• Pages

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Archives

  • Fri 31 Mar 2006

    The birth of X3D

    Published at 12:38   Category Virtual Reality  

    Here’s a really interesting insight on the birth of X3D, by X3D Guru Tony Parisi.
    It’s an evangelism article, which at the bottom line says : “Open Standards are Good”, and “Use X3D, it’s perfect for your business”.

    Here’s a fast sum up :

    “I didn’t mean to start another real time 3D standards revolution. Really.

    (..) I had come to the painful realization that 3D developers are completely blind to the rest of the computing world when it comes to user interface, work flow, application development, basically the whole proposition of Information Technology (IT). The worst of these offenses is their continual defiance of Net Logic, i.e. sharing and cooperation, open standards, interoperability.

    (..) The spin on VRML’s crash and burn was that it was a “standard for its own sake,” too bureaucratic, too slow to evolve. (..) The truth behind VRML’s demise is plainer, simpler and uglier than this convoluted logic: we were too early, and the products sucked.

    (..) So here’s the Irony: none of that new stuff (note: 3d web formats) did even 50% of what VRML does.

    (..) I was hit by a nauseating realization: I was going to have to re-invent VRML.

    (..) I was still burning with the conviction that this was the right course: the only way 3D was ever going to reach mass audiences– on the web or anywhere else in the 21st century— was with a standard format and an open architecture. It didn’t matter that the Internet wasn’t quite dead yet, and the proprietary behemoths were still pushing their own brands of 3D dog food; I had Right on my side.

    (..) By 2003, the X3D spec was in its final review stages with ISO. It looked like we were gonna make it. (..) Then, another Irony. (..) A few crafty folks, survivors of the latest 3D wreckage, got a Wonderful, Awful idea for saving their doomed efforts. They decided to create a Standard.(..)

    (..) Well, don’t believe the hype. The Emperor is buck naked and I’m here to point it out. If you want to deploy real time 3D in an open environment, across platforms and devices, over a network, integrated with data, with no strings attached, then there is only one way to go: X3D.

    (..) X3D is now the official International Standard for doing real time 3D graphics, period. It’s pretty and fast, it’s XML and programmable. It’s industrial strength for the real world, but it can do Nemo online in real time, if that’s what you’re into. And this time, it actually works. :->

    (..) You know, at a certain level, this standards stuff doesn’t matter. But at another level, it’s everything. Standards don’t matter because it’s the applications that matter.

    (..) Let me be as crystal clear as I can about this: I am in it for one reason, and one reason only: Money.

    (..) In my world view, the best and surest path to making money with real time interactive 3D over the long haul requires standards. Are they sufficient? Of course not. But they are absolutely necessary.

    (..) X3D has reignited the revolution of affordable, open, scalable real time 3D, delivered over networks, running on multiple platforms, with seamless data exchange and integrated into applications.”

    Thu 30 Mar 2006

    Panasonic Interactive TV Wall

    Published at 12:55   Category Tech  

    I think I forgot to tell you about this

    Wed 29 Mar 2006

    Garage VR : a new reality

    Published at 14:00   Category Virtual Reality DIY  

    I think we just got to a point where consumer VR is affordable!

    I just discovered this device, the Novint Falcon, which is not yet for sale. It’s like a Sensable Phantom, (although it must only be 3DOF, ie handling only translation, not rotation) but cheap =)

    “Designed to retail for under $100 in mass market quantities, the Falcon performs comparably
    to commercial devices that cost thousands of dollars, letting users feel weight, texture, shape,
    dimension, dynamics, 3D motion and force effects, unlike any consumer force feedback product on the market today.”

    If this thing works as told, we can have a good VR hardware setup for 350$ !!

    Take :
    - a head tracker from NaturalPoint : 150$. I have one, it works really great!!
    - a pair of wireless stereo glasses from Edimensional : $99.95. I also have one, it works great too!!
    - and the Novint Falcon (100$).

    And we’re good for an immersive experience closely matching what’s available to professionals!!
    Of course it would be better with a eye-mounted display, a HMD. These are still not that affordable, but as stated in this article,
    “Steve Glaser, vice president at Icuiti, believes that advances in VR software will drive down hardware costs eventually.
    “I think that a high-resolution HMD for consumers is doable within the next five years,” he said, “but probably not within the next couple of years.”

    And last, but not least, we need applications and games, that require these devices for a full experience, to get people to get equiped..

    Wed 22 Mar 2006

    Digital movie making : Machinima = machine + cinema

    Published at 23:44   Category Art  

    I’ve just watched this video (free req required) about machinima, by Paul Marino, Executive Director, Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences.
    This terms is used to describe movies done with games or game engines.

    “Machinima is real-world filmmaking techniques applied within an interactive virtual space where characters and events can be either controlled by humans, scripts or artificial intelligence.”

    This totally goes along the way of what I was saying about people doing movies in their garage. (I guess I didn’t invent anything then :p) Now imagine what people could do with Santos !!

    Moreover, Paul Marino uses a term I really like, which is Ubiquitous Creativity, that is enabling creativity to people who would never have access to it before (remember SimTractor? ;)

    Wed 22 Mar 2006

    Digital Humans : Santos and the Virtual Soldier

    Published at 19:32   Category Virtual Reality  

    Who is Santos?

    You should first also look at this very impressive Video of the Virtual Soldier, featuring realistic digital humans (and Virtools ;) . The point is to create a virtual human, with all muscles, joints, and behavior. They already simulate effort minimisation, comfort maximisation, all things we do naturally. Eventually they will simulate muscle fatigue and heart beat modification during effort !! All this to be able to prototype ergonomics of work environment, clothes etc.

    “Santos, an intelligent avatar with realistic biomechanical abilities, functions in a powerful human modeling and simulation environment, the Santos environment.

    Santos conducts human factors studies in design relevant to training, production, or performance needs of real-world realistic system addresses rigorous biomechanics, gait, motion prediction, and related issues. Santos, like not other digital human simulation solution, acts intelligently and autonomously to allow humans to safely and effectively understand human performance in and response to many scenarios.”

    Tue 21 Mar 2006

    More on Philips’ amBX

    Published at 15:07   Category Game development  

    This articles at Gamasutra tells some info about the coming amBX system.

    “The company describes amBX as a technology which uses light, color, sound, heat and air to submerge the user within a complete “sensory surround experience”.

    “(..) A flame burns to the right of the screen – and so to the right the lighting in the room flickers orange/red. As collision events occur within the game, rumble features react from