is better if the data to download is smaller. This reduces the bandwith needed by the users and increases the speed in which the game loads.
  
 A9 For developer that want to create small games with CopperLicht which workflow do you suggest ? Can they create contents comparable as the one created with Unity3D or Virtools?
Q9Unfortunately I never used one of these tools, but I heard good things about them. The workflow for CopperLicht goes like this: Create your 3D objects in your favourite 3D modeller and import them into CopperCube, the 3d editor supports about 17 3D file formats. From there, you can edit, adapt and publish your scene with one click as interactive 3d WebGL program already. If you want to go on and create a real 3d game, you can then use CopperLicht to write your game based on this. Of course, you can do this also without the 3d editor CopperCube, but I guess this is the simplest way.
  
A10What are the next milestones in CopperLicht developpement?
Q10The next version of CopperLicht will include a complete collision and response system, to make it possible to walk or fly around 3d scenes without moving through walls and to interact with 3d objects. It will for example also be possible to walk up stairs etc, so it's a basic physics engine. But also character animation and a more extensible material system is planned, so there is a lot of good stuff to come.
SpiderGL
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 08/02/2010
Q&A

SpiderGL
Marco Di Benedetto

February 2010

 

?SpiderGL is intended to fill the gap between web developers which are more and more interested in learning 3D graphics and experienced Computer Graphics developers.?

  
Q1

WebGL is a binding between JavaScript and OpenGL, what is the role of SpiderGL?

A1

The WebGL API reflects closely the philosophy of its underlying layer, OpenGL|ES 2.0, that is, it should be a minimal, low level, yet powerful and perfomant graphics library. In this context, SpiderGL offers a higher level of abstraction upon WebGL to ease its use in general scenarios, without imposing any specific programming paradigm nor retaining, under any circumstance, direct access to the WebGL API.
Moreover, SpiderGL is not only an interface towards WebGL, but it also offers a wide range of typical computer graphics tools.

  
Q2Do you think that WebGL has a real potential? In other words, can you explain why you are developing for this API?
A2

WebGL is a standard promoted by the Khronos Group, the same people who, some years ago, promoted the OpenGL|ES API, which is now basically supported by every smart embedded device. Concurrently, in recent years we have seen how people expect web content to be in touch with standard desktop applications. The introduction of a platform independent, plug-in free, ready-to-go 3D API is surely something that finally had to come. With WebGL, developers don't even have the burden of recompiling their code for different platforms, it's just ready for millions and millions of desktop and mobile users through their web browsers.
SpiderGL is intended to fill the gap between web developers which are more and more interested in learning 3D graphics and experienced Computer Graphics developers.

  
Q3WebGL is a very raw 3D engine, how can SpiderGL help developers?
A3

Every developer wants to implement their ideas in a fast way, and those who are pretty familiar with the subject also wants full control over the nitty-gritty details. Whenever we approach an existing software component, we would like to reuse as much as possible of our former knowledge on the subject, namely our already implemented data structures and algorithms. On the contrary, we often see how external libraries expect us to comply with some specific paradigm or data representation. That's exactly the main reason that force us, in many cases, to work on tedious translation layers, which also impact on performances.
This is a key point: SpiderGL must comply with your habits, not the contrary, you should be able to integrate it into your existing code with little or no effort. As an example, I don't want to change my shader source code or mesh definition to match the predefined names or structure a certain library would expect. Rather, I want a easy mechanism to have them automatically matched. For these and for a number of other reasons we did not take a scene graph-like approach but rather preferred a procedural one. The naming and coding conventions used throughout SpiderGL reflect what a JavaScript developerwould expect. At the same time, OpenGL users would find that the library does not introduce unnecessary abstractions but rather gives them a compact and easy-to-handle representation of well-known concepts. In addition, I'd like to remark that SpiderGL does not only offer WebGL facilities, but also provides several 3D graphics and more general programming features, ranging from linear algebra to visibility culling, to asynchronous content loading.

  
Q4Actually there are no 3d file importer for WebGL do you plan to add this function in SpiderGL? If so what kind of 3D format would you support : Collada, X3D, obj ?
A4

Content formatting (geometry, images, shader effects code and such) has been carefully kept away from OpenGL-class graphics libraries, due to their application-specific nature.
SpiderGL already supports the Alias|Wavefront OBJ format, and we are thinking about a Collada importer.
As SpiderGL handles meshes as raw containers of vertex attributes and array or indexed topology, we are also developing facilities to directly work with a JSON-based object description.
It is likely that the library will, in the future, support a higher level scene description format like X3D.

  
Q5Do you think that WebGL is enough fast for creating rich 3D environment for games?
A5

In the last years there was a turning point in realtime 3D Graphics applications, that is, more and more processing has been redirected from the CPU to the GPU.
By consequence, during the graphics rendering phase, the principal role of the CPU side of the application became that of an "orchestrator", issuing commands to the GPU and asking it to combine them in the final image. Of course, I am far from saying that you can reach the quality and performances of current C++ software (being a game composed of a lot of modules, not only graphics), but I am expecting that the overhead introduced by the JavsScript language would be mostly mitigated by moving the processing to the GPU, resulting in an overall enjoyable experience. As a side note, we used SpiderGL to implement a rather complex multiresolution viewerbased on ray-casting and implementing theBlockMap concept.

  
Q6What is the license of SpiderGL?
A6SpiderGL is currently under the "GNU Lesser Public License" (LGPL) as we think that this kind of licence would help it to be adopted by the majority of developers community, while giving us the intellectual property.
  
Q7As Web3D would be available on embedded devices, would you port SpiderGL on those devices?
A7SpiderGL uses standard JavaScript syntax, objects and functions, and it strictly adheres to the platform-independent (draft) WebGL specifications. Moreover, it does not use any browser-specific code paths. We expect that compliant web browsers can run SpiderGL-based applications without any modification. Actually, we successfully tested SpiderGL on a wide range of desktop platforms (win xp/vista/7, linux ubuntu).
We hope that compliant web browsers will behave in the same robust way, but, when needed, we will do our best to have SpiderGL working on every WebGL-enabled platform.
  
A8Could you please tell us what are your next milestone for SpiderGL and what are your goals?
Q8We are planning to add some mesh processing algorithms, user interface facilities like generic object manipulators, as well as commonly used shapes and shaders repositories. As stated before, our target is to create a library which adapt itself to the developer habits, which fill the gap between JavaScript web developers and the Computer Graphics community, providing easy-to-use objects and functions without preventing low-level access to the underlying WebGL layer.
Unity3D
Soumit par Administrateur le dimanche, 09/01/2010
Q&AUnity 3D
W. Thomas Grové, Marketing Communications Manager, Unity Technologies
January 2010
 

 

In just over a month since releasing the free version we've nearly quadrupled our user base! ?

<Unity 3D in action

  
Q1Unity (standard edition) is free, even for commercial uses. What are the reactions of 3D developers?
A1The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. In just over a month since releasing the free version we've nearly quadrupled our user base!
  
Q2What would you say for developers that want to create a 3D web games, and who hesitate between different engines?
A2For those who want to make console quality 3d games on the web, there is no reason to hesitate; the only real choice is Unity. It has a larger install base than any of our competitors and It has been adopted by brands such as EA, Cartoon Networks, Disney, Warner Bros, and LEGO to drive their premium online content. Furthermore Unity is probably the most user friendly 3D engine out there, web or otherwise.
  
Q3Flash 3D engines become more and more sophisticated. Is Flash a menace for Unity?
A3Since Flash has already established its market share, and since we're still expanding ours like crazy, we're probably the "menace". I think 3D Flash engines still have a ways to go, especially in terms of performance and usability, but it is something that we understand as a potential competitor. It's probably worth noting that John Grden, one of the lead programmers behind PaperVision3D (the leading Flash-based 3D engine) spoke at our conference and when he wants real 3D ? with physics and custom shaders ? he uses Unity.
  
Q4Realtime 3D rendering can now produce nice shadow. What can Unity achieve in the field of shadowing ( Ambient occlusion, soft shadow, deferred rendering)?
A4Unity allows for dynamic shadows. We currently do not have a solution for generating ambient occlusion maps, but they can be imported as light maps from a modeling application. In our latest release we added screen space ambient occlusion for dynamic AO. We allow for full screen post processing and you can write your shaders in CG, so if someone wanted to then they could do deferred shading in Unity. We do not have a deferred renderer built in, but we are currently considering adding some sort of deferred lighting system into Unity (although it would only be enabled for higher end systems because of the upfront memory cost).
  
Q5Flash is often used for creating HUD (ScaleForm, Hikari...). Can Unity use Flash for creating nice UI and HUD?
A5No, but people are making very elegant solutions for seamlessly switching between Flash and Unity in browser. Check out U3DObject, an open source framework for this type of integration. It is made by a Brazilian company called Aquiris ? they're doing great work with using Flash for loading screens and game menu screens while using Unity for the actual game content.
  
Q6 Unity has a good workflow with 3ds max and maya. What about the other DCC softwares (Softimage, C4D, Lightwave,...)? What is the "strategy" of Unity regarding assets importing, do you believe in "cross DCC" formats such as FBX and Collada?
A6We support assets from all of the packages you just listed (3DS Max, Maya, Softimage, Cinema4D, Lightwave), in addition to Blender and any other application that supports FBX export. We're a big fan of formats like FBX which have allowed us to build an asset pipeline that is best of class when it comes to ease of use.
  
Q7DX11 introduces new tessellation capabilities, as Unity is rely on an OpenGL API, do you plan to add such effects?
A7Unity runtime displays on OpenGL on Mac OS X but defaults to Direct X for Windows ? unless Unity detects a particularly buggy card/driver combination, in which case it will automatically use OpenGL instead. We're always improving our rendering and have some of the brightest minds in that field working at Unity, so anything is a possibility.
  
Q8What is the repartition of Unity users according the different usages (serious games, web3D, iPhone)?
A8The most popular use of Unity is for creating web games and iPhone games, some of which have gained the top selling game spot such as Mika Mobile's Zombieville USA, or even the top selling app spot in the case of Graveck's Skee-Ball. But there have also been a number of serious games, simulations, and training applications developed in Unity as well as architectural visualizations and interactive installations for store fronts or art museums. I think we will continue to see the adoption of Unity for these non game applications as people in those fields learn about Unity, what it is capable of, and how easy it is to use.
  
Q9Unity offers a nice learning curve for beginners, but is this engine ready for building advanced games?
A9Unity has been adopted for full scale MMOs, Wii games, and rich online experiences such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online. Unity is ready for prime time.
  
Q10iPhone are very popular, is it possible to create augmented reality Apps using Unity?
A10Yes, in fact it has already been done. It does however require the user to write their own access to the iPhone camera through our plugin architecture.
  
Q11Unity is now available on Windows and can export to iPhone : what is the next milestone?
A11The Unity editor run on OS X and on Windows but Unity can publish to a variety of platforms including OS X, Windows, Web Browsers, the iPhone, and the Wii console. We announced Xbox 360 support at our user conference in October and we're always experimenting with other consoles and mobile devices.
  
Q12It seems that the differences between expensive solutions such as CryEngine, UDK, Emergent and affordable engines such as Unity is becoming less and less visible. What is your feeling?
A12From a technical stand point there isn't much of a difference at all, but from a standpoint of public perception, that's where we're really seeing the gap narrowing. One of the reasons for this is that when you're spending a million dollars on your engine you're probably going to be spending at least a million dollars on art too. Since the art budgets of early adopters of reasonably priced engines was often times nearly to zero, the resulting game visuals are more likely to look amateurish. Now that we're seeing professional studios adopt Unity we're starting to see contend made in Unity that is on par with the other big engines. That's going a long way towards narrowing the perceived gap.
  
Q13The web is becoming a key component of the game industry (online gaming, MMORPG, Steam, OnLive...). But there are still few games that can be played inside the browser, why ?
A13There are tons of games that can be played inside the browser; even if you only look at casual gaming portals, the number has to dwarf the number of board games, current generation console games, or current generation handheld game. If the question is "why are there so few AAA web games" then I think that the answers is a combination of budget and technology. Ad supported games just don't generate enough revenue to pay for AAA production values, but I think that will change very quickly now that monetization methods are becoming more sophisticated and developers have access to Unity's powerful development tool and web deployment technology.
NeoAxis
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 08/01/2010
Q&ANeoAxis
Ivan Efimov, Founder of NeoAxis Group Ltd.
January 2010
 

 

By applying our technology to the creation of simulations, NeoAxis Engine provides the capability to develop more realistic simulations faster and easier than typical simulation development tools. NeoAxis Engine integrates tools for rapid scenario creation, real-world 3D terrain building, asset management, and artificial intelligence into a single tool, allowing developers to rapidly create and modify detailed simulation environments.?

<Sacraboar, available on Steam

  
Q1Please give a brief description of NeoAxis.
A1NeoAxis Engine is a complete integrated development environment for creating interactive 3D graphics including 3D virtual worlds, AAA games, and realistic simulations. The system comprised of both a real-time 3D engine and a suite of full featured tools.
  
Q2NeoAxis has just released a plugin that brings top quality 3D engine to the web. Does it mean that people would be able to play on the Internet directly on their browser?
A2Yes. NeoAxis based applications can be deployed to web browsers. NeoAxis Engine supports all major browsers including FireFox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari.
  
Q3NeoAxis uses Ogre3D engine. Ogre3D mesh format is not compressed. How do you reduce download time? Does NeoAxis support advanced features such as asset streaming?
A3All content is archived in Zip format, asset streaming at this time is not supported but is planned for future versions.
  
Q4Ogre3D offers a wide range of HUDs (Hikari, Navi, CeGUI). Is it also possible to create HUD based on Flash content?
A4To answer your question directly, yes, Flash GUI can be integrated. You would probably need some third party library, overall this would probably be a bad idea. If you want use special GUI editor, better to use a technology like WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), but also NeoAxis Engine already have GUI editor in toolkit. Visual Studio 2008 have GUI editor for WPF. This can be integrated into NeoAxis, because it is .Net based.
  
Q5NeoAxis is a real game engine with physics, network and sound capabilities. How can you bring all those features in a so small web plugin (about 2.5MB)?
A5Web Player is just 2.5MB because the engine only needs the Mono runtime (alternative .Net Runtime implementation). All engine DLL's are downloaded with content. 2.5MB is not full engine, it is just .Net runtime and "sandbox" for executing engine based projects.
  
Q6 Is there any graphic editors that help 3d artist testing 3d assets and editing levels?
A6Yes. The engine comes with all tools needed to create, edit, and deploy your project. This includes all 3d assets and level editing requirements developers may have. These come apart of engine SDK, but not apart of the web plugin.
  
Q7What is the best work flow between DCC (3ds max, Maya, Softimage) and NeoAxis Engine?
A7We provide specifically exporters for 3ds max, and Maya that will export directly to your NeoAxis based project. Also OGRE has many exporters that you can use with 3ds max, Maya, and Softimage XSI. The OGRE mesh format compatible with many asset creation tools on the market.
  
Q8What would you say to people who search a 3D game engine for web? What are the advantage of NeoAxis compare to Unity3D, Shiva, Torque or Virtools?
A8The first and major advantage is that you can get the same amount of power those other engines provide for a fraction of the cost. The NeoAxis Commercial SDK is only 395$ USD a price that you won't find any place else in terms of functionality on the dollar.
  
Q9 It seems that the differences between "AAA games engines" such as Unreal, CryEngine, Emergent and other engines is getting lower and lower. Do you think that even big games editors could use NeoAxis?
A9In 2009 the NeoAxis engine has reached new heights in terms of exposure. Recently a project called "Sacraboar" was released on Steam, Impulse, and GamersGate which is a new benchmark in popularity for the engine and projects created with it.
Link to Sacraboar project: 
http://sacraboar.com/news.html
  
Q10Can NeoAxis be used for projects such as serious games, data visualization?
A10By applying our technology to the creation of simulations, NeoAxis Engine provides the capability to develop more realistic simulations faster and easier than typical simulation development tools. NeoAxis Engine integrates tools for rapid scenario creation, real-world 3D terrain building, asset management, and artificial intelligence into a single tool, allowing developers to rapidly create and modify detailed simulation environments.
Our tools, the WYSIWYG Map Editor in particular, can be adapted for your needs very easily. The special editor for your project can be made in the minimal time period and with maximal quality. It will support creation and moving of objects, gizmo, undo/redo, load/save support and much more.
Here is a link to some examples of data visualization projects using NeoAxis: 
http://www.neoaxisgroup.com/neoaxis/clients_and_titles/non_game_projects
GLGE
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 04/01/2010
Q&A

GLGE
Paul Brunt

January 2010

 

?GLGE is a higher level api using webgl, with a declarative xml format to remove the chore of creating 3D scenes via javascript alone. It also hides all of the GLSL shaders from the developer by implementing common use shaders within the api, various lighting types, normal maps, shadows, fog, etc. This frees the developers up to create actual content, games and applications with webgl.?

  
Q1

Please give a brief description of GLGE

A1

GLGE is a higher level api using webgl, with a declarative xml format to remove the chore of creating 3D scenes via javascript alone. It also hides all of the GLSL shaders from the developer by implementing common use shaders within the api, various lighting types, normal maps, shadows, fog, etc. This frees the developers up to create actual content, games and applications with webgl.

  
Q2Why working on a WebGL, as webGL is still in a working draft status?
A2

Why wait?! The sooner people start using webgl the sooner we get better support and additional features. Although it's only a working draft, it's based on es2 so it is unlikely there will be any big changes that would mean complete rewrites, just occasional tweaks as the finer details are worked out.

  
Q3Do you think that WebGL is more interessant than "plugin 3D technologies" such as O3D, VRML, Unity3D?
A3

I think they are on par and there's more than enough room for both plugin technologies and open standards. In fact I think they compliment each other really well. The plugin developers can explore many avenues of innovation without the burden of standardization. Thereby, allowing them to find out what does and doesn't work; ultimately resulting in a standard free of all the mistakes made by the plugin technologies.

  
Q4WebGL is ready to run on Firefox and WebKit browsers. Are those implementations similar, compatible, and optimized?
A4

There are still quite a few differences but that is to be expected at this stage, but there are certainly no show stoppers when it comes to developing for them right now. They both seem to be improving their support all the time and I think by the time the final spec is released they will both have near full support and judging from the latest alpha from opera they won't be too far behind either. I would say that webkit probably just has the edge at the moment as far as optimization is concerned, but I dare say the competition to be the fastest and best will mean there are still some big speed boosts to come.

  
Q5About GLGE, what is goal?
A5

The initial purpose for GLGE was to create a 2.5d platform game. At the time there was only one library that may have served as a basis, C3DL, but it didn't offer the features required.
As time went on more and more features were added and the library rapidly outgrew its original purpose and became a more general framework. The primary goal of GLGE today is still game development but with more recent additions such as picking there is no reason why it couldn't be used for more general application development as well; perhaps more so given the current lack of 3D physics in javascript.

  
Q6GLGE brings new capabilities for WebGL : shadows, bones... Do you think that it is possible to build a "real engine" with physic, sound, HUD,... ?
A6There are a few shortcomings with sound and physics at the moment, but I'm sure they will be overcome and it will be possible. It would certainly be no match for current generation desktop engines but having the power of the web behind it can add benefits you don't see in desktop engines. You have the ability to easily add links between games, intergration with various other services online (twitter,facebook, flickr), and I'm sure there are even more possibilities that haven't even been thought of yet.
  
Q7Is it possible to import 3D scenes (from a DCC software) with GLGE?
A7I've still got very little experience in DCC sofware generally, I'm only an amateur when it comes to such applications and can't really afford to be spending masses of money. So, my experience is confined to blender. There is some limited support for exporting animation and meshes from blender at the moment and more complete support is coming; but with the changes taking place with blender 2.5 I'm holding back on a more advanced export until 2.5 is more complete. As for other software, I hope at some point to add some sort of support for collada which should (fingers crossed) allow for export from many more sources.
  
A8  Actually the demo on your website run at 60 fps on our machine (quad core + 8600 GT), it seems to be relatively slow. Do you think that webGL could run in the future video games inside the browser?
Q8The demo itself is frame limited to 60fps to try and conserve CPU usage. However, even with the limit off you would struggle to get much more then 60fps at the moment. But, you have to remember there is no optimization and the webgl implementations are still very young so I would expect that it will be capable of much more in the not too distant future. I think you will get a mixture of both desktop and browser games in future. Browser games being ideal for mobile devices and will easily transfer to desktop browsers; but, for the foreseeable future they will lack the features required for cutting edge 3D games.
  
A9Javascript is more and more popular for 3D dev, but can it be enough fast for interactive 3D contents?
Q9It's certainly fast enough for interactive content in some form. Although, I think the question should be on what it will be capable of given that its speed is still increasing at a blinding rate. Combine that with the rate at which the web is developing I think we could see some very innovative content that hasn't been seen on the desktop. Remember, sometimes less is more; who'd have thought limiting blog posts to 140 characters would be so well received.
  
A10What is the next milestone for GLGE?
Q10Well, currently features are coming thick and fast; I'm trying to add at least one significant feature per week but that should slow up within the next 3-4 weeks as work begins on adding some physics. So, in answer to your question I think the next significant milestone for GLGE will be the addition of some sort of physics although I don't know at this point what form that will take and what is going to be doable in javascript.
Ogre3D iPhone
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/12/2009
 Q&AOgre3D iPhone
David Rogers
Ogre3D Team
Dec. 2009
 

 

?[...] scene management, advanced material usage and high performance rendering that Ogre provides for the desktop are also available on the iPhone. You can create beautiful scenes with large poly counts and still get an excellent framerate.?

< Ogre3D on the iPhone

  
Q1You have joined Ogre3D Team in order to port Ogre3D to the iPhone. What's the actual state of this project?
A1

Actually I joined the team after I had finished the first revision of the port. Some time in March or April I decided that I needed something help hone my skills but I also wanted to help others. I had explored Ogre in the past and had been using the iPhone SDK since it was introduced. I saw that an iPhone port was on the Help Wanted page of their wiki so I decided that it was what exactly what I wanted to do. I was pleasantly surprised when Steve Streeting asked me to join the team. It's been a huge learning experience and a great deal of fun. The iPhone port is very stable and has received a quite a bit of testing. Starting with the upcoming 1.7 release of Ogre, iPhone OS will become a supported platform just like Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Currently, it is available for anyone to try out in the Ogre Subversion repository.

  
Q2What are the principal limitations between the PC version and the iPhone?
A2There are actually very few limitations. Features that require the use of shaders such as compositing are not yet supported but all other features such as skeletal and camera animation, billboarding, particles, scene querying and management work great. Of course, the iPhone is a very powerful mobile device but not as powerful as today's desktop PCs so you must plan your project accordingly.
  
Q3Is it possible to create an iPhone game using Ogre3D without a Mac? What is the development environment?
A3Presently the development environment is Xcode on Mac OS X. But because Ogre is cross platform, has a number of GUI, Physics, AI and input libraries that can be easily incorporated with Ogre, it is possible make a game on any platform and then port it fairly easily to the iPhone.
The same tools that people use to create content for other platforms can also be used for iPhone development. Create meshes in Blender, 3DS Max, or Maya. Edit scenes with Ogitor. All assets created can be used without modification on the iPhone.
  
Q4How do you handle the differences between iPhone 3G and 3Gs (openGL ES 1.1 and 2.0)?
A4Only OpenGL ES 1.1 is supported currently, but support for 2.0 is a high priority that is already in development. Because 2.0 has many fundamental differences from 1.1 (no fixed function pipeline and addition of the shading language), it needs to be a separate render system. Much like DirectX and OpenGL, you will have to either choose one at runtime or the highest supported version will be automatically chosen for you at runtime.
  
Q5Actually different engines export to iPhone (Unity 3D, Shiva, Torque), how do Ogre3D complete with those solutions?
A5Ogre can't be directly compared to those engines because it is only a rendering engine, while they are complete game engine and content creation solutions that include AI, physics, scripting, etc. Many engines similar to Unity 3D, Torque, etc. require developers to use a scripting language often based on Javascript which is then compiled down to machine code or interpreted at runtime for the platform that you choose. This can be very nice because it they provide a single interface for content creation and coding regardless of platform and has a shorter learning curve but at the cost of performance.
Ogre is written in and provides interfaces for C++ for high performance. There are also a few wrappers for languages such as .NET, Python and others and also wrappers for a large selection of third party commercial and open source libraries. While I can certainly see the benefits of other engines, I prefer Ogre because of the control and flexibility that it gives me. You have the flexibility to choose which libraries you want to use for physics, AI, audio, etc. That flexibility gives you the option to create a toolkit that your development team is most comfortable with which can decrease development time.
If speaking strictly about rendering, the same scene management, advanced material usage and high performance rendering that Ogre provides for the desktop are also available on the iPhone. You can create beautiful scenes with large poly counts and still get an excellent framerate.
  
Q6 Is there already some iPhone Apps based on Ogre3D engine?
A6Several people on the Ogre forums have talked about using Ogre for iPhone projects but I haven't heard any details about them yet. Since iPhone is just becoming a supported platform most anything that has been made so far is for exploration or proof of concept. It would be great to see some existing games made with Ogre ported to the iPhone as well as brand new projects that use Ogre in brand new, creative and innovative ways. I'm excited to see what people will do with Ogre on the iPhone with the 1.7 release.
  
Q7There are several ways to add a user interface on Ogre3D (CeGUI, Hikari...). How to build a UI with the iPhone?
A7Because Hikari depends on Flash, which is poorly suited to mobile devices such as the iPhone, it is not supported. Other powerful libraries like QuickGUI, BetaGUI, CEGUI for example should have no problems. As long as you can compile it for the iPhone then almost any GUI library should work just fine. I expect that most of the popular GUI libraries available for Ogre will have few issues, if any. The same philosophy applies to other library wrappers, developers should be able to harness the resources and tools that they are already using in their development and content creation pipelines.
Starting with the 1.7 release, Ogre has a new Sample Browser which has it's own GUI system. It only required some small changes to work on the iPhone. Resizing and repositioning some UI elements was all that was needed.
  
Q8What are your advice for people who want to develop 3D content with iPhone?
A8

Use your imagination, don't shy away from doing something different and crazy. Not only will it get you noticed but it is essential for the evolution of gaming. The ease of development for the iPhone makes it a fantastic environment for experimentation. Hardware-wise the iPhones and iPod Touches are close to fifth generation consoles(Dreamcast, GameCube, etc.). The focus is more on clever design and input than cutting edge graphics. Don't get me wrong, the graphics are strong but can't be compared to the Xbox 360 or PS3. Much like the Wii, the iPhone allows developers to innovate in user interfaces and input in dramatic and previously unavailable ways.
The iPhones' accelerometer lets you treat the device as a controller. Just like how the Wii Remote can be used as a steering wheel. Remember playing Super Mario Bros., watching your friends jerk the controller up when they wanted to jump? Actually using that motion to jump has become a reality now.
It helps to think of the iPhone as a console. Pay special attention to memory management and learn about the tricks that console developers have been using for years. Become great friends with artists. Burn lighting effects into textures, use shading on textures to hide a low poly count and use compressed textures.

  
Q9 Ogre3D have been used for TorchLight - a game that receive good critics - do you think that the differences between expensive engines (CryEngine, Unreal) and Open Source engines is getting low?
A9I think it is starting to. The potential is definitely there. Many commercial engines are tightly integrated with all subsystems while with Open Source you can choose all systems yourself and create your own custom game engine. There may be some legwork that you will need to do to tie them all together. You may find wrappers already made to put it all together. While there may be some more work for the developer to do to get exactly the system and tools that they want, it gives them a large amount of freedom which can be invaluable.
The Open Source model also gives you the advantage of community support. Plugins and other code can easily be contributed to help others implement the same techniques that are used in commercial engines. Plus, commercial engines can cost thousands of dollars and engines such as Ogre are free. I would say that the development cost to assemble a game engine from Open Source projects is far less than licensing a commercial solution.
Web3D Consortium, John A. Stewart
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/12/2009
 Q&AJohn A. Stewart
CRC Canada/ Web3D Consortium
december 2009
 

 

 

? It took a while for HTML browser writers to natively include SVG and MathML, so we expect it will take some time for all browser writers to include X3D [...].
X3D is a write once, render anywhere, anytime 3D graphics format.?

 

< Gurob, Freewrl

  
Q1HTML 5 will add the support of video and 3D. We talk a lot about WebGL, but could you please give us more information about the work of the Web3D HTML 5 working group?
A1

To start this discussion, I'm going to draw a line in the sand of the HTML5 3D sandbox, and describe what I see on both sides of this line, and how both sides have their place on the Web.
On one side, you have programming APIs for Javascript, using some form of 3D canvas, like WebGL or O3D. On the other, you have a retained-mode, DOM-integrated 3D graphics abstraction, like X3D.
The first side, (lets just call it the Javascript side) was created by graphics coders for graphics coders who want to get the utmost out of their hardware, and who revel in 4x4 Matrix manipulation, dream GLSL in their sleep, and love to get their hands into the system. (Many of the X3D people, myself included, love doing this kind of stuff)
The second side, which I'll call the X3D side, is for those who are web developers, or who are using graphics to compliment their work. Maybe they want to build a 3D User Interface, or maybe they work doing research into DNA, or in the mining industry, and they need to use 3D visualization as part of that work.
The people who fall into the X3D side might also want to use features not available in the Javascript layer, such as spatialized sound, or want to use graphics-oriented concepts that are already included in X3D, such as ray intersecting, collision detection or view-frustum culling.
These people might also want their models to be very portable - WebGL is an API that conforms closely to OpenGL ES 2.0, while X3D by design is generic it may be rendered using OpenGL (any version), DirectX or some other future system.
So, people will have a choice. We see choices like this every day. Lets take cars; some like to get under the hood and tinker with the innards, while others just like to get in the car and drive to their destination. We see the Javascript side as the tinkering side, and X3D as the vehicle for those who just want to get from "A" to "B" in comfort with the minimum of fuss.

  
Q2Is there a chance that HTML5 class browsers would be able to display X3D files, without any plugin?
A2Absolutely - that is the goal of our liason with the HTML5 Working Group: DOM-integrated cross-platform open-standards 3D graphics in every browser.
It took a while for HTML browser writers to natively include SVG and MathML, so we expect it will take some time for all browser writers to include X3D.
Your readers might want to read more about the X3DOM X3D implementation project (http://www.x3dom.org) which uses Javascript and WebGL to display X3D; this is an interesting and lively project from the people at Fraunhofer.
  
Q3Does HTML5 include a parser for X3D?
A3By default, it does. Dr. Behr's X3DOM implementation shows that tight integration of X3D and HTML5 is indeed possible, and easily achieved.
However, we expect that HTML5 browser writers will eventually include X3D natively, either by including an open-source multi-platform library like FreeWRL (http://freewrl.sourceforge.net) or by writing their own.
  
Q4Frankly, X3D has never been a success as 3d artists can not export in this file format from their DCC software (3ds max, maya, softimage,...). What is the advantage of X3D vs initiatives such as Collada (.dae and .zae)?
A4There are some conceptual differences between X3D and Collada that we should talk about.
A major difference is that Collada is just a model interchange format, while X3D provides both model interchange and a 3D runtime environment. X3D gives you the ability to create - and interact with - virtual models; it provides the methodology of not only getting triangles on the screen, but also of interacting and managing those triangles - enabling a web page creator to create compelling content.
Collada allows for "bleeding edge" 3D model creation, while X3D gives users a stable, ISO-standardized format that is great for not only general interchange of your 3D model, but also for interaction with this model.
So, once again, we have a duality here, which is good; it gives the user a choice.
Dr Johannes Behr of Fraunhofer, gave me the following example, that I think shows quite well how we view Collada and X3D:
"Collada is really a data-container. So you can move your model from tool "A" to "B" to "C" and would still like to get your "A"-specific extensions in "C" even though "B" does not know about it. You see, almost every Collada-tool writes and adds own specific extensions to the data. The Collada format is made for this extensibility and it is not a bug but a strong feature of the design.
Collada therefore is a container to get data from tool "A" to "C" without losing parts. But it's not a delivery or deployment format.
There are similar cases for e.g. image and text files. Many people use psd-files to store images with all layers and to get from one tool to another but one does not distribute the psd file on the net. The same goes for text-files. Everyone uses .doc or .odf for text but pdf for the final delivery. Therefore there is always this duality for different areas.
The same process goes with 3D. Use Collada in your pipeline and a delivery format (like X3D) in the final runtime.
And this is not just my opinion:  For more background information about how Collada and X3D relate and why ?X3D is ideal for the Web? please read the Whitepaper by R√©mi Arnaud (founder of the COLLADA initiative) and Tony Parisi, (co-founder of VRML, and X3D architect):http://www.khronos.org/collada/presentations/Developing_Web_Applications_with_COLLADA_and_X3D.pdf )
  
Q5There are still very few 3D contents on the web, it seems that websites prefer to use Flash 3D engines even if performances are bad, rather than any other plugin. Do you think that it could change with HTML 5?
A5Yes, for the following reasons.
1) Flash is not an open standard. The Web is built on open standards.
2) Flash does not currently support use of the GPU.
3) Flash has no multi-vendor support.
  
Q6HTML 5 will use JavaScript to handle interactions. In terms of performance, do you believe that JavaScript could handle large scenes, gaming interactions (AI, Physics...)?
A6... and collisions with objects in the scene, and frustum culling, and navigation and user interaction and actions within the scene and all the other things users currently expect, or will want as their knowledge expands....
Can Javascript "handle" large scenes? You can program almost anything in any computing language, whether it is optimal or not is really the question.
First, lets talk about vertex/texture rendering speed.
In Javascript over WebGL, a minimum amount of Javascript can be used to render triangles and textures - it is really the GPU that is doing the rendering. If you throw a little bit of housekeeping or interaction in, frame rates drop dramatically.
To use some real-world numbers: Dr. Johannes Behr of Fraunhofer is finding that small models in his X3D-Javascript-WebGL X3DOM implementation render at least 30 to 50 times more slowly than on a natively written X3D browser on the same platform. Certainly, some more code optimizations could still take place; but to put it into perspective, I think the biggest optimization that I did for the FreeWRL browser was to move away from using Perl for housekeeping to being completely "C" based - the framerate improvements were outstanding. How well Javascript can calculate fast ray intersects, frustum culling, user interaction and so on is yet to be determined, but it is looking like it might be about two orders of magnitude slower than a native implementation. For desktop systems this might not be an issue, but in the mobile field where battery life and cpu cycles are closely tied, it might be more of a concern.
Second, your readers should also remember that X3D has the runtime environment built in; and X3D Browser authors spend a considerable amount of time ensuring that this runtime environment performs well. Having a native X3D implementation means not only fast rendering of your triangles and textures, but a unified, efficient runtime architecture.
Third, We have found that the precision of floating point numbers is not sufficient for accurate placement of data; thus X3D uses double precision numbers for internal calculations, such as interpolators, and managing Geospatial data. Dr. Behr has mentioned that his group have encountered this floating point accuracy problem with the X3DOM Javascript-based X3D implementation.
Finally, an issue that seems to be missed by many is that X3D gives you an abstracted view of your graphics hardware; it is the job of the X3D Browser implementer to ensure that geometry gets rendered as efficiently and quickly as possible, and the X3D browser tracks both hardware and associated library improvements. The optimal use of an artists' time is to not worry about runtime implementations and efficiencies on specific hardware, but to create compelling cross-platform content.
  
Q7For non-specialist, Web3D consortium means VRML. Do you think that the consortium can still bring new technologies that can be spread widely?
A7VRML is an old series of standards. There is no denying that in the beginning, VRML graphics files displayed - by todays standards - crude, non-realistic graphics. But one has to remember that when VRML-1 came out, the computer graphics industry was in its infancy, and computers that could render such graphics were expensive and beyond the reach of many interested people. So possibly the negative feelings some have towards VRML have less to do with VRML and more to do with the state of the computing industry at the time.
The current X3D specification retains backwards compatibility with VRML-97. We are consciously keeping this backwards compatibility intact while continually bringing the standard up to today's graphics needs, and pushing the technology; such as real-time ray-tracing with X3D.
The "longevity" and "cross-platform" compatibility of the VRML/X3D standards are important for many users. Can I give you a story? I was recently asked by a NASA employee to integrate VRML-1 into the FreeWRL browser; VRML-1 pre-dates VRML-97. I looked up the specification on-line, and half a day later this user was able to view these files on his desktop Macintosh computer. How many other 15-year-old graphics formats can still be rendered?
I'd suggest that when someone mentions "3D graphics" the first thing that comes to mind are the great products coming out of Hollywood and the gaming companies. We tend to forget fields such as scientific and medical imaging where longevity and cross-platform compatibility are of paramount importance for 3D models.
The Web3D Consortium is continuing to bring open, 3D rendering technologies to the world. X3D: write once, render anywhere, anytime.
  
Q8About embedded devices such as Smartphones & iPhones ; would HTML 5 be able to display 3D on those "computers" too?
A8If we are talking about using X3D for 3D, absolutely. X3D is an abstracted graphics format; as long as the underlying OS and hardware supports some form of pixel display, X3D can be rendered on it. Whether your device uses one of the Direct-X graphical libraries, one of the continually evolving series of OpenGL versions, or some as-yet unwritten low-level graphics layer, X3D will be able to render on it, and if that device contains user i/o capabilities, X3D will be able to use that capability, too.
X3D is a write once, render anywhere, anytime 3D graphics format.  
Gigavoxels, ARTIS - INRIA Rhône-Alpes
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/12/2009
 Q&AARTIS - INRIA Rh√īne-Alpes, Gigavoxels
Cyril Crassin
Dec. 2009
 

 

?GigaVoxels est nouvelle technique permettant le stockage et le rendu efficace sur GPU de très grosses masses de voxels. Les GigaVoxels sont en fait formés de trois composants entièrement GPUs: une structure de stockage hiérarchique à base d'octree, un algorithme de rendu direct par ray-tracing volumique et un mécanisme de cache. ?

< GigaVoxel

  
Q1Nous connaissons les Voxels - qui sont à la 3D ce que les pixels sont à la 2D - , mais à quoi correspond les "GigaVoxels" ?
A1

En fait, il ne faut pas situer les deux choses au même niveau. GigaVoxels n'est pas une nouvelle primitive de base comme les voxels et les pixels. Il s'agit d'une nouvelle technique permettant le stockage et le rendu efficace sur GPU de très grosses masses de voxels. Les GigaVoxels sont en fait formés de trois composants entièrement GPUs: une structure de stockage hiérarchique à base d'octree, un algorithme de rendu direct par ray-tracing volumique et un mécanisme de cache.

  
Q2Les Voxels sont aujourd'hui réservés à des applications très spécifiques (essentiellement médicales). Pensez-vous que cela puisse changer dans la prochaine décennie ?
A2Je suis persuadé que cela va changer en effet. Les représentations volumiques à base de voxels possèdent plusieurs propriétés très intéressantes pour le jeu-vidéo. La première utilisation qui vient à l'esprit concerne évidemment le rendu direct de phénomènes semi-transparents. Les voxels fournissent une représentation naturelle pour les effets volumiques tels que les gaz, les liquides, les nuages et tous les milieux participatifs en général.
Mais, au delà des phénomènes semi-transparents, les voxels permettent également de représenter efficacement des géométries extrêmement complexes, telles que les maillages produits par des logiciels de modélisation comme ZBrush. De tels maillages sont composés d'un très grand nombre de triangles d'une taille bien inférieure à un pixel. Leur rendu par rasterisation classique s'avère extrèmement inefficace car cela nécessite l'utilisation de techniques de multi-sampling massif afin d'en assurer un filtrage correct (éviter l'aliasing). De plus, l'utilisation de techniques de simplification (LOD) sur de tels maillages, en plus de réduire la qualité du rendu, demande énormément de travail d'authoring qui est difficilement automatisable (simplement car c'est un problème mal posé). Les voxels, au contraire, fournissent une représentation naturellement filtrable de la géométrie. Ils permettent ainsi d'unifier géométrie et texture en une représentation unique sur laquelle le LOD est bien définit.
  
Q3Les Voxels sont réputés gourmands en mémoire et bande passante. Est-ce que votre technique "Ray-Guided Streaming" atténuent ces défauts ?
A3Tout à fait, et elle a été développée pour ca !
Tout d'abord, les GigaVoxels reposent sur une structure hiérarchique d'Octree qui permet de compresser les zones totalement vides ou constantes, tout en subdivisant les zones détailles. De plus, cette structure est totalement dynamique et gérée par un mécanisme de cache qui permet de manipuler des volumes de voxels de taille virtuellement infinie. Ce cache charge les données à la demande sur le GPU, et recycle les emplacements mémoires les plus anciennement utilisés. Les requètes de chargement/subdivision sont émises directement par les rayons lors du rendu par ray-casting, ce qui permet de ne charger que le minimum de données réellement visibles et non occultées.
Tous ces mécanismes sont implémentés et exécutés entièrement sur GPU (en CUDA), laissant ainsi le CPU totalement libre pour tout autre calcul.
  
Q4L'industrie graphique a choisit massivement les maillages polygonaux pour représenter des objets 3D, au point que l'élément de base des cartes graphiques est le triangle. N'avez-vous pas l'impression d'aller à contre-sens des évolutions du sous ensemble graphique ?
A4Non bien au contraire, je pense que l'évolution actuelle des processeurs graphiques va justement dans le sens de l'ouverture à l'implémentation efficace de nouveaux pipelines de rendus tels que le notre. Les GPU évoluent vers de plus en plus de généricité, les fonctions fixes en charge de l'optimisation du traitement des triangles disparaissent petit à petit au profit d'unités de calcul génériques dédiées aux traitements massivement parallèles. Les GPUs de la génération du G80 de NVIDIA sont plus des clusters d'unités de calcul SIMD que des accélérateurs pour la rasterisation de triangles. L'implémentation d'algorithmes de rendu alternatifs passe par la programmation en C++ (via CUDA) de ces clusters de calcul, et cela devient alors un pur problème de parallélisme. Je pense que ce mode de programmation va rapidement remplacer l'utilisation des API graphiques historiques (OpenGL/Direct3D), et ainsi ouvrir la voie a l'utilisation massive de techniques de rendu alternatives.
  
Q5Pensez-vous que les jeux pourraient tirer profit des GigaVoxels ?
A5Oui je pense, et certains studio de développement de jeux s'y intéressent déjà !
  
Q6 Les GigaVoxels supportent-il des animations et des d√©formations ?
A6Ils sont compatibles avec en tout cas. L'animation complète du contenu des voxels en lui même est difficile, du fait de la masse de données à transférer. Par contre, la déformation est beaucoup plus aisée. Nous n'avons pas encore de démonstration de ce genre d'effet, mais nous y travaillons.
  
Q7DirectX11 introduit la subdivision et des techniques de tesselation dynamique de polyèdres. Ces techniques peuvent-elles être utilisées pour la visualisation de Voxels ?
A7Pour moi, ces fonctions n'apportent rien de vraiment nouveau pour le rendu de voxels. Les geometry shaders en leur temps ont permis l'implémentation plus efficace de techniques d'extraction de surfaces à partir de grilles de voxels comme les marching cubes. On pourrait peut être imaginé une implémentation des marching cubes exploitant ces nouveaux hardwares, mais pour moi l'intérêt des voxels n'est vraiment pas de les visualiser en passant par des surfaces triangulées.
  
Q8Aujourd'hui on connait très bien les méthodes de création de surfaces triangulées (outils DCC tels que 3ds max, Maya...). Mais comment peut-on générer et créer des Voxels ?
A8

Ils peuvent etre générés de différentes façons. Dans le cadre de fluides par exemple, ils peuvent etre générés par simulation numérique, il s'agit d'ailleurs généralement de la représentation naturelle de ce genre de simulation. Ils peuvent également etre issus de la numérisation d'objets par scanners, ou générés par voxellisation de maillages triangulés classiques. Il commence également à apparaitre des logiciels de modélisation directe par voxels tel que 3D-Coat, qui est un logiciel aux fonctionnalités proches de ZBrush.

  
Q9Pouvez-vous nous parler des évolutions futures des GigaVoxels et leurs applications ?
A9Nous nous intéressons maintenant à des problèmes spécifiques de filtrage afin de d'implémenter efficacement et avec une haute qualité d'effets blurry tels que le Depth-Of-Field, les glossy reflexions ou les soft-shadows. Nous travaillons également sur l'animation par déformation d'objets gérés par GigaVoxels.
Ogre3D iPhone
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/12/2009
 Q&AOgre3D iPhone
David Rogers
Ogre3D Team
Dec. 2009
 

 

?[...] scene management, advanced material usage and high performance rendering that Ogre provides for the desktop are also available on the iPhone. You can create beautiful scenes with large poly counts and still get an excellent framerate.?

< Ogre3D on the iPhone

  
Q1You have joined Ogre3D Team in order to port Ogre3D to the iPhone. What's the actual state of this project?
A1

Actually I joined the team after I had finished the first revision of the port. Some time in March or April I decided that I needed something help hone my skills but I also wanted to help others. I had explored Ogre in the past and had been using the iPhone SDK since it was introduced. I saw that an iPhone port was on the Help Wanted page of their wiki so I decided that it was what exactly what I wanted to do. I was pleasantly surprised when Steve Streeting asked me to join the team. It's been a huge learning experience and a great deal of fun. The iPhone port is very stable and has received a quite a bit of testing. Starting with the upcoming 1.7 release of Ogre, iPhone OS will become a supported platform just like Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Currently, it is available for anyone to try out in the Ogre Subversion repository.

  
Q2What are the principal limitations between the PC version and the iPhone?
A2There are actually very few limitations. Features that require the use of shaders such as compositing are not yet supported but all other features such as skeletal and camera animation, billboarding, particles, scene querying and management work great. Of course, the iPhone is a very powerful mobile device but not as powerful as today's desktop PCs so you must plan your project accordingly.
  
Q3Is it possible to create an iPhone game using Ogre3D without a Mac? What is the development environment?
A3Presently the development environment is Xcode on Mac OS X. But because Ogre is cross platform, has a number of GUI, Physics, AI and input libraries that can be easily incorporated with Ogre, it is possible make a game on any platform and then port it fairly easily to the iPhone.
The same tools that people use to create content for other platforms can also be used for iPhone development. Create meshes in Blender, 3DS Max, or Maya. Edit scenes with Ogitor. All assets created can be used without modification on the iPhone.
  
Q4How do you handle the differences between iPhone 3G and 3Gs (openGL ES 1.1 and 2.0)?
A4Only OpenGL ES 1.1 is supported currently, but support for 2.0 is a high priority that is already in development. Because 2.0 has many fundamental differences from 1.1 (no fixed function pipeline and addition of the shading language), it needs to be a separate render system. Much like DirectX and OpenGL, you will have to either choose one at runtime or the highest supported version will be automatically chosen for you at runtime.
  
Q5Actually different engines export to iPhone (Unity 3D, Shiva, Torque), how do Ogre3D complete with those solutions?
A5Ogre can't be directly compared to those engines because it is only a rendering engine, while they are complete game engine and content creation solutions that include AI, physics, scripting, etc. Many engines similar to Unity 3D, Torque, etc. require developers to use a scripting language often based on Javascript which is then compiled down to machine code or interpreted at runtime for the platform that you choose. This can be very nice because it they provide a single interface for content creation and coding regardless of platform and has a shorter learning curve but at the cost of performance.
Ogre is written in and provides interfaces for C++ for high performance. There are also a few wrappers for languages such as .NET, Python and others and also wrappers for a large selection of third party commercial and open source libraries. While I can certainly see the benefits of other engines, I prefer Ogre because of the control and flexibility that it gives me. You have the flexibility to choose which libraries you want to use for physics, AI, audio, etc. That flexibility gives you the option to create a toolkit that your development team is most comfortable with which can decrease development time.
If speaking strictly about rendering, the same scene management, advanced material usage and high performance rendering that Ogre provides for the desktop are also available on the iPhone. You can create beautiful scenes with large poly counts and still get an excellent framerate.
  
Q6 Is there already some iPhone Apps based on Ogre3D engine?
A6Several people on the Ogre forums have talked about using Ogre for iPhone projects but I haven't heard any details about them yet. Since iPhone is just becoming a supported platform most anything that has been made so far is for exploration or proof of concept. It would be great to see some existing games made with Ogre ported to the iPhone as well as brand new projects that use Ogre in brand new, creative and innovative ways. I'm excited to see what people will do with Ogre on the iPhone with the 1.7 release.
  
Q7There are several ways to add a user interface on Ogre3D (CeGUI, Hikari...). How to build a UI with the iPhone?
A7Because Hikari depends on Flash, which is poorly suited to mobile devices such as the iPhone, it is not supported. Other powerful libraries like QuickGUI, BetaGUI, CEGUI for example should have no problems. As long as you can compile it for the iPhone then almost any GUI library should work just fine. I expect that most of the popular GUI libraries available for Ogre will have few issues, if any. The same philosophy applies to other library wrappers, developers should be able to harness the resources and tools that they are already using in their development and content creation pipelines.
Starting with the 1.7 release, Ogre has a new Sample Browser which has it's own GUI system. It only required some small changes to work on the iPhone. Resizing and repositioning some UI elements was all that was needed.
  
Q8What are your advice for people who want to develop 3D content with iPhone?
A8

Use your imagination, don't shy away from doing something different and crazy. Not only will it get you noticed but it is essential for the evolution of gaming. The ease of development for the iPhone makes it a fantastic environment for experimentation. Hardware-wise the iPhones and iPod Touches are close to fifth generation consoles(Dreamcast, GameCube, etc.). The focus is more on clever design and input than cutting edge graphics. Don't get me wrong, the graphics are strong but can't be compared to the Xbox 360 or PS3. Much like the Wii, the iPhone allows developers to innovate in user interfaces and input in dramatic and previously unavailable ways.
The iPhones' accelerometer lets you treat the device as a controller. Just like how the Wii Remote can be used as a steering wheel. Remember playing Super Mario Bros., watching your friends jerk the controller up when they wanted to jump? Actually using that motion to jump has become a reality now.
It helps to think of the iPhone as a console. Pay special attention to memory management and learn about the tricks that console developers have been using for years. Become great friends with artists. Burn lighting effects into textures, use shading on textures to hide a low poly count and use compressed textures.

  
Q9 Ogre3D have been used for TorchLight - a game that receive good critics - do you think that the differences between expensive engines (CryEngine, Unreal) and Open Source engines is getting low?
A9I think it is starting to. The potential is definitely there. Many commercial engines are tightly integrated with all subsystems while with Open Source you can choose all systems yourself and create your own custom game engine. There may be some legwork that you will need to do to tie them all together. You may find wrappers already made to put it all together. While there may be some more work for the developer to do to get exactly the system and tools that they want, it gives them a large amount of freedom which can be invaluable.
The Open Source model also gives you the advantage of community support. Plugins and other code can easily be contributed to help others implement the same techniques that are used in commercial engines. Plus, commercial engines can cost thousands of dollars and engines such as Ogre are free. I would say that the development cost to assemble a game engine from Open Source projects is far less than licensing a commercial solution.
Web3D Consortium, John A. Stewart
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/12/2009
 Q&AJohn A. Stewart
CRC Canada/ Web3D Consortium
december 2009
 

 

 

? It took a while for HTML browser writers to natively include SVG and MathML, so we expect it will take some time for all browser writers to include X3D [...].
X3D is a write once, render anywhere, anytime 3D graphics format.?

 

< Gurob, Freewrl

  
Q1HTML 5 will add the support of video and 3D. We talk a lot about WebGL, but could you please give us more information about the work of the Web3D HTML 5 working group?
A1

To start this discussion, I'm going to draw a line in the sand of the HTML5 3D sandbox, and describe what I see on both sides of this line, and how both sides have their place on the Web.
On one side, you have programming APIs for Javascript, using some form of 3D canvas, like WebGL or O3D. On the other, you have a retained-mode, DOM-integrated 3D graphics abstraction, like X3D.
The first side, (lets just call it the Javascript side) was created by graphics coders for graphics coders who want to get the utmost out of their hardware, and who revel in 4x4 Matrix manipulation, dream GLSL in their sleep, and love to get their hands into the system. (Many of the X3D people, myself included, love doing this kind of stuff)
The second side, which I'll call the X3D side, is for those who are web developers, or who are using graphics to compliment their work. Maybe they want to build a 3D User Interface, or maybe they work doing research into DNA, or in the mining industry, and they need to use 3D visualization as part of that work.
The people who fall into the X3D side might also want to use features not available in the Javascript layer, such as spatialized sound, or want to use graphics-oriented concepts that are already included in X3D, such as ray intersecting, collision detection or view-frustum culling.
These people might also want their models to be very portable - WebGL is an API that conforms closely to OpenGL ES 2.0, while X3D by design is generic it may be rendered using OpenGL (any version), DirectX or some other future system.
So, people will have a choice. We see choices like this every day. Lets take cars; some like to get under the hood and tinker with the innards, while others just like to get in the car and drive to their destination. We see the Javascript side as the tinkering side, and X3D as the vehicle for those who just want to get from "A" to "B" in comfort with the minimum of fuss.

  
Q2Is there a chance that HTML5 class browsers would be able to display X3D files, without any plugin?
A2Absolutely - that is the goal of our liason with the HTML5 Working Group: DOM-integrated cross-platform open-standards 3D graphics in every browser.
It took a while for HTML browser writers to natively include SVG and MathML, so we expect it will take some time for all browser writers to include X3D.
Your readers might want to read more about the X3DOM X3D implementation project (http://www.x3dom.org) which uses Javascript and WebGL to display X3D; this is an interesting and lively project from the people at Fraunhofer.
  
Q3Does HTML5 include a parser for X3D?
A3By default, it does. Dr. Behr's X3DOM implementation shows that tight integration of X3D and HTML5 is indeed possible, and easily achieved.
However, we expect that HTML5 browser writers will eventually include X3D natively, either by including an open-source multi-platform library like FreeWRL (http://freewrl.sourceforge.net) or by writing their own.
  
Q4Frankly, X3D has never been a success as 3d artists can not export in this file format from their DCC software (3ds max, maya, softimage,...). What is the advantage of X3D vs initiatives such as Collada (.dae and .zae)?
A4There are some conceptual differences between X3D and Collada that we should talk about.
A major difference is that Collada is just a model interchange format, while X3D provides both model interchange and a 3D runtime environment. X3D gives you the ability to create - and interact with - virtual models; it provides the methodology of not only getting triangles on the screen, but also of interacting and managing those triangles - enabling a web page creator to create compelling content.
Collada allows for "bleeding edge" 3D model creation, while X3D gives users a stable, ISO-standardized format that is great for not only general interchange of your 3D model, but also for interaction with this model.
So, once again, we have a duality here, which is good; it gives the user a choice.
Dr Johannes Behr of Fraunhofer, gave me the following example, that I think shows quite well how we view Collada and X3D:
"Collada is really a data-container. So you can move your model from tool "A" to "B" to "C" and would still like to get your "A"-specific extensions in "C" even though "B" does not know about it. You see, almost every Collada-tool writes and adds own specific extensions to the data. The Collada format is made for this extensibility and it is not a bug but a strong feature of the design.
Collada therefore is a container to get data from tool "A" to "C" without losing parts. But it's not a delivery or deployment format.
There are similar cases for e.g. image and text files. Many people use psd-files to store images with all layers and to get from one tool to another but one does not distribute the psd file on the net. The same goes for text-files. Everyone uses .doc or .odf for text but pdf for the final delivery. Therefore there is always this duality for different areas.
The same process goes with 3D. Use Collada in your pipeline and a delivery format (like X3D) in the final runtime.
And this is not just my opinion:  For more background information about how Collada and X3D relate and why ?X3D is ideal for the Web? please read the Whitepaper by R√©mi Arnaud (founder of the COLLADA initiative) and Tony Parisi, (co-founder of VRML, and X3D architect):http://www.khronos.org/collada/presentations/Developing_Web_Applications_with_COLLADA_and_X3D.pdf )
  
Q5There are still very few 3D contents on the web, it seems that websites prefer to use Flash 3D engines even if performances are bad, rather than any other plugin. Do you think that it could change with HTML 5?
A5Yes, for the following reasons.
1) Flash is not an open standard. The Web is built on open standards.
2) Flash does not currently support use of the GPU.
3) Flash has no multi-vendor support.
  
Q6HTML 5 will use JavaScript to handle interactions. In terms of performance, do you believe that JavaScript could handle large scenes, gaming interactions (AI, Physics...)?
A6... and collisions with objects in the scene, and frustum culling, and navigation and user interaction and actions within the scene and all the other things users currently expect, or will want as their knowledge expands....
Can Javascript "handle" large scenes? You can program almost anything in any computing language, whether it is optimal or not is really the question.
First, lets talk about vertex/texture rendering speed.
In Javascript over WebGL, a minimum amount of Javascript can be used to render triangles and textures - it is really the GPU that is doing the rendering. If you throw a little bit of housekeeping or interaction in, frame rates drop dramatically.
To use some real-world numbers: Dr. Johannes Behr of Fraunhofer is finding that small models in his X3D-Javascript-WebGL X3DOM implementation render at least 30 to 50 times more slowly than on a natively written X3D browser on the same platform. Certainly, some more code optimizations could still take place; but to put it into perspective, I think the biggest optimization that I did for the FreeWRL browser was to move away from using Perl for housekeeping to being completely "C" based - the framerate improvements were outstanding. How well Javascript can calculate fast ray intersects, frustum culling, user interaction and so on is yet to be determined, but it is looking like it might be about two orders of magnitude slower than a native implementation. For desktop systems this might not be an issue, but in the mobile field where battery life and cpu cycles are closely tied, it might be more of a concern.
Second, your readers should also remember that X3D has the runtime environment built in; and X3D Browser authors spend a considerable amount of time ensuring that this runtime environment performs well. Having a native X3D implementation means not only fast rendering of your triangles and textures, but a unified, efficient runtime architecture.
Third, We have found that the precision of floating point numbers is not sufficient for accurate placement of data; thus X3D uses double precision numbers for internal calculations, such as interpolators, and managing Geospatial data. Dr. Behr has mentioned that his group have encountered this floating point accuracy problem with the X3DOM Javascript-based X3D implementation.
Finally, an issue that seems to be missed by many is that X3D gives you an abstracted view of your graphics hardware; it is the job of the X3D Browser implementer to ensure that geometry gets rendered as efficiently and quickly as possible, and the X3D browser tracks both hardware and associated library improvements. The optimal use of an artists' time is to not worry about runtime implementations and efficiencies on specific hardware, but to create compelling cross-platform content.
  
Q7For non-specialist, Web3D consortium means VRML. Do you think that the consortium can still bring new technologies that can be spread widely?
A7VRML is an old series of standards. There is no denying that in the beginning, VRML graphics files displayed - by todays standards - crude, non-realistic graphics. But one has to remember that when VRML-1 came out, the computer graphics industry was in its infancy, and computers that could render such graphics were expensive and beyond the reach of many interested people. So possibly the negative feelings some have towards VRML have less to do with VRML and more to do with the state of the computing industry at the time.
The current X3D specification retains backwards compatibility with VRML-97. We are consciously keeping this backwards compatibility intact while continually bringing the standard up to today's graphics needs, and pushing the technology; such as real-time ray-tracing with X3D.
The "longevity" and "cross-platform" compatibility of the VRML/X3D standards are important for many users. Can I give you a story? I was recently asked by a NASA employee to integrate VRML-1 into the FreeWRL browser; VRML-1 pre-dates VRML-97. I looked up the specification on-line, and half a day later this user was able to view these files on his desktop Macintosh computer. How many other 15-year-old graphics formats can still be rendered?
I'd suggest that when someone mentions "3D graphics" the first thing that comes to mind are the great products coming out of Hollywood and the gaming companies. We tend to forget fields such as scientific and medical imaging where longevity and cross-platform compatibility are of paramount importance for 3D models.
The Web3D Consortium is continuing to bring open, 3D rendering technologies to the world. X3D: write once, render anywhere, anytime.
  
Q8About embedded devices such as Smartphones & iPhones ; would HTML 5 be able to display 3D on those "computers" too?
A8If we are talking about using X3D for 3D, absolutely. X3D is an abstracted graphics format; as long as the underlying OS and hardware supports some form of pixel display, X3D can be rendered on it. Whether your device uses one of the Direct-X graphical libraries, one of the continually evolving series of OpenGL versions, or some as-yet unwritten low-level graphics layer, X3D will be able to render on it, and if that device contains user i/o capabilities, X3D will be able to use that capability, too.
X3D is a write once, render anywhere, anytime 3D graphics format.  
Gigavoxels, ARTIS - INRIA Rhône-Alpes
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/12/2009
 Q&AARTIS - INRIA Rh√īne-Alpes, Gigavoxels
Cyril Crassin
Dec. 2009
 

 

?GigaVoxels est nouvelle technique permettant le stockage et le rendu efficace sur GPU de très grosses masses de voxels. Les GigaVoxels sont en fait formés de trois composants entièrement GPUs: une structure de stockage hiérarchique à base d'octree, un algorithme de rendu direct par ray-tracing volumique et un mécanisme de cache. ?

< GigaVoxel

  
Q1Nous connaissons les Voxels - qui sont à la 3D ce que les pixels sont à la 2D - , mais à quoi correspond les "GigaVoxels" ?
A1

En fait, il ne faut pas situer les deux choses au même niveau. GigaVoxels n'est pas une nouvelle primitive de base comme les voxels et les pixels. Il s'agit d'une nouvelle technique permettant le stockage et le rendu efficace sur GPU de très grosses masses de voxels. Les GigaVoxels sont en fait formés de trois composants entièrement GPUs: une structure de stockage hiérarchique à base d'octree, un algorithme de rendu direct par ray-tracing volumique et un mécanisme de cache.

  
Q2Les Voxels sont aujourd'hui réservés à des applications très spécifiques (essentiellement médicales). Pensez-vous que cela puisse changer dans la prochaine décennie ?
A2Je suis persuadé que cela va changer en effet. Les représentations volumiques à base de voxels possèdent plusieurs propriétés très intéressantes pour le jeu-vidéo. La première utilisation qui vient à l'esprit concerne évidemment le rendu direct de phénomènes semi-transparents. Les voxels fournissent une représentation naturelle pour les effets volumiques tels que les gaz, les liquides, les nuages et tous les milieux participatifs en général.
Mais, au delà des phénomènes semi-transparents, les voxels permettent également de représenter efficacement des géométries extrêmement complexes, telles que les maillages produits par des logiciels de modélisation comme ZBrush. De tels maillages sont composés d'un très grand nombre de triangles d'une taille bien inférieure à un pixel. Leur rendu par rasterisation classique s'avère extrèmement inefficace car cela nécessite l'utilisation de techniques de multi-sampling massif afin d'en assurer un filtrage correct (éviter l'aliasing). De plus, l'utilisation de techniques de simplification (LOD) sur de tels maillages, en plus de réduire la qualité du rendu, demande énormément de travail d'authoring qui est difficilement automatisable (simplement car c'est un problème mal posé). Les voxels, au contraire, fournissent une représentation naturellement filtrable de la géométrie. Ils permettent ainsi d'unifier géométrie et texture en une représentation unique sur laquelle le LOD est bien définit.
  
Q3Les Voxels sont réputés gourmands en mémoire et bande passante. Est-ce que votre technique "Ray-Guided Streaming" atténuent ces défauts ?
A3Tout à fait, et elle a été développée pour ca !
Tout d'abord, les GigaVoxels reposent sur une structure hiérarchique d'Octree qui permet de compresser les zones totalement vides ou constantes, tout en subdivisant les zones détailles. De plus, cette structure est totalement dynamique et gérée par un mécanisme de cache qui permet de manipuler des volumes de voxels de taille virtuellement infinie. Ce cache charge les données à la demande sur le GPU, et recycle les emplacements mémoires les plus anciennement utilisés. Les requètes de chargement/subdivision sont émises directement par les rayons lors du rendu par ray-casting, ce qui permet de ne charger que le minimum de données réellement visibles et non occultées.
Tous ces mécanismes sont implémentés et exécutés entièrement sur GPU (en CUDA), laissant ainsi le CPU totalement libre pour tout autre calcul.
  
Q4L'industrie graphique a choisit massivement les maillages polygonaux pour représenter des objets 3D, au point que l'élément de base des cartes graphiques est le triangle. N'avez-vous pas l'impression d'aller à contre-sens des évolutions du sous ensemble graphique ?
A4Non bien au contraire, je pense que l'évolution actuelle des processeurs graphiques va justement dans le sens de l'ouverture à l'implémentation efficace de nouveaux pipelines de rendus tels que le notre. Les GPU évoluent vers de plus en plus de généricité, les fonctions fixes en charge de l'optimisation du traitement des triangles disparaissent petit à petit au profit d'unités de calcul génériques dédiées aux traitements massivement parallèles. Les GPUs de la génération du G80 de NVIDIA sont plus des clusters d'unités de calcul SIMD que des accélérateurs pour la rasterisation de triangles. L'implémentation d'algorithmes de rendu alternatifs passe par la programmation en C++ (via CUDA) de ces clusters de calcul, et cela devient alors un pur problème de parallélisme. Je pense que ce mode de programmation va rapidement remplacer l'utilisation des API graphiques historiques (OpenGL/Direct3D), et ainsi ouvrir la voie a l'utilisation massive de techniques de rendu alternatives.
  
Q5Pensez-vous que les jeux pourraient tirer profit des GigaVoxels ?
A5Oui je pense, et certains studio de développement de jeux s'y intéressent déjà !
  
Q6 Les GigaVoxels supportent-il des animations et des d√©formations ?
A6Ils sont compatibles avec en tout cas. L'animation complète du contenu des voxels en lui même est difficile, du fait de la masse de données à transférer. Par contre, la déformation est beaucoup plus aisée. Nous n'avons pas encore de démonstration de ce genre d'effet, mais nous y travaillons.
  
Q7DirectX11 introduit la subdivision et des techniques de tesselation dynamique de polyèdres. Ces techniques peuvent-elles être utilisées pour la visualisation de Voxels ?
A7Pour moi, ces fonctions n'apportent rien de vraiment nouveau pour le rendu de voxels. Les geometry shaders en leur temps ont permis l'implémentation plus efficace de techniques d'extraction de surfaces à partir de grilles de voxels comme les marching cubes. On pourrait peut être imaginé une implémentation des marching cubes exploitant ces nouveaux hardwares, mais pour moi l'intérêt des voxels n'est vraiment pas de les visualiser en passant par des surfaces triangulées.
  
Q8Aujourd'hui on connait très bien les méthodes de création de surfaces triangulées (outils DCC tels que 3ds max, Maya...). Mais comment peut-on générer et créer des Voxels ?
A8

Ils peuvent etre générés de différentes façons. Dans le cadre de fluides par exemple, ils peuvent etre générés par simulation numérique, il s'agit d'ailleurs généralement de la représentation naturelle de ce genre de simulation. Ils peuvent également etre issus de la numérisation d'objets par scanners, ou générés par voxellisation de maillages triangulés classiques. Il commence également à apparaitre des logiciels de modélisation directe par voxels tel que 3D-Coat, qui est un logiciel aux fonctionnalités proches de ZBrush.

  
Q9Pouvez-vous nous parler des évolutions futures des GigaVoxels et leurs applications ?
A9Nous nous intéressons maintenant à des problèmes spécifiques de filtrage afin de d'implémenter efficacement et avec une haute qualité d'effets blurry tels que le Depth-Of-Field, les glossy reflexions ou les soft-shadows. Nous travaillons également sur l'animation par déformation d'objets gérés par GigaVoxels.
Mental Images : Mental Ray 3.8
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 01/11/2009
Q&A

Mental Ray 3.8, 
Ludwig von Reiche, Chief Operating Officer for mental images
November - 2009

 

?iray introduces a new way of utilizing photorealistic rendering, by integrating both preview and final frame rendering in one single interactive process. In addition, the power of the CUDA GPU dramatically shortens the processing time, introducing significant cost optimizations along the rendering pipeline. And the handling simplifications of iray provide a tool that enables professionals to focus on their core business, while still being able to generate beautiful photorealistic images of their works, all without the help of rendering experts and without the need of becoming rendering experts.?

< Those images show a natural lighting of mental images offices at different time : end of the afternoon (top) and night (bottom).
This scene is rendered with iray technology. Images are rendered on every light changes and camera position. The scene contain 3 millions of triangles and 500 MB of data.

  
Q1mental ray 3.8 introduces the new iray technology. Does this technology come in supplement to rendering engines available in mental ray or does it replace some illumination methods like final gathering ?
A1

The iray rendering technology comes in addition to the regular rendering modes of mental ray. It is not a replacement for any current mental ray feature. mental ray 3.8, with iray included, will be publically available starting in late November 2009, and at no extra cost to existing customers.

  
Q2Will computer graphics artists, having already configured a scene with materials available in mental ray 3.7, be able to compute it directly and benefit from the GPU acceleration of mental ray 3.8 ?
A2

Yes, artists who have created scenes in mental ray 3.7 can move those scenes into mental ray 3.8 to take advantage of mental ray 3.8?s additional features. The speed of iray is consistent and fast, and is further enhanced by the increasing number of GPUs used. However, iray does not use mental ray shaders. Therefore, a translation is required. If the materials used to create the original scene belong to mental images' mia_material set, the transition will be almost effortless, otherwise there will be tradeoffs and limitations. iray is a physically correct renderer: as such, it only supports physically correct materials and light sources.

  
Q3Is there a 100% CPU version of iray ? Is it then possible to benchmark mental ray to see the benefits brought by the GPU ?
A3

Yes, there is a 100% CPU version of iray. Benchmarks are being executed at the time of this interview, and they will be available soon.

  
Q4Will mental ray 3.8 support all the NVIDIA boards or only the professional range with Quadro? To get good performance with iray, what is your choice within the NVIDIA range ?
A4

iray supports any CUDA 1.1 board. Depending on model complexity, the optimal choice could be a Tesla¬ģ or Quadro¬ģ system.

  
Q5Do you think that the fact that mental ray is only accelerated by the NVIDIA boards will damage to its adoption ?
A5On the contrary, there is a strong demand for CUDA-based pipelines, and even a stronger demand for software that can take full advantage of this extraordinary new technology. With the advent of Fermi, such demand will simply grow.
  
Q6Could you describe to us how you see the different techniques of mental ray rendering coexist ? Can iray cover all the uses ?
A6mental ray is a fully programmable solution: programmers can create shaders that do anything, including cartoon rendering and any sort of non-photorealistic feature. In fact, artists can combine those shaders in any way to come up with any possible effect. mental ray is a solution that focuses on delivering full flexibility to the widest spectrum of users.
iray is focused on photorealistic rendering and provides a unique new balance between quality, performance and ease of use. iray shaders can only represent real life materials and lights. There are no complex setups required in iray to define indirect illumination: the end user simply has to press a button and iray will take care of everything in the best possible way. iray is suitable for those who need to focus on their core businesses, do not have time to learn a new sophisticated technology to create photorealistic renderings, and yet do need to produce photorealistic renderings of their works. Also, iray focuses on a new concept that integrates pre-final visualization and final frame rendering in one, interactive stage.
  
Q7Final Gathering is particularly performant for fixed images, but some regret not being able to use it for animated scenes because of flickering. Do iray lighting models have flickering ?
A7iray does not use approximative algorithms such as final gathering, ambient occlusion and such. Simply put, iray simulates the physical behavior of light, without compromises. iray results are truly photo-real.
  
Q8To what does a iray renderfarm look like? Is it possible to benefit from several Tesla units?
A8Yes. We are currently working on benchmarks and plan to release these in December 2009.
  
Q9Today, mental images customers propose mental ray per node (CPU) licenses. How will happen the split with iray ?
A9Our policy will not change much - we will just consider all GPUs as nodes, in addition to CPUs. Our goal is to continue to make our technologies as easy to use as possible for new and existing customers.
  
Q10Today, "Architectural" materials are supported by iray : do you mean all the parameters (ambiant occlusion, reflection gloss....) ? Do you plan to support a larger spectrum of materials ?
A10iray supports all parameters that contribute to define a physically correct material. Other parameters, obviously designed to provide approximative and artificial effects, will be ignored. That said, we are planning to support a wider spectrum of materials with iray in the future to meet the many needs of the artist.
  
Q11Will it be possible to export a scene lighted with mental ray 3.8 so that is exploited with RealityServer ?
A11Since iray is implemented in both mental ray 3.8 and RealityServer 3.0, a scene that is rendered within mental ray will render just as fine in RealityServer. When using the regular mental ray 3.8 renderer, the scene will be rendered by RealityServer with or without approximations, depending on the shaders used. If the shaders used are based on MetaSL, the scene will render just fine. For all other cases, a translation will occur; such translation might result in more or less visible differences.
  
Q12What do you think about iray : is it really the revolution we expected "mental ray on GPU" ? Will this change and enhance the graphics industry ?
A12We believe that iray has the potential to revolutionize rendering?certainly for certain use cases. iray introduces a new way of utilizing photorealistic rendering, by integrating both preview and final frame rendering in one single interactive process. In addition, the power of the CUDA GPU dramatically shortens the processing time, introducing significant cost optimizations along the rendering pipeline. And the handling simplifications of iray provide a tool that enables professionals to focus on their core business, while still being able to generate beautiful photorealistic images of their works, all without the help of rendering experts and without the need of becoming rendering experts.
  
WEBGL, KHRONOS Group
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 01/11/2009
Q&AKHRONOS Group, WEBGL
Neil Trevett
Vice President Embedded Content, NVIDIA | President, Khronos Group
Nov. 2009
 

 

?WebGL is an API NOT a plug-in! That's a crucial difference to previous approaches such as VRML and X3D. As OpenGL ES is a Khronos standard it makes perfect sense for the JavaScript binding to OpenGL ES to be defined at Khronos ? and the WebGL working group is a unique collaborative forum between GPU and browser vendors to make 3D on the web a reality.?

< using WebGL to display Spore models

  
Q1Since 1994, we have seen a lot of initiatives for bringing 3D into the web. Why does the Khronos Group want to take part of this challenge?
A1

Khronos exists to enable cross-platform, accelerated visual computing. The Web has emerged as a key application platform ? and so enabling web content to directly access 3D graphics acceleration is one of the most important tasks that Khronos can be undertaking.
Also, WebGL is a direct binding to OpenGL ES 2.0 (or OpenGL 2.0 and above) from JavaScript that leverages the Canvas element in HTML 5. It?s an API NOT a plug-in! That's a crucial difference to previous approaches such as VRML and X3D. As OpenGL ES is a Khronos standard it makes perfect sense for the JavaScript binding to OpenGL ES to be defined at Khronos ? and the WebGL working group is a unique collaborative forum between GPU and browser vendors to make 3D on the web a reality.
Additionally, the need for WebGL to portably access 3D functionality on both mobile devices with OpenGL ES and desktop platforms with OpenGL sets up a healthy pressure for OpenGL ES and OpenGL to cooperate to ensure that there is a common intersection of 3D functionality that is reliably available on every 3D-capable machine and device.
Finally, let me re-iterate the key ?newness? of WebGL. It is 3D on the web with no plug-in. WebGL makes 3D an integral part of the web itself - rather than being plugged into a rectangular window inside the web. This will enables whole new classes of 3D web usage - such as rich interfaces and navigation AS PART OF THE WEB PAGE ITSELF.

  
Q2Do you think that being natively supported by browsers will be sufficient to become the standard for 3D on the Internet? Microsoft XAML is supported natively by Internet Explorer and Windows Vista and this technology is rarely used.
A2The Web is about cross platform portability and open, multi-vendor standards. The thing to realize about WebGL is that this is being DRIVEN by the Browser vendors ? this is not plug-in vendors trying to push something into the Web. This is the Web demanding and creating a 3D capability for itself. So if WebGL can provide ubiquitous, secure access to OpenGL ES from any web browser ? I think it stands an excellent chance of becoming a widely deployed and used technology.
  
Q3JavaScript run faster on today's browser, but will it be enough for programming a 3D game with WebGL?
A3JavaScript performance has increased dramatically in recent Web browsers, and there is a great deal of competition amongst browser vendors to introduce even more improvements. Will you be able to run the latest generation high-end first person shooters in JavaScript? Probably not. But the browser vendors are confident that JavaScript will deliver enough performance for a wide range of games, applications and user interfaces to be enabled using WebGL.
  
Q4Could you please give us some precision on how WebGL will interact with JavaScript, Canvas or HTML 5?
A4WebGL is a low-level JavaScript binding to OpenGL ES 2.0, exposed through the HTML 5 Canvas element as Document Object Model interfaces. Developers familiar with OpenGL ES 2.0 will recognize WebGL as a Shader-based API, with constructs in JavaScript that are semantically similar to those of the underlying OpenGL ES 2.0 API. It stays as faithful as possible to the OpenGL ES 2.0 specification, with some concessions made to what developers expect from JavaScript. We look forward to the discovering what kind of Web applications and Web pages the intersection of OpenGL developers and Web developers will build. WebGL can also bind to OpenGL 2.0 and above for 3D acceleration on desktop platforms. OpenGL 3.2 and OpenGL ES 2.0 are increasingly close in core functionality ? and the OpenGL and OpenGL ES working groups are cooperating within Khronos to ensure the two APIs don?t diverge.
  
Q5Google O3D seems not very far from WebGL goals. Is WebGL a version of O3D natively supported by browsers?
A5Google's O3D is an interesting technology starting with a higher level scene graph API in contrast to WebGL which provides direct access to OpenGL ES. Scene graph APIs provide opportunities for implementation optimization ? but are by definition more domain specific and less general purpose than the low-level OpenGL ES functionality provided by WebGL. O3D provides scene graph abstractions in JavaScript and is currently built as a C++ plugin. We anticipate that technologies such as O3D could be built on top of WebGL, taking advantage of JavaScript performance improvements. The Web has always benefited from libraries like Dojo, jQuery, and Prototype, which provide Web developers with programmatic conveniences on top of what browsers expose. We anticipate the same thing for 3D programming on the Web.
  
Q6 Do you think that Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla will support WebGL in their Browsers?
A6All I can say is that Apple, Google, Mozilla and Opera are actively developing and promoting WebGL ? and that WebGL prototypes are already appearing in open source browser builds. Microsoft is not a member of Khronos ? but I would expect third parties to implement WebGL on Internet Explorer ? a close analogy to hardware vendors shipping OpenGL drivers on Windows.
  
Q7What would be the file format of WebGL? Is Collada enough optimized for being used on the Internet?
A7There is no file format for WebGL. WebGL provides access to OpenGL ES from JavaScript ? nothing more. For example, there is no support in WebGL for loading 3D models, for receiving input and interacting with the user, or for communicating over a network. However, when combined within the set of open Web standards supported by modern web browsers, all those functions can be performed in already familiar ways. WebGL adds fast 3D graphics to the open Web toolbox.
  
Q8Apple support Collada natively into MacOS. Supporting 3D formats directly into Operating Systems : is it not "the solution" for bringing 3D everywhere?
A8

COLLADA and WebGL can be hugely synergistic and both are Khronos standards so cooperative evolution is possible. However, it is important to understand what each standard is ? and is not. COLLADA is an authoring interchange format ? it is NOT intended to be a run-time content delivery format. It is very likely that authoring pipelines for WebGL content will strongly leverage COLLADA ? but typically 3D assets would be conditioned, compressed and perhaps streamed before delivery. It will be interesting to see if the web community determines that there is a need for a common 3D delivery format ? Khronos and COLLADA could certainly help to drive that if the industry need is proven.

  
Q9 Will it be possible to display 3D graphics via WebGL on Smartphones?
A9Yes. OpenGL ES is now the native 3D API on pretty well every smart phone operating system including Apple, Palm, RIM, Brew, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Android. If a phone supports an HTML 5 browser ? WebGL can be implemented on that platform to tap into the OpenGL ES 3D capability of the OS. In fact, the realization that OpenGL and OpenGL ES capability is available on almost any 3D ?capable device was one of the original inspirations for creating the WebGL API.
  
Q10What about the relationships between Khronos Group and Web3D Consortium? Will the Web3D Consortium support WebGL?
A10X3D and WebGL are complementary and Web3D and Khronos already have a liaison agreement over COLLADA. Khronos would welcome working with Web3D to explore how X3D might exploit WebGL ? you might certainly envision JavaScript libraries that support X3D built on top of WebGL.
  
Q11We cannot talk about 3D on the Internet without saying a word about Flash 3D emerging capabilities. What are the chances of WebGL "against" Flash?
A11Flash is a ubiquitous part of the web ? it will be widely used for a long time to come. However Flash is a plug-in ? and so is very different to WebGL which enables direct access to 3D from the web page itself ? each is suitable for different types of content. Flash has superb tools and a large developer community and WebGL authoring tools will be needed to enable the standard to become pervasive. Perhaps Adobe might consider one day creating tools for HTML 5 content?
Portail 3D
Soumit par Administrateur le vendredi, 01/10/2009
 Q&AConseil G√©n√©ral des Alpes Maritimes,
Portail 3D

October 2009
 

? Le portail des territoires des Alpes-Maritimes est avant tout un syst√®me d'information g√©ographique d'aide √† la d√©cision et support de donn√©es m√©tiers et de conception des projets d'am√©nagement, d'infrastructures...?

< Portail 3D

  
Q1A qui s'adresse le portail 3D des Alpes Maritimes?
A1Ce portail s?adresse au grand public, aux différents partenaires externes du Conseil général des Alpes-Maritimes, aux services techniques de la collectivité ainsi qu?aux professionnels avec un accès restreint afin d?exploiter les données, les visualiser et les superposer à cette du Conseil général.
  
Q2

Pourquoi avez-vous choisi de lancer votre propre outil de visualisation plut√īt que d'enrichir les bases existantes telles que Google Earth ou le GeoPortail de l'IGN ?

A2Le portail des territoires des Alpes-Maritimes est avant tout un syst√®me d'information g√©ographique d'aide √† la d√©cision et support de donn√©es m√©tiers et de conception des projets d'am√©nagement, d'infrastructures... Il n'y a pas de surco√Ľt √† le diffuser sur internet.
Google Earth ou le Geoportail de l'IGN n?ont pas la même vocation et ne proposent pas ce niveau de service.
De plus les bases de données du Conseil général sont mises à jour en continu par nos différents services et cela nécessite une bonne réactivité : publication du Challenge trail, emplacement des défibrillateurs, nouveau réseau routier, le cadastre vectorisé,?
Sur ce plan également, le Geoportail de l?IGN ou Google Earth ne s?intéressent pas forcément à toutes les données et ont le choix de refuser leur diffusion, voire même de la faire payer.
La ma√ģtrise de la diffusion et de la propri√©t√© des donn√©es, de l?exploitation qui en est faite, ainsi que la ma√ģtrise de la concordance technique des informations √† toutes les √©chelles repr√©sentent un enjeu qui s?est montr√© d√©cisif.
  
Q3Territoires 06 intègre des fonctions évoluées telles que le calcul de distance, d'aire et même le calcul d'ombres portées. Mais est-il possible d'importer ou d'extraire des données ?
A3

L?import et l?export sont tous les deux possibles.
Pour l?export, les données saisies, comme les images, les pictogrammes, les randonnées, sont directement exportables au format SIG (Système d?Information Géographique) et vers des GPS.
Concernant l?import, point, ligne, modèle 3D, image de projet, photo? Tout ce qui est dans les formats kml, ESRI, Oracle, Webserce WFS/WMS.
Il suffit de se créer un compte qui permettra la gestion des profils utilisateurs, cette procédure ne dure pas plus d?une minute.

  
Q4De quelle mani√®re avez vous mod√©lis√© les b√Ętiments ?
A4

Avec des outils CAO traditionnels (√† partir de la restitution des projets) pour les b√Ętiments textur√©s.

  
Q5Comment ce service est-il perçu par ses utilisateurs ?
A5

Nous recevons depuis sa mise en ligne de nombreux messages, parmi lesquels beaucoup de commentaires positifs d?usagers et des demandes sur de nouvelles informations tel que le VTT par exemple.

  
Q6Prévoyez vous de développer des outils de géo-localisation pour mobiles?
A6Oui, nous étudions actuellement ce sujet.
Portail 3D
Soumit par Administrateur le vendredi, 01/10/2009
 Q&AConseil G√©n√©ral des Alpes Maritimes,
Portail 3D

October 2009
 

? Le portail des territoires des Alpes-Maritimes est avant tout un syst√®me d'information g√©ographique d'aide √† la d√©cision et support de donn√©es m√©tiers et de conception des projets d'am√©nagement, d'infrastructures...?

< Portail 3D

  
Q1A qui s'adresse le portail 3D des Alpes Maritimes?
A1Ce portail s?adresse au grand public, aux différents partenaires externes du Conseil général des Alpes-Maritimes, aux services techniques de la collectivité ainsi qu?aux professionnels avec un accès restreint afin d?exploiter les données, les visualiser et les superposer à cette du Conseil général.
  
Q2

Pourquoi avez-vous choisi de lancer votre propre outil de visualisation plut√īt que d'enrichir les bases existantes telles que Google Earth ou le GeoPortail de l'IGN ?

A2Le portail des territoires des Alpes-Maritimes est avant tout un syst√®me d'information g√©ographique d'aide √† la d√©cision et support de donn√©es m√©tiers et de conception des projets d'am√©nagement, d'infrastructures... Il n'y a pas de surco√Ľt √† le diffuser sur internet.
Google Earth ou le Geoportail de l'IGN n?ont pas la même vocation et ne proposent pas ce niveau de service.
De plus les bases de données du Conseil général sont mises à jour en continu par nos différents services et cela nécessite une bonne réactivité : publication du Challenge trail, emplacement des défibrillateurs, nouveau réseau routier, le cadastre vectorisé,?
Sur ce plan également, le Geoportail de l?IGN ou Google Earth ne s?intéressent pas forcément à toutes les données et ont le choix de refuser leur diffusion, voire même de la faire payer.
La ma√ģtrise de la diffusion et de la propri√©t√© des donn√©es, de l?exploitation qui en est faite, ainsi que la ma√ģtrise de la concordance technique des informations √† toutes les √©chelles repr√©sentent un enjeu qui s?est montr√© d√©cisif.
  
Q3Territoires 06 intègre des fonctions évoluées telles que le calcul de distance, d'aire et même le calcul d'ombres portées. Mais est-il possible d'importer ou d'extraire des données ?
A3

L?import et l?export sont tous les deux possibles.
Pour l?export, les données saisies, comme les images, les pictogrammes, les randonnées, sont directement exportables au format SIG (Système d?Information Géographique) et vers des GPS.
Concernant l?import, point, ligne, modèle 3D, image de projet, photo? Tout ce qui est dans les formats kml, ESRI, Oracle, Webserce WFS/WMS.
Il suffit de se créer un compte qui permettra la gestion des profils utilisateurs, cette procédure ne dure pas plus d?une minute.

  
Q4De quelle mani√®re avez vous mod√©lis√© les b√Ętiments ?
A4

Avec des outils CAO traditionnels (√† partir de la restitution des projets) pour les b√Ętiments textur√©s.

  
Q5Comment ce service est-il perçu par ses utilisateurs ?
A5

Nous recevons depuis sa mise en ligne de nombreux messages, parmi lesquels beaucoup de commentaires positifs d?usagers et des demandes sur de nouvelles informations tel que le VTT par exemple.

  
Q6Prévoyez vous de développer des outils de géo-localisation pour mobiles?
A6Oui, nous étudions actuellement ce sujet.
Sophie 3D
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/09/2009
Q&ARiccardo della Martire,
Sophie3D

September 2009
 

?We released Sophie3D V.2 as a Flash Component so that while the 3D models can still benefit from powerful and familiar
3D software programs, web developers could utilize their knowledge of Flash CS4 to customize the appearance and
interactivity of Shophie3D's output.?

< high detailed model with Flash Player 10

  
Q1Why are you developing a Flash 3D engine?
A1In our work as a web application and design company we came across the need for an easy way of showing 3D web models without the need for the end-user to install a plug-in for their web browser to view the website.
  
Q2

A quick comparison between Sophie3D and other Flash engines clearly indicates that your engine can handle more complex 3D objects. How many triangles can Sophie3D display smoothly?

A2There is no exact limit on the number of polygons, having said that, the web developer will try to keep the number of polygons in a model as low as possible. This will improve the overall web experience for the user. The more polygons there are, the longer the model will take to load into the web browser and the fps count frame per second will be lower. Also you need to consider that there is a lot of old hardware out there.
The polygon/fps needs to be evaluated remembering that it is important to keep the site fast, responsive and dynamic.
  
Q3Sophie3D can read .obj files. Is that enough for today's 3D scenes with animated objects and complex materials?
A3

We chose the .obj format for various reasons. Firstly it is a standard file format that many software programs can export and import. 3D modelling software programs require a considerable investment in time and study to be able to produce and edit refined models. We did not want to create another program and another long learning curve, but use a 3D modelling program that we already knew. In that way we, or any web developer, could quickly publish and edit models. Secondly, as it is a text file it presents great
possibilities in that it can be connected to a database and used for dynamic 3D model creation, even in real-time.
Together with the .obj file, which contains the models geometry and normals, the .mtl file references the model's material textures, transparency and reflection maps. These features permit to use the same 3D model with different material libraries. This offers many possibilities for application developers to create applications where a user can customize articles attributes like color and material
without reloading the 3D model.

  
Q4Sophie3D support transparencies, spherical reflections... Can you please give us the main features?
A4

Sophie3D can apply transparency to the 3D object buy defining materials with transparency within your 3D modelling program. With .png images you can use the alpha channel to apply transparency at the pixel level. This gives you possibilities of hiding and showing part of the 3D object by using channels on the material map. You can apply materials with an image that can be used as a reflection map. The object that has a material with a reflection map will reflect that ambient map.You can also define a special "shadow plane" where you place an image that is used as a shadow. This gives to the scene image more depth.You can use different camera views into your application to create camera animation.You can use an image as the scene?s background: you can change these during runtime. You can interact with the mouse and interrogate the model.You can change material of a 3D object during runtime.

  
Q5Whereas other engines, z-sorting gives good results without flickering/z-fighting. How can you obtain such a result with a software engine?
A5

Sorry, we can't expand too much on that question, as we would be giving away secrets.

  
Q6Sophie3D comes with an API with few functions/classes compares with PaperVision. Do you plan to extend the number
of functions in order to offer more control and capabilities to users?
A6We released Sophie3D V.2 as a Flash Component so that while the 3D models can still benefit from powerful and familiar
3D software programs, web developers could utilize their knowledge of Flash CS4 to customize the appearance and
interactivity of Shophie3D's output. The current command set based on our experience. We will undoubtedly add some other commands over time, but not many. It is our opinion that web content developers don't need hundreds of classes to develop their web applications. Sophie3D has a function set that allows them to develop applications that most end-users would like to see or interact with, such as setting materials, camera animation, mouse interactivity etc.
We will continue to develop the product but it will be based upon Sophie3D's core principal of ease of use for both web user and developers.
  
Q7How much does Sophie3D cost? Do you offer custom developments?
A7Currently Sophie3D is free for non commercial use. This version has the Sophie3D logo displayed. For the commercial version the current price is 239 Euro which will give you a domain licence without time limit. This allows you to publish as many models as you like on that domain. Yes we do offer custom development and development support for companies. These can be for Sophie3D or other 3D web applications.
  
Q8Flash CS4 comes with improved performances in 3D and pixel bender. Do you plan to take advantage of those features?
A8We are currently testing the possibilities offered by pixel bender.
  
 Q9 With Sophie3D, it seems that Flash can tread over Java engines. What would be the next milestone be in Sophie3D's development?
A9How Sophie3D develops also depends upon how Adobe develops Flash. Our intentions are to continually improve the quality
and speed of Sophie3D's output and its ease of use both from the developer's and user's standpoint.
WorldViz Vizard
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/09/2009
 Q&A

WorldViz Vizard, 
Andy Beal,
September - 2009

 

?We help companies decrease cost of prototyping and training by enabling them to simulate complex scenarios in a fully immersive fashion. Next to Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Toyota or Bosch, WorldViz products are also widely used in academic research across disciplines such as medicine, psychology, engineering, and computer science.?

< Serious Game build with WorldViz Vizard

  
Q1What is the role of WorldViz in the growing market of visual simulation?
A1

We are an industry leader in interactive virtual reality solutions. WorldViz brings immersive 3D simulations to the mainstream by making the technology affordable and easy to use. We help companies decrease cost of prototyping and training by enabling them to simulate complex scenarios in a fully immersive fashion. Next to Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Toyota or Bosch, WorldViz products are also widely used in academic research across disciplines such as medicine, psychology, engineering, and computer science.

  
Q2Vizard is specially dedicated to handle VR equipments such as Head Mounted Display, CAVEs, or Haptic devices. Is it still a good choice for project that do not require such peripherals?
A2

While Vizard is particularly adept at connecting to all sorts of input and output devices, its Python-based programming environment and modular approach makes it extremely versatile and capable for building even conventional desktop-style applications. For instance, customers use it for data-mining and data-visualization without any special input or output devices.

  
Q3Vizard uses Python; this is a language well known for web programming. What are the benefits of using this script language for bringing interaction to 3D scenes? Is it fast enough for realtime 3D?
A3

Our customers are convinced that the benefit is faster development cycles. True, Python is well known in the web community, but it?s equally well-known in other scientific and industrial communities. Our philosophy is to leverage high-quality open-source components, which in-turn make available huge resources to our customers (e.g., universities teach Python, enormous Python exist making available numerous high-quality resources). Regarding speed, our Python interface is largely an abstraction. All underlying 3D rendering is done with a C/C++ based engine, and very rarely is Python the processing bottleneck for any of our customers? projects.

  
Q4Behind Worldviz there is OpenSceneGraph engine (OSG). Since OpenGL performances decrease with MS Windows Vista, is it still a good choice for displaying very large scenes?
A4

This question asks whether OpenGL is competitive on Vista compared to XP. The evidence is that it is; for example seehttp://www.opengl.org/pipeline/article/vol003_9. That said, we find Vista?s real-time performance (e.g., networked render clusters) to be less reliable and robust compared to XP, independent of OpenGL or DirectX, and therefore continue to recommend XP as our OS of choice for the vizsim industry. Importantly, W7 is released and is now the only relevant comparison to XP. We don?t not yet have an answer regarding W7 reliability and robustness.

 

  
Q5What are the key advantages to use Vizard vs Delta3D since they both use OSG?
A5The two platforms also share Python as their chosen programming interface for the developer (though both allow extension thru C/C++ modules), and overall have many similarities. Our chief advantages separating us from Delta3D would be :
1) we?re a commercially supported product and offer numerous services for our customers, 
2) our inventory of natively supported hardware is larger than any other product we know about, 
3) we specialize in vertical markets different than Delta3D such as real-time motion capture, CAD based training, and architectural visualization. We do not promote ourselves as a gaming platform.
  
Q6What would a typical industrial application of WorldViz products look like?
A6For example, aircraft turbine manufacturers use WorldViz technology to turn CAD models into stunningly realistic and interactive training applications for maintenance engineers, allowing supervisors to train their maintenance procedures upon virtual aircraft viewed either by donning a stereoscopic head-mounted display or by entering a multi-wall projection system, and manipulating the turbine parts using haptic gloves.
  
Q7Workflow is a major aspect : how does Worldviz import and update 3D data during the development?
A7Natively, we support numerous standard formats (e.g., wrl (VRML2/97), .flt (Open Flight), .3ds (3D Studio Max), .txp (multi-threaded TerraPage loader), .dae (Collada), .geo (Carbon Graphics), .bsp (Quake3 world layers), .md2 (Quake animation models), .ac (AC3D),.obj (Alias Wavefront), .lwo/lw (Light Wave), .pfb (Performer), the OSG's native .osg/.ive format, DirectX .x format, and .3dc point cloud). However, WorldViz also actively maintains the 3D Studio Max exporter known in the OSG community as OSGExp. This exporter, combined with our WorldViz-side modules, provides a high-quality and efficient artflow capable of binary data format, embedded textures, optimizations, and certain shader operations. For our CAD customers, we have allied ourselves with Anark and their Core? product line for automated CAD asset conversion into the Collada format.
  
Q8Worldviz can be well integrated with 3ds max, but how can 3d artists using Maya or Softimage can import their assets since Collada is not well supported by OSG?
A8We are investing in Collada loaders and expect that our upcoming Release 4 of our product line will prove that Collada as a format is a viable artflow for both the Max/Maya/SoftImage as well as CAD (e.g., CATIA/SolidWorks/Pro-E) communities.
  
Q9What can I do with your 3D software toolkit Vizard?
A9With Vizard even undergraduate students can learn within one week how to create fully immersive, interactive virtual reality environments. Vizard is your central platform for importing all common 3D formats, scripting your own interactive scenarios, rendering to any stereoscopic display system, using motion tracking or full-body motion capture, and rendering scenes over complex computer clusters. Our customers are very pleased when they see that their existing virtual reality hardware already works plug-and-play with Vizard.
  
Q10  How would a company distribute and sell applications created with Vizard?
A10Vizard allows you to build applications as executables. Those applications can be distributed without royalties. This allows to share and sell applications made with Vizard, and let anyone run them without installing Vizard.
  
Q11What if a customer wants a full solution out of the box?
A11That?s a good question. We have an impressive in-house team of expert software programmers, hardware engineers, and graphics designers, who provide full custom solutions including 3D application development, hardware integration, onsite installation, technical support and training. Clients can come to WorldViz with their own unique vision of a simulation application, and we will deliver it.
  
Q12What about the motion tracking systems PPT-X and PPT-H manufactured by WorldViz?
A12You will not find a system on the market that tracks larger areas at such low cost. Our PPT motion tracking solutions break the cost-performance barrier, bringing high-quality motion tracking to cover ranges over 50 x 50 meters at competitive prices. We use an optical-inertial hybrid technology which guarantees extremely robust real-time tracking. Recently we have added to the product line a hand-held interaction wand and tracking for shutter glasses, which makes the PPT system an ideal solution for powerwall and CAVE users.
3DVIA
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/09/2009
 Q&AArnaud Ribadeau-Dumas,
Dassault Systèmes

Septembre 2009
 

?Le contenu disponible en ligne est accessible par tous et de n?importe o√Ļ, gr√Ęce √† notre nouvelle solution pour iPhone : 3DVIA Mobile.?

< 3DVIA Mobile on iPhone

  
Q1Pouvez vous nous éclairer sur les buts de Dassault Systèmes à travers 3DVIA ?
A1L?ambition de Dassault Syst√®mes est d?utiliser le virtuel pour am√©liorer le r√©el, notamment l?environnement et les produits futurs. Dans ce cadre, les solutions 3DVIA ont pour mission de d√©mocratiser la 3D interactive afin de permettre √† tous de participer √† des exp√©riences virtuelles comme dans la vraie vie. Gr√Ęce √† 3DVIA, les consommateurs, les collaborateurs en entreprise qui ne sont pas ing√©nieurs ou les designers peuvent communiquer au travers d?un langage commun qui est la 3D.
Pour cela 3DVIA s?appuie sur ses fondamentaux, √† savoir les communaut√©s, le contenu et les services. Les communaut√©s sont support√©es par notre site web 2.0 http://www.3dvia.com. Ce site est devenu en quelques mois un des tout premier site de contenu 3D en termes de fr√©quentation. J?en profite pour remercier notre communaut√© toujours importante, pour la richesse du contenu g√©n√©r√© ainsi que les nombreuses propositions de services compl√©mentaires. Le contenu disponible en ligne est accessible par tous et sur tout type de plateforme gr√Ęce a notre nouvelle solution pour iPhone : 3DVIA Mobile.
Nos services d√©di√©s √† la cr√©ation contribue √©galement √† d√©mocratiser la 3D : ¬ę 3DVIA Shape ¬Ľ met √† la port√© du grand public la puissance du modeleur CATIA. 3DVIA simplifie aussi la cr√©ation d?exp√©riences virtuelles interactives gr√Ęce √† ses diff√©rentes applications sp√©cialis√©es comme ¬ę 3DVIA Composer ¬Ľ pour les concepteurs de documentation, ¬ę 3DVIA Virtools ¬Ľ pour les designers et le prototypage, ¬ę 3DVIA MP ¬Ľ pour les d√©veloppeurs.
  
Q2

La communauté d'utilisateurs de 3dvia augment rapidment. Peut-on dire que 3DVIA est à la 3D ce que Youtube est à la vidéo ?

A2La 3D interactive est amenée à devenir un media au même titre que la vidéo ou la musique. C?est dans cette optique que nous avons lancé 3DVIA.com, le site de partage de contenu ou les communautés se retrouvent. Et effectivement comme pour certains sites consacrés à la vidéo ou à la photo, les utilisateurs peuvent y faire héberger gratuitement leurs modèles 3D puis syndiquer les expériences associés sur leur blog ou site web.
  
Q33DVIA repose sur l'utilisation d'un player pour visualiser le contenu. Quel est son taux de pénétration?
A3

On compte plus de 30 Millions d?utilisateurs de notre 3DVIA Player. Le taux d?installation est en hausse d?environ 100% par an.

  
Q4Unity3D est un moteur 3D de plus en plus populaire sur le web et sur iPhone ? Quels sont les avantages de 3DVIA virtools par rapport à Unity3D?
A4

3DVIA Virtools est un outil qui permet de réaliser des applications interactives 3D sans développer de code, il suffit d?assembler les principales fonctions en utilisant un outil de schématique. Ceci permet aux designers ou aux artistes de créer par eux-mêmes de façon interactive des expériences virtuelles.

  
Q5Qu-est ce que 3DVIAmp? S'agit-il simplement d'une version de Virtools permettant d'exporter sur console?
A5

3DVIA MP est une solution de d√©veloppement d?applications 3D interactives con√ßue pour les d√©veloppeurs. Avec 3DVIA MP de grandes √©quipes peuvent travailler en simultan√© sur tous les composants d?une application. C?est un environnement complet qui offre un atelier de cr√©ation et de debug WYSIWYG 3D pour une grande efficacit√© de d√©veloppement. En compl√©ment il permet une r√©utilisation forte de tous les composants entre applications, gr√Ęce aux concepts de Template, d?Agr√©gation et de Smart Objects (SO). 3DVIA MP est orient√© ¬ę online ¬Ľ avec l?acc√®s direct au contenu et la publication sur le site 3DVIA pour l?h√©bergement et le partage des exp√©riences.

  
Q6Les modeleurs peuvent désormais publier et vendre leur 3D sur le portail 3DVIA. Comment cela fonctionne-t-il ?
A6Actuellement, nous vendons uniquement des mod√®les 3D r√©alis√©s par un nombre limit√© de partenaires invit√©s. Un partenaire comme MyDeco.com propose les r√©pliques exactes de pi√®ces de mobilier existantes dont le mod√®le physique est disponible sur leur site. Cela illustre parfaitement notre objectif d?offrir des exp√©riences virtuelles conformes √† la vie r√©elle. Nous pr√©voyons d'ouvrir le march√© √† d?autres partenaires tr√®s bient√īt.
  
Q7Parmi les nouveaux logiciels de 3DVIA, qu'est ce que TVnima?
A7Dassault Systèmes est toujours à la recherche de création de nouvelles expériences interactives en utilisant notre plateforme. TVNima en est un exemple C?est un outil simple qui permet de réaliser un journal télévisé virtuel en choisissant le présentateur, son environnement et le contenu de sa présentation (image, film, voix, gestuelle,..) et au final d?en enregistrer le résultat sous forme de vidéo.
  
Q83DVIA s'est ouvert au standard Collada. Est-ce un signe que l'open source est de plus en plus populaire en 3D ? Allez-vous continuer à promouvoir de Collada et cela sera-t-il ai détriment du 3DXML ?
A8Nos utilisateurs √©taient demandeurs de pouvoir utiliser le contenu de 3DVIA.com et les mod√®les r√©alis√©s avec 3DVIA Shape dans des applications ne supportant pas encore notre standard 3DXML. Pour cela nous avons introduit la possibilit√© de d√©charger tous les mod√®les de 3dvia.com dans le format COLLADA . Gr√Ęce a ce service, il est d√©sormais possible de r√©utiliser simplement le contenu 3D dans des applications telles que Photoshop. Ce nouveau service a re√ßu un tr√®s bon accueil de la part notre com
Airplay Ideaworks3D
Soumit par Administrateur le dimanche, 01/08/2009
 Q&AAirplay Ideaworks3D, 
Tim Closs,
August 2009
 

 

Airplay certainly accelerates that convergence from the development perspective, as we provide a vanilla C++ development environment that is very familiar to PC apps developers or console game developers. Airplay users do not need to know anything about specific platform SDKs such as Symbian, iPhone, etc. ?

< Developed with AirPlay

  
Q1Could you please give a brief description of Ideaworks3D?
A1Ideaworks3D is a privately held technology and game development company headquartered in London. Founded in 1998 with a strong Oxford and Cambridge computer science and electronic engineering pedigree, the company has an unparalleled track record of creative innovation and technical leadership in the field of high performance mobile gaming. Ideaworks3D?s Airplay? platform is the result of over 8 years of research and development into high-performance native multimedia applications on mobile devices, and has powered ground-breaking and award-winning titles such as Konami?s ?Metal Gear Solid Mobile?, which won ?Best Game? and ?Operators? Choice? accolades at IMGA 2008. Ideaworks3D's Studio is also the recipient of multiple industry accolades including Best Mobile Studio at the Develop Excellence Awards 2008, and two BAFTA Games Awards for best handheld and mobile games.
  
Q2There are many different embedded platforms. How can Airplay produce optimized performances on each device?
A2Through a combination of clever runtime decisions, and clever offline tools, as follows:
- Runtime decisions: the app queries the device for the presence and type of any hardware graphics acceleration. If GLES2 is available, all drawing is pushed through the GLES2 drivers; otherwise if GLES1 is available, all drawing is pushed through the GLES1 drivers. If no GLS driver is available, drawing falls back to (extremely fast) software rendering (we claim to have the fastest mobile 3D software renderer in the world). Also, when using GLES drivers, the driver string is queried for vendor and revision, and some "load balancing" is performed depending on the type (e.g. deciding whether to do transform/lighting on the application side, or the GLES driver side).
- Offline tools; Airplay by default generates a default asset set that will run well anywhere. However, if the developer has time/budget to create separate asset sets optimised for different classes of device, that can do that very easily. For example, one line in a resource script will trigger the generation of a new asset set optimised for PowerVR, formatting streams as required and using PVR texture compression where possible.
  
Q3iPhone is more and more popular: have you any tool for creating games on it?
A3Using Airplay, developers can create iPhone applications in pure C++, on either PC or Mac. A single Mac is required to be connected to the developer's LAN, to run the Apple code-signing tools. Otherwise, a developer could choose to develop purely on PCs in Visual C++, testing their ARM binary on the desktop, and deploying to iPhone using iTunes on PC. Of course, Airplay's support for GLES1 and PowerVR optimisations are also very useful.
  
Q4What are the main features of Airplay in the field of 3D graphics?
A4

Airplay supports flexible material management, model management and rendering, skinned animation, shaders, and a "scaleable graphics pipeline". What is meant by the latter is; developers can construct materials that use shaders and multiple texture stages; these can be utilised on GLES2 devices, but if a device only has GLES1, the shader is not used and texture stages 1+2 are used instead. If there is no GLES driver, only texture stage 1 is used.
Large models can be automatically segmented using octrees or BSP trees.
Multiple textures can be automatically "atlassed" into a single large texture, to improve GLES performance.
Skinned animation supports up to 32 bones, 4 weights per vertex, blending of multiple full-hierarchy and sub-hierarchy animations.

  
Q5Ideaworks3D try to use standard technologies from Khronos group. What are the benefits of using those technologies for embedded devices?
A5Obviously GLES is generally the only way of accessing hardware graphics acceleration on devices, so must be supported.
The main other Khronos API we support is OpenKODE, an emerging standard for OS abstraction on embedded devices.
Ideaworks3D was instrumental in designing the OpenKODE specification, and we are the only solution provider to claim OpenKODE compatibility across all open OSs.
  
Q6 Ideaworks3D can produce interactive 3d contents for Zii. There are more and more devices ready to display 3D graphics : do you manage to support all specificities of this new handheld device? Is Airplay bundled with Zii SDK?
A6An Airplay demo will likely be bundled with the ZiiLABS Plazsma SDK, and customers will be directed to us for licensing discussions.
Airplay can support all of the great features of the Zii EGG platform including 3D graphics, sound, cameras, touchscreen, accelerometer, GPS, and video.
  
Q7 Could you please describe the 3D pipeline for creating 3D assets? (ex: wich DCC tool can be used, what can be supported : skeleton animation, shaders...?)
A7We provide exporter plug-ins for all recent versions of 3DS Max and Maya. Additionally, we support any tool that can export in COLLADA format.
Materials, models and animations can be previewed in the Airplay Viewer from within the DCC tools.
Materials and shaders can be edited from within the plug-ins.
All data is exported from the DCC tools in very readable text files; these files are used when running the Windows version of Airplay, and are optimised and compressed into binary versions suitable for loading on embedded devices.
Q8Creating 3D games for embedded devices is more and more popular: do you think that there will be less and less differences between programming for PC and programming for smartphones?
A8The two are converging, but more slowly than many people had expected.
Airplay certainly accelerates that convergence from the development perspective, as we provide a vanilla C++ development environment that is very familiar to PC apps developers or console game developers. Airplay users do not need to know anything about specific platform SDKs such as Symbian, iPhone, etc.
SculptMaster 3D
Soumit par Administrateur le dimanche, 01/08/2009
 Q&ASculptMaster 3D, 
Mika Kolehmainen,
August 2009
 

 

It all started when I was doing my master's thesis about voxel-based approach for dynamic environment in games. One day when experimenting with my voxel engine running on a PC I thought, "hey, wouldn't it be cool if..." and the idea for SculptMaster 3D was born.?

< SculptMaster 3D in action

  
Q1Could you please give a brief description of SculptMaster 3D?
A1SculptMaster 3D is an experimental sculpting/modeling tool for iPhone and iPod touch, where you paint and carve digital clay-like material with fingers. A kind of ZBrush for your mobile device, albeit much simpler and limited at least in this stage.
  
Q2Why developing a 3D graphic on a so small screen?
A2It all started when I was doing my master's thesis about voxel-based approach for dynamic environment in games. One day when experimenting with my voxel engine running on a PC I thought, "hey, wouldn't it be cool if..." and the idea for SculptMaster 3D was born. iPhone is very capable for traditional 2D painting which apps like Brushes have demonstrated, so 3D is not that different if you think about it; only technically more challenging given the device's resource constraints.
  
Q3SculptMaster 3D take advantage of the Multitouch capabilities : is it precise enough to model 3D objects?
A3Precision is somewhat of a difficulty, but it comes more from the low model resolution imposed by device limits than the touch interface. You should be able to model fine details easily using the zoom functionality, but currently the model resolution is not enough to allow a comparable experience to desktop modeling applications.
  
Q4Do you plan to add more brushes and more control for artists?
A4

Yes, that is the plan eventually. Current version is more a proof of concept than a real tool, but given the interest it has got from the
modeling community, I will definitely be extending it based on the feedback I have got.

  
Q53D graphics looks like voxels : are you using triangles or voxels?
A5Internal model representation is voxels, which is then converted to triangles for displaying. This allows to take advantage of the
device's graphics acceleration among others.
  
Q6 You plan to add .obj support. Would it be possible to use ScluptMaster with a DCC tool for modeling?
A6Eventually yes, at least for prototyping and concept work. Export to a mesh in .obj format is already done and update is waiting Apple's approval at the time of writing this.
  
Q7 Is SculptMaster 3D faster on the latest iPhone 3Gs, does it run fast enough on the first iPhone?
A7I do not myself have a 3GS yet, but based on the reports it is faster. It is also fast enough with previous generation devices; speed was
always a concern when developing but there is still room for more optimizations. It is possible that in the future, the app will take
full advantage of the 3GS's extended capabilities to allow more precise modeling and so on.
Q8As a developer, what do you think of Apple SDK and facilities for iPhone publishing?
A8Coming from the Symbian world, Apple's SDK is a lot nicer to use than anything I have ever developed on mobile devices previously; other companies should definitely learn from it how to make development a fun and engaging experience. As for the iPhone publishing, my own experiences have been more on the positive side, but there is still room for improvement. Looks like Apple is now listening developers more and some recent changes have been in the right direction.
Shiva3D / StoneTrip
Soumit par Administrateur le dimanche, 01/08/2009
Q&APhilip Belhassen, 
Shiva3D / StoneTrip 

Ao√Ľt . 2009
 

?Pour la sortie de la version 1.8, l?équipe s?est intéressée à la qualité du moteur graphique et aux performances, nous avons rajouté bon nombre de nouveaux effets, optimisé également encore le rendu, reconstruit le moteur d?ombrage dynamique, amélioré notre système de streaming de donnée...?

< Stonetrip in action

  
Q1Pouvez-nous nous parler des utilisateurs de Shiva et de l'usage qu'ils font du moteur 3D?
A1ShiVa est utilisé aujourd?hui par plus de 12 000 licenciés dont plus de 75% sont en dehors de nos frontières françaises. Depuis octobre dernier ou nous avons été le premier moteur a fournir un kit complet de développement pour iPhone, les utilisateurs n?ont cesser d?affluer et de se diriger vers cette plateforme mobile. Même certain developpeur de jeu plus classique, se sont naturellement tourné vers l?app store, car il pouvait le faire grace à ShiVa. Mais nous remarquons également toujours plus d?application dans le serious games et l?architecture ou bien encore dans le media, puisque internet me semble avant tout être utilisé comme un média.
  
Q2Stonetrip a été particulièrement actif ces derniers mois avec la sortie du SDK et d'une possibilité de publication sur i-Phone. Pouvez-vous nous présenter le SDK : permet-il de tirer profit du moteur Stonetrip avec n'importe quelle application C++?
A2Le SDK permet d?embarquer le moteur ShiVa dans n?importe quelle autre application et de faire communiquer ces applications entre elles, ce qui permet d?étendre les fonctionnalités de ShiVa a tous ce que vous voudriez pouvoir faire, c?est donc l?outil idéal pour profiter de la rapidité de production de l?outil, tout en gardant la précision et la performance des développements natifs, même si nous considérons qu?il soit dors et déjà possible de tout faire avec ShiVa, la création de ce SDK apporte un nouveau souffle aux utilisateurs habitués du C/C++.
  
Q3Quelle est la licence du SDK? Avec le SDK, les données 3D doivent-elles être préalabalement converties ou bien peut on intégrer des données Collada directement sans passer par Shiva?
A3Le SDK est gratuit, librement téléchargeable, et sans royaltie, dans la continuité et la logique de tous nos moteurs quelque soit la plateforme.
L?import Collada ne fait pas parti de ce SDK tout comme aucune fonctionnalité d?édition, mais rien n?empêche de développer ces fonctionnalités.
  
Q4Depuis le début, Shiva a annoncé sa volonté d'être multiplateforme : aujourd'hui est-ce une réalité?
A4Nous sommes depuis plus de 5 ans le seul moteur PC, Mac, linux, iPhone, Windows mobile et bient√īt encore d?autre plateforme √† venir. C?est donc une r√©alit√©. Mais le march√© des mobiles commencent seulement √† avoir des performances corrects et surtout un mod√®le √©conomique int√©ressant, offrant de r√©elles opportunit√© aux d√©veloppeurs de contenu. Sans parler des nouvelles plateformes que nous allons prendre en charge dans peu de temps, mais ca m√©ritera un nouvelle interview !
  
Q5Pouvez-vous nous décrire comment on peut générer des contenus 3D interactifs pour l'iphone? Que faut-il en terme de logiciel, un mac est-il indispensable?
A5Pour développer une application iPhone, il faut et il suffit, d?un ShiVa avec un windows (parallels sous mac fonctionne parfaitement bien par exemple), et du ShiVa Authoring Tool pour créer l?exécutable iPhone, disponible uniquement sous mac (donc il faut un mac pour la phase finale) cette dernier étape prends 4 click, mais doit obligatoirement être effectuée sous mac. Le workflow de production est le même que pour n?importe quelle autre plateforme avec ShiVa, vous n?avez donc pas à maitriser le cocoa ou connaitre XCode.
  
Q6Concrètement quelles sont les limitations de l'i-phone (au niveau des matériaux, de la géométrie et de l'interaction)?
A6

Les deux premières générations d'iPhone et iPod touch sont assez limitées. Equipés d'un processeur Power VR MBX, ils ne permettent qu'un rendu assez basique en "pipeline fixe", à travers de l'API OpenGL ES 1.1 : pas plus de deux textures par passe, pas de shaders, pas de "texgen", et des performances globales assez faibles. Nous avons du faire des optimisations spécifiques pour obtenir de bons résultats : structures de données dédiées, "batching" automatique pour réduire le nombre d'appels au driver, réécriture de certaines parties critiques en assembleur...
La version 3GS de l'iPhone par contre, offre un GPU beaucoup plus puissant, environ quatre fois plus rapide, et un pipeline "full shader" basé sur une API OpenGL ES 2.0. Nous travaillons actuellement sur le portage de tous les effets que permet donc cette architecture : éclairage au pixel, normal mapping, effets de post rendu, etc.

  
Q7Comment avez-vous intégré les spécificités de l'i-phone?
A7Finalement l?iPhone n?a rien de spécifique si ce n?est qu?il intègre beaucoup de fonctionnalité. Par exemple, un écran tactil multi contact (comme ?Surface? de microsoft), des accéléromètres comme dans une Wiimote ou des joypads sixaxis, un GPS (comme tous les autres téléphone maintenant), un micro comme n?importe quel ordinateur, etc. finalement c?est une merveilleuse machine, très puissante, et pleine de tout ce dont on pourrait avoir besoin, mais rien de totalement unique. Par conséquent les fonctionnalités sont multi plateforme, et tout ce que vous faites pour l?iPhone fonctionnera sur d?autre plateforme offrant les services équivalent.
  
Q8Les dernières versions de Shiva ont permis d'intégrer un éditeur de terrain complet. Quelles sont les nouveautés de la version 1.8 "en cours de release"?
A8Pour la sortie de la version 1.8, l?équipe s?est intéressée à la qualité du moteur graphique et aux performances, nous avons rajouté bon nombre de nouveaux effets, optimisé également encore le rendu, reconstruit le moteur d?ombrage dynamique, amélioré notre système de streaming de donnée (pour visualiser des vidéos en live streaming par exemple), pour travailler sur des textures en dynamique (nous appelons ca des PixelMap), ajouter un générateur d?océan, ajouter de la VOIP native dans les players et le serveur, intégré le serveur dans le client, pour pouvoir créer se propre partie multi utilisateurs sans avoir à utiliser un server dédié, et il y a encore beaucoup d?autres évolutions, par exemple nous avons ajouté près de 250 méthodes de scripts, ce qui donne une idée de l?évolution considérable de l?outil. Aucun outil n?est aussi complet pour la réalisation d?application interactive.
Et bien s√Ľr, un nouveau site, de nouvelles d√©mos, un nouveau plugin, un nouveau ShiVa serveur? nous avons revus toute la gamme de produit afin d?offrir le meilleur √† nos utilisateurs.
  
Q9Aujourd'hui certains moteurs 3D permettent de réaliser des interface utilisateurs (HUD), avec Flash (exemple Ogre/Hikari) ou en HTML (exemple Torque3D, DXStudio). Comment répondez-vous aux différents besoins en terme de HUD, afin de faciliter leur création?
A9Nous travaillons également à l?intégration de ces médias dans notre moteur, notamment dans une vision plus ouverte, de convergence notamment. Mais nous gardons à l?esprit que l?utilisation de ces médias comportent de grands risques de qualités, par exemple, flash pose de très gros problèmes de performance général et l?html est l?une des technologies de communication les moins compatible, ceux qui développe des pages web savent à quel point l?html est un casse tête et combien d?utilisateurs ont des problèmes pour visualiser correctement des pages.
Dans ce contexte nous cherchons encore la solution idéale en terme de performance et de compatibilité, mais je suis convaincu que nous apporterons une réponse dans peu de temps.
Pour ce qui est des HUD classique, nous intégrons depuis la version 1.7 un éditeur Wysiwyg de HUD qui offre tout ce que la 2D et l?interactivité peu apporter aux développeurs, ainsi les interfaces 2D sont réalisées avec qualité et rapidité.
  
Q10De plus en plus de moteurs proposent des fonctions avancées pour les ombres : FSAO (Full Scene Ambiant Occlusion), Spherical Harmonics... Prévoyez-vous d'intégrer ses effets pour améliorer le réalisme des scènes? En outre, Shiva ne permet pas aujourd'hui d'importer son shader. Pensez-vous lever cette limitation?
A10Nous avons d√©j√† un certain nombre de shader avanc√©s, comme le SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) mais que nous devrions proposer dans des versions ult√©rieurs, pour des raisons de qualit√© et de performance une fois encore. La limitation des shader tient dans le simple fait que par d√©finition un shader n?est pas portable. Vous ne pouvez pas utiliser le m√™me shader en fonction de la carte, du type d?√©clairage que vous avez mis dans votre sc√®ne et encore moins si vous devez passer en pipeline de rendu fixe. Par cons√©quent cela implique de laisser le d√©veloppeur g√©rer enti√®rement sa compatibilit√© sur toutes les machines, tous les os, tous les drivers? nous pensons qu?il est plus simple et plus productif d?utiliser un outil comme notre mat√©rial √©ditor avec lequel il est possible de cr√©er la quasi-totalit√© des shaders tr√®s rapidement et de se garantir la compatibilit√© (surtout sur internet), plut√īt que d?int√©grer ses propres shaders. Mais nous ne laissons pas les experts de cot√© et nous avons un programme beta d√©di√© pour permettre l?√©volution de la plateforme en lien avec nos utilisateurs et leur besoin.
  
Q11Avec la crise économique, il y a une réelle demande de produits simples et efficaces. Shiva répond-il à ses critères?
A11Nous pensons que ShiVa est une réponse idéale aux besoins des développeurs et au contexte actuel. Avec le maintient de nos tarifs sur la version 1.8, ShiVa est la seule plateforme proposant ce rapport qualité prix pour un outil permettant de produire des applications en ligne ou en exécutable, pour pc, mac, linux, iphone, etc. avec le même outil, pour le même prix? aucun autre outil ne propose cette offre et surtout à ce tarif.
Je profite d?ailleurs de cette interview pour annoncer une très belle promotion de ShiVa, la binary promotion, avec 128 licences ShiVa Unlimited à 128? la licence et 16 licences Advanced pouir 1024? la licence.
Angisoft IPhone Apps
Soumit par Administrateur le jeudi, 01/07/2009
 Q&AAngisoft IPhone Apps, 
Klaus Engel, AngiSoftware
July 2009
 

 

QJulia visualizes a special four-dimensional fractal, the so called Quaternion Julia set. While traditional 2D fractal visualization Apps focus on zooming into the endless details of fractals, Quaternion Julia Raytracer focuses on exploring the unlimited number of insanely complex and beautiful 3D shapes that can be created when modifying the quaternion fractal parameters. ?

< Quaternion Julia Raytracer

  
Q1There are more and more applications for iPhone that take advantage of its 3D capabilities.Why are you developing 3D apps for iPhone?
A1I'm a computer scientist and I've been interested in 3D and mobile graphics since i was a kid. The iPhone is an incredible device and I'm very excited about the new GPU and compass of the iPhone 3GS. Developing iPhone Apps is just a hobby for me besides my professional job as a researcher at a big German corporation. In fact, i developed my first iPhone App "Galaxy Collider" while my wife and i were waiting for the birth of our baby during the Christmas holidays.
It's just fun to get things, that were only possible on PCs a few years ago, running on such a small device and take them with you. Fortunately, i do not depend financially on selling iPhone Apps. To finance your life from developing iPhone Apps is really hard, so you have to develop for the mass market. With my current focus on visualization toys that is just not possible.
  
Q2As a developer what do you think of iPhone SDK and App store?
A2The App store is an incredible opportunity for developers to publish their applications in a very professional way. I remember how hard it was to publish my first C64 computer game when i was a kid. I now get sales reports from all over the world - how great it that! 
The SDK is a very comfortable development environment and the iPhone simulator and remote debugging and profiling tools are excellent. It's tough though to get people interested in your Apps when you are not developing party gag Apps and games.
  
Q3Could you please describe your latest App : Quaternion Julia Raytracer?
A3QJulia visualizes a special four-dimensional fractal, the so called Quaternion Julia set. While traditional 2D fractal visualization Apps focus on zooming into the endless details of fractals, Quaternion Julia Raytracer focuses on exploring the unlimited number of insanely complex and beautiful 3D shapes that can be created when modifying the quaternion fractal parameters. 
So even without artistic skills you can create beautiful images and use them as an iPhone backgrounds. For a liquid metal look, photographed spherical panoramas can be reflected on the fractal shape.
The surface of the fractal is computed by tracing rays from a virtual camera into the scene. Using unbounding volumes we can get very close the the surface of the fractal in a few iterations, shade the surface or compute secondary rays. The algorithm is similar to Zeno's Paradox of Motion.
Keenan Crane has written nice article about Raytracing the Quaternion Julia set on the GPU.
  
Q4What are the main challenges and the limitations of 3D apps for iPhone? Developers reports low performances with antialiasing, few shaders?
A4Of course, memory is quite limited on the iPhone, especially on the 2G and 3G. Though shaders programming on the 3GS works very well, dynamic branching performance is in no way comparable to current desktop GPUs. But besides those restrictions, i don't see why we will not see a large number of great looking 3D graphic Apps coming up.
  
Q5You have also develop Galaxy Collider that combine 3D graphics and collision : it seems that iPhone could be used for visualization and 3D games. Can you compare the actual performances of the iPhone and a PC?
A5Since the iPhone has to drive a much lower number of pixels than a desktop system, i would compare the iPhone 2G/3G to a 1998 and the 3GS to a 2003 desktop PC. So in other words, performance of mobile devices is just 5-6 years behind that of desktop PCs. For me, the iPhone is nothing else than a portable computer anyway. The fact that you can make calls is just a nice add-on.
  
Q6 iGPUTrace shows nice spherical reflections : can iPhone reproduce photo realistic 3D environment?
A6Using the programmable shaders of the iPhone 3GS will boost the image quality of games and other 3D applications tremendously. The jump in image quality that is possible is comparable with the jump from a DirectX 6 PC game to a DirectX 9 game. For some games and applications with rather simple scenes photo realistic rendering is possible, as iGPUTrace shows. However, true photo realism for more complex environments is not even possible on the PC platform yet. So there are a few more years of research and development ahead of us till that is possible. For great games and applications however, photo realism is not that important anyway. 
Hopefully iPhone developers will take advantage of the OpenGL ES 2.0 capabilities of the 3GS GPU and not just restrict themselves on the greatest common denominator of all Apple devices, i.e. OpenGL ES 1.1.
  
Q7 More and more people are planning to use iPhone camera to create Augmented Reality App. Have you any plan for this? What would be your next iPhone App?
A7 Augmented reality is the next big thing on the iPhone. I expect that there will be a real flood of augmented reality Apps. The opportunities are endless - from virtual city guides and navigation systems, social networking apps to multi player games that combine the virtual and real world. 
My next App world be a free-hand panorama photography App where you could take spherical panoramas from your environment and later watch them on the iPhone or other device. You could then inspect places where you have been before and overlay old panoramas with current camera images to compare how things have changed over the years.
Angisoft IPhone Apps
Soumit par Administrateur le jeudi, 01/07/2009
 Q&AAngisoft IPhone Apps, 
Klaus Engel, AngiSoftware
July 2009
 

 

QJulia visualizes a special four-dimensional fractal, the so called Quaternion Julia set. While traditional 2D fractal visualization Apps focus on zooming into the endless details of fractals, Quaternion Julia Raytracer focuses on exploring the unlimited number of insanely complex and beautiful 3D shapes that can be created when modifying the quaternion fractal parameters. ?

< Quaternion Julia Raytracer

  
Q1There are more and more applications for iPhone that take advantage of its 3D capabilities.Why are you developing 3D apps for iPhone?
A1I'm a computer scientist and I've been interested in 3D and mobile graphics since i was a kid. The iPhone is an incredible device and I'm very excited about the new GPU and compass of the iPhone 3GS. Developing iPhone Apps is just a hobby for me besides my professional job as a researcher at a big German corporation. In fact, i developed my first iPhone App "Galaxy Collider" while my wife and i were waiting for the birth of our baby during the Christmas holidays.
It's just fun to get things, that were only possible on PCs a few years ago, running on such a small device and take them with you. Fortunately, i do not depend financially on selling iPhone Apps. To finance your life from developing iPhone Apps is really hard, so you have to develop for the mass market. With my current focus on visualization toys that is just not possible.
  
Q2As a developer what do you think of iPhone SDK and App store?
A2The App store is an incredible opportunity for developers to publish their applications in a very professional way. I remember how hard it was to publish my first C64 computer game when i was a kid. I now get sales reports from all over the world - how great it that! 
The SDK is a very comfortable development environment and the iPhone simulator and remote debugging and profiling tools are excellent. It's tough though to get people interested in your Apps when you are not developing party gag Apps and games.
  
Q3Could you please describe your latest App : Quaternion Julia Raytracer?
A3QJulia visualizes a special four-dimensional fractal, the so called Quaternion Julia set. While traditional 2D fractal visualization Apps focus on zooming into the endless details of fractals, Quaternion Julia Raytracer focuses on exploring the unlimited number of insanely complex and beautiful 3D shapes that can be created when modifying the quaternion fractal parameters. 
So even without artistic skills you can create beautiful images and use them as an iPhone backgrounds. For a liquid metal look, photographed spherical panoramas can be reflected on the fractal shape.
The surface of the fractal is computed by tracing rays from a virtual camera into the scene. Using unbounding volumes we can get very close the the surface of the fractal in a few iterations, shade the surface or compute secondary rays. The algorithm is similar to Zeno's Paradox of Motion.
Keenan Crane has written nice article about Raytracing the Quaternion Julia set on the GPU.
  
Q4What are the main challenges and the limitations of 3D apps for iPhone? Developers reports low performances with antialiasing, few shaders?
A4Of course, memory is quite limited on the iPhone, especially on the 2G and 3G. Though shaders programming on the 3GS works very well, dynamic branching performance is in no way comparable to current desktop GPUs. But besides those restrictions, i don't see why we will not see a large number of great looking 3D graphic Apps coming up.
  
Q5You have also develop Galaxy Collider that combine 3D graphics and collision : it seems that iPhone could be used for visualization and 3D games. Can you compare the actual performances of the iPhone and a PC?
A5Since the iPhone has to drive a much lower number of pixels than a desktop system, i would compare the iPhone 2G/3G to a 1998 and the 3GS to a 2003 desktop PC. So in other words, performance of mobile devices is just 5-6 years behind that of desktop PCs. For me, the iPhone is nothing else than a portable computer anyway. The fact that you can make calls is just a nice add-on.
  
Q6 iGPUTrace shows nice spherical reflections : can iPhone reproduce photo realistic 3D environment?
A6Using the programmable shaders of the iPhone 3GS will boost the image quality of games and other 3D applications tremendously. The jump in image quality that is possible is comparable with the jump from a DirectX 6 PC game to a DirectX 9 game. For some games and applications with rather simple scenes photo realistic rendering is possible, as iGPUTrace shows. However, true photo realism for more complex environments is not even possible on the PC platform yet. So there are a few more years of research and development ahead of us till that is possible. For great games and applications however, photo realism is not that important anyway. 
Hopefully iPhone developers will take advantage of the OpenGL ES 2.0 capabilities of the 3GS GPU and not just restrict themselves on the greatest common denominator of all Apple devices, i.e. OpenGL ES 1.1.
  
Q7 More and more people are planning to use iPhone camera to create Augmented Reality App. Have you any plan for this? What would be your next iPhone App?
A7 Augmented reality is the next big thing on the iPhone. I expect that there will be a real flood of augmented reality Apps. The opportunities are endless - from virtual city guides and navigation systems, social networking apps to multi player games that combine the virtual and real world. 
My next App world be a free-hand panorama photography App where you could take spherical panoramas from your environment and later watch them on the iPhone or other device. You could then inspect places where you have been before and overlay old panoramas with current camera images to compare how things have changed over the years.
Yogurt 3D
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 01/06/2009
 Q&A

Yogurt 3D, 
Melih Bahadir Varol
June - 2009

 

?Yogurt3D is a brand new 3D Flash engine that doesn?t require users to download plug-ins because it works inside your browser via Adobe Flash Player. Yogurt3D's core part, SwiftGL, is going to be open-source and compatible with OpenGL. ?

< Yogurt3D

  
Q1Please give a brief description of Yogurt 3D and its framework.
A1

Yogurt3D is a brand new 3D Flash engine that doesn?t require users to download plug-ins because it works inside your browser via Adobe Flash Player. Yogurt3D's core part, SwiftGL, is going to be open-source and compatible with OpenGL. This means developers who already program in OpenGL can easily develop 3D Flash games and applications. They can easily transform their old OpenGL codes into SwiftGL and run their existing games in Adobe Flash.

Yogurt3D Features

Scene ManagementMesh Resource LoaderExportersPlatforms
Scene Manager
Cameras
Free Camera (custom field of view)
Targeted Camera (custom field of view)
Scene Objects
Inanimate Scene Object
Animated Scene Object
Animated Group
Realtime Sprite 3D Object
Object Picking (using object AABB's)
Character Animation
Skeletal Character Animation (with unlimited weights)
Morph Target Animation
Supported Formats
Texture File Formats
JPEG File Interchange Format (.jpg, r/w)
Portable Network Graphics (.png, r/w)
Windows Bitmap (.bmp, r/w)

Material Resource Loader
Skeleton Loader
Texture Loader
Scene Object Loader

Mesh File Formats
Yogurt3D Mesh File (.y3d)
Yogurt3D Animated Mesh File (.y3d)
Animation File Formats
Yogurt3D Animation File (.yan)
Resource Loaders
Animation Resource Loader

Autodesk Maya 2009 
Autodesk SoftImage 7.0
All platforms using any Adobe Flash Player 10 enabled browser

  
Q2Is it necessary to install any plugin to take visualize your MMORPG environment?
A2

No.

  
Q3Unlike the other Flash 3D engines, Yogurt 3D uses OpenGL. Is it the reason why your scene demo run smoothly without any artifact ?
A3

Yogurt3D does not use OpenGL. Yogurt3D uses our SwiftGL graphics library which is compatible with OpenGL syntax. This compatibility makes it easier for developers who are familier with OpenGL to create flash applications and games. 
It runs smoothly thanks to the rendering routines in SwiftGL core.

  
Q4Could you give us some informations about SwiftGL engine ?
A4

SwiftGL is be open-source OpenGL compatible 3D graphics library written in Actionscript3.0. It can be used almost exactly like OpenGL, but this time in Flash platform. Core functions of OpenGL is ready to use and we are adding new functions day by day.

  
Q5Do you think that Flash is the right technology for creating online games?
A5Yes. Flash player is very common. 99% of internet enabled desktops have flash player. (http://www.adobe.com/products/player_census/flashplayer/) On the other hand, for user generated content in online games, flash is also the right techonology because of its huge developer community.
  
Q6What about the future of Yogurt 3D and Yogurtistan? What are the next milestones ?
A6We are working on license and documentation processes of Yogurt 3D and SwiftGL. Both technologies will be ready to launch in few weeks. 
Yogurtistan is a browser based 3D virtual world where users can have avatars, can have their homes, decorate them, chat, work,play and walk around with friends. Brands can have their stores, locals or special purpose areas. Anybody can open stores, small or large, just like building a web site. There is real business going on in Yogurtistan.
Yogurtistan will be online on 30th of June for our testing community. After test processes national promotion campaign will start on 1st of October . We set December, 18th for the global launch.
  
 Q7Could you please give us informations about SwiftGL performances (how many triangles per scenes, how it performs compare to other Flash 3D engines, etc.) ?
A7 There is no limit such as triangles per scene. In intel dual core 2.4GHz machines we can display 20 characters with 2200 polygons (totatl of 44K polygons) with skeletal animation 8-10 FPS range. This is the best we can achieve until now. Comparing with othe Flash3D engines; we are drawing this much polygons and play skeletal animations at the same time. Other engines cannot display this much polygons with animated models. Alternativa, for example, is mostly focused on 3D scenes, without movement. Papervision and Away3D are not capable of playing skeletal animations within a scene with many polygons in it. They are not good at managing scenenes. Yogurt3D has the most advanced animation system within the Flash 3D engines.
  
Q8It seems that SwiftGL offers a better quality than other Flash 3D engines. How do you sort Z (Zbuffer ?) ? Does it uses texture perspective correction ? Is it possible to uses shading such as Gouraud or spherical environment reflection ?
A8We are using triangle based sorting. And for scenes we use a new sorting technique that can sort the triangles much faster than other sorting algorithms. We are not totally happy with Flash API (some features that are not working properly on Flash API), if these are fixed by Adobe, sorting algorithm will perform faster than current status. There is no ZBuffer, we are using standart methods of DrawingAPI of Flash. We are working on custom rasterizers as I mentioned before but we need some features of Flash API corrected. Shading can be faked, we are planning to add some shaders (we are thinking to use PixelBender to do this).
Nova SERVER
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 01/05/2009
Q&A Nova SERVER 
Yann FAURE
, CEO Vertice
May 2009
 

INTERVIEW 3D-TEST : NOVA SERVER FROM VERTICE (French) from 3d-test on Vimeo.

?Démocratiser l'usage de la 3D sur le web avec Nova server ?

   
  Nova Server est un nouveau produit √©dit√© par Vertice. Il a pour objectif de d√©mocratiser l'usage de la 3D sur le web. L'innovation de Nova Server r√©side dans le fait que le rendu est r√©alis√© sur le serveur qui √† partir des actions de l'internaute. Yann Faure - directeur de Vertice - d√©taille les avantages de cette solution.
COLLADA PLUGFEST PARIS 11 MAI 2009
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 01/05/2009
 Q&A

COLLADA PLUGFEST PARIS 11 MAI 2009
Nicolas PERRET, OME GAME, Spécialiste Collada

PlugFest est un evennement organis√© par 
CapDigital et Imaginove
Mai 2009

 

?COLLADA est de plus en plus utilis√© dans de nombreuses industries ; depuis les constructeurs automobiles aux fabricants de t√©l√©phones mobiles, en passant par les d√©veloppeurs de jeux vid√©os [...] Le PlugFest est important car il permet de confronter directement les probl√®mes d?interpr√©tation et d?impl√©mentations et de d√©tecter les cas √† tester et √† mieux documenter pour am√©liorer l?interop√©rabilit√© entre outils. ?

  
Q1

Quel est l'objectif de Collada Plugfest ?

A1

Le Collada PlugFest a deux objectifs : 
- Permettre aux soci√©t√©s qui utilisent COLLADA de v√©rifier que les logiciels qu?elles utilisent / d√©veloppent sont bien compatibles les uns avec les autres en confrontant les donn√©es qu?ils exportent; et leur donner ainsi la possibilit√© des les am√©liorer.
- Permettre aux sociétés qui utilisent COLLADA de rencontrer les experts qui définissent le format COLLADA, afin d?obtenir une réponse à toutes les interrogations qu?elles peuvent avoir sur COLLADA.

  
Q2Collada est sensé simplifier le "workflow" entre les logiciels de 3D et les développeurs. Concrètement, Collada est-il vraiment utilisé dans les secteurs de la 3d temps réel (jeux, simulation, etc.) ?
A2

COLLADA est de plus en plus utilis√© dans de nombreuses industries ; depuis les constructeurs automobiles aux fabricants de t√©l√©phones mobiles, en passant par les d√©veloppeurs de jeux vid√©os. 
En fait, COLLADA permet beaucoup de choses : 
- Il permet de faire des échanges de données entre logiciels 3D.
- Il permet aussi de conserver tout au long du cycle de développement plusieurs versions de ces données qui peuvent être récupérées et exploitée à tout moment.
- Le format COLLADA peut contenir aussi bien des donn√©es "√©diteur " (donc brutes export√©es d'un logiciel 3D), ou des donn√©es ¬ę pre-finales ¬Ľ (voir finales) c'est √† dire optimis√©es pour les moteurs de rendu temps r√©el (le format kmz utilis√© par Google Earth est bas√© sur COLLADA par exemple). 
- Il est possible de rajouter des donn√©es ¬ę extra ¬Ľ c'est-√†-dire des donn√©es utilisateurs √† tous les niveaux (tr√®s utile dans le cas du jeu vid√©o, mais √ßa permet aussi de faire des extensions simples du format).
- COLLADA est structur√© de mani√®re √† pouvoir changer des donn√©es sans avoir √† modifier des donn√©es pourtant directement li√©es, gr√Ęce √† certains outils appel√©s "Refinery"  ou "Conditioner" : Collada Refinery http://www.collada.org/mediawiki/index.php/COLLADA_Refinery (open source) d√©velopp√© √† la base par Sony ou MogBox http://www.mogware.com/products/mog/mogbox.html d√©velopp√© par Mogware).

Grace a COLLADA il est maintenant possible de ne plus avoir √† √©crire un seul exporteur, mais de simplement de se soucier d?importer les donn√©es dont on a besoin, ce qui est beaucoup plus facile car il n?est pas n√©cessaire d?√©tudier l?environnement de d√©veloppement du modeleur, et cela permet d?utiliser plusieurs outils ou de changer de version d?outil sans le moindre impact en production (voir l?article ¬ę The All-Important Import Pipeline ¬Ľ By Rod Green, Janvier 2009, Game Developer Magazine).

  
Q3Collada a maintenant 5 ans : au début les différentes implémentations étaient incompatibles entre elles. On ne pouvait par exemple pas s'en servir pour transférer des données 3D entre logiciels 3D. La situation est meilleure aujourd'hui, mais les utilisateurs se plaignent encore. Que leur répondez-vous ?
A3

La situation est tr√®s bonne en ce qui concerne l?√©change de donn√©es de base comme la g√©om√©trie et les textures. Cela se complique pour des donn√©es plus avanc√©es. Le probl√®me est qu?il n?est pas toujours facile d?expliquer qu?il est aussi important d?exporter que d?importer correctement les donn√©es. La plupart du temps les impl√©mentations sont tout d?abord asym√©triques. Certains outils cherchent √† faciliter l?utilisation des donn√©es cr√©√©es dans l?outil et se concentrent sur l?exportation. D?autres outils sont int√©ress√©s par l?importation de COLLADA afin de permettre √† leurs clients d?exploiter des donn√©es provenant d?autres outils. Mais il faut un certain temps pour se rendre compte que la vraie valeur de COLLADA est de faire parti de l?√©cosyst√®me et de pouvoir lire et √©crire COLLADA.

Par exemple, Photoshop CS3 permet l?importation de COLLADA pour int√©grer des donn√©es 3D dans une image, mais il faut attendre la version CS4 pour permettre l?utilisation de l?outil pour  √©diter les coordonn√©es de textures et d?exporter en COLLADA. Cette asym√©trie est bien dommage car la premi√®re chose √† faire pour un outil est de v√©rifier la capacit√© de relire les donn√©es export√©es pour contr√īler si tout s?est bien pass√© !
Le groupe de travail COLLADA au sein de Khronos est conscient de ce probl√®me et travaille sur la cr√©ation d?un test de conformit√© qui permettra bient√īt de valider les diff√©rentes  impl√©mentations. Le test demande que l?application test√©e puisse √† la fois importer et exporter COLLADA.
Le PlugFest est important car il permet de confronter directement les probl√®mes d?interpr√©tation et d?impl√©mentations et de d√©tecter les cas √† tester et √† mieux documenter pour am√©liorer l?interop√©rabilit√© entre outils. 
Je leur r√©pondrais donc au final : Venez nombreux !

  
Q4Comment jugez-vous le taux de pénétration de Collada ?
A4

Pratiquement tous les logiciels 3D qui existent sont compatible COLLADA. Newtek a annonc√© derni√®rement que leur prochaine version "Lightwave Core" serrait bas√©e √† 100% sur COLLADA (en temps que format natif) ; c'est une premi√®re pour un logiciel 3D du commerce, et il est tr√®s possible que Google SketchUp soit le prochain.

Au niveau des d√©veloppeurs de jeu, il est inclus de fa√ßon native dans certains moteurs de jeux tels que Crytek, et de nombreuses soci√©t√©s de jeu vid√©o l'utilisent √† travers le monde, mais il est difficile de donner des chiffres. C?est par ailleurs un probl√®me car il est difficile d?avoir du feedback, en g√©n√©ral  COLLADA fonctionne et aucun feedback ne parvient au groupe de travail. On ne peut que constater une croissance continue du t√©l√©chargement de plug-ins sur Sourceforge comme indication d?un fort taux de p√©n√©tration. COLLADA permet d?√©viter d?avoir √† √©crire un exportateur d'un logiciel 3D et de conserver une compatibilit√© entre les logiciels. Ce qui permet d'avoir une chaine de production multi -directionnel jusqu'√† la fin (juste avant que ce soit transform√© en donn√©es binaires qu'utilise vraiment le moteur 3D du jeu). Tout ceci apporte donc beaucoup de s√©curit√© aux d√©veloppeurs, car √ßa permet de garder le m√™me fichier de donn√©e du d√©but jusqu'a la fin et de l'enrichir √† toutes les √©tapes de d√©veloppement du jeu sans perdre la possibilit√© de faire des modifications sur la source.

  
Q5Désormais une grande partie des logiciels de création 3D sont la propriété d'Autodesk, n'est-ce pas une menace pour le Collada ? Le FBX ne viendrait-il pas à terme évincer le format Collada OpenSource ?
A5

Il est possible que de plus en plus de logiciels utilisent COLLADA en temps que format natif (tel que Lightwave Core). Dans tous les cas, COLLADA est pratiquement disponible dans tous les logiciels (3D ou 2D ou autre), ce n'est pas le cas de FBX.
La grosse différence entre COLLADA et FBX c'est que COLLADA est basé sur une spécification ouverte et que FBX est basé sur un SDK fermé.

Avantage de COLLADA:
- D√©finit par des experts de divers milieux, que ce soit le jeu vid√©o (Sony, Omegame), les fabriquant de carte 3D (Nvidia, Ati, Intel) et de consoles de jeu (Sony), les logiciels 3D (3DSMax, Maya, Softimage (et oui :) ! ), Lightwave, etc.), les sp√©cialistes du CAD (Daimler-Chrysler, Netallied ... ), des personnes du web (Google, X3D ... ) etc. qui inclus et optimise les besoins de la 3D dans le format.
- Ouvert et gratuit. 
- Extensible (pour le moment via les extra, et bient√īt via  des extensions de sch√©ma XML).
- Texte XML : bas√© sur un  sch√©ma donc validable
- Texte XML : lisible et modifiable humainement,
- Texte XML : mais permet aussi d'utiliser les avantages des logiciels d'asset management tel que Perforce, sourcesafe, CVS, Subversion etc ... 
- Possibilité de modifier une partie des données sans toucher aux autres (et sans forcement avoir besoin de charger les autres).
Adopt√© par beaucoup de logiciel  (https://collada.org/mediawiki/index.php/Portal:Products_directory) dans des industries tr√®s distinctes : logiciels 3D (max, maya, softimage, lightwave, Cinema 4D, Blender) logiciels 2D (Photoshop),  UI (Menus Master, Anark), web (Google Earth, papervision ... ) CAD/Robot/Automotion (Daimler-Chrysler) etc ...
Inconvénients de COLLADA:
- Comme la priorit√© est la d√©finition du sch√©ma, il n'y a pour le moment aucun SDK unique et optimis√© (qui marche dans tous les cas) pour lire les donn√©es, ce qui peut compliquer l'utilisation de logiciels dans certains cas.

Avantage de FBX: 
- Utilise un SDK unique, peut donc sembler plus facile et rapide √† int√©grer dans une chaine de production. 
Inconvenant de FBX: 
- D√©fini √† la base seulement par l'√©quipe de Maya, qui a fait elle-m√™me le  portage sur beaucoup les autres logiciels 3d du march√©. Ce qui fut continu√© par Autodesk apr√®s le rachat de Maya par Autodesk.
- Le format est ferm√© et propri√©taire 
- Il n?est pas ou peu extensible. 
- C?est un format binaire : opaque.
- C?est un format binaire : utilisation d'asset management plus lourd.
- Pas de syst√®me de modification d'une parti des donn√©es, car directement bas√© sur l'export de logiciel 3D et non sur une base de donn√©es organis√©e. 
- Existe seulement dans les logiciels pour lequel  Autodesk  √† cr√©e l'exporter / importer.

Mais au fond la vraie force de COLLADA est de permettre a de nombreux domaines d?échanger des données. COLLADA est utilise de nos jour régulièrement par de nombreuses autres activités que le développent de jeux vidéos, par exemple le CAD (Autocad, Microstation, Solidworks..), la robotique (Microsoft Robotic studio, Bullet Physics..). Par ailleurs, la production de vidéo professionnelle est rapidement en train d?ajouter l?importation de données 3D.

COLLADA est pr√©dominant dans la 3D pour le Web (Papervision3D, Scenecaster, Vivaty, 3DWarehouse, O3D?) et s?impose de plus en plus comme standard pour les mondes virtuels  - voir en particulier le concours COLLADA http://colladacontest.com subventionn√© par Media Grid Immersive Education Initiative (http://immersiveeducation.org) qui a d√©cid√© de standardiser tous les mondes virtuels membres de Media Grid sur le format COLLADA.

COLLADA rencontre de nombreux formats dans les différents domaines qu?il touche (ou FBX est totalement absent), et en marquant des points en parallèle dans chaque domaine il devient progressivement le format 3D standard inter-domaine, en ayant commence dans le monde des jeux vidéos ou il garde des racines fortes. De plus en plus de développements de jeux demandent l?interchange de données avec des outils qui ne sont pas les outils utilisés en production. Le meilleur exemple à donner les succès du ModTool de Crytek ou de nombreux modeurs peuvent créer des données avec les outils de leur choix, certain gratuits, qui n?ont jamais étés utilisés par l?équipe de production mais qui sont très populaires chez les utilisateurs amateurs (Blender, Cinema4D, DazStudio, Poser, ?).

  
Q6Pouvez-vous nous décrire brièvement Menus Master ?
A6Menus Master est une chaine de production complète dédiée à la réalisation d?interfaces utilisateurs (UI). Menus Master permet de réaliser rapidement n?importe quel type d?interface multimédia haut de gamme mélangeant 2D, 3D, vidéo, sons, etc. Bien qu?il s?agisse à l?origine d?un outil issu de l?industrie du jeu vidéo, nous avons décliné des versions dédiées à d?autres industries, notamment la téléphonie mobile et les Set-Top Box. Ces industries partagent en effet à la fois les même besoins en termes d?ergonomie, et les mêmes types de contraintes.
  
Q7Comment Collada est-il intégré à Menus Master, vos clients se servent-il de Collada ?
A7La finalité de Menus Master est de permettre de créer des interfaces utilisateurs combinant n?importe quel type de données multimédia. Notre outil s?adresse à toutes les industries nécessitant de telles interfaces, à savoir le jeu vidéo, la téléphonie mobile, les set-top box (boitier TV), les tableaux de bord de voiture, les GPS, etc ? Ces industries sont très variées, elles ont chacune leurs méthodes de travail et leurs outils privilégiés. Proposer le format COLLADA était pour nous une évidence, le seul moyen de s?adapter rapidement et efficacement à leur outil de production.
Par ailleurs, le format COLLADA va plus loin que la 3D ; le Khronos Group travaille depuis presque deux ans sur une standardisation du format de d√©finition des interfaces utilisateurs, directement d√©riv√© de COLLADA. Ce format, baptis√© COLLADA UI, reprend la logique conceptuelle de COLLADA, et donc ses points forts (cf. question 5), auquel il ajoute notamment la d√©finition de la 2D (vectoriel, bitmap, font, texte ?) et par cons√©quent le m√©lange de la 2D et la 3D, ainsi bien sur que les notions d?interactivit√©.
  
Google O3D
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 01/05/2009
 Q&AGoogle O3D
May 2009
 

?I think one of the most important features of O3D balance we've struck between exposing low level functionality required for advanced graphics techniques and choosing an architecture that performs well in the browser. ?

< O3D in action

  
Q1There have been a lot of initiatives to integrate 3D contents into web pages. Do you think that O3D will succeed where VRML, X3D, Shockwave 3D (etc.) have failed?
A1The goals of O3D are very different from these approaches. X3D takes a very high level approach to describing 3D content. O3D takes a very low level approach of exposing graphics capabilities to developers via Javascript. Furthermore, X3D is the successor to VRML, a standard that was conceived more than 10 years ago, and is thus incompatible with a lot of functionality that a modern graphics API should provide. Google believes that the advances in graphics that have occurred since VRML/X3D were conceived warrant a redesign of a 3D API for the web.
  
Q2O3D can import 3D assets in Collada. Why Collada files are converted into .json rather than using .zae? What are the main features of .json files in the terms of memory bandwidth and features (shaders, bones animations, etc.)?
A2O3D does not "import" any type of asset. We have provided a sample utility that converts Collada files into JSON, and a sample Javascript library that reconstructs the model from JSON using the O3D javascript API. For more information, see our O3D Blogpost about this topic:http://o3d.blogspot.com/2009/04/why-json-rulez.html
  
Q3O3D comes with a large set of functionalities : what kind of users are you targeting (games developers, web agency, hobbyist...)?
A3Google decided to present O3D to the open source community to participate in the conversation on how to best address the lack of an open web standard in the 3D graphics space. Google hopes to collect valuable feedback about the needs of all types of developers (game developers, web agencies and hobbyists included!) to inform the open source community.
  
Q4Do you plan to add an interactive 3D view in GoogleWarehouse using O3D?
A4Like other Google developer products, the goal of O3D is to move the web platform forward. We'd love to see an interactive 3D view in 3D warehouse, but don't have anything to announce at this time.
  
Q5Is it possible to mix 2D and 3D together? Is it possible to "map" HTML document or a video on a 3D Object?
A5It's not currently possible to mix the two content types freely. This is one of the major downsides to being implemented as a plugin, and therefore a reason that we're excited to see 3D become a native capability of browsers instead of a plugin.
  
Q6 Is O3D easy to learn? Do you plan to develop more tools like a 3D scene editor?
A6We designed O3D so that developers can quickly and easily get up to speed on the code and begin creating applications. However, developers who already have some experience working with OpenGL or Direct3D will feel most comfortable using O3D. We hope to see easy-to-use tools for creating O3D content, but expect these to primarily come from companies that specialize in building these tools.
  
Q7Do you think that CAD users can take advantage of O3D to share, visualize their 3D data?
A7Just as the web has helped users collaborate and share 2D content, we think the ability to share 3D content on the web will be enormously helpful to users who create 3D content. Imagine, for example, an architect being able to send a client a 3D model of a house, and the client being able to take a virtual walkthrough and provide feedback!
  
Q8We have look at O3D samples and been impressed by performances (multiple clients, instancing, fractal shader...) and the quality (z-sorting for transparent faces, 2D post processing...) of the 3D engine. Could you please details some unique features that make O3D so powerful?
A8I think one of the most important features of O3D balance we've struck between exposing low level functionality required for advanced graphics techniques and choosing an architecture that performs well in the browser. 
For example, true multipass rendering is an important advanced graphics technique that is impossible in many retain-mode APIs because they use a high-level scenegraph. We provide multipass rendering by providing a retain-mode API that allows the client to specify the rendering order of the render graph. This way, the developer gets both the control of a very low-level API, but gets the performance of a retain-mode API because native code is actually running through the render-graph instead of Javascript.
OpenSpace3D
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 01/05/2009
 Q&AOpenSpace3D
Philippe PERES, I-Maginer
mai 2009
 

"OpenSpace3D a pour objectif de permettre le développement de nouveaux environnements de travail collaboratifs, de formation (classes virtuelles, learning et serious games), de simulation, d?innovation, de e-commerce, de réseaux sociaux d?expression et de partage (espaces personnels 3D) ou de jeux massivement multiutilisateurs (MMOG) ?des applications tant professionnelles que grand public qui reposent sur la 3D et la collaboration en temps réel.."

< OpenSpace 3D Interface

  
Q1Pouvez-vous présenter brièvement la génèse du projet OpenSpace3D ?
A1L'origine d'OpenSpace3D repose tout d'abord sur des besoins internes en terme de développement et de production.
I-Maginer se positionne en effet à la fois comme éditeur et comme société de service utilisant des technologies open source dans le domaine du web 3D collaboratif, et plus particulièrement la technologie SCOL, particulièrement adaptée à notre vision d?environnements collaboratifs.
Nous souhaitions d'une part exploiter la technologie SCOL (déjà très complète et bénéficiant des apports de la communauté et des évolutions R&D de notre société) et d'autre part pouvoir ré-exploiter des fonctionnalités développées dans le cadre de la production d'environnements ou d'applications 3D pour nos clients.
Il était enfin nécessaire de faire évoluer le moteur 3D de SCOL pour permettre de créer des environnements 3D de qualité, c?est ce qui a motivé notre choix d?intégration d?Ogre3D, un moteur open source aux fonctionnalités puissantes.
C?est ainsi qu?est née la plateforme OpenSpace3D qui a pour objectif de permettre le développement de nouveaux environnements de travail collaboratifs (réunions à distance en web conférence), de formation (classes virtuelles, learning et serious games), de simulation, d?innovation, de e-commerce (boutiques et galeries commerciales virtuelles), de réseaux sociaux d?expression et de partage (espaces personnels 3D) ou de jeux massivement multiutilisateurs (MMOG) ?des applications tant professionnelles que grand public qui reposent sur la 3D et la collaboration en temps réel.
Enfin, notre volonté est de démocratiser l'utilisation de la 3D et constatant le manque de solutions fiables, libres et Open Source de développement d'applications 3D temps réel nous avons voulu faire d'OpenSpace3D notre projet phare.
  
Q2Le web est "peuplé" de technos 3D, est-ce qu'OpenSpace3D a des arguments pour se différencier et de développer le nombre de contenu 3D sur la Toile ?
A2Je citerai 3 principaux arguments :
- Tout d'abord, la plateforme a été pensée pour répondre aux besoins d'un public large en terme d'ergonomie et de facilité de prise en main.
-En second lieu, la dimension collaborative que nous souhaitons apporter à OpenSpace3D ainsi que son caractère Open Source en font un outil unique sur le marché.
- Enfin, la technologie SCOL permettant un accès à tous les niveaux de développement, OpenSpace3D ne se positionne pas simplement comme une plateforme de contenu Web3D mais également comme une plateforme de Réalité Virtuelle.

En effet OpenSpace3D a pour objectif de permettre l'ajout d'interface de Réalité Virtuelle au sein même des applications développées (la WiiMote en est un exemple déjà utilisable)

  
Q3Expliquez-nous concrètement comment SCOL et Ogre3D "fonctionnent" au sein de cette technologie ?
A3L'interfaçage entre Scol et Ogre 3D se fait via un plugin le "SO3Engine" chargé et reconnu par la machine virtuelle, il s'agit donc là d'une intégration à part entière du moteur de rendu Ogre 3D dans la technologie Scol. Les propriétés du SO3Engine sont de fournir aux développeurs Scol des fonctions de haut niveau facilitant l'utilisation d'Ogre3D et d'exploiter au sein de la plateforme les possibilités de rendu 3D offertes par le moteur de rendu Ogre.
  
Q4Si le moteur est Ogre 3D, peut on importer des données 3D au format .mesh et .scene ?
A4La plateforme est actuellement capable, de charger des .scene et des .mesh, ainsi que les ressources graphiques associées (material script, skeleton...)
De plus, de part l'utilisation des formats Ogre 3D OpenSpace3D est capable d'importer des modèles provenant de logiciels de modélisation tels que Sketchup ou Blender.
Nous souhaitons également l'intégration dans la plateforme du format Collada, de plus en plus répandu de nos jours.
Enfin, pour les besoins spécifiques en terme d'édition de la plateforme OpenSpace3D, nous avons créé un format XML de projet le ".xos".
Ce format est capable de charger directement dans la plateforme toutes les ressources n√©cessaires √† l'importation d'un projet mais √©galement les informations concernant le d√©veloppement des "plugIT" ou fonctions pour le projet (√Čditions des plugins OpenSpace3D pour l'interaction)
  
Q5Une autre solution "web3D" utilise Ogre3D mais elle est assez instable sur le net (Blink3D) qu'en est il pour OpenSpace3D?
A5A ce jour nous développons en Alpha. Les alpha testeurs nous permettent de faire évoluer l'ergonomie de la plateforme, et de corriger les retours de dysfonctionnement au quotidien.
Les premiers retours d'utilisation provenant de spécialistes de la 3D temps réel sont positifs concernant la stabilité de l'outil.
OpenSpace3D a été lancée le mois dernier pour le concours étudiants "Virtual Fantasy" dans le cadre du salon Laval Virtual 2009. Une trentaine d'étudiants répartis en 5 équipes ont pu pendant trente heures non stop développer des applications avec OpenSpace3D. Nous avons constaté que la version alpha était stable et les retours étudiants allaient dans ce sens.
  
Q6Comme son nom l'indique OpenSpace3D est Open Source, concrètement que cela change-t-il pour vous et pour les utilisateurs ?
A6Le développement d'une plateforme Open Source correspond à une orientation nouvelle pour notre société avec un modèle économique double d'éditeur et de SSLL.
Le développement de la technologie et de la plateforme, nous conduisent à mener une politique forte de Recherche et Développement pour laquelle nous nous associons à des universités, des écoles et des laboratoires de recherche avec l'aide de financeurs publics.
Nous sommes également fortement impliqué dans la vie communautaire de la technologie SCOL afin d'en assurer la promotion auprès de tous ses utilisateurs potentiels (SSII et SSLL, grands comptes, designers, écoles d'ingénieurs et d'infographie, laboratoires de recherches, ...).
Cette expertise et la valorisation des technologies Open Source correspondante nous permettent également de nous positionner sur des projets de développements d'envergure en terme d'interfaces 3D interactives.
Pour ce qui est des utilisateurs, OpenSpace3D est une plateforme libre sous licence LGPL qui permet de développer des applications dans un but commercial ou non-commercial.
La facilité de prise en main d'une telle plateforme permet également le prototypage rapide pour la valorisation d'un projet ou d'un concept.
Ces éléments en font une plateforme ouverte à un très large public allant de l'étudiant, aux grand comptes en passant par les PME, les institutions ou la recherche.
  
Q7Ogre3D est un moteur peu "user freindly" pour les infographistes. Prévoyez-vous des éditeurs ou outils facilitant la création ?
A7Aucun Modeleur n'est prévu dans OpenSpace3D pour le moment car ce n'est pas sa vocation prioritaire. OpenSpace3D veut faciliter l'import de ressources 3D Ogre pour l'utilisateurs.
Celà dit, nous comptons intégrer dans la version bêta d'OpenSpace3D des éditeurs intuitifs et simples (matériaux, animations, particules, terrains...) sans en faire une "usine à gaz".
Pour ce qui est des exports, nous bénéficions des développements déjà initiés pour Ogre sur des modelers tels que 3DsMax, Blender, Maya ou Sketchup.
Pour le moment, nous avons constaté que ces outils sont performants, cependant, dans le cas ou ces outils ne suffiraient pas nous envisagerons le développement d'un export spécifique pour OpenSpace3D.
  
Q8Quand allez vous proposer des démos et une version RC d'OpenSpace3D ?
A8Nous espérons sortir une bêta pour la fin 2009/début 2010. Cependant, des mises à jours de la version Alpha seront régulièrement distribuées via le site www.openspace3d.com
Concernant la version Bêta, elle intégrera d'avantages de possibilités en terme d'animation, de physique ou de particules mais également en terme de documentation et d'aide au développement d'applications 3D sous OpenSpace3D.
Concernant les démos, des templates ou exemples seront fournit dans la documentation afin d'aider l'utilisateur de la plateforme pour illustrer les fonctionnalités.
Suscitant l'intérêt des écoles nous comptons également sur les étudiants pour participer à des projets et ainsi proposer des démos pour OpenSpace3D.
Enfin, l'expérience positive et enrichissante que nous a apporté le concours étudiant sur la plateforme nous amène à penser à l'organisation de concours permettant de valoriser la plateforme. Ces concours pourraient à la fois être destinés à des infographistes, des développeurs, des designers ou encore des architectes...Avis aux amateurs !
  
Q9  Que est le r√īle de SCOL dans cette nouvelle technologie ?
A9 SCOL est le support m√™me de la plateforme ainsi, ses capacit√©s nous laisse entrevoir des perspectives d'√©volutions tr√®s int√©ressantes.
Le premier axe sur lequel nous travaillons prioritairement est le caractère collaboratif et la possibilité de créer à partir d'OpenSpace3D des applications 3D multi-utilisateurs.
C'est le sens même des développements qui ont été les notres jusqu'à ce jour.
De plus, le caract√®re modulaire de la technologie SCOL donne la possibilit√© d'exploiter des IHM de R√©alit√© Virtuelle au sein de la plateforme et de pouvoir int√©grer bon nombre de technologies Open Source. Le premier exemple est bien s√Ľr le moteur de rendu Ogre 3D mais nous d√©veloppons √©galement l'int√©gration de la librairie VLC.
Nova SERVER
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 01/05/2009
Q&A Nova SERVER 
Yann FAURE
, CEO Vertice
May 2009
 

INTERVIEW 3D-TEST : NOVA SERVER FROM VERTICE (French) from 3d-test on Vimeo.

?Démocratiser l'usage de la 3D sur le web avec Nova server ?

   
  Nova Server est un nouveau produit √©dit√© par Vertice. Il a pour objectif de d√©mocratiser l'usage de la 3D sur le web. L'innovation de Nova Server r√©side dans le fait que le rendu est r√©alis√© sur le serveur qui √† partir des actions de l'internaute. Yann Faure - directeur de Vertice - d√©taille les avantages de cette solution.
COLLADA PLUGFEST PARIS 11 MAI 2009
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 01/05/2009
 Q&A

COLLADA PLUGFEST PARIS 11 MAI 2009
Nicolas PERRET, OME GAME, Spécialiste Collada

PlugFest est un evennement organis√© par 
CapDigital et Imaginove
Mai 2009

 

?COLLADA est de plus en plus utilis√© dans de nombreuses industries ; depuis les constructeurs automobiles aux fabricants de t√©l√©phones mobiles, en passant par les d√©veloppeurs de jeux vid√©os [...] Le PlugFest est important car il permet de confronter directement les probl√®mes d?interpr√©tation et d?impl√©mentations et de d√©tecter les cas √† tester et √† mieux documenter pour am√©liorer l?interop√©rabilit√© entre outils. ?

  
Q1

Quel est l'objectif de Collada Plugfest ?

A1

Le Collada PlugFest a deux objectifs : 
- Permettre aux soci√©t√©s qui utilisent COLLADA de v√©rifier que les logiciels qu?elles utilisent / d√©veloppent sont bien compatibles les uns avec les autres en confrontant les donn√©es qu?ils exportent; et leur donner ainsi la possibilit√© des les am√©liorer.
- Permettre aux sociétés qui utilisent COLLADA de rencontrer les experts qui définissent le format COLLADA, afin d?obtenir une réponse à toutes les interrogations qu?elles peuvent avoir sur COLLADA.

  
Q2Collada est sensé simplifier le "workflow" entre les logiciels de 3D et les développeurs. Concrètement, Collada est-il vraiment utilisé dans les secteurs de la 3d temps réel (jeux, simulation, etc.) ?
A2

COLLADA est de plus en plus utilis√© dans de nombreuses industries ; depuis les constructeurs automobiles aux fabricants de t√©l√©phones mobiles, en passant par les d√©veloppeurs de jeux vid√©os. 
En fait, COLLADA permet beaucoup de choses : 
- Il permet de faire des échanges de données entre logiciels 3D.
- Il permet aussi de conserver tout au long du cycle de développement plusieurs versions de ces données qui peuvent être récupérées et exploitée à tout moment.
- Le format COLLADA peut contenir aussi bien des donn√©es "√©diteur " (donc brutes export√©es d'un logiciel 3D), ou des donn√©es ¬ę pre-finales ¬Ľ (voir finales) c'est √† dire optimis√©es pour les moteurs de rendu temps r√©el (le format kmz utilis√© par Google Earth est bas√© sur COLLADA par exemple). 
- Il est possible de rajouter des donn√©es ¬ę extra ¬Ľ c'est-√†-dire des donn√©es utilisateurs √† tous les niveaux (tr√®s utile dans le cas du jeu vid√©o, mais √ßa permet aussi de faire des extensions simples du format).
- COLLADA est structur√© de mani√®re √† pouvoir changer des donn√©es sans avoir √† modifier des donn√©es pourtant directement li√©es, gr√Ęce √† certains outils appel√©s "Refinery"  ou "Conditioner" : Collada Refinery http://www.collada.org/mediawiki/index.php/COLLADA_Refinery (open source) d√©velopp√© √† la base par Sony ou MogBox http://www.mogware.com/products/mog/mogbox.html d√©velopp√© par Mogware).

Grace a COLLADA il est maintenant possible de ne plus avoir √† √©crire un seul exporteur, mais de simplement de se soucier d?importer les donn√©es dont on a besoin, ce qui est beaucoup plus facile car il n?est pas n√©cessaire d?√©tudier l?environnement de d√©veloppement du modeleur, et cela permet d?utiliser plusieurs outils ou de changer de version d?outil sans le moindre impact en production (voir l?article ¬ę The All-Important Import Pipeline ¬Ľ By Rod Green, Janvier 2009, Game Developer Magazine).

  
Q3Collada a maintenant 5 ans : au début les différentes implémentations étaient incompatibles entre elles. On ne pouvait par exemple pas s'en servir pour transférer des données 3D entre logiciels 3D. La situation est meilleure aujourd'hui, mais les utilisateurs se plaignent encore. Que leur répondez-vous ?
A3

La situation est tr√®s bonne en ce qui concerne l?√©change de donn√©es de base comme la g√©om√©trie et les textures. Cela se complique pour des donn√©es plus avanc√©es. Le probl√®me est qu?il n?est pas toujours facile d?expliquer qu?il est aussi important d?exporter que d?importer correctement les donn√©es. La plupart du temps les impl√©mentations sont tout d?abord asym√©triques. Certains outils cherchent √† faciliter l?utilisation des donn√©es cr√©√©es dans l?outil et se concentrent sur l?exportation. D?autres outils sont int√©ress√©s par l?importation de COLLADA afin de permettre √† leurs clients d?exploiter des donn√©es provenant d?autres outils. Mais il faut un certain temps pour se rendre compte que la vraie valeur de COLLADA est de faire parti de l?√©cosyst√®me et de pouvoir lire et √©crire COLLADA.

Par exemple, Photoshop CS3 permet l?importation de COLLADA pour int√©grer des donn√©es 3D dans une image, mais il faut attendre la version CS4 pour permettre l?utilisation de l?outil pour  √©diter les coordonn√©es de textures et d?exporter en COLLADA. Cette asym√©trie est bien dommage car la premi√®re chose √† faire pour un outil est de v√©rifier la capacit√© de relire les donn√©es export√©es pour contr√īler si tout s?est bien pass√© !
Le groupe de travail COLLADA au sein de Khronos est conscient de ce probl√®me et travaille sur la cr√©ation d?un test de conformit√© qui permettra bient√īt de valider les diff√©rentes  impl√©mentations. Le test demande que l?application test√©e puisse √† la fois importer et exporter COLLADA.
Le PlugFest est important car il permet de confronter directement les probl√®mes d?interpr√©tation et d?impl√©mentations et de d√©tecter les cas √† tester et √† mieux documenter pour am√©liorer l?interop√©rabilit√© entre outils. 
Je leur r√©pondrais donc au final : Venez nombreux !

  
Q4Comment jugez-vous le taux de pénétration de Collada ?
A4

Pratiquement tous les logiciels 3D qui existent sont compatible COLLADA. Newtek a annonc√© derni√®rement que leur prochaine version "Lightwave Core" serrait bas√©e √† 100% sur COLLADA (en temps que format natif) ; c'est une premi√®re pour un logiciel 3D du commerce, et il est tr√®s possible que Google SketchUp soit le prochain.

Au niveau des d√©veloppeurs de jeu, il est inclus de fa√ßon native dans certains moteurs de jeux tels que Crytek, et de nombreuses soci√©t√©s de jeu vid√©o l'utilisent √† travers le monde, mais il est difficile de donner des chiffres. C?est par ailleurs un probl√®me car il est difficile d?avoir du feedback, en g√©n√©ral  COLLADA fonctionne et aucun feedback ne parvient au groupe de travail. On ne peut que constater une croissance continue du t√©l√©chargement de plug-ins sur Sourceforge comme indication d?un fort taux de p√©n√©tration. COLLADA permet d?√©viter d?avoir √† √©crire un exportateur d'un logiciel 3D et de conserver une compatibilit√© entre les logiciels. Ce qui permet d'avoir une chaine de production multi -directionnel jusqu'√† la fin (juste avant que ce soit transform√© en donn√©es binaires qu'utilise vraiment le moteur 3D du jeu). Tout ceci apporte donc beaucoup de s√©curit√© aux d√©veloppeurs, car √ßa permet de garder le m√™me fichier de donn√©e du d√©but jusqu'a la fin et de l'enrichir √† toutes les √©tapes de d√©veloppement du jeu sans perdre la possibilit√© de faire des modifications sur la source.

  
Q5Désormais une grande partie des logiciels de création 3D sont la propriété d'Autodesk, n'est-ce pas une menace pour le Collada ? Le FBX ne viendrait-il pas à terme évincer le format Collada OpenSource ?
A5

Il est possible que de plus en plus de logiciels utilisent COLLADA en temps que format natif (tel que Lightwave Core). Dans tous les cas, COLLADA est pratiquement disponible dans tous les logiciels (3D ou 2D ou autre), ce n'est pas le cas de FBX.
La grosse différence entre COLLADA et FBX c'est que COLLADA est basé sur une spécification ouverte et que FBX est basé sur un SDK fermé.

Avantage de COLLADA:
- D√©finit par des experts de divers milieux, que ce soit le jeu vid√©o (Sony, Omegame), les fabriquant de carte 3D (Nvidia, Ati, Intel) et de consoles de jeu (Sony), les logiciels 3D (3DSMax, Maya, Softimage (et oui :) ! ), Lightwave, etc.), les sp√©cialistes du CAD (Daimler-Chrysler, Netallied ... ), des personnes du web (Google, X3D ... ) etc. qui inclus et optimise les besoins de la 3D dans le format.
- Ouvert et gratuit. 
- Extensible (pour le moment via les extra, et bient√īt via  des extensions de sch√©ma XML).
- Texte XML : bas√© sur un  sch√©ma donc validable
- Texte XML : lisible et modifiable humainement,
- Texte XML : mais permet aussi d'utiliser les avantages des logiciels d'asset management tel que Perforce, sourcesafe, CVS, Subversion etc ... 
- Possibilité de modifier une partie des données sans toucher aux autres (et sans forcement avoir besoin de charger les autres).
Adopt√© par beaucoup de logiciel  (https://collada.org/mediawiki/index.php/Portal:Products_directory) dans des industries tr√®s distinctes : logiciels 3D (max, maya, softimage, lightwave, Cinema 4D, Blender) logiciels 2D (Photoshop),  UI (Menus Master, Anark), web (Google Earth, papervision ... ) CAD/Robot/Automotion (Daimler-Chrysler) etc ...
Inconvénients de COLLADA:
- Comme la priorit√© est la d√©finition du sch√©ma, il n'y a pour le moment aucun SDK unique et optimis√© (qui marche dans tous les cas) pour lire les donn√©es, ce qui peut compliquer l'utilisation de logiciels dans certains cas.

Avantage de FBX: 
- Utilise un SDK unique, peut donc sembler plus facile et rapide √† int√©grer dans une chaine de production. 
Inconvenant de FBX: 
- D√©fini √† la base seulement par l'√©quipe de Maya, qui a fait elle-m√™me le  portage sur beaucoup les autres logiciels 3d du march√©. Ce qui fut continu√© par Autodesk apr√®s le rachat de Maya par Autodesk.
- Le format est ferm√© et propri√©taire 
- Il n?est pas ou peu extensible. 
- C?est un format binaire : opaque.
- C?est un format binaire : utilisation d'asset management plus lourd.
- Pas de syst√®me de modification d'une parti des donn√©es, car directement bas√© sur l'export de logiciel 3D et non sur une base de donn√©es organis√©e. 
- Existe seulement dans les logiciels pour lequel  Autodesk  √† cr√©e l'exporter / importer.

Mais au fond la vraie force de COLLADA est de permettre a de nombreux domaines d?échanger des données. COLLADA est utilise de nos jour régulièrement par de nombreuses autres activités que le développent de jeux vidéos, par exemple le CAD (Autocad, Microstation, Solidworks..), la robotique (Microsoft Robotic studio, Bullet Physics..). Par ailleurs, la production de vidéo professionnelle est rapidement en train d?ajouter l?importation de données 3D.

COLLADA est pr√©dominant dans la 3D pour le Web (Papervision3D, Scenecaster, Vivaty, 3DWarehouse, O3D?) et s?impose de plus en plus comme standard pour les mondes virtuels  - voir en particulier le concours COLLADA http://colladacontest.com subventionn√© par Media Grid Immersive Education Initiative (http://immersiveeducation.org) qui a d√©cid√© de standardiser tous les mondes virtuels membres de Media Grid sur le format COLLADA.

COLLADA rencontre de nombreux formats dans les différents domaines qu?il touche (ou FBX est totalement absent), et en marquant des points en parallèle dans chaque domaine il devient progressivement le format 3D standard inter-domaine, en ayant commence dans le monde des jeux vidéos ou il garde des racines fortes. De plus en plus de développements de jeux demandent l?interchange de données avec des outils qui ne sont pas les outils utilisés en production. Le meilleur exemple à donner les succès du ModTool de Crytek ou de nombreux modeurs peuvent créer des données avec les outils de leur choix, certain gratuits, qui n?ont jamais étés utilisés par l?équipe de production mais qui sont très populaires chez les utilisateurs amateurs (Blender, Cinema4D, DazStudio, Poser, ?).

  
Q6Pouvez-vous nous décrire brièvement Menus Master ?
A6Menus Master est une chaine de production complète dédiée à la réalisation d?interfaces utilisateurs (UI). Menus Master permet de réaliser rapidement n?importe quel type d?interface multimédia haut de gamme mélangeant 2D, 3D, vidéo, sons, etc. Bien qu?il s?agisse à l?origine d?un outil issu de l?industrie du jeu vidéo, nous avons décliné des versions dédiées à d?autres industries, notamment la téléphonie mobile et les Set-Top Box. Ces industries partagent en effet à la fois les même besoins en termes d?ergonomie, et les mêmes types de contraintes.
  
Q7Comment Collada est-il intégré à Menus Master, vos clients se servent-il de Collada ?
A7La finalité de Menus Master est de permettre de créer des interfaces utilisateurs combinant n?importe quel type de données multimédia. Notre outil s?adresse à toutes les industries nécessitant de telles interfaces, à savoir le jeu vidéo, la téléphonie mobile, les set-top box (boitier TV), les tableaux de bord de voiture, les GPS, etc ? Ces industries sont très variées, elles ont chacune leurs méthodes de travail et leurs outils privilégiés. Proposer le format COLLADA était pour nous une évidence, le seul moyen de s?adapter rapidement et efficacement à leur outil de production.
Par ailleurs, le format COLLADA va plus loin que la 3D ; le Khronos Group travaille depuis presque deux ans sur une standardisation du format de d√©finition des interfaces utilisateurs, directement d√©riv√© de COLLADA. Ce format, baptis√© COLLADA UI, reprend la logique conceptuelle de COLLADA, et donc ses points forts (cf. question 5), auquel il ajoute notamment la d√©finition de la 2D (vectoriel, bitmap, font, texte ?) et par cons√©quent le m√©lange de la 2D et la 3D, ainsi bien sur que les notions d?interactivit√©.
  
Google O3D
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 01/05/2009
 Q&AGoogle O3D
May 2009
 

?I think one of the most important features of O3D balance we've struck between exposing low level functionality required for advanced graphics techniques and choosing an architecture that performs well in the browser. ?

< O3D in action

  
Q1There have been a lot of initiatives to integrate 3D contents into web pages. Do you think that O3D will succeed where VRML, X3D, Shockwave 3D (etc.) have failed?
A1The goals of O3D are very different from these approaches. X3D takes a very high level approach to describing 3D content. O3D takes a very low level approach of exposing graphics capabilities to developers via Javascript. Furthermore, X3D is the successor to VRML, a standard that was conceived more than 10 years ago, and is thus incompatible with a lot of functionality that a modern graphics API should provide. Google believes that the advances in graphics that have occurred since VRML/X3D were conceived warrant a redesign of a 3D API for the web.
  
Q2O3D can import 3D assets in Collada. Why Collada files are converted into .json rather than using .zae? What are the main features of .json files in the terms of memory bandwidth and features (shaders, bones animations, etc.)?
A2O3D does not "import" any type of asset. We have provided a sample utility that converts Collada files into JSON, and a sample Javascript library that reconstructs the model from JSON using the O3D javascript API. For more information, see our O3D Blogpost about this topic:http://o3d.blogspot.com/2009/04/why-json-rulez.html
  
Q3O3D comes with a large set of functionalities : what kind of users are you targeting (games developers, web agency, hobbyist...)?
A3Google decided to present O3D to the open source community to participate in the conversation on how to best address the lack of an open web standard in the 3D graphics space. Google hopes to collect valuable feedback about the needs of all types of developers (game developers, web agencies and hobbyists included!) to inform the open source community.
  
Q4Do you plan to add an interactive 3D view in GoogleWarehouse using O3D?
A4Like other Google developer products, the goal of O3D is to move the web platform forward. We'd love to see an interactive 3D view in 3D warehouse, but don't have anything to announce at this time.
  
Q5Is it possible to mix 2D and 3D together? Is it possible to "map" HTML document or a video on a 3D Object?
A5It's not currently possible to mix the two content types freely. This is one of the major downsides to being implemented as a plugin, and therefore a reason that we're excited to see 3D become a native capability of browsers instead of a plugin.
  
Q6 Is O3D easy to learn? Do you plan to develop more tools like a 3D scene editor?
A6We designed O3D so that developers can quickly and easily get up to speed on the code and begin creating applications. However, developers who already have some experience working with OpenGL or Direct3D will feel most comfortable using O3D. We hope to see easy-to-use tools for creating O3D content, but expect these to primarily come from companies that specialize in building these tools.
  
Q7Do you think that CAD users can take advantage of O3D to share, visualize their 3D data?
A7Just as the web has helped users collaborate and share 2D content, we think the ability to share 3D content on the web will be enormously helpful to users who create 3D content. Imagine, for example, an architect being able to send a client a 3D model of a house, and the client being able to take a virtual walkthrough and provide feedback!
  
Q8We have look at O3D samples and been impressed by performances (multiple clients, instancing, fractal shader...) and the quality (z-sorting for transparent faces, 2D post processing...) of the 3D engine. Could you please details some unique features that make O3D so powerful?
A8I think one of the most important features of O3D balance we've struck between exposing low level functionality required for advanced graphics techniques and choosing an architecture that performs well in the browser. 
For example, true multipass rendering is an important advanced graphics technique that is impossible in many retain-mode APIs because they use a high-level scenegraph. We provide multipass rendering by providing a retain-mode API that allows the client to specify the rendering order of the render graph. This way, the developer gets both the control of a very low-level API, but gets the performance of a retain-mode API because native code is actually running through the render-graph instead of Javascript.
OpenSpace3D
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 01/05/2009
 Q&AOpenSpace3D
Philippe PERES, I-Maginer
mai 2009
 

"OpenSpace3D a pour objectif de permettre le développement de nouveaux environnements de travail collaboratifs, de formation (classes virtuelles, learning et serious games), de simulation, d?innovation, de e-commerce, de réseaux sociaux d?expression et de partage (espaces personnels 3D) ou de jeux massivement multiutilisateurs (MMOG) ?des applications tant professionnelles que grand public qui reposent sur la 3D et la collaboration en temps réel.."

< OpenSpace 3D Interface

  
Q1Pouvez-vous présenter brièvement la génèse du projet OpenSpace3D ?
A1L'origine d'OpenSpace3D repose tout d'abord sur des besoins internes en terme de développement et de production.
I-Maginer se positionne en effet à la fois comme éditeur et comme société de service utilisant des technologies open source dans le domaine du web 3D collaboratif, et plus particulièrement la technologie SCOL, particulièrement adaptée à notre vision d?environnements collaboratifs.
Nous souhaitions d'une part exploiter la technologie SCOL (déjà très complète et bénéficiant des apports de la communauté et des évolutions R&D de notre société) et d'autre part pouvoir ré-exploiter des fonctionnalités développées dans le cadre de la production d'environnements ou d'applications 3D pour nos clients.
Il était enfin nécessaire de faire évoluer le moteur 3D de SCOL pour permettre de créer des environnements 3D de qualité, c?est ce qui a motivé notre choix d?intégration d?Ogre3D, un moteur open source aux fonctionnalités puissantes.
C?est ainsi qu?est née la plateforme OpenSpace3D qui a pour objectif de permettre le développement de nouveaux environnements de travail collaboratifs (réunions à distance en web conférence), de formation (classes virtuelles, learning et serious games), de simulation, d?innovation, de e-commerce (boutiques et galeries commerciales virtuelles), de réseaux sociaux d?expression et de partage (espaces personnels 3D) ou de jeux massivement multiutilisateurs (MMOG) ?des applications tant professionnelles que grand public qui reposent sur la 3D et la collaboration en temps réel.
Enfin, notre volonté est de démocratiser l'utilisation de la 3D et constatant le manque de solutions fiables, libres et Open Source de développement d'applications 3D temps réel nous avons voulu faire d'OpenSpace3D notre projet phare.
  
Q2Le web est "peuplé" de technos 3D, est-ce qu'OpenSpace3D a des arguments pour se différencier et de développer le nombre de contenu 3D sur la Toile ?
A2Je citerai 3 principaux arguments :
- Tout d'abord, la plateforme a été pensée pour répondre aux besoins d'un public large en terme d'ergonomie et de facilité de prise en main.
-En second lieu, la dimension collaborative que nous souhaitons apporter à OpenSpace3D ainsi que son caractère Open Source en font un outil unique sur le marché.
- Enfin, la technologie SCOL permettant un accès à tous les niveaux de développement, OpenSpace3D ne se positionne pas simplement comme une plateforme de contenu Web3D mais également comme une plateforme de Réalité Virtuelle.

En effet OpenSpace3D a pour objectif de permettre l'ajout d'interface de Réalité Virtuelle au sein même des applications développées (la WiiMote en est un exemple déjà utilisable)

  
Q3Expliquez-nous concrètement comment SCOL et Ogre3D "fonctionnent" au sein de cette technologie ?
A3L'interfaçage entre Scol et Ogre 3D se fait via un plugin le "SO3Engine" chargé et reconnu par la machine virtuelle, il s'agit donc là d'une intégration à part entière du moteur de rendu Ogre 3D dans la technologie Scol. Les propriétés du SO3Engine sont de fournir aux développeurs Scol des fonctions de haut niveau facilitant l'utilisation d'Ogre3D et d'exploiter au sein de la plateforme les possibilités de rendu 3D offertes par le moteur de rendu Ogre.
  
Q4Si le moteur est Ogre 3D, peut on importer des données 3D au format .mesh et .scene ?
A4La plateforme est actuellement capable, de charger des .scene et des .mesh, ainsi que les ressources graphiques associées (material script, skeleton...)
De plus, de part l'utilisation des formats Ogre 3D OpenSpace3D est capable d'importer des modèles provenant de logiciels de modélisation tels que Sketchup ou Blender.
Nous souhaitons également l'intégration dans la plateforme du format Collada, de plus en plus répandu de nos jours.
Enfin, pour les besoins spécifiques en terme d'édition de la plateforme OpenSpace3D, nous avons créé un format XML de projet le ".xos".
Ce format est capable de charger directement dans la plateforme toutes les ressources n√©cessaires √† l'importation d'un projet mais √©galement les informations concernant le d√©veloppement des "plugIT" ou fonctions pour le projet (√Čditions des plugins OpenSpace3D pour l'interaction)
  
Q5Une autre solution "web3D" utilise Ogre3D mais elle est assez instable sur le net (Blink3D) qu'en est il pour OpenSpace3D?
A5A ce jour nous développons en Alpha. Les alpha testeurs nous permettent de faire évoluer l'ergonomie de la plateforme, et de corriger les retours de dysfonctionnement au quotidien.
Les premiers retours d'utilisation provenant de spécialistes de la 3D temps réel sont positifs concernant la stabilité de l'outil.
OpenSpace3D a été lancée le mois dernier pour le concours étudiants "Virtual Fantasy" dans le cadre du salon Laval Virtual 2009. Une trentaine d'étudiants répartis en 5 équipes ont pu pendant trente heures non stop développer des applications avec OpenSpace3D. Nous avons constaté que la version alpha était stable et les retours étudiants allaient dans ce sens.
  
Q6Comme son nom l'indique OpenSpace3D est Open Source, concrètement que cela change-t-il pour vous et pour les utilisateurs ?
A6Le développement d'une plateforme Open Source correspond à une orientation nouvelle pour notre société avec un modèle économique double d'éditeur et de SSLL.
Le développement de la technologie et de la plateforme, nous conduisent à mener une politique forte de Recherche et Développement pour laquelle nous nous associons à des universités, des écoles et des laboratoires de recherche avec l'aide de financeurs publics.
Nous sommes également fortement impliqué dans la vie communautaire de la technologie SCOL afin d'en assurer la promotion auprès de tous ses utilisateurs potentiels (SSII et SSLL, grands comptes, designers, écoles d'ingénieurs et d'infographie, laboratoires de recherches, ...).
Cette expertise et la valorisation des technologies Open Source correspondante nous permettent également de nous positionner sur des projets de développements d'envergure en terme d'interfaces 3D interactives.
Pour ce qui est des utilisateurs, OpenSpace3D est une plateforme libre sous licence LGPL qui permet de développer des applications dans un but commercial ou non-commercial.
La facilité de prise en main d'une telle plateforme permet également le prototypage rapide pour la valorisation d'un projet ou d'un concept.
Ces éléments en font une plateforme ouverte à un très large public allant de l'étudiant, aux grand comptes en passant par les PME, les institutions ou la recherche.
  
Q7Ogre3D est un moteur peu "user freindly" pour les infographistes. Prévoyez-vous des éditeurs ou outils facilitant la création ?
A7Aucun Modeleur n'est prévu dans OpenSpace3D pour le moment car ce n'est pas sa vocation prioritaire. OpenSpace3D veut faciliter l'import de ressources 3D Ogre pour l'utilisateurs.
Celà dit, nous comptons intégrer dans la version bêta d'OpenSpace3D des éditeurs intuitifs et simples (matériaux, animations, particules, terrains...) sans en faire une "usine à gaz".
Pour ce qui est des exports, nous bénéficions des développements déjà initiés pour Ogre sur des modelers tels que 3DsMax, Blender, Maya ou Sketchup.
Pour le moment, nous avons constaté que ces outils sont performants, cependant, dans le cas ou ces outils ne suffiraient pas nous envisagerons le développement d'un export spécifique pour OpenSpace3D.
  
Q8Quand allez vous proposer des démos et une version RC d'OpenSpace3D ?
A8Nous espérons sortir une bêta pour la fin 2009/début 2010. Cependant, des mises à jours de la version Alpha seront régulièrement distribuées via le site www.openspace3d.com
Concernant la version Bêta, elle intégrera d'avantages de possibilités en terme d'animation, de physique ou de particules mais également en terme de documentation et d'aide au développement d'applications 3D sous OpenSpace3D.
Concernant les démos, des templates ou exemples seront fournit dans la documentation afin d'aider l'utilisateur de la plateforme pour illustrer les fonctionnalités.
Suscitant l'intérêt des écoles nous comptons également sur les étudiants pour participer à des projets et ainsi proposer des démos pour OpenSpace3D.
Enfin, l'expérience positive et enrichissante que nous a apporté le concours étudiant sur la plateforme nous amène à penser à l'organisation de concours permettant de valoriser la plateforme. Ces concours pourraient à la fois être destinés à des infographistes, des développeurs, des designers ou encore des architectes...Avis aux amateurs !
  
Q9  Que est le r√īle de SCOL dans cette nouvelle technologie ?
A9 SCOL est le support m√™me de la plateforme ainsi, ses capacit√©s nous laisse entrevoir des perspectives d'√©volutions tr√®s int√©ressantes.
Le premier axe sur lequel nous travaillons prioritairement est le caractère collaboratif et la possibilité de créer à partir d'OpenSpace3D des applications 3D multi-utilisateurs.
C'est le sens même des développements qui ont été les notres jusqu'à ce jour.
De plus, le caract√®re modulaire de la technologie SCOL donne la possibilit√© d'exploiter des IHM de R√©alit√© Virtuelle au sein de la plateforme et de pouvoir int√©grer bon nombre de technologies Open Source. Le premier exemple est bien s√Ľr le moteur de rendu Ogre 3D mais nous d√©veloppons √©galement l'int√©gration de la librairie VLC.
Web3D Consortium
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/07/2008
 Q&AAnita Havele
Web3D Consortium
July 2008
 

 

 

?There are several software tools (X3D-Edit, Octaga modeler, BS Editor, Flux Studio, SwirlX3D, Blender and others) to support X3D content creation. 3D content creation is a very labor intensive process and these tools help automate it. You can find great resource to X3D at X3dResources with links to Examples, Applications, Authoring software, Players and Plugins for X3D / VRML Viewing.?

 

< Multi-Touch-Table for Virtual Factory (FraunHofer)

 Web3D Consortium at Siggraph 2008:
> Siggraph please visit us in booth #139 where our member companies will be demonstrating X3D applications and content
> Web3d Tech Talk Aug 13, 3:30pm to 5:30 pm
Q1A brief description of the Web3D Consortium's roles.
A1

The Web3D Consortium is a non-profit, industry supported international standards organization that spearheads the development of royalty-free X3D file format and run-time architecture to represent and communicate 3D scenes and objects using XML on the Web, between applications and across distributed networks and web services.

  
Q2Web3D Consortium and Khronos Group team together, but except Pinecoast Software's products (SWTranslator), are there any initiatives concerning Web3D formats and Collada?
A2

The Khronos Collada and the Web3DConsortium?s CAD groups have an agreement to exchange draft specifications for feedback to guarantee that the standards are complementary. Since there is already a synergy between the Collada and X3D XML based standards, the alignment of the groups will ensure that real-time X3D applications leverage Collada-based authoring environments. The Web3D CAD Working Group plans to better align the infrastructure X3D already has for CAD visualization with the requirements of the CAD industry.

  
Q3X3D is definitively not a 3D format adopted by DCC Softwares (3ds max, Maya, Softimage XSI, Lightwave, Houdini, Cinema4D...). What are the best ways to create 3D contents for X3D standard?
A3

There are several software tools (X3D-Edit, Octaga modeler, BS Editor, Flux Studio, SwirlX3D, Blender and others) to support X3D content creation. 3D content creation is a very labor intensive process and these tools help automate it. You can find great resource to X3D at X3dResources with links to Examples, Applications, Authoring software, Players and Plugins for X3D / VRML Viewing. They're all free downloads, but their makers may have other tools for sale. X3D's sweet spot is bringing 3D graphics expression to a wider audience, one not necessary trained in the art of 3D graphics programming, but fairly technical nonetheless. They typically write the behavior part and leave the graphics to the X3D player. X3D is a step above OpenGL/DirectX in abstraction. With X3D they can output meaningful representations of their data without needing to understand low-level graphics.

http://web3d.org/x3d/content/examples/X3dResources.html

  
Q4

There are a lot of different ways to bring 3D on the internet : VRML, SecondLife, PDF 3D... But it seems that 3D adoption is slower than predicted. Why?

A4

Many 2D processes can be enhanced with 3D data. In general, 3D communicates better. The issue here is extending 2D process to 3D and making them easy to engage with. This may be one of the reason for the slow growth in the use of 3D data. While a slower growth rate is expected we can assume that 3D data use/applications are growing proportionately. The growth is slower, because many mid-size and smaller companies have resisted it, but are now being driven to 3D by the large OEMs. There are also 3D based initiatives intended to take industries in the 3D direction.
Analysis of where 3D would improve what you are doing now, and the use of standard based 3D development tools could make 3D adoption faster.

  
Q5There are groups dedicated to specific domains : X3D CAD, X3D Earth, X3D Medical. What are the goals of those groups?
A5

A Working Group of the Web3D Consortium is a technical committee that researches and proposes solutions to specific technical problems relating to X3D (e.g. binary file format). Working groups are essentially self-forming, self-regulating, and self-directed. They are not product-specific but instead focus is on issues and technologies in the attempt to develop and propagate an open standard for the industry.

X3D CAD: The CAD3D Working Group defines a file format and data transfer process. The format, CAD Distillation Format (CDF), enables translation of CAD data to an open format for publishing and interactive media. The process includes an open framework pipeline that incorporates tools for decimation of surfaces to constructs that are more common in the non-CAD environments

X3D Earth: The X3D-Earth Group focuses on developing a standard for use of 3D spatial data while promote spatial data use within X3D via open architectures. The Extensible 3D (X3D) Earth project will create a standards-based 3D visualization infrastructure for visualizing all manner of real-world objects and information constructs in a geospatial context. Archivability of models using stable commercial tools and noncommercial international standards will ensure that 3D work can remain accessible and repeatable for many years to come.

X3D Medical: The X3D Medical Working Group (MWG) focuses on developing a standard for 3D medical images on the web based on the X3D standard, and has proposed a draft extension to the X3D specification to include volume rendering capabilities to view these images. Join us for a discussion and demonstration of MedX3D (the proposed X3D profile for viewing 3D medical images), the MWG's activities with the DICOM standards organization, a review of the volume rendering extension to X3D and the future projects of the MWG

  
Q6

Web3D symposium 2008 will take place in L.A. during the Siggraph. What are the benefits of being at the same place?

A6

The annual Web3D Symposium is a major event, which unites researchers, developers, experimenters, and content creators in a dynamic learning environment. Attendees share and explore methods of using, enhancing, or creating new 3D Web and Multimedia technologies. Having the symposium collocated and two days before Siggraph will bring Siggraph attendees and exhibitors interested in 3D graphics to the symposium who may not have attended if it was at a different location at a different time.

  
Q7What are the purposes of Web3D Tech Talk?
A7

Use of X3D is growing with content and applications in various sectors and across all hardware platforms. X3D with its rich set of componentized features can be tailored for use in any field. X3D has a large innovative community of content and application developers who see this standard as the future for archival, real-time 3D graphics.
The Web3D Tech Talk is a platform for X3D innovators to showcase their latest real world 3D applications and content, and interest 3D content developers to use X3D for their real-time 3D graphic needs.

  
Intel Larabee
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 01/06/2008
 Q&ADaniel Pohl
Intel
june 2008
 

 

"The performance increase using ray tracing for rendering the image is almost linear to the number of cores."

< Intel RealTime RayTracing technology in action (image TG Daily)

Q1Raytracing produce very realistic images. Is the use of a raytracing algorithm for realtime 3D purposes (i.e. video games, 3D visualization) synonym of poor performance?
A1

First, I want to make clear here that real-time ray tracing for games is still in the research phase. If you would build a game only for ray tracing then it could be less work than building a game only for rasterization. There are many advantages that ease the development process like automatic culling techniques, simpler development of interaction between special effects and also simpler development of special effects. What you need for that is of course a ray tracer with some kind of API. Intel is developing this currently for its own research. Companies would provide some kind of ray tracing library then can be used as comfortable (or more comfortable) like DirectX. Therefore the game developers would NOT need to hassle with any threading work for ray tracing. These things are all well hidden in a well implemented ray tracer. Btw, the performance increase using ray tracing for rendering the image is almost linear to the number of cores. Therefore you can expect a good speed benefit with future many-core systems.

  
Q2Shoud 3D Artists change their workflow in order to take advantage of Intel Realtime Raytracing ?
A2Professional software like 3DSMax, Maya, XSI and so on also use ray tracing for certain special effects like reflections that cannot be created in the same visual quality with other graphics algorithms. These are usual offline-rendering solutions that could take up many hours for one image and produce almost photorealistic images. On the real-time ray tracing area we are talking with game developers and got from some good feedback and interest in experimenting with ray tracing.
  
Q3Today realtime 3D rely on API such as DirectX and OpenGL. Do you plan to introduce new API and tools for devloppers?
A3Larrabee will be compatible with both DirectX and OpenGL ; there should be no changes for game developpers if they want to. However Intel will help them to bring ¬ę Larrabee nativ ¬Ľ games.
  
Q4Game studio have spend a lot of energy to develop customs pixel/vertex "shaders", do they have to reconsider those dev. with Larabee?
A4No, Larrabee will support DirectX HLSL shaders.
Leadwerks Engine
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 01/06/2008
 Q&ALeadwerks Engine 
Josh Klint, 
CEO Leadwerks Corporation
June 2008
 

 

" We have a really nice shadow mapping system, which gives us dynamic soft shadowing with directional, point, and spotlights. We also have a kind of real-time global illumination effect called screen space ambient occlusion. In version 2.1 of the engine we will have a cool effect called "volumetric light scattering" better known as "god rays" that can look really amazing. "

<Leadwerks 2.0 in action

  
Q1Please give a biref description of Leadwerks engine.
A1I think "real-time" is the best way to describe it. When I saw Crytek's presentation of their editor at the Game Developer's Conference, I knew I wanted to do an engine where everything just worked on-the-fly. Lighting, physics, and culling are all instantaneous, and no pre-compiled data of any kind is used. By offloading as much as possible onto the GPU, we greatly simplified both the engine source code, and the experience for our end users. I think my experience with older BSP-based engines was good training, but it is so much easier to work with our new technology. Our main engine source code is less than 400 kilobytes!
  
Q2Leadwerks engine seems to support advanced visual effects and can support terrains with up 33 million triangles. How can it be possible?
A233 million triangles sounds like a lot, but it isn't that hard. To render terrain, our engine just draws the same 128x128 patch over and over again. Each section of terrain has its own unique height array which gets passed to the terrain shader as a vertex attribute. This means that a 4096x4096 terrain only uses about 33 megabytes of memory. This is a little bit different from older approaches, and we lose the ability to do edge turning, since the same patch is used for each section of terrain. However, we can have a much higher polygon density now, so it isn't so important that every edge be oriented a certain way. I've actually gone as high as 130 million
triangles in a terrain and it rendered fine, but I can't imagine an artist having time to design a scene of that magnitude.
  
Q3What are the features of Leadwerks engine in terms of lighting and shadowing?
A3Our lighting system is what I am most proud of. We have a really nice shadow mapping system, which gives us dynamic soft shadowing with directional, point, and spotlights. We also have a kind of real-time global illumination effect called screen space ambient occlusion. In version 2.1 of the engine we will have a cool effect called "volumetric light scattering" better known as "god rays" that can look really amazing.
  
Q4How can we import in Leadwerks characters animated in 3ds max, Maya or XSI ?
A4For simple meshes, our engine loads .obj and .md3 files directly. You can specify textures and shaders explicitly in a material file, but if no material file is found the engine does a pretty good job of guessing what textures and shaders to apply. For animated meshes, you export a .b3d (Blitz3D) file and use our converter to save a .gmf (Game Model Format) file, which supports skinning, animation, and hierarchies. I spent a lot of time looking for a suitable animated file format that would load quickly to use for the engine, and I can tell you that none exist. I was really interested in Collada for a while, but it turned out not to be suitable for our needs. Finally, I decided to design a file format based on how I think things should be done, and I called it the "Game Model Format".
As a former artist turned programmer myself, I think a good art pipeline is crucial. I am talking to Brad Bolthouse about writing an Unwrap3D plugin for .gmf models. Unwrap3D is a little secret of the industry that is extremely good at converting 3D models. It is primarily a UV mapping program, but features import and export capabilities much better than Deep Exploration or anything else, and it is very inexpensive. So if we add an export plugin for that, then Collada, FBX, and every other file format under the sun is supported. The next step will be specific exporters for 3ds max, XSI, etc.
  
Q5Can Leadwerks be used by "begining devloppers" or 3D artists?
A5It's one thing to implement a cool effect or design a good renderer, but the real challenge is in building it into a system that makes sense and is easy to use. OpenGL paradigms are messy. My job is to make it simple without the end user losing control. I spend a lot of time agonizing over the command set until I find a solution I am happy with. I can say with confidence you will not find another engine with comparable features that is anywhere near as easy to program as ours. It's a goal I take very personally, since I am going to be using it too.
Since there isn't much left to implement on the programming side of things, I will soon be turning my attention to the art pipeline. I want to add more editors and tools so that our art pipeline is as easy to work with as the programming is. Artists make the engine look good, so I want to keep them happy. Our upcoming Sandbox editor is one major part of that.
  
Q6 What is the role of 3D World Studio? Can it be used with other engines such as Ogre3D, Torque, C8. What are the feature of 3D World Studio for terrain editing : see, trees, terrain? Is it possiblie to get results as good as what artist can achieved with 3ds max or Maya?
A63D World Studio is mainly a CSG editor along the lines of Hammer or Radiant. It's designed for making buildings, not people or cars or guns. It is very good for producing a BSP scene, and the production time will be a lot shorter than if you were using 3ds max or something. 3D World Studio is used by many people in conjunction with Torque, 3D Game Studio, Dark Basic, etc. However, for Leadwerks Engine 2 I have something new "in the werks".
Leadwerks Sandbox uses a completely new approach, kind of a cross between Crytek's Sandbox 2 and Garry's Mod for Half-Life 2. It's a real-time editor that lets you create terrain and place models in the scene. What's neat about this editor is the physics editing is completely real-time. You can create a table or something in mid-air, and it will fall to the floor as soon as it materializes. There's an early video of the editor here (although the interface has gotten a lot better since this video was made):
<youtube.com>
Of course since all the lighting is real-time, you can draw a hill on the terrain and the shadow will move as the hill grows. It's quite strange to create a tree and see the branches waving in the wind and self-shadowing as you move it around in the editor. I am very excited about what this approach allows our artists.
  
Q7What is deferred lighting? What can it change for realtime 3D contents?
A7Deferred lighting is basically a way of rendering lights and shadows in a post-processing step. Its strength is that it only processes lighting for the final screen pixels. Therefore it will run at the exact same speed whether there is one or one million polygons onscreen.
Last summer we were experimenting with a deferred lighting system using dual parabolic shadow maps for point lights, and a kind of perspective skewing for directional lights. It was a disaster. These techniques suffered from fundamental flaws that made it impossible to use them in a real game. Back around February I started playing with shadow maps again, and I got good results using cascaded shadow maps and cube shadow maps in a forward renderer. We released Leadwerks Engine 2.0 with the forward renderer, but it had a few limitations. We could only have 8 lights onscreen at any given time, both due to hardware and performance limitations. Another problem I
did not anticipate had to do with shaders. The engine would generate a different version of each shader for the number of lights onscreen,
resulting in tens of thousands of potential combinations that got compiled as they were needed. It didn't turn out to be the subtle background process I thought it would be.
These issues got me thinking again about deferred lighting, so I devoted a week to it after the release of version 2.0. I got it working pretty
quickly, and was amazed with the results. Not only did this get rid of all the aforementioned problems, we gained about a 50% performance improvement for each light onscreen. I know Crysis uses forward lighting, and a lot of forum debates on the subject favor forward rendering, but after trying both approaches I won't ever use anything but deferred lighting again. The deferred renderer will debut in version 2.1 of the engine. I thought our results were interesting enough that I wrote a paper describing our experience here: <PDF>
  
Q8There have been a lot of announces the past few months about 3D acceleration : Intel's Larabee want to bring realtime Raytracing trought CPU, and nVidia promise to accelerate Mental Ray with the GPU. As a 3D professionnal, what do you think about the future of 3D ?
A8The year 2007 was the first time we saw real-time computer graphics that didn't suck. I mean, we can render lighting now! I know there were some techniques like a blurry colored texture applied to the scene (lightmaps) and ridiculous looking hard-edged shadows, but once you start playing with a system like ours you realize everything until now has been terrible. We used to use lightmaps, then we used stencil shadows, now we use shadow maps. I don't think there is a next step we will move to from here. The implementations and some minor things will get better, but the CG film industry uses shadow maps, so that should tell you something. When you see
real-time graphics converging with film, that's when you know a final optimal approach has been arrived at.
I don't think Intel is going to be able to do what they are proposing with the Larabee chip. Some cool stuff will come out of it, but I don't think they will produce a raytrace renderer comparable to rasterizers. The only way to make an optimal raytrace renderer is to use complicated scene processing tricks like BSP trees. Now that GPU occlusion queries and deferred lighting finally allow us to program a completely dynamic engine, with no pre-processing or scene compilation, there's no way I will ever go back to the days of static pre-compiled scenes. John Carmack has talked about such a system, and it might be optimal if you are only looking at what
takes place in parallel in the renderer, but I think you have to consider the usability and art pipeline of an engine. No one wants to "compile" a scene anymore. I also don't see it as a matter of we just need so much processing horsepower, and then we can switch to raytracing. Rasterizers will always be exponentially faster than raytracers, so if the Larabee chip was able to provide that much power, why not use it to make a rasterizer that can render ten times as much geometry? That might very well be the outcome of this. I would love to program my own software rasterizer running on a 16-core CPU.
The GPU is becoming more and more programmable, which is a very interesting development. I have been talking to Julio Jerez of Newton Game Dynamics about adding GPU-accelerated physics, in addition to the multicore-optimized processing Newton Archimedes already allows. There are still some problems to work out because parallelizing physics is not quite as simple as graphics
rendering. I am glad NVidia is taking responsibility to implement PhysX on the GPU, because this will allow them to find those barriers and solve them so we can all benefit.
There's still lots of room for improvement using shadow maps and rasterizers. We can't render ten million triangles onscreen at a very good framerate. We can render miles of terrain, but we can only draw grass in the immediate area around the player. Why should there be a limitation like that? If I had ten times as much GPU horsepower right now, I wouldn't use different techniques, I would just draw more stuff onscreen. So I think the current technology is pretty stable, and very good for compatibility with future hardware. We'll just see limitations like the number of characters onscreen drop away, and finally be able to render scenes that are as detailed and interesting as real life.
Alternativa 3D
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 01/06/2008
 Q&AAlex Karpovich
Alternativa Game Ltd. director
June 2008
 

 

12 people working full-time to deliver best up-to-date solution - 3D-engine, server core, and fast GUI library. Some people from community also mentioned that our documentation makes sence too. You should try our engine, seriously !"

<Alternativa Platform in Action

  
Q1Q1. Please give a brief description of AlternativaPlatform.
A1In short words, we're bringing online multiuser 3d media via FlashPlayer. "Platform consists of server core (data store and exchange, synchronizing, managing hardware load), clients part (3D-engine, GUI and other client apps), administrating part (integrated payment services, through user registration, statistics), documentation (?how to create and to manage projects? guide, public classes and methods description etc.), support system (developers portal, forum, FAQs etc.), and the applications made on a platform themself." - an official definition from our website
  
Q2AlternativaPlatform is based on Flash technologies. Is Flash enough powerfull for a Game Engine?
A2It depends on your needs. Flash is not so flashy (he-he) as next-gen hardware accelerated picture, but it provides much more unique experience in terms of global communication. Right now it is obviously low-poly, relatively heavy CPU load, not-really-hardware accelerated graphics, but Flash far beyond simple visualisation. AS3 is very powerful, so developers may implement almost any game mechanics to create many interesting games, especially when it comes to user-to-user interaction. Our goal is to provide tech itself and additional tools for the growing and talented community. Every advanced flasher is kinda excited this times - they know, it's just the beginning of Flash way.
  
Q3There is a lot of 3D engines written for Flash. What are the key advantages of using Alternativa3D?
A3You can compare picture quality by yourself. This is worth one hundred twenty eight advertising words.
And - there are always a company and some people behind the technology. Everyone want to use something that is written right and supported well. We're that kind - funded by friendly venture capital, high-motivated and talented team, ambitious approach, huge flash background and ready to answer market needs. 12 people (and hiring), working full-time to deliver best up-to-date solution - 3D-engine, server core, and fast GUI library. Some people from community also mentioned that our documentation makes sence too. You should try our engine, seriously.
  
Q4Alternativa3D can handle Flash 10 technologies ; what are the benefits of using Flash 10 player?
A4It is smo-o-o-other :) Technical details are not really important - we're trying to make 9->10 versions transitition transparent for our library users. Check our forum for more info.
  
Q5Adobe claims that Flash10 brings native 3D. Does it mean that 3D engines powered by Flash could be hardware accelerated now?
A5Not really. We still have to do most of work with CPU.
  
Q6 Alternativa3D allows very nice effects such as dynamic lighting, parallax mapping (...) Could those effects be applyed on "high detailed" 3D meshes?
A6Basically, no. Flash engines support up to 2000-2500 polygons at the moment, and slightly rise as processors are developing. We're also optimizing things - say, you can turn off scene parts that are not on screen (level designers should think about portals now).
  
Q7What are the 3D formats supported by Alternativa3D?
A7We're importing 3DS for now, and community pushes us to add some new formats. It is a work in progress.
  
Q8Does Alternativa 3D handle z-buffer to avoid flikering 3D faces?
A8We use BSP-tree and some "honest" sorting in it's points if necessary.
  
Q9 What is the license of AlternativaPlatform?
A9You can get your free non-commercial copy right now from a platform website. Commercial contracts are on the way.
Elflight Engine
Soumit par Administrateur le lundi, 01/06/2008
 Q&ACoded Edge / Elflight Engine, 
Richard Lowe, Technical Director Code Frontiers Ltd
June 2008
 

 

The terrain is fully streamable over the Internet and each world may be up to 32Km in size. The engine has an interpolating 'atmosphere controller' which provides time of day, fog, sun, moon, clouds and sky.
Standard features such as specular maps, normal maps and ambient occlusion maps are supported and there is also provision for fragment and vertex shaders.
?

<Elflight Engine in action

  
Q1lease give a brief description of the Elflight Engine
A1The Elflight Engine is a streaming game engine that we have developed from the ground up for use over the web. It enables 3D games and applications with hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics to be launched from or within a web browser. It is particularly useful for the development of MMOs and virtual worlds.
  
Q2Is Java a promising platform for game development?
A2We believe so, yes. With the rapid growth of computing power on the desktop in the past decade the overhead of the Java Virtual Machine has been negligible for some time. Java is well supported on the Mac, PC and Linux and this enables us to bring our technology to a wide audience.
  
Q3Is it possible to publish an Elflight Engine game inside the browser as an Applet?
A3Yes. It is possible for a game to either be embedded within a web page, or to fill the entire browser window. In the latter of the two modes, on the fly resizing of the browser window is fully supported. We also support Webstart which enables a game to be launched in a separate window or full-screen. All of the major web browsers are supported including Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
  
Q4There are a lot of game engines. What makes the Elflight Engine different?
A4Our aim from the start was to be able to be able to run persistent online 3D worlds (as well as simpler games and applications) that would support real-time editing by developers and artists and launch from the web with minimum startup time, regardless of size. Data would be streamed over the Internet as these worlds were explored. We also wanted hardware-accelerated 3D graphics.
Since there was nothing available to meet our needs, we designed and built the Elflight Engine to meet these goals.
  
Q5When it comes to 3D engines, one key feature is the workflow. How may an artist import their assets?
A5Our tools enable an artist to select a model file from their computer and then place it in the world. The entire process, including rotating, translating, scaling or otherwise manipulating the model are all observable in real-time by anybody else that is logged in, which is useful for collaborative team-based development. We support a number of model formats including OBJ, Milkshape3D and Collada.
  
Q6 Does the Elflight Engine import Collada files from 3D Studio Max, Softimage XSI or Maya?
A6All three. Our focus has initially been on Maya since we use that internally, but we are now testing Collada models exported from 3D Studio Max and Softimage XSI. Writing a reliable Collada importer is a particularly challenging task since the Collada specification is both extensive and flexible which leads to different ways of representing the same data. However, we have developed our importer to address these challenges and we are pleased with the pipeline.
  
Q7What are the main features of the Elflight Engine in the field of 3D. Terrain, environment, shaders?
A7The terrain is comprised of a base layer and one or more alpha-blended detail layers. We support animated specular-lit translucent water which produces good results across a broad range of machines. The terrain is fully streamable over the Internet and each world may be up to 32Km in size. The engine has an interpolating 'atmosphere controller' which provides time of day, fog, sun, moon, clouds and sky.
Standard features such as specular maps, normal maps and ambient occlusion maps are supported and there is also provision for fragment and vertex shaders. Due to the primary objective of the Elflight Engine, it would be fair to say that 3D effects have not been our main priority. However, as developers we find this area very exciting and are looking forward to adding new features.
  
Q8How is the Elflight Engine licensed?
A8Although mature, the Elflight Engine is still in development and we have yet to finalise the commercial model. We are considering traditional licensing as well as a model that is built upon some of the unique aspects of the engine.
  
Q9Actually, the Elflight Engine is in beta, when will it be available?
A9As many developers will concur, determining completion dates for large projects such as these is notoriously difficult. Fortunately, since we are privately owned, we are in a position to continue to work on the technology until it is complete. To put matters into perspective, the engine has been in development for just over 2 years (although it's origins go back about 3 years) and our current view is that most of the large modules are now complete.
To an extent, the release date will depend upon the testing as well as development of the Elflight MMO. In the meantime, we welcome anyone with an interest in the engine to join as beta-testers and simply login to Elflight during the testing. We post the development updates on our website and there is also a forum for those that wish to engage us with questions.
Eye-Sys
Soumit par Administrateur le vendredi, 01/05/2008
 Q&AEye-Sys
Chris King, IDV Inc.
May 2008
 

 

The Eye-Sys development team has a great deal of experience in squeezing the most of out a system's graphics capabilities."

 

<DoD Global Supply Chain Analysis
This project was done with the U.S. Dept of Defense. The ?Cereal Problem? represents a common type of data analysis in the intelligence field. In this demonstration, the assembly and consumption of breakfast cereal acts as an unclassified analogy for real-world supply and demand scenarios. The system demonstrates Eye-Sys's ability to render a high volume of data being fed from a live, external simulation. The simulation can be controlled from within Eye-Sys using a two-way interface, allowing the user to play interactive "what-if" scneraios.

  
Q1Can you tell us about the origins of the Eye-Sys project? Who does the team consist of?
A1Eye-Sys was partially funded through a contract with the U.S. Navy?s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. It was developed in response to the SBIR topic titled ?Enhanced Visualization of Modeling and Simulation Processes.? The founders of IDV, Michael Sechrest and myself, had a strong background in real-time visualization from work in the 1990's using Silicon Graphics systems at the University of South Carolina, so this particular topic was a perfect match for the core competency of the company.
The Eye-Sys development team consists largely of the same personnel that work on SpeedTree at IDV.
  
Q2What typical market is Eye-Sys aimed at? Can you give us a few examples of projects carried out using your technology?
A2

Eye-Sys as a general, data-driven, real-time visualization environment. Its general design means it can solve a wide variety of problems. Contrary to the trend among visualization companies, IDV does not offer different products for different markets. It's similar to PowerPoint¬ģ in how it is positioned. Just as there is no "PowerPoint/Automotive" or "PowerPoint/Medical," there is no "Eye-Sys/Engineering" or "Eys-Sys/Financial." There is one tool that's general enough to solve a wide range of visualization challenges.
Eye-Sys is also unique in that it's the first real-time visualization application to successfully combine elements from both data visualization (visual exploration of abstract data; e.g. exploring years of stock market data) and visual simulation (visual representation of a physical system; e.g. a flight simulator). One example of this combination in the field of electrical engineering would be combining a realistic 3D rendering of a 3-phase electric motor with a representation of the various currents, voltages, and e-fields generated during its operation. Eye-Sys is also capable of receiving this data from a live external simulation (e.g. Matlab/Simulink¬ģ) and affecting the simulation from within Eye-Sys via a virtual control panel.

MIT BioInstrumentation Experiment

In this example, Eye-Sys was used to visualize work conducted by MIT's BioInstrumentation Lab. The data was taken from an experiment designed to study the human vestibulo-ocular relfex (the eye movement responsible for stabilizing images on the retina during eye movement). The data was imported using Eye-Sys text file object and feeds the different elements of the visualization system. The visualization allowed the researchers to view the data in a completely different way.

More screenshots and a video of the project are available here.

 

  
Q3The Eye-Sys User Interface is a combination of building blocks and property editors. How long does it take to get fully operational as a user? Can a 3D artist which has no specific programming skills learn Eye-Sys?
A3Absolutely. In fact, we tasked our lead SpeedTreeCAD graphic artist, Steve Klipowicz, with creating a visualization from scratch. As part of a collaboration with AEgis Technologies, we had Steve create a visualization of chloroform entering the human body. Specifically, the concentration on chloroform in different parts of the body over time was to be illustrated.
Steve took the data from AEgis, bought a few 3D models on-line, and took to creating the system. The screenshot here shows the results of his effort, which is a fully animated and interactive visualization. No programming was necessary -- the entire visualization was built using standard Eye-Sys objects. More screenshots available here.
New users adapt to Eye-Sys very rapidly as we have several tutorials in the documentation that detail every phase of creating a visualization (input, manipulation, and display). It takes about a week for users to become familiar enough with the system to begin producing fully-featured visualizations.
  
Q4Eye-Sys currently imports 3D models in the 3DS, OBJ, IMF and DXF formats. One could wonder why standard formats such as VRML or Collada are not supported yet.
A4You're right, Eye-Sys 1.0 does support 3DS, OBJ, DXF, and IMF (our own internal format) and does not support Collada or VRML. However, Collada support has been added in version 1.1, to be released soon. We're quite happy with how well the Collada importer works and we use it, in part, to answer question #5 below. IDV will continue to respond to our users and the community by adding additional format support in subsequent releases.

Please note that users can use the SDK to add their own model importers, too. Also, the SDK can also be used to write new data importers, manipulators, and display objects & systems. This is particularly important for companies who use their own proprietary formats or for defense contractors or government organizations using Eye-Sys with classified formats.

  
Q5Does Eye-Sys allow to import 3D scenes with a very high polygon count?
A5The Eye-Sys development team has a great deal of experience in squeezing the most of out a system's graphics capabilities. SpeedTree can render forests with millions of trees covering hundreds of square kilometers at solid frame rates on commodity video hardware. IDV brings this same real-time graphical knowhow to Eye-Sys, which is very lean when it comes to its rendering code and takes advantage of the power of the GPU it's running on. Rest assured that for most systems, Eye-Sys is making the card pump out very close to its realistic capacity.

Take the following system as an example of how efficiently Eye-Sys can render high polygon counts. This system employs our scene graph rendering object rendering four different models read from three different file formats. The models total 662,442 triangles plus 75,818 line segments:

* A SpeedTree mesh (COLLADA): 95,745 triangles
* An F-18 (3DS): 94,458 triangles
* An aircraft carrier (3DS): 96,939 triangles
* Global map (ESRI Shapefile): 375,300 triangles + 75,818 lines

Benchmark

* Running on a Dell XPS 720 with an Intel Core 2 6700 (2.66GHz), 2GB RAM, Windows XP Pro SP2
* Graphics card: NVIDIA Quadro FX 37000 (uses the same G92 core as the 8800 GTS 512MB)
* The window was 1024x576 with 4X multisampling enabled
* Level-of-detail was disabled (the models maintained full resolution) and two separate lights were active

Under these conditions, Fraps reported 186 frames per second, or 123.2 million triangles per second. So yes, not only will Eye-Sys allow users to import very detailed models, but it will render them very quickly.

 

  
Q6 The product specifications show that Eye-Sys can run on Vista. Does that mean full DirectX 10 support?
A6Eye-Sys does indeed run on Vista, but it is implemented in 100% OpenGL. We have a lot of DirectX experience from developing SpeedTree for the PC and Xbox 360 and respect the API a great deal. However, OpenGL is a more suitable API for scientific and engineering visualization. We were particularly sensitive to new Eye-Sys SDK users when we made this decision. OpenGL, with its support for immediate mode rendering, helps less experienced users get off the ground faster. Plus, the SDK supplies classes and functions to help optimize performance, including a class for rendering using VBOs (Vertex Buffer Objects), a key technology for getting the most out of a GPU.
  
Q7How can applications developed with Eye-Sys be published? (i.e. executables, on a web page using a plugin...) For which platforms?
A7Version 1.1 will have a player exporting option. This essentially compiles the entire visualization down to a single executable that can be run on another system that does not have an Eye-Sys license. The players run on the same platforms that Eye-Sys supports: Microsoft¬ģ Windows¬ģ XP or Vista, 32 and 64-bit.
  
Q8How difficult is it to add a User Interface to applications developed with Eye-Sys ?
A8There is a set of Eye-Sys objects reserved specifically for this. The main object, called the Control Panel, is a blank slate that the user can place 2D gadgets and gizmos on that can be hooked into any part of the rest of the visualization. For example, sliders can be hooked to a multiplier in an expression object, the transparency value of part of a model, the scale/rotation/position of any 3D geometry, or even each other. Control panel components can also be used to display data as is the case with the gauge object which can display as a needle-and-dial, horizontal bar graph, vertical bar graph, and pie chart.

This screenshot shows an example control panel layout. Note that Eye-Sys will allow the user to configure the panel with any number of objects in any layout they choose.

  
Q9Both in terms of software development and marketing, what are your next objectives concerning Eye-Sys?
A9Just as we did with player exporting and Collada importing in the upcoming 1.1 release, we will continue to respond to our users' requests for enhanced functionality. There is a "Feature requests" section on the Eye-Sys forum and we monitor it closely.

On the marketing side, given that Eye-Sys is a new class of software being marketed to users in many industries where the use of technology is evolving rapidly, IDV will continue to experiment with various sales and marketing approaches.

Freespin 3D
Soumit par Administrateur le vendredi, 01/05/2008
 Q&AFreeSpin3D
Amir Fischer, CEO of Revolver3D
May 2008
 

 

"Now, creative teams at advertising firms or casual game developers have a new creative stream, literally at the end of their finger tips ? no more ?cheat3D? or costly processes ? it?s 3D for the masses: designers and users alike."

< "Revolver World" powered by FreeSpin3D

  
Q1Please give a brief presentation of Revolver3D.
A1Revolver is a technology company that focuses on the graphics, animation and game industries. We have developed One Layer 3D ? a core technology that enables commercial solutions for real-time rendering and development of 3D content on 2D environments such as web-browsers, mobile phones, PDA?s, and other resource limited devices. .
We founded the company in 2005, and are a team of experienced software developers and fulltime academics in the field of computer graphics. Among our investors are Maayan Ventures, The Technion Institute of Technology and Arie Scope, founder and former CEO and Chairman of Microsoft Israel.
The first environment where we have implemented our One Layer 3D core technology is in Adobe Flash. Tagged as FreeSpin3D (beta release), it is the first commercial polygon graphic solution for real-time rendering of 3D models in Flash.
  
Q2What are the key benefits of using FreeSpin3D compares to other Flash 3D engines such as Papervision or Away3D?
A2First of all, we think that PPV and A3D have done a cool job. With FreeSpin3D we have taken a totally different approach and path from them, and other current available solutions for that matter. Our algorithms are proprietary and developed in-house. and not based on the available solutions out there such as Sandy. Second and foremost, we had two things in mind when we set out: 
- Commercial needs of content developers 
- The mass market of Flash designers.
Our approach is through the eyes of content development companies. We are familiar with the aches, pains and gains of working with clients. These clients have a legitimate, set of criteria, which at the end of the day is, the need for a good stable commercial solution ? the assurance that they know that if something goes wrong (or right) they have a specific name and address to turn to and not open source/code that might or might not have the appropriate support.
Additionally, they cannot take chances with disappearing polygons at random, sorting issues and unacceptable CPU usage. They require a solution that will enable them to create better game plays in less time optimized for the web and has an address for support.
Furthermore and highly important, Whereas PPV and A3D are suitable for the advanced actionscript programmers; FreeSpin3D caters to the mass users of Flash ? the designers. Through the FreeSpin3d Control panel, designers can develop 3D content without the need for code at all ? just the Flash IDE & FreeSpin3D. 
Having said that, we have targeted the savvy programmers as well ? FreeSpin3D offers a Dynamic 3D API that they can tap into and develop as they do today, add their own new functions into the API, use new physics to generate their own unique creative creations.
Additionally, of course there are the technical differences between us, such as our propriety algorithms, much better sorting, CPU friendly, in other words it is tailored to perform within Flash.
  
Q3Flash 3D engine are limited in terms of 3D raw performances. Can FreeSpin3D display more than 10 000 triangles smoothly?
A3Yes, The FreeSpin3D architecture allows that. With an optimized design, FreeSpin3D can enable our users to reach beyond 10,000 polygons. (See the above example)
  
Q4What are the key features of FreeSpin3D in the field of graphism : does it support spherical reflection, bump mapping ?
A4In the current version we support wireframe, smooth shading, flat shading, and texture mapping. We are constantly upgrading FreeSpin3D, so adding new features are on our list.
  
Q5Is it easy to integrate 3D in a flash using freespin3d? Are developer skills required?
A5Like I said earlier, this is a main quality of FreeSpin3D ? it was planned not only for savvy programmers but also, or should I say especially for, designers and people who do not have any knowhow of physics, complex codes, and all that is needed for the current and available 3D solutions ? online and offline. 
So for example, now, creative teams at advertising firms or casual game developers have a new creative stream, literally at the end of their finger tips ? no more ?cheat3D? or costly processes ? it?s 3D for the masses: designers and users alike.
  
Q6 Adobe Flash 10 introduces 3D capabilities, does it means that FreeSpin3D performances will be accelerated with this new player?
A6Definitely yes, additionally, there are further features in the Flash 10 player that will improve other aspects that we intend to introduce in the future.
  
Q7Actually, only .3ds files are supported by FreeSpin3D, do you plan to add more formats?
A7Yes, the first format we chose was the most popular commercial 3D file format - .3ds. we have other 3D file formats in the pipeline as well ? currently we are working on obj. which will be released as soon as it comes out of our lab ovens.
  
Q8Are 3D content created with FreeSpin3D compressed in order to reduce download times?
A8Yes ? optimization is a key feature with FreeSpin3D enabled by our algorithms. There is a lot of room and parameters to play with in order to achieve the best results. File sizes can drop dramatically when you use FreeSpin3D efficiently.
  
Q9FreeSpin is currently in beta, what are your plans for the future and what is the One Layer 3D concept?
A9We are set to release the full blown version of FreeSpin3D towards the end of 2008. The commercial will offer a much wider array of solutions for the 3D development workshop ? its all under covers right now, and we will unveil it in the next coming months ? watch this space ?
OneLayer3D is a core technology, as such it can be implemented in a wide array of environments and systems. Currently we have implemented it in Adobe Flash and two other different environments which are currently under NDA, and in due time will be revealed.
We have further plans to implement OneLayer3D in other spaces as well ? we are exploring these opportunities with other potential partners and are open to ideas to new options as well.
Adobe Director Shockwave 11
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/04/2008
 Q&AAdobe Shockwave 11
Adobe.
April 2008,
 

 

? The Ageia PhysXEngine offers real-world, dynamic interaction for games and simulations allowing for high impact interactive features. It is the only solution that enables users to easily create dynamic 3D applications that run smoothly - with no performance or stability issues.
Director 11 enhances the ability to develop fast action 3D interactive games and virtual products, with cost efficiency, cross-platform compatibility and superior browser plug-in penetration.?

<L'interface de Director 11

  
Q1Developers had a very high level of anticipation for Director 11. Is this new release worth the wait?
A1Yes, Director 11 is a major product upgrade providing new and old fans of Director advances in the multimedia authoring environment. The tool essentially provides multimedia authors, animators and developers the ability to create powerful interactive applications, games, e-learning and simulation products.
  
Q2In terms of programming languages, what currently are the respective uses of JavaScript, Lingo, and ActionScript?
A2JavaScript and Lingo, may be used interchangeably in Director. While a substantial core of developers already know Lingo and will prefer to continue using it as their primary programming method, we understand and support the desire of newer developers to program in JavaScript, a language to which many are already accustomed. The enhanced script browser in Director 11 can save substantial programming time by breaking out the code and code snippets using the collapsible tree view to rapidly locate and work with complex scripts.
Director allows you to pass messages in and out of Flash movies with complete support for ActionScript 2 and support for newer Flash content through version 9.0.028.
  
Q3Can you explain to us how Flash contents can be embedded into Director 11, and what possibilities it brings?
A3The possibilities are endless. With Director 11 or a combination of Director 11 and the Adobe Shockwave¬ģ Player, users can author once and publish content for the Web, CDs/DVDs and the desktop simultaneously. This robust environment complements Adobe?s ecosystem of creative products, enabling users to add Adobe Flash¬ģ SWF files to Director projects, play them in Director and Shockwave, and easily edit video with Adobe Flash CS3 Professional. 
Users may embed Flash movies (*.swf) into the Director or Shockwave applications using versions of Flash up to 9.0.028.
  
Q4Director 11 now includes the PhysX engine. What new features does it convey? Does it mean that Havok will be depreciated?
A4The Ageia PhysXEngine offers real-world, dynamic interaction for games and simulations allowing for high impact interactive features. It is the only solution that enables users to easily create dynamic 3D applications that run smoothly - with no performance or stability issues.
Director 11 enhances the ability to develop fast action 3D interactive games and virtual products, with cost efficiency, cross-platform compatibility and superior browser plug-in penetration.
Havok physics support was actually deprecated in an earlier release. The Ageia engine offers some wonderful new features including super fast raycasting, six degree of freedom joints, and heightmaps. The concave rigid body collisions using the Ageia engine are particularly useful to 3D developers.
  
Q5Director's 3D engine has been updated to DirectX 9. Can we expect an increase in 3D performance? (i.e. use of multi-texturing, shaders...). Will overlapping 2D and 3D contents integrate better?
A5Users with support for DirectX 9 will get a noticeable improvement in the look and performance of content. Upgrades to the 3D engine have focused on provide solid support across the widest possible array of end user machines. Shockwave 3D games after all playback on 60% of all Internet connected machines. It is therefore very important that we provide support for as expansive a range of hardware as is possible in order to maximize the reach of our developer's content.
  
Q6 A lot of Adobe products now have 3D features. How do they communicate together? For instance is it possible to import a 3D model textured with Photoshop CS3 into Director 11? Can we capture a 3D object using Acrobat 3D and import it into Director 11?
A6Yes, though in general we expect that Director users will use a 3D modeling application from a third party in order to create, edit and attach shaders and textures as well as animations to their 3D content. The robust environment of Director 11 complements Adobe?s ecosystem of creative products, enabling users to author once and publish content for the Web, CDs/DVDs and the desktop simultaneously.
  
Q7Can projects created with older Director versions be imported easily into Director 11?
A7Director 11 includes a simple to use translate on load system for older projects. Most projects load and are translated into their Unicode compliant equivalents in just a few seconds. The application automatically detects the older content and guides the user in porting to the updated version.
This is the first version of Director to support Unicode, easing the way for localization of various projects. The system actually dynamically interprets the pre-Unicode content and converts it in order to relieve the developer of the burden.
  
Q8What are Adobe plans regarding Director in the future? Can Director still find its place in between Flash and Acrobat?
A8Adobe is committed to the Director 11 product and road map. Director is a powerful multimedia authoring tool for building interactive applications and rich content that compliments Adobe?s product line and ecosystem including Flash and Acrobat. In addition, Director 11 supports a wide variety of third-party add-ons creating the most extensible authoring environment possible.
The ease with which developers can extend Director to control external devices and perform any task imaginable has always made the product a favorite among developers. It also provides the most universally available browser based real-time 3D engine available today (Shockwave penetration is nearly 60%.) People have always turned to different multimedia development tools to meet the needs of their projects. We are confident that the unique set of tools available in Director meet the needs of many developers and that support for the product among developers will begin to flourish as developers realize that Adobe is firmly behind Director and Shockwave. This amazing product blazed the path for virtually every other multimedia development environment used today. We are committed to moving the product forward, expanding and refining its capabilities and helping all of our customers express their creativity without limitations.
Away3D
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 01/02/2008
 Q&AFabrice Closier
Away3D
feb. 2008
 

" [...] Au niveau des performances, je ne pense pas que nous pourrons obtenir des acc√©l√©rations suffisantes pour du tout 3D dans un avenir prochain, mais cela va surement changer. Une chose est certaine: Flash 3D is here to stay!"


< Away3D

  
Q1Il existe de nombreux moteurs 3D basés sur la technologie Flash, pourquoi vous êtes vous dirigé vers Away3D ?
A1

Il y a un peu plus d'un an, seulement une version AS2 de Sandy et un d√©but de Papervision √©taient en ligne. J'√©tais de mon cot√© sur le d√©veloppement d'un moteur 2D &3D exclusivement bas√© sur bitmapdata, ce moteur n'a jamais √©t√© rendu public, mais de nombreux concepts issus de ce moteur sont ou seront port√©s pour Away3D. Et puis lorsque Rob et Alex m'ont contact√©, je me suis dit que ce serait beaucoup plus int√©ressant et surtout plus marrant de travailler en √©quipe plut√īt que d'√™tre tout seul. Jamais je n'aurais pens√© avoir autant de plaisir sur ce projet, surtout √† la vue des productions faites par nos utilisateurs.

  
Q2Les contraintes en nombre de polygones sont-elles importantes avec Away3D ? Est-ce que cela bride la créativité ?
A2

Oui, mais ce n'est pas un probl√®me sp√©cifique d'Away3D, c'est un probl√®me de Flash3D en g√©n√©ral. Cela veut donc dire bien pr√©voir un projet et en particulier √™tre tr√®s cr√©atif pour obtenir les meilleurs r√©sultats. Les designers de leur c√īt√© ont aussi beaucoup √† faire.
D'un point de vue technique, le probl√®me n'est pas le nombre de polygones proprement dit, mais plut√īt la mani√®re dont ils sont dispos√©s sur l'√©cran.
Donc en fait, il faut trouver un équilibre entre texture et géométrie. Ceci s'applique surtout sur les environnements 3D, du type "first person shooter".

  
Q3Pour se familiariser avec Away3D combien de temps est il nécessaire pour un programmeur Flash ?
A3Cette question est facile: pour un programmeur connaissant AS3, je garantis moins d'une heure pour pouvoir comprendre les bases et d√©j√† obtenir des r√©sultats visibles sur √©cran. De plus, si la personne vient de Papervision 2.0. beta cela sera d'autant plus facile puisque la version 2 de ce moteur utilise une synthaxe similaire √† la notre. Le plus gros effort pour la plupart sera de penser avec une extra dimension et bien s√Ľr, se familiariser avec AS3.
  
Q4Les moteurs 3D en Flash permettent de faire des effets importants sur les textures ou les scènes 3D, comment se situe Away3D à ce niveau ?
A4Si vous avez suivi les d√©veloppements l'ann√©e pr√©c√©dente, vous avez s√Ľrement d√©j√† pu constater que beaucoup de "premi√®res" ont √©t√© r√©alis√©es par le team d'Away3D. dot3, directional phong, mat√©riaux anim√©s acc√©l√©r√©s, tiling etc... plut√īt que d'offrir une beta inutilisable pour les professionnels ou trop inaccessible pour les d√©butants, nous optons pour une release graduelle. Cela permet de tester plus profond√©ment et de ne pas perdre de temps √† debugger une version temporaire. Actuellement en version 1.9.4, nous esp√©rons pouvoir offrir une version 2.0 robuste avec plein de nouvelles options dans les prochaines semaines.
  
Q5Comment voyez-vous l'avenir des moteurs "Flash 3D"?
A5Le plus gros challenge sera √† mon avis de permettre de faire des projects dans un temps moindre de production. Cela veut donc dire, avoir des outils pour permettre de travailler correctement et un moteur suffisament intelligent pour comprendre ces outils. Etendre les possibilit√©es des moteurs, de l'√©ducation, du design 3D... bref pas de quoi s'ennuyer en Flash3D! 
Au niveau des performances, je ne pense pas que nous pourrons obtenir des accélérations suffisantes pour du tout 3D dans un avenir prochain, mais cela va surement changer. Une chose est certaine: Flash 3D is here to stay!
  
Q6Les agences utilisant Flash ont rarement des compétance en 3D, pensez-vous que Away3D est dédié à une élite ?
A6Effectivement actuellement, pour beaucoup, les trois moteurs, PV, Sandy et Away3d ne sont accessibles qu'à ceux aillant une
bonne base AS3 et une certaine cr√©ativit√©. Alors d'un c√īt√©, nous sommes synonyme d'embauche, puisque ces agences devront avoir un personnel sp√©cialis√© pour ce genre de projet. Mais dans la plus grande partie des cas, je pense que les impl√©mentations seront du type 2.5D, donc tr√®s proche du travail Flash habituel. Pour le d√©veloppement d'Away3D, nous sommes toujours √† l'√©coute de nos utilisateurs et essayons dans les limites du possible d'offrir des r√©ponses solides pour leurs requettes. Nous venons aussi de mettre sur pied un syst√®me de documentation en ligne de maniere √† offrir des tutoriaux, exemples... Mon francais n'est plus ce qu'il √©tait, mais je vous invite √† nous rejoindre pour d'√©ventuelles questions sur notre forum. (http://away3d.com/join-the-away3d-group).
Sandy3D
Soumit par Administrateur le samedi, 01/02/2008
 Q&ASandy3D
Thomas Pfeiffer
fev. 2008
 

"Sandy est capable de gérer environ 5000 polygones selon la machine cliente (car pas d'utilisation GPU, seul le CPU est utilisé dans flash), des billboards et billboards orientés (modèle pré-rendu que le moteur va intégrer en choisissant la meilleure frame selon la position de la camera). Sandy permet aussi des effets graphiques intéressants comme l'éclairage de Gouraud, Phong, le cell shading,."

< Sandy 3D

  
Q1Il y a beaucoup d'effervescence autour de Flash 3D. Quelles sont les raisons ?
A1Le player flash possède un fort taux de pénétration et cela à toujours été le cas, même après les récentes grosses évolutions.
Aujourd'hui présent dans plus de 90% des ordinateurs, Flash est une plateforme excellente pour le développement d'application internet.
Depuis flash player 9, les performances du player Flash se sont vues décuplées. Ce fantastique bond en avant a rapidement permis d'envisager la création de jeux de qualité, et de par ce fait de se pencher sur la 3D. C'est aussi un vieux rêve de développeur Flash d'apporter de la navigation 3D sur internet.
Aujourd'hui les premiers moteurs 3D Flash permettent de réaliser ces vieux rêves et bien plus encore. La 3D est un réel atout pour la création de sites webs, donnant une réelle immersion à la navigation sur internet.
Depuis peu avoir une navigation 3D est devenu un phénomène de mode, parfois en depis d'unen réel interêt d'utilisation de la 3D. Nous verrons si cela va durer ou non dans les prochaines années.
  
Q2Depuis combien de temps Sandy3D existe ? Comment s'est passé la génèse de Sandy3D ?
A2J'ai commenc√© √† parler de Sandy en Juin 2005 avec des gens de la communaut√© Mediabox. Je m'amusais depuis longtemps avec la 3D sous Flash, et je souhaitais passer √† l'√©tape sup√©rieure, offrir un vrai moteur 3D √† la communaut√©, avec une vraie API et une vraie documentation (ce qui n'avais jamais √©t√© fait encore). J'ai donc commenc√© ce projet en ayant beaucoup d'aide par ci par l√†., cr√©ation du logo, cr√©ation du site, refl√©xion sur l'API etc. Ce projet voulait vraiment √™tre bas√© sur la communaut√©, il √©tait donc logique d'en faire un projet open source. Etant alors √©tudiant en √©cole d'ing√©nieur, ce projet m'a permis de faire une mise en pratique de mes connaissances. 
La première version de Sandy se fut en Octobre 2005, et déjà, les nouvelles possibilités avaient été très appréciées de la communauté.
Sandy a eu du mal à passer à l'AS3 (donc cibler le flash player 9) du fait d'un manque de développeurs, mais depuis le 21 Septembre 2007 cette étape a été franchie. Depuis je cherche à monter une vraie équipe de développement. Nous sommes aujourd'hui 6 membres actifs et recevons régulièrement de l'aide ponctuelle et des contributions diverses.
  
Q3Le player Flash impose l'usage de modèles 3D très simplifiés, cela ne réduit-il pas l'intérêt des moteurs 3d en Flash ?
A3Effectivement travailler la 3D en Flash demande √† travailler en low-polys. Mais l'int√™ret de la 3D n'est pas simplement du au fait d'etre capable d'afficher 1.000.000 de polygones, mais bel et bien d'apporter un nouveau mode de visualisation des donn√©es (je pense √† aux photos, vid√©os) et de navigation (r√©elle immersion). Pour moi, c'est plut√īt √ßa le vrai web 2.0 ;-)
En revanche cela devient plus restrictif en ce qui concerne la réalisation de jeux. Mais la force des jeux flash tient plus à l'innovation en terme de gameplay plus qu'en terme de performance. Et la 3D peut apporter un petit plus aux plus imaginatifs.
  
Q4Quelles sonts les principales charactéristiques de Sandy3D ?
A4Je voulais rendre Sandy le plus accessible et le plus flexible possible. Je me suis donc inspiré de Java3D pour l'API.
Mais le monde du flash étant composé d'artistes mélangeant graphisme et code, cela était trop difficile à apprendre. Aujourd'hui un réel effort à été fait pour rendre Sandy facile à appréhender et à utiliser.
Sandy peut gérer différents formats, tels que l'ASE, le Collada et 3DS. Dans un futur proche des librairies vont permettre de gérer objets animés, ce qui n'est pas le cas de Sandy à l'heure d'aujourd'hui.
Sandy est capable de gérer environ 5000 polygones selon la machine cliente (car pas d'utilisation GPU, seul le CPU est utilisé dans flash), des billboards et billboards orientés (modèle pré-rendu que le moteur va intégrer en choisissant la meilleure frame selon la position de la camera). Sandy permet aussi des effets graphiques intéressants comme l'éclairage de Gouraud, Phong, le cell shading,.
Sandy est facilement extensible, et cela permet de voir appara√ģtre des projets annexes comme Extralight, RedSandy (m√©lange Sandy et Red5 serveur) et WOW (moteur physique) et bien d'autres √† venir.
  
Q5En matière de rendu, Sandy3D supporte t-il des fonctions comme le texture correction, l'antialiasing ?
A5Sandy ne gère pas cela en soit. Sandy utilisant touts les routines de tracés du player flash (utilisant un rendu vectorial), Sandy bénéficie de la qualité de rendu du player. Cette qualité (jouant sur l'antialisaing en autre) peut être modifiée dynamiquement.
Flash ne permet pas en revanche d'avoir une correction native de la perspective lors du mapping. Cela est rendu possible dans Sandy par une approximation de la perspective.
  
Q6Pour quelqu'un de novice en Flash, comment appréhender Sandy3D ?
A6Nous fournissons une grande série de tutoriaux avec code source et fichiers d'exemples à chaque fois.. Chacun des tutoriel permet d'aborder une fonctionnalité particulière. Des tutoriaux vidéos commencent à arriver, et nous allons essayer d'en rajouter plus encore dans l'avenir proche.
Sandy possède aussi un forum qui devient une bonne source d'information et un vrai support d'entraide permettant d'éclaircir certains points de la documentation .
La seule chose qui est nécessaire est d'avoir les outils de développement flash, certains open sources et gratuits, existants. Il reste à apprendre l'actionscript 2.0 ou 3.0 (Sandy est disponible pour les 2)
Ce langage ressemblant au Java et à la plupart des langages orienté objets, cet apprentissage se fait assez facilement (beaucoup de ressources disponibles sur le net).
  
Q7Pensez-vous que les performances 3D brutes vont enfin décoller avec Astro le prochain player Flash ?
A7Tout ce que je peux dire c'est qu'Adobe travaille dessus comme nous le montre les vidéos de présentation d'Astro.
  
Q8Existe-t-il une émulation entre les différentes équipes développant des moteurs 3D Flash ? Partagez vous vos avancées ?
A8Oui l'arrivée de nouveaux moteurs a tout d'abord été un coup dur. Car je pensais que mon approche communautaire et open source permettrait de regrouper les efforts de la 3D pour Flash, et ainsi permettre d'avancer rapidement avec une direction commune.
Malheureusement cela ne s'est pas passé ainsi et certains ont préféré bénéficier créer d'autres projets en refusant ma proposition de collaboration. Un certain interêt commercial a expliqué cela après coup.
Aujourd'hui cela ne nous empêche pas d'avoir de très bon échanges avec Away3D, un autre moteur constitué d'une équipe de passionnés. Ce rapprochement nous permet d'échanger sur les dernières avancées et cela est vraiment bénéfique pour tout le monde.
Papervision
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/01/2008
 Q&APapervision3D 
Carlos Ulloa
jan. 2008
 

"Papervision started as my personal project, originally created with the goal of using it in commercial websites. The first versions of the engine came out of different sites I worked on at the time. I started using it all the time, so I packaged it with a simple API.
At this point, it was clear the engine would benefit from other people's input. It wouldn't have evolved the way it did, if I had tried to make money of it. The objective was to improve the engine, and the best way to do that is going Open Source.
"

< Papervision in action

  
Q1Today, lots of 3D content are being developed with Flash. Did you expect that Papervision would start such a massive trend?
A1I've been doing commercial work using PV3D for two years now and I've seen the reaction of many creatives and clients. People just love realtime 3D. That's something I learned when doing games. I believe we have just scratched the surface and the best is still to come. There's many talented people working hard to create new Papervision3D experiences, including myself.
  
Q2Flash-powered 3D evolves in a surprising way: the polygon count remains extremely constrained whereas advanced effects are already supported (i.e. Depth of Field, Normal Map). Why does 3D for Flash follow such an evolution?
A2Flash was never conceived to support 3D, it's just starting now, whereas Adobe has been putting lot of effort in visual effects. That might be one reason. Another one could be that some of the techniques and effects were created before in other platforms like the Amiga.
  
Q3Examples of 3D Flash content found around the Web show a great deal of creativity. In your opinion, what does account for this?
A3Well, you've got a whole new dimension to play with! Now you can do in Flash lots of things you couldn't do before. It's clear there was many talented people waiting for the tools to express themselves.
  
Q4The PaperVision project seems to be seriously backed by Adobe. Why?
A4I think Adobe is putting a lot of effort in listening to their community, and in this case the community was shouting loud and clear.
  
Q5What kind of relationship do you have with developers of other 3D engines for Flash? (i.e. Away3D, Sandy)
A5An excellent one. The three teams are doing a great job in bringing 3D to Flash, and exploring different ways too, which I believe is very positive for the future of 3D in the web. There's a fluent communication between us and also a healthy competition.
  
Q6The last practical problem with Flash for 3D is to reach a triangle count of 10 000+. Do you think that it can happen soon? Adobe helped to increase performance by enabling texture filtering. Will they be adding basic 3D hardware support? (i.e. triangle setup)
A6From what was revealed from Astro at MAX Chicago, we can expect much better performance in Flash Player 10.
  
Q7PaperVision keeps improving rapidly. What are the next steps in the roadmap?
A7Our next goal is 2.0 Beta. The Alpha release was very well received, and it's being tested to death by our community. There are many features we want to add after 2.0, including Flash Player 10 support. There's currently nine people in the team, and each of us is already thinking on new ways to improve the engine. And of course, we are in constant review, fixing bugs and trying to optimize every single line of code.
  
Q8PaperVision is an Open Source project, and supports the open COLLADA file format. What brought you to the Open Source philosophy rather than a commercial approach?
A8Papervision started as my personal project, originally created with the goal of using it in commercial websites. The first versions of the engine came out of different sites I worked on at the time. I started using it all the time, so I packaged it with a simple API.
At this point, it was clear the engine would benefit from other people's input. It wouldn't have evolved the way it did, if I had tried to make money of it. The objective was to improve the engine, and the best way to do that is going Open Source.
Regarding COLLADA, it's the most compatible format with 3D packages as well as being free for commercial use. 
I love the philosophy behind Open Source, "code developed by developers for developers", it certainly has made my life easier.
  
Q9Do you think Flash will soon be able to run full-featured 3D games?
A9I do indeed.
Q10 Can we expect PaperVision to run on embedded devices anytime soon?
A10 That's going to take a bit more time, as I don't believe the hardware is ready yet.
Ogre3D
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/01/2008
 Q&AOgre3D
Steve Streeting, Torus Knot Software
january 2008
 

"[...] a number of larger hardware and services companies are realising that open source has a lot of advantages over closed software, particularly if they have business models that don't revolve around selling units of software - the Internet has a lot to do with this, as people move to a more service-delivery culture."

< images courtesy incrediblebox.com
© 2008 Incredible Box / HFI DTC / Aerosystems International

  
Q1You are the founder of Ogre3D project. Can you tell us how the developer community appeared and grew?
A1It really just grew organically, initially by news on places like GameDev.net, then by wider news coverage in print magazines (including Game Developer) and more mainstream places like Gamasutra, but really now word of mouth is our best referrer. There are enough people now who have used Ogre and liked it, that they tell their friends who try it to and hopefully come to the same conclusion. We try to provide the facilities for a vibrant community, such as hosting community add-ons, a fast dedicated server for the site, promoting moderators and experts in the community, and generally just managing the environment and encouraging people to get involved. We try to be professional, responsive and open, which helps build a solid community.
  
Q2There are many realtime 3D engines available. How does Ogre3D stand from the crowd?
A2Ogre has always tried to concentrate on quality, stability, flexibility, wide application compatibility and keeping a strong graphics focus. We don't try to be a game engine or anything else which would pull our focus too wide to give every element the attention it deserves - we believe that the power of open software development is in very strongly focussed, high quality components that can be integrated with others of the developers choice. So you'll find lots of community add-on projects integrating Ogre with all kinds of other software, from physics engines to GUI components, augmented reality systems to CAVE. We also take code stability and quality very seriously, and our release structure reflects that - we typically do one major release every year with all the new features, and maintenance releases every 4-8 weeks so people have a solid platform to build production applications on, that doesn't change under their feet all the time. Of course, people who want to be on the cutting edge can be, since our development branch is generally stable anyway and is accessible to all, but there's a guaranteed stable option for those that want it. I think these 2 things set up apart from some of the alternatives out there, which is why you see a big range in the kind of apps being made using Ogre and also see quite a lot of commercial applications using it.
  
Q3Do you exchange ideas with other Open Source projects such as OSG or Irrlicht? What do you think of those initiatives?
A3Yes, I know some of the developers of Irrlicht, CrystalSpace and others - we all have a slightly different focus and I think each project has its own particular audience. I don't use any other engines personally but the real test is the community; so long as there's a community around a project, then it must be doing the right thing for that particular community. There's no such thing as a 'best' engine, each one has aspects of it that will attract a particular group of people. I think there's room for all of us :-)
  
Q4You run a consulting company, TorusKnot Software. What kind of professional services do you offer?
A4We offer consultancy, contract development, support - basically if the resources available for free in the community aren't enough (and for most people, they are), we're a fallback where a company can approach us for extra assistance. This might be because they have a particularly specific issue they need addressing quickly, or want some feature developed for them, or they want something investigated and cannot post details on the public forum because of NDAs or other commercially sensitive issues. In addition, we also offer an alternative license for Ogre for people who cannot or do not want to comply with the LGPL conditions in their particular circumstances.
  
Q5Do business executives consider Open Source engines as serious alternatives to proprietary software?
A5Increasingly, yes. Some sectors have always been very proprietary software oriented (e.g. the mainstream game industry), but the smaller start-up companies are always looking at ways to do things faster and more effectively for a given budget, and open source brings a lot to the table. Also, a number of larger hardware and services companies are realising that open source has a lot of advantages over closed software, particularly if they have business models that don't revolve around selling units of software - the Internet has a lot to do with this, as people move to a more service-delivery culture. I think over time we'll just see more of this.
  
Q6How is the Ogre3D project managed? How are the orientations decided?
A6I still lead the core project, and what gets worked on in the core tends to go through me still, in terms of 'approval' - I don't implement all of it, of course, we have several team members and many external contributors, but people do tend to consult me about proposed approaches which is nice. The items which go on the planning list are a mixture of things the team has thought of, and things that the community have raised - and we really value the ideas of people 'in the trenches' using Ogre in real products and coming back with ideas of how to make it slicker. Apart from the core project, there are lots of add-ons which are all run pretty independently by their respective maintainers - we encourage them to run in whatever direction makes sense to them. That's a benefit of keeping the core tightly focussed and solid, it means we can operate a 'satellite' system like this where so long as the core is rigorously maintaned in terms of structure and quality, all kinds of cool things can go on around the edges and the best stuff tends to rise to the surface. You couldn't run the whole project like that, because everything would be too independent and changing all the time for people to rely on it, but having a core stable nucleus with elements around it able to change more freely is quite a powerful model I think, and one which many other successful open source projects (Linux, Apache) use to good effect.
  
Q7Cross-platform formats such as Collada and FBX are becoming widespread. Will Ogre support these formats?
A7We already do, but we don't consider file format support a 'core feature' - they're just sources of data. Ogre has its own core format, that allows us to optimise that and provide tools to do things like calculate edge lists, LOD and tangents offline and have them all there ready to go at runtime for optimum speed, but of course you can source the data that becomes that optimal runtime format from anywhere you like. There are exporters for modelling tools and converters for an awful lot of formats, including Collada. People can use those to convert data offline (which most people do), or convert at runtime if they're willing to take the hit. That's just a conversion process and we have plugins and other code to do that - it's a 'satellite' feature as far as we're concerned, we don't care where model data comes from so long as it can be turned into visual data. To include support for 20 different formats in the core would just bloat it for everyone - instead we have a single optimal core format, and external systems for feeding data into that as optional extras, should you want them.
  
Q8Can you unveil some future features of Ogre3D?
A8In the next major version we offer things like hardware sRGB support, antialising on render textures, DirectX10 support, a more flexible script compiler system for materials, enhanced tangent generation tools for higher quality normal mapping, and more. Most of these you can already get by using the CVS version, Dx10 support isn't finished yet though.
Nelson Games (JSR 184)
Soumit par Administrateur le vendredi, 01/11/2007
 Q&AG. Kvoelkl
Nelson Games
nov. 2007
 

 

 

"The basic features will be collision detection and rigid body dynamics. In addition you can simulate rigid body that use gravity, links or other constraints. There will be rag dolls, cloth or vehicle Dynamic. We only want to define a free API for game physics for Java ME, because there is no available."

< Nelson Games

Q1On your website http://www.nelson-games.de/ there are a lot of resources about 3D on mobile phones. Could you please give a brief
description of those projects ?
A1At the moment there are two active projects: The first one is an export script. You can export 3d models from Blender into
M3g graphic files. M3g is a special format, that is defined by the 3D API JSR 184 for Java mobile phones. So you can use Blender to do animations and modelling for your mobile phone application. The second project is very new one called NOPE. It is a definition of a game physics API for mobile phones. You can do some physics without programming all the stuff yourself. Some samples will be available next year.
  
Q2Are Mobile phone ready to display 3D graphics ?
A2Yes, the new ones are. If you buy a average phone at the moment, it can do 3D with software. So it is not to fast, but it works. If you buy a multimedia phone, that will do it with Hardware and could be about so fast like the first playstation. Most phones assist M3G API and the newest ones OpenGL ES, too.
  
Q3You have developed a physic engine API, what are the main features ?
A3We didn't developed the physic engine API until now. We are defining the API at the moment. The basic features will be collision detection and rigid body dynamics. In addition you can simulate rigid body that use gravity, links or other constraints. There will be rag dolls, cloth or vehicle Dynamic. We only want to define a free API for game physics for Java ME, because there is no available. And we will do a reference implementation. But everyone can do a more sophisticated implementation or a hardware implementation.
  
Q4About Blender Eport for J2ME, what kind of 3D data are exported (mesh, texture, animation, bones, materials) ?
A4All that are assisted by M3G API. That are meshes, materials, lights, textures, animation, cameras, bones and so on at the moment. In the next version there will be procedural textures, lines, points, ...
  
Q5What do you think of Google's Android initiative, with the use of standards such as Linux, Java and OpenGLES?
A5There are many 'standards' in the domain of programming mobile phones. The most phones use the same operating system called Symbian. So its a standard. You can use Java ME to program the most mobile phones. There are many standard APIs, defined
by JSR Groups, so everybody can use it. The newer phones assist OpenGL ES and other 3D APIs like M3G JSR 184, too.
As fare as I understand it. Google defined there own Java API on a special version of Linux. I think it is okay, that Google tries to get a part of the mobile phone market. I like Google. But if you don't have the device manufacturars on your side, it will be hard. I will wish that they assist more standard APIs like M3G JSR 184.
  
Q6On wich mobile phone can you deploy 3D contents created with your tools ?
A6On all Java ME compatible mobile phones that assist the standard M3G API (JSR 184)
Flash Astro
Soumit par Administrateur le vendredi, 01/11/2007
 Q&AAdobe Systems
Justin Everett Church, Mobility Content Developer, Adobe 
Nov . 2007
 

 

"We are always working to improve the performance of subsequent versions of Flash Player and we try to address all the issues and feedback our developer community gives us. For example, with the upcoming update to Adobe Flash Player 9, Papervision3D and other content will gain significant performance benefits from the mipmapping feature as well as full screen hardware scaling."

<3D in Astro

  
Q1During MAX 2007 conference, Adobe has revealed some new exciting features of Astro (the code name of the next version of Flash Player). Could you please give a brief summary of these new features?
A1A few new features that we discussed in the preview of Astro, the code name for the next version of Adobe Flash Player, include advanced text layout, 3D effects and custom filters, blend modes and other new effects.

It's expected that Astro will support advanced text layout capabilities, including support for bidirectional languages and complex scripts, such as Arabic, Hebrew and Thai, through a new layout engine and APIs. Adobe is also developing a library of ActionScript-based text layout components based on these new APIs to provide easy-to-integrate features, such as multi-column layout of editable text that automatically reflows, wrapping around inline images, and handling tables. With this new architecture, text becomes an extensible part of Adobe Flash Player -- new text layout features can be delivered without requiring a new player release.

The 3D APIs will add a new dimension to content and interfaces by extending familiar Flash metaphors to position display objects in 3D space. These new APIs will provide an integrated, straightforward way to easily achieve 3D effects while delivering full interactivity and great performance for ever more immersive user experiences.

Additionally, we expect to go beyond the built-in filters and effects of the current Adobe Flash Player by leveraging a new high-performance image processing language, code named "Hydra," which will allow developers and the community to create their own filters and effects. Custom effects can be combined with existing native filters for unprecedented creative control and added to applications without any Flash Player update. The Adobe Image Foundation Toolkit Technology Preview on Adobe Labs<http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/AIF_Toolkit> has more information to begin learning how to develop and share your custom filters, effects and blend modes in the Hydra language.
  
Q2Speaking about 3D, do you plan to offer a full featured 3D engine or only 3D for visual FX?
A2In Astro we are adding perspective transformation of display objects. By supporting ActionScript APIs for positioning, rotating, and animating 2D content in ways that are consistent with current workflows, we are focusing on making 3D effects easy to create and use for both designers and developers.
  
Q3It seems that the Flash community is waiting for 3D capabilities, do you think Flash is the right platform for 3D on the Internet?
A3Adobe Flash Player enables many types of content on the web. Adobe Flash Player 9 and ActionScript 3.0 added features and performance improvements that have let many community-driven projects, such as PaperVision3D, add to what is possible with Flash Player. In this case, the community did not need to wait for 3D capabilities to be added to Flash Player, but built a great way of making full 3D experiences part of Flash-based experiences.
  
Q4Will the next release of Flash improve the performances of existing Flash 3D engines such as PaperVision 3D?
A4We are always working to improve the performance of subsequent versions of Flash Player and we try to address all the issues and feedback our developer community gives us. For example, with the upcoming update to Adobe Flash Player 9, Papervision3D and other content will gain significant performance benefits from the mipmapping feature as well as full screen hardware scaling.
  
Q5Could you please explain what is the role of AIF (Adobe Image Foundation)?
A5Adobe Image Foundation (AIF) is a new imaging and effects technology that developers can use to create their own filters for Adobe Flash Player. Adobe has made a pre-release version of the AIF Toolkit available on Adobe Labs http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/AIF_Toolkit, which includes a high-performance graphics programming language that Adobe is developing for image processing, code named Hydra, and an application to create, compile and preview Hydra filters and effects. The toolkit contains a specification for the Hydra language, several sample filters, and sample images provided by AIF team members. The AIF technology delivers a common image and video processing infrastructure which provides automatic runtime optimization on heterogeneous hardware. It currently ships in After Effects CS3 and will be used in other Adobe products in the future. Astro will leverage Hydra to enable developers to create custom filters, effects and blend modes.
  
Q6  What is the Hydra language, is it a shader language such as cG, or OpenGL ES?
A6 Hydra is a pixel shader language used to implement image processing algorithms in a hardware-independent manner. Some benefits of Hydra include a syntax familiar to Adobe Flash developers, which is based on GLSL (C-based); it will allow the same filter to run efficiently on different GPU and CPU architectures, including multi-core and multiprocessor systems; Hydra will abstracts out the complexity of executing on heterogeneous hardware, as well as support 3rd-party creation and sharing of filters and effects, and deliver excellent image processing performance in all Adobe products that support it.
  
Q7What about the 3D performances? Does Astro leverage a software or a hardware rendering engine?
A7With Adobe Flash Player installed on over 99% of computers on the web, the Flash Player team has made it a priority to strike a balance between increasing the performance of Flash Player with the need to have Flash Player run well on a wide variety of machines. In each version of Flash Player we evaluate a variety of technology choices that advance our goals of high performance and cross-platform consistency.
  
Q8Adobe has two applications that can display interactive 3D contents
(i.e. Acrobat and Director). Is there any link between those technologies and Flash 3D capabilities?
A8For Astro we are concentrating on perspective transform of 2D objects to make high-impact, easy to create 3D experiences. As designer and developers begin to use these capabilities we look forward to exploring additional opportunities for using Adobe technologies to provide our customers with new creative options.
Westimages
Soumit par Administrateur le vendredi, 01/11/2007
 Q&AWestimages Consulting
François Bruneau Ingénieur
Nov. 2007
 

 

"Nous proposons √† nos clients d'√©tendre le rayonnement de la maquette num√©rique √† de nombreux d√©partements : marketing, maintenance, support. Les offres packag√©es de type PLM couvrent un certain nombre de besoins, mais elles ne font pas tout ! C'est pourquoi nous mettons au service de nos clients industriels toute notre cr√©ativit√© et notre expertise."

< Configurateur 3D développé par Westimages

  
Q1Brève présentation de Westimages.
A1Westimages est une agence spécialisée dans la visualisation 3D temps réel et les média interactifs. Nous avons deux axes d'activité : la création de contenus 3D temps réel et le conseil. Nos services s'adressent à des entreprises de toutes tailles : parmi nos clients nous comptons des TPE, PME, et de grandes sociétés. Nous sommes présents depuis 2000 et sommes responsables du contenu éditorial du portail 3d-test.
  
Q2En quoi vos services peuvent-il aider les entreprises ?
A2Aujourd'hui la 3D temps r√©el est un m√©dia pertinent pour diffuser l'information. C'est pourquoi elle est de plus en plus pr√©sente dans la formation, la communication, l'aide √† la prise de d√©cision... Depuis une d√©cenie, les entreprises ont constitu√© une base importante de donn√©es num√©riques 3D de leurs produits. Savoir exploiter et adapter ces donn√©es d'ing√©nierie devient un enjeu comp√©titif (r√©duction du "time-to-market", am√©lioration de la connaissance produit...). C'est pourquoi les entreprises industrielles sont sensibles aux d√©marches de gestion du cycle de vie d'un produit (Product Lifecycle Management). Nous proposons √† ces entreprises d'√©tendre le rayonnement de la maquette num√©rique √† de nombreux d√©partements : marketing, maintenance, support. Les offres packag√©es de type PLM couvrent un certain nombre de besoins, mais elles ne font pas tout ! C'est pourquoi nous mettons au service de nos clients industriels toute notre cr√©ativit√© et notre expertise.
  
Q3Il existe de nombreuses technologies, comment réalisez-vous vos préconisations ?
A3Le marché de la 3D temps réel est composé d'acteurs de tailles très diverses : de petites agences qui développent un moteur 3D à des éditeurs de très grande taille. Nous observons les stratégies de ces acteurs et analysons leurs produits depuis 8 ans. Pour guider nos clients, nous nous appuyons sur cette veille technologique et sur des tests concrets. Notre méthodologie vise à mettre en évidence les solutions logicielles les plus adaptées au besoin de nos clients. Nous veillons à rester pragmatiques et à accompagner les entrepises si elles le souhaitent en matière de formation, de définition de workflow.
  
Q4Les acteurs de la 3D temps réel ont connus de fortes désillusions ces dernières années, comment se porte le marché aujourd'hui ?
A4Si nous considérons le marché "Web3D" initié en 1994 avec le VRML, il est vrai que nous avons depuis assisté à une grande agitation. Entre 2001 et 2004, de nombreux acteurs de faible taille ont cessé leur activité ; à partir de 2005 des acteurs de premier rang ont affiné leurs stratégies dans ce domaine : IBM, Adobe, Microsoft, Google... La croissance du marché du PLM dope les investissements dans la 3D. Il reste malgré tout de nombreuses interrogations autour de l'avenir de la 3D interactive : certains voient des communautés 3D fleurir partout sur la toile, d'autres misent sur les interfaces 3D, le travail collaboratif, la géolocalisation...
  
Q5Westimages conseille-t-il également sur les technologies Open Source ?
A5

Nous n'avons aucun pr√©jug√© et √©valuons toutes les technologies, c'est le lietmotiv de Westimages. L'Open Source se d√©veloppe sur pratiquement tous les secteurs logiciels : les syst√®mes d'exploitation, le middleware, les langages... La 3D n'√©chappe bien s√Ľr pas √† cette r√®gle ! Historiquement, les technologies du Web3D Consortium (VRML, X3D) sont exemptes de redevances et disposent d'impl√©mentations sous licences de type GPL.
Les principaux changements entre l'Open Source et les solutions propri√©taires concernent les co√Ľts d'acquisition, le support technique, les licences d'utilisation et l'acc√®s aux sources. En France, nous constatons que les entreprises sont encore m√©fiantes par rapport √† l'Open Source en mati√®re de 3D. En revanche, aux Etats-Unis nous assistons √† un engouement certain pour l'Open Source (Naval Postgraduate school a choisit la technologie OpenSource Delta 3D). La tendance actuelle est une cohabitation entre solutions propri√©taires et Open Source. D'ailleurs, les √©diteurs de solutions propri√©taires √† l'instar de Microsoft ou Adobe introduisent une dose d'ouverture dans leurs logiciels (exemple : Adobe).

  
Q6  Il y a eu de nombreux efforts de standardisation ou d'ouvertures en mati√®re de formats 3D. Que cela change t-il pour les utilisateurs ?
A6

Des initiatives telles que le VRML, X3D, Collada, U3D, JT Open, 3D XAML (...) ont pour objectif de définir des formats de données 3D pour l'échange, la publication, la sauvegarde... Certains utilisateurs sont sensibles à ces initiatives. En effet, les formats propriétaires ont tendance à placer les utilisateurs dans une dépendance vis à vis d'un acteur unique. Aujourd'hui, les éditeurs ont compris qu'ils devaient s'ouvrir aux environnements hétérogènes de leurs clients. L'ouverture devient donc un argument commercial. Mais attention, il convient de veiller à ce l'on entend par "ouverture", et préciser si elle concerne le SDK (Software Development Kit), les spécifications, la compression, etc.

La multitude de formats dits "ouverts" n'aboutit pas - de fait - √† un standard. Dans ce contexte, il convient de bien √©tudier la pertinence de ces formats dans le workflow de l'entreprise. Notre r√īle de conseil est de sensibiliser nos clients √† ces probl√©matiques.

  
Q7

Quel est le périmètre d'expertise de Westimages ?

A7

Par rapport à une gestion de cycle de vie d'un produit, nous intervenons en amont de la CAO (études, design) et dans la phase d'exploitation (support, communication, formation...). Ainsi nous réalisons des simulateurs, démonstrateurs, configurateurs et autres présentations 3D. En marge de ces activités, nous avons une activité R&D riche qui traite de sujets tels que l'ergonomie et les techniques de visualisation.

Quest3D 4.0
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 01/10/2007
 Q&AQuest3D
Act 
3D
Oct. 2007
 

"COLLADA import. This also enables run time import of models. So you can load COLLADA files into a finished and published application. It will import multiple texture stages, Skinning, animation and lights.

New physics engine. This engine is a huge upgrade over the old one. It has much more features and the performance is better. There are now more collision shapes, more joint types and better feedback and control over the physics simulation..."

< Quest3D 4.0

  
Q1What are the main new feature of Quest3D 4.0?
A1

COLLADA import. This also enables run time import of models. So you can load COLLADA files into a finished and published application. It will import multiple texture stages, Skinning, animation and lights.

New physics engine. This engine is a huge upgrade over the old one. It has much more features and the performance is better. There are now more collision shapes, more joint types and better feedback and control over the physics simulation.

Weather and atmosphere system. This system easily allows you to create an atmosphere based on date, time of day and location on earth. It also includes cloud configurations, rain, fog, lightning, wind and new functions for ocean water.

Object oriented programming. This is a big one. It basically changes the way Quest3D projects are created. It also has some positive influence on performance. This system completely replaces the current array system, channel caller and hybrid channels systems and replaces it with a very robust easy to manage structuring system.

  
Q2When will it be available, is there any new price policy?
A2The pricing policy is currently not to increase the price and upgrades will be available for approximately 33% of the full price. Release is scheduled this year although we will release it only when it is done. This is a very important release because it changes a huge part of how Quest3D projects are created. We do not want to rush this version.
  
Q3Act3D were present at the Siggraph. Are 3D artists interested in realtime 3D?
A3Yes. Many of them are. Slowly real-time 3D starts to gain momentum. There is more and more demand for real-time 3D and 3D artist also recognize that this is a new development that is both interesting and necessary to pursue. Rapidly new uses are emerging that are completely new or complementary to current non-real-time techniques. I also see that most 3D artist find it very exciting to be able to interact and maneuver inside their art.
  
Q4There are many areas involving Realtime 3D, what is the main focus of Quest3D?
A4Quest3D?s main focus is to create a general purpose real-time 3D platform. With Quest3D 4.0 we have reached most of the things we might require from a platform so this focus will change in the future. Quest3D in its current form will remain and new spin-off products will start to appear. These products will focus more on content, application and ease of use than the current technically focused product. The first direction will be something in architecture, construction and design visualization.
  
Q5What are the relationship between Quest3D and the users?
A5There are many relationships. Some users are die hard fans that keep pressing F5 on our forum page if they are not sleeping or on the toilet. In general the user community is very friendly and we try to communicate with our users in the most personal way we can. As the company grows bigger this becomes more and more difficult but we believe that in the end the user makes or breaks a product. Many good ideas have sprung from the community and even if we do not use their ideas directly in a product we still incorporate all the information we can get into our next program design.
  
Q6Quest3D can generate very sophiscated application. What is the learning curves? Is there any sucess story where graphist artist 
without any coding skill achieve to create interactive 3D content using Quest3D?
A6

Yes there are many artist that have achieved this. For example, the winner of the 2007 Quest3D competition took only one month to learn Quest3D and to get good enough to win the winning application.

In general Quest3D can be very easy or very difficult depending on the users. We simply now focus on building a very capable platform. For some users Quest3D is still to difficult but there is not much we can do about that. The way we are dealing with it is that we now think about Quest3D as a product for serious users that are more interested in creating what they want and getting cutting edge results than ease of use. For the other users that simply want a wizard that does what they want we will create other products.

  
Q7What about DirectX10 and Vista?
A7If Quest3D 4.0 was running on DirectX10 our users would probably kill us. I think DirectX 10 offers very little extra functionality and tying Quest3D to Vista would be a mistake at this moment. Vista users can use Quest3D perfectly now and cutting out all the XP users for a few extra features is not something we prefer. Why they did not make DirectX 10 available on Windows XP is a mystery to us. There are some technical reasons but everyone knows that if Microsoft really wanted to get DX10 on Windows XP it would have happened. A second option is to create a driver model as you see in many games so it?s possible to switch between DirectX 9 and DirectX 10. We believe however that it is better to write directly on the API. In practice DirectX 10 only offers slightly better performance and no substantial real extra possibilities for our users. When a new API arrives that does provide substantial new features we will reevaluate our choices.
  
Q8Most of the demo and contents made with Quest3D are executable. Is the web viewer still effective?
A8

An executable is the preferred distribution method. Some users start off with a web page but in the end still prefer an executable. A 3D application simply works better as an executable. Just look at what is available now.

Even Google earth, an application created by a company that is primarily a web company is a stand alone executable. Also, none of the big games are distributed as a web page and none of theprofessional 3D applications are distributed as a web page.

It?s not that no one has tried. It?s more accurate to say that that there even is some kind of hype surrounding 3D and the web. Even after a few years of 3D web applications we must conclude that most of them did not succeed or they are so simple that it basically boils down to a 3D model viewer, not a real application.

There are some clues that can explain this phenomenon. First of all, a 3D application is usually quite big, making it less suitable for on demand downloads. The second clue is that the user input scheme interferes with the controls of the browser. The third clue is that 3D is all about immersion so you want it full screen, not in a browser. Finally another reason might be that people do not like to install plug-ins and plug-ins in general brings a package of problems with them. People love the executables because it fail safe method. No installations required and you can run the application whenever you want, from a download folder or the start menu.

  
Q9Creating 2D UI is a key component of realtime3D application. Will Quest3D 4.0 help user in this work?
A9Yes. We provide the functionality to add sliders, pull-down menus, buttons and other controls. These controls can be skinned so you can define your own look. Adding a button in Quest3D 4.0 takes about 5 seconds work.
Shiva Stonetrip
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 01/10/2007
 Q&APhilip Belhassen, g√©rant et co-fondateur
Nicolas Péri, directeur technique et co-fondateur

StoneTrip 
Oct. 2007
 

"ShiVa et le Ston3D Engine se positionnent, par rapport à ses concurrents, comme radicalement Internet (nous sommes aujourd'hui les seuls à proposer une solution disponible et opérationnelle sur 100% des machines sur Internet PCs, MACs avec ou sans carte graphique) mais également comme orientés jeux vidéo."

 

< Stonetrip in action

  
Q1Pourquoi avoir donné le nom de Shiva à votre logiciel ?
A1Il y a 2 raisons √† cela, la premi√®re est que la conception technique de ShiVa, avec un noyau et ses modules m√©tiers fait penser √† son logo, c'est √† dire un coeur d'o√Ļ partent autant de bras que d'outils n√©cessaires, c'est donc l√† l'image de ShiVa, la d√©esse aux 8 bras :-) . ShiVa aussi, parce que cette d√©esse est la repr√©sentation hindouiste du renouveau, et c'est un peu aussi ce que nous essayons d'apporter avec cette solution, du renouveau.
  
Q2Il existe aujourd'hui beaucoup de moteurs 3D, comment positionnez-vous Shiva ?
A2ShiVa et le Ston3D Engine se positionnent, par rapport √† ses concurrents, comme radicalement Internet (nous sommes aujourd'hui les seuls √† proposer une solution disponible et op√©rationnelle sur 100% des machines sur Internet PCs, MACs avec ou sans carte graphique) mais √©galement comme orient√©s jeux vid√©o. ShiVa est une plateforme de d√©veloppement de jeux vid√©o. Bien s√Ľr, cette orientation ne limite pas son utilisation √† d'autres cat√©gories telles que l'architecture ou le marketing. Enfin l'arriv√©e du Ston3D Server porte notre solution comme √©tant LA solution du multim√©dia multi-utilisateurs interactif. En effet ce dernier outil permet de cr√©er des MMOs rapidement et tr√®s simplement car la gestion de la connectivit√© est implicite...
  
Q3Shiva permet de réaliser des jeux 3D, convient-il également pour du serious games, des configurateurs 3D ?
A3Oui parfaitement, il suffit de voir ce que nous en faisons: Système d'Information Géographique (SIG) avec StoneEarth, ou le mannequin virtuel avec I-Cabine, etc.
ShiVa propose aujourd'hui tous les outils nécessaires à la réalisation de jeux vidéo (scripting, moteur de physique, de collision, d'animation, de son, etc.), ces outils s'adaptent parfaitement bien pour tous les autres types de productions que l'on peut imaginer.
  
Q4Pour les entreprises souhaitant utiliser Shiva, quel est le meilleur moyen pour se former ?
A4Nous proposons 3 types de formations pour ShiVa: une formation sur 3 jours avec une approche acad√©mique qui offrira toutes les informations voulues sur l'outil, une formation de 10 jours pendant laquelle nous formons les √©quipes sur leur projet pr√©cis avec √©galement de l'aide √† la conception, cette formation est une garantie de succ√®s sur le projet. Il y a √©galement les masterclass qui sont des sessions d'une journ√©e sur un th√®me choisi. 
Enfin en autodidacte, il existe notre site developer [ http://developer.stonetrip.com] dans lequel vous pouvez trouver des informations fondamentales telles que des documents explicatifs, des tutoriels et un forum o√Ļ se m√™lent informations techniques et commentaires de la communaut√© des utilisateurs.
  
Q5Les moteurs 3D de dernière génération sont souvent inadaptés aux postes anciens (ou portables avec mémoire vidéo partagée). Comment Shiva traite-t-il ce problème ?
A5ShiVa est basée sur le Ston3D Engine. Ce moteur dont les composantes de bases sont brevetées, a la capacité de tourner sur PCs, MACs, PDAs et téléphones mobiles!
Ce qui signifie qu'il n'est pas driver dépendant, qu'il s'adapte aussi bien à de l'openGL, qu'à du DirectX ou encore à de l'openGL ES, avec ou sans accéleration matérielle. Il s'agit donc d'un moteur adaptatif avec un nivellement par le haut. En effet en développant vos applications avec ShiVa vous n'aurez plus qu'à vous soucier du meilleur de votre production, notre technologie adaptera la qualité des rendus en fonction des capacités de la machine.
  
Q6Est-il possible d'utiliser des scènes 3D comportants un très large nombre de polygones ?
A6

ShiVa a été conçu pour la prochaine génération de jeux vidéo, c'est à dire pour être particulièrement solicité par tous les artistes et dévelopeurs. Ce qui inclut la performance du rendu.
Cela dit, lorsque l'on pense la création d'une scène de grand volume, il n'y a pas que la capacité à afficher beaucoup de polygones qui rentre en compte. Nous avons donc établi un certain nombre de fonctionnalités autour des problèmatiques posées par les environnements grands et lourds. Par exemple, l'activation des objets, le streaming des ressources depuis le réseau et depuis le disque dur afin de limiter les temps de chargements et les fichiers lourds, l'optimisation des maillages et la gestion des niveaux de détails des objets proposés de manière automatique. Bref oui, c'est possible de mettre beaucoup de polygones dans une scène 3D tout en restant interactif et parfaitement exploitable en temps réel.

  
Q7Shiva mise sur le format Collada. Concrètement, le Collada permet-il réellement aux infographistes d'importer fidèlement leurs modèles?
A7COLLADA est le format actuel d'√©change de donn√©es, il existe √† pr√©sent dans quasiment tous les logiciels. Ce format est supporter par tous les plus grands noms de l'industrie de la 3D et devient la r√©f√©rence en terme de format li√© √† la 3D temps r√©el, notamment gr√Ęce √† Sony. Ce format d'√©change ne modifie en rien les informations, il s'agit en fait d'une nouvelle repr√©sentation technique (XML) des donn√©es de mani√®re √† pouvoir effectuer un travail d'√©quipe entre plusieurs outils diff√©rents, la fid√©lit√© est donc totale, puisque rien ne change sur le mod√®le import√©/export√©. Ce point de vue permet donc √† une √©quipe d'avoir le modeleur d'environnement sur 3DSMax, celui de personnage et d'animaux sous XSI ou maya, etc. Chacun son expertise, chacun son outil, mais l'int√©gration se fait par le m√™me format.
  
Q8Comment définiriez-vous la relation que vous avez en tant qu'éditeur avec vos clients utilisateurs de Shiva ?
A8Nous travaillons au maximum pour réussir à créer un climat de proximité et de confiance avec nos clients/utilisateurs. En effet en tant que récent arrivé sur le marché, nous devons rattraper ce deficit d'image et de connaissance mutuelle. Ainsi, chaque client possède tous les moyens possibles pour communiquer avec nous [ forum, mail, téléphone..] et nous tenons aux délais de réponse!
R√©pondre au maximum aux attentes de nos utilisateurs est donc primordial pour nous. Notre forum, sur http:// developer.stonetrip.com est la mani√®re la plus efficace d'√©changer sur leurs besoins, envies, souhaits, voire probl√®mes techniques, et notre √©quipe s'efforce d'y r√©pondre dans le plus rapidement possible.
  
Q9Aujourd'hui vous proposez une version PLE pour l'apprentissage de Shiva. Quel est son r√īle et ses limitations ?
A9ShiVa en version PLE (Personnal Learning Edition) est la version dédiée à l'apprentissage de notre plateforme de développement, elle contient toutes les fonctionnalités d'une ShiVa INDIE ou PRO, finalement la seule limitation est de ne pas pouvoir produire de binaire final, nous appelons ça l'export ou encore publication, les fameux fichiers stk (StoneTrip pacKage). Cette version permet donc d'apprendre entièrement le logiciel ShiVa sans limite de temps ou de fonctionnalités. Certain de nos clients ont réalisé la quasi totalité de leur projet avec une version PLE puis ont acquis une version PRO pour pouvoir exporter et donc exploiter leur production. Aujourd'hui nous comptons près de 3000 téléchargements de la version gratuite de ShiVa.
  
Q10Pouvez-vous nous décrire quelques exemples d'utilisation de Stonetrip Server ?
A10Le Ston3D Server est la brique technologique de mise en réseau des Ston3D Engine. elle permet donc de relier des utilisateurs entre eux et de réaliser des applications multi-utilisateurs.
Quelques exemples: jeux multi-joueurs type MMOs, FPS, jeux de course ou encore applications industrielles types visites virtuelles en groupe, manipulation d'objet à plusieurs, formation en ligne, marketing multi-interactif.
Tout comme ShiVa, le Ston3D Server ne contraint pas à un seul type d'utilisation, les interactions entre utilisateurs sont totalement libres. Enfin la gestion de cette connectivité entre utilisateurs est totalement transparente et implicite, pas gestion de socket ou de package binaire à gérer, il suffit simplement d'envoyer des messages entre utilisateurs comme si les applications était locales, cette vision modifie grandement le processus de développement et accèlere considérablement la production d'applications multi-utilisateurs.
Quest3D 4.0
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 01/10/2007
 Q&AQuest3D
Act 
3D
Oct. 2007
 

"COLLADA import. This also enables run time import of models. So you can load COLLADA files into a finished and published application. It will import multiple texture stages, Skinning, animation and lights.

New physics engine. This engine is a huge upgrade over the old one. It has much more features and the performance is better. There are now more collision shapes, more joint types and better feedback and control over the physics simulation..."

< Quest3D 4.0

  
Q1What are the main new feature of Quest3D 4.0?
A1

COLLADA import. This also enables run time import of models. So you can load COLLADA files into a finished and published application. It will import multiple texture stages, Skinning, animation and lights.

New physics engine. This engine is a huge upgrade over the old one. It has much more features and the performance is better. There are now more collision shapes, more joint types and better feedback and control over the physics simulation.

Weather and atmosphere system. This system easily allows you to create an atmosphere based on date, time of day and location on earth. It also includes cloud configurations, rain, fog, lightning, wind and new functions for ocean water.

Object oriented programming. This is a big one. It basically changes the way Quest3D projects are created. It also has some positive influence on performance. This system completely replaces the current array system, channel caller and hybrid channels systems and replaces it with a very robust easy to manage structuring system.

  
Q2When will it be available, is there any new price policy?
A2The pricing policy is currently not to increase the price and upgrades will be available for approximately 33% of the full price. Release is scheduled this year although we will release it only when it is done. This is a very important release because it changes a huge part of how Quest3D projects are created. We do not want to rush this version.
  
Q3Act3D were present at the Siggraph. Are 3D artists interested in realtime 3D?
A3Yes. Many of them are. Slowly real-time 3D starts to gain momentum. There is more and more demand for real-time 3D and 3D artist also recognize that this is a new development that is both interesting and necessary to pursue. Rapidly new uses are emerging that are completely new or complementary to current non-real-time techniques. I also see that most 3D artist find it very exciting to be able to interact and maneuver inside their art.
  
Q4There are many areas involving Realtime 3D, what is the main focus of Quest3D?
A4Quest3D?s main focus is to create a general purpose real-time 3D platform. With Quest3D 4.0 we have reached most of the things we might require from a platform so this focus will change in the future. Quest3D in its current form will remain and new spin-off products will start to appear. These products will focus more on content, application and ease of use than the current technically focused product. The first direction will be something in architecture, construction and design visualization.
  
Q5What are the relationship between Quest3D and the users?
A5There are many relationships. Some users are die hard fans that keep pressing F5 on our forum page if they are not sleeping or on the toilet. In general the user community is very friendly and we try to communicate with our users in the most personal way we can. As the company grows bigger this becomes more and more difficult but we believe that in the end the user makes or breaks a product. Many good ideas have sprung from the community and even if we do not use their ideas directly in a product we still incorporate all the information we can get into our next program design.
  
Q6Quest3D can generate very sophiscated application. What is the learning curves? Is there any sucess story where graphist artist 
without any coding skill achieve to create interactive 3D content using Quest3D?
A6

Yes there are many artist that have achieved this. For example, the winner of the 2007 Quest3D competition took only one month to learn Quest3D and to get good enough to win the winning application.

In general Quest3D can be very easy or very difficult depending on the users. We simply now focus on building a very capable platform. For some users Quest3D is still to difficult but there is not much we can do about that. The way we are dealing with it is that we now think about Quest3D as a product for serious users that are more interested in creating what they want and getting cutting edge results than ease of use. For the other users that simply want a wizard that does what they want we will create other products.

  
Q7What about DirectX10 and Vista?
A7If Quest3D 4.0 was running on DirectX10 our users would probably kill us. I think DirectX 10 offers very little extra functionality and tying Quest3D to Vista would be a mistake at this moment. Vista users can use Quest3D perfectly now and cutting out all the XP users for a few extra features is not something we prefer. Why they did not make DirectX 10 available on Windows XP is a mystery to us. There are some technical reasons but everyone knows that if Microsoft really wanted to get DX10 on Windows XP it would have happened. A second option is to create a driver model as you see in many games so it?s possible to switch between DirectX 9 and DirectX 10. We believe however that it is better to write directly on the API. In practice DirectX 10 only offers slightly better performance and no substantial real extra possibilities for our users. When a new API arrives that does provide substantial new features we will reevaluate our choices.
  
Q8Most of the demo and contents made with Quest3D are executable. Is the web viewer still effective?
A8

An executable is the preferred distribution method. Some users start off with a web page but in the end still prefer an executable. A 3D application simply works better as an executable. Just look at what is available now.

Even Google earth, an application created by a company that is primarily a web company is a stand alone executable. Also, none of the big games are distributed as a web page and none of theprofessional 3D applications are distributed as a web page.

It?s not that no one has tried. It?s more accurate to say that that there even is some kind of hype surrounding 3D and the web. Even after a few years of 3D web applications we must conclude that most of them did not succeed or they are so simple that it basically boils down to a 3D model viewer, not a real application.

There are some clues that can explain this phenomenon. First of all, a 3D application is usually quite big, making it less suitable for on demand downloads. The second clue is that the user input scheme interferes with the controls of the browser. The third clue is that 3D is all about immersion so you want it full screen, not in a browser. Finally another reason might be that people do not like to install plug-ins and plug-ins in general brings a package of problems with them. People love the executables because it fail safe method. No installations required and you can run the application whenever you want, from a download folder or the start menu.

  
Q9Creating 2D UI is a key component of realtime3D application. Will Quest3D 4.0 help user in this work?
A9Yes. We provide the functionality to add sliders, pull-down menus, buttons and other controls. These controls can be skinned so you can define your own look. Adding a button in Quest3D 4.0 takes about 5 seconds work.
Shiva Stonetrip
Soumit par Administrateur le mardi, 01/10/2007
 Q&APhilip Belhassen, g√©rant et co-fondateur
Nicolas Péri, directeur technique et co-fondateur

StoneTrip 
Oct. 2007
 

"ShiVa et le Ston3D Engine se positionnent, par rapport à ses concurrents, comme radicalement Internet (nous sommes aujourd'hui les seuls à proposer une solution disponible et opérationnelle sur 100% des machines sur Internet PCs, MACs avec ou sans carte graphique) mais également comme orientés jeux vidéo."

 

< Stonetrip in action

  
Q1Pourquoi avoir donné le nom de Shiva à votre logiciel ?
A1Il y a 2 raisons √† cela, la premi√®re est que la conception technique de ShiVa, avec un noyau et ses modules m√©tiers fait penser √† son logo, c'est √† dire un coeur d'o√Ļ partent autant de bras que d'outils n√©cessaires, c'est donc l√† l'image de ShiVa, la d√©esse aux 8 bras :-) . ShiVa aussi, parce que cette d√©esse est la repr√©sentation hindouiste du renouveau, et c'est un peu aussi ce que nous essayons d'apporter avec cette solution, du renouveau.
  
Q2Il existe aujourd'hui beaucoup de moteurs 3D, comment positionnez-vous Shiva ?
A2ShiVa et le Ston3D Engine se positionnent, par rapport √† ses concurrents, comme radicalement Internet (nous sommes aujourd'hui les seuls √† proposer une solution disponible et op√©rationnelle sur 100% des machines sur Internet PCs, MACs avec ou sans carte graphique) mais √©galement comme orient√©s jeux vid√©o. ShiVa est une plateforme de d√©veloppement de jeux vid√©o. Bien s√Ľr, cette orientation ne limite pas son utilisation √† d'autres cat√©gories telles que l'architecture ou le marketing. Enfin l'arriv√©e du Ston3D Server porte notre solution comme √©tant LA solution du multim√©dia multi-utilisateurs interactif. En effet ce dernier outil permet de cr√©er des MMOs rapidement et tr√®s simplement car la gestion de la connectivit√© est implicite...
  
Q3Shiva permet de réaliser des jeux 3D, convient-il également pour du serious games, des configurateurs 3D ?
A3Oui parfaitement, il suffit de voir ce que nous en faisons: Système d'Information Géographique (SIG) avec StoneEarth, ou le mannequin virtuel avec I-Cabine, etc.
ShiVa propose aujourd'hui tous les outils nécessaires à la réalisation de jeux vidéo (scripting, moteur de physique, de collision, d'animation, de son, etc.), ces outils s'adaptent parfaitement bien pour tous les autres types de productions que l'on peut imaginer.
  
Q4Pour les entreprises souhaitant utiliser Shiva, quel est le meilleur moyen pour se former ?
A4Nous proposons 3 types de formations pour ShiVa: une formation sur 3 jours avec une approche acad√©mique qui offrira toutes les informations voulues sur l'outil, une formation de 10 jours pendant laquelle nous formons les √©quipes sur leur projet pr√©cis avec √©galement de l'aide √† la conception, cette formation est une garantie de succ√®s sur le projet. Il y a √©galement les masterclass qui sont des sessions d'une journ√©e sur un th√®me choisi. 
Enfin en autodidacte, il existe notre site developer [ http://developer.stonetrip.com] dans lequel vous pouvez trouver des informations fondamentales telles que des documents explicatifs, des tutoriels et un forum o√Ļ se m√™lent informations techniques et commentaires de la communaut√© des utilisateurs.
  
Q5Les moteurs 3D de dernière génération sont souvent inadaptés aux postes anciens (ou portables avec mémoire vidéo partagée). Comment Shiva traite-t-il ce problème ?
A5ShiVa est basée sur le Ston3D Engine. Ce moteur dont les composantes de bases sont brevetées, a la capacité de tourner sur PCs, MACs, PDAs et téléphones mobiles!
Ce qui signifie qu'il n'est pas driver dépendant, qu'il s'adapte aussi bien à de l'openGL, qu'à du DirectX ou encore à de l'openGL ES, avec ou sans accéleration matérielle. Il s'agit donc d'un moteur adaptatif avec un nivellement par le haut. En effet en développant vos applications avec ShiVa vous n'aurez plus qu'à vous soucier du meilleur de votre production, notre technologie adaptera la qualité des rendus en fonction des capacités de la machine.
  
Q6Est-il possible d'utiliser des scènes 3D comportants un très large nombre de polygones ?
A6

ShiVa a été conçu pour la prochaine génération de jeux vidéo, c'est à dire pour être particulièrement solicité par tous les artistes et dévelopeurs. Ce qui inclut la performance du rendu.
Cela dit, lorsque l'on pense la création d'une scène de grand volume, il n'y a pas que la capacité à afficher beaucoup de polygones qui rentre en compte. Nous avons donc établi un certain nombre de fonctionnalités autour des problèmatiques posées par les environnements grands et lourds. Par exemple, l'activation des objets, le streaming des ressources depuis le réseau et depuis le disque dur afin de limiter les temps de chargements et les fichiers lourds, l'optimisation des maillages et la gestion des niveaux de détails des objets proposés de manière automatique. Bref oui, c'est possible de mettre beaucoup de polygones dans une scène 3D tout en restant interactif et parfaitement exploitable en temps réel.

  
Q7Shiva mise sur le format Collada. Concrètement, le Collada permet-il réellement aux infographistes d'importer fidèlement leurs modèles?
A7COLLADA est le format actuel d'√©change de donn√©es, il existe √† pr√©sent dans quasiment tous les logiciels. Ce format est supporter par tous les plus grands noms de l'industrie de la 3D et devient la r√©f√©rence en terme de format li√© √† la 3D temps r√©el, notamment gr√Ęce √† Sony. Ce format d'√©change ne modifie en rien les informations, il s'agit en fait d'une nouvelle repr√©sentation technique (XML) des donn√©es de mani√®re √† pouvoir effectuer un travail d'√©quipe entre plusieurs outils diff√©rents, la fid√©lit√© est donc totale, puisque rien ne change sur le mod√®le import√©/export√©. Ce point de vue permet donc √† une √©quipe d'avoir le modeleur d'environnement sur 3DSMax, celui de personnage et d'animaux sous XSI ou maya, etc. Chacun son expertise, chacun son outil, mais l'int√©gration se fait par le m√™me format.
  
Q8Comment définiriez-vous la relation que vous avez en tant qu'éditeur avec vos clients utilisateurs de Shiva ?
A8Nous travaillons au maximum pour réussir à créer un climat de proximité et de confiance avec nos clients/utilisateurs. En effet en tant que récent arrivé sur le marché, nous devons rattraper ce deficit d'image et de connaissance mutuelle. Ainsi, chaque client possède tous les moyens possibles pour communiquer avec nous [ forum, mail, téléphone..] et nous tenons aux délais de réponse!
R√©pondre au maximum aux attentes de nos utilisateurs est donc primordial pour nous. Notre forum, sur http:// developer.stonetrip.com est la mani√®re la plus efficace d'√©changer sur leurs besoins, envies, souhaits, voire probl√®mes techniques, et notre √©quipe s'efforce d'y r√©pondre dans le plus rapidement possible.
  
Q9Aujourd'hui vous proposez une version PLE pour l'apprentissage de Shiva. Quel est son r√īle et ses limitations ?
A9ShiVa en version PLE (Personnal Learning Edition) est la version dédiée à l'apprentissage de notre plateforme de développement, elle contient toutes les fonctionnalités d'une ShiVa INDIE ou PRO, finalement la seule limitation est de ne pas pouvoir produire de binaire final, nous appelons ça l'export ou encore publication, les fameux fichiers stk (StoneTrip pacKage). Cette version permet donc d'apprendre entièrement le logiciel ShiVa sans limite de temps ou de fonctionnalités. Certain de nos clients ont réalisé la quasi totalité de leur projet avec une version PLE puis ont acquis une version PRO pour pouvoir exporter et donc exploiter leur production. Aujourd'hui nous comptons près de 3000 téléchargements de la version gratuite de ShiVa.
  
Q10Pouvez-vous nous décrire quelques exemples d'utilisation de Stonetrip Server ?
A10Le Ston3D Server est la brique technologique de mise en réseau des Ston3D Engine. elle permet donc de relier des utilisateurs entre eux et de réaliser des applications multi-utilisateurs.
Quelques exemples: jeux multi-joueurs type MMOs, FPS, jeux de course ou encore applications industrielles types visites virtuelles en groupe, manipulation d'objet à plusieurs, formation en ligne, marketing multi-interactif.
Tout comme ShiVa, le Ston3D Server ne contraint pas à un seul type d'utilisation, les interactions entre utilisateurs sont totalement libres. Enfin la gestion de cette connectivité entre utilisateurs est totalement transparente et implicite, pas gestion de socket ou de package binaire à gérer, il suffit simplement d'envoyer des messages entre utilisateurs comme si les applications était locales, cette vision modifie grandement le processus de développement et accèlere considérablement la production d'applications multi-utilisateurs.
ES 3D
Soumit par Administrateur le dimanche, 01/09/2007
 Q&ANorbert Nopper
ES 3D
Sept. 2007
 

"ES 3D SDK on this device. 3D acceleration on mobile devices is a reality and has indeed a future. Content displayed can be enriched which is also important and especially on small screens and finally essential for the user experience."

< Stonetrip in action

  
Q1Could you please give a brief description of ES 3D?
A1

The Embedded Systems 3D Game Software Development Kit, short ES 3D Game SDK, is an open source 3D Game Engine / SDK for embedded devices / mobile phones. The ES 3D Game SDK uses the OpenGL ES standard for rendering its content. The SDK is written in ANSI C/C++ and uses almost, besides the OpenGL ES library, only ANSI C libraries. On Symbian devices, the Open C library can be used as well.
The ES 3D Game SDK offers and will offer the features which are mandatory for a 3D Game Engine / SDK:
- Model loading, animating and rendering.
- Collision detection: Model vs. model, model vs. terrain / indoor environment.
- Scene handling and rendering of terrain and / or indoor environment.
- Real world effects using light, shadow, fire etc.
Basically, it has and will have the mandatory features of a 3D Game Engine / SDK for PC and / or console. Of course, there are reductions because of the features for each version of the OpenGL ES SDK and limitations of the CPU, GPU, memory etc. where the ES 3D Game Engine / SDK is running on it.

  
Q2What kind of embedded devices can display games made with ES 3D?
A2The ES 3D Game SDK is using OpenGL ES and only ANSI C/C++ libraries. Of course, for each platform, there is extra code written and device specific libraries are used. But this part is encapsulated away from the core ES 3D Game Engine / SDK. So, if a device supports OpenGL ES and the ANSI C/C++ libraries, the device specific code has to be adapted at a central point in the ES 3D Game Engine / SDK and it should run without problems on this device.
Currently, the SDK supports Symbian S60 devices, Microsoft Pocket PCs and Microsoft Windows. As OpenKODE is supported by the ES 3D Game SDK as well, it should also run on any device which has an OpenKODE implementation.
  
Q3Is it possible to play 3D contents with collision and physic effects on mobile devices?
A3The ES 3D Game SDK is mainly designed to display 3D content. As mentioned earlier in this interview, it supports also collision detection, models vs. models and / or models between the terrain / indoor environment. At this point of time, a physics engine is not planned but could be integrated with some effort, depending what is wanted.
See, I think most features / effects you see on nowadays PCs and / or consoles are possible on mobile devices as well. The programming language and the libraries like OpenGL ES are not the limitations. Basically, you can implement almost the same what is possible on a PC and / or console. Of course, the technology there is the spearhead and the probably you will first see the latest technology there and later or never on embedded devices. The real limitation is, of course, the hardware possibilities of the mobile device.
The CPU, GPU and memory capabilities are below a PC and / or console system. Also to consider are the limitations because of the screen and input. To answer your question, yes, I think it is possible to play 3D content etc. on a mobile device. Because of scalability and limitations the experience will probably differ but it will definitely be a 3D experience.
  
Q4About 3D engine : what kind of version of OpenGL ES do you support ? Does it support 3D effectus such as multi-texturing?
A4Currently, the ES 3D Game SDK is supporting OpenGL ES 1.0 and 1.1, both fixed and floating point versions. All features are implemented for both versions; maybe with some limitations in the 1.0 version as the wanted results can not be implemented exactly the same as in version 1.1. Yes, the ES 3D Game SDK is supporting multi-texturing. E.g. it is used in the terrain rendering. The ES 3D Game SDK is and will use all the fancy features which are possible with OpenGL ES and its extensions. Actually, to get the wanted realism, it is necessary to use them. For the future, an OpenGL ES 2.0 version is planned to be released in parallel. Then also programmable shaders will be supported by the ES 3D Game SDK. As there will and has to be some redesigns, please do not expect it soon.
  
Q5What kind of 3D data can be imported into ES 3D SDK?
A5At this point of time, the Milkshape 3D (http://chumbalum.swissquake.ch/) file format is supported. The data format is compact and supports features as skeletal animation. And most important, with the Milkshape 3D tool, it is possible to convert from a lot of 3D file formats used in the game industry into this file format. Finally, even at this point of time only one 3D file format is supported, many common 3D game file formats can be used as well. If the 3D file format is known, a loader can added to the ES 3D Game SDK. It
is designed for adding new file formats.
  
Q6Is 3D acceleration on mobile device a reality ? Can it display console-like (PSP/DS) graphics?
A6

Yes, it is a reality and can already be found in nowadays devices. E.g. the Nokia N93 supports OpenGL ES hardware acceleration. By the way, I am testing the ES 3D SDK on this device. 3D acceleration on mobile devices is a reality and has indeed a future. Content displayed can be enriched which is also important and especially on small screens and finally essential for the user experience. See, it is not OpenGL ES and / or the ES 3D Game SDK which is limiting the graphics. Technically, if the necessary libraries would exist, it would run on Playstation Portable and Nintendo DS as well. So, it is the hardware of a mobile device like a mobile phone which is limiting the graphics. But as you see 3D hardware acceleration on mobile phones already now and programmable shaders in the future, yes, I am sure it will display console-like graphics.

  
Q7Why using OpenKode rather than Java?
A7I think using OpenKODE instead of Java is not the main question. I think, it is more important, if you want to develop either in Java or C/C++. If you want to support many devices and you can accept performance reductions, I think Java is a good choice. If you need performance and you want to use specific hardware features of a mobile device, C/C++ will probably the better choice. OpenKODE will be finalized soon and you already see implementations of it. If it will be accepted and implemented by the market, it will definitely
help to speed up development in C/C++ for mobile devices. Less time for porting to the specific devices will be needed. But, like the current situation with Java on mobile devices: It will probably limit porting, but not eliminate it.
  
Q8Why is ES 3D OpenSource? Can anybody -even for commercial purpose- use it free?
A8The ES 3D Game SDK is open source as it is no commercial project. So the support and further development of features, at this point of time, can not be the same and guaranteed as a commercial product. But the performance, quality and features claims of a commercial project are a primary goal. See, if anyone decides to use the ES 3D Game SDK, and finds a bug or needs a new feature or modification, it can be fixed and implemented immediately by the adopter. So reason for open source is minimizing the risk of an adopter and increase the acceptance for new developers. The ES 3D Game SDK can be used for free for non-commercial usage. Only some credits are wanted. For commercial usage, the ES 3D SDK can be used for free until money is made with it. This means, for evaluating or doing a prototype internally, just some credits have to be noted. As soon money is made by using the ES 3D Game SDK, the usage costs.
To be on the safe side, just contact the developers of the ES 3D Game SDK explain your situation and I am sure an appropriate solution will be found.
Futuremark
Soumit par Administrateur le jeudi, 01/08/2007
 Q&APetri Talala
Vice President, Mobile Business Futuremark Corporation
August 2007
 

" Our new offering related to content creation in embedded base opens new era for Futuremark in a sense that we have started to offer great tool to SW companies, game studios and content developers.I[...] Currently most of the embedded devices are offering poor 3D performance. But this will change very soon. Even today some of the high-end phones such as Nokia N95 and iPhone include HW based GPU for mobile 3D and this allows very high-quality graphics capabilities. There is more and more mobile phones out there that supports even SW or HW based OpenGL ES API "

 

 

Q1Futuremark is well known for benchmark products. Is offering creation tools a new positioning of Futuremark?
A1Futuremark has been around now 10 years and we started with PC benchmarks then and expanded to mobile benchmarks. Certainly the benchmarks continue to be Futuremark?s focus area where we are well known and where our main customer base still is including many leading and global PC and embedded devices vendors. Our new offering related to content creation in embedded base opens new era for Futuremark in a sense that we have started to offer great tool to SW* companies, game studios and content developers. This is a new target customer base for us and we are very serious of entering this new space with committed investments, resources and strong
roadmap for near future.
  
Q2What kind of tools do you provide for mobile phones?
A2At benchmarking site we have tools to measure and analyze OS, Mobile Java, 3D/2D and system specific performance and usability of mobile phones or embedded devices. The new Content Creation Tool Chain (CCTC) for OpenGL ES 2.0 provides customized content creation tools to content developer plus SW-based engine that is capable of running OpenGL ES 2.0 content and it is easy to port target HW platform and mobile phone.
  
Q3What are the users you are targeting for?
A3

Our primary target customers for CCTC solution are: 
? Hardware vendors developing OpenGL ES 2.0 HW. To this target group we can offer optimized content creation tools against their OpenGL ES 2.0 HW so that vendor can share our tools as part of thei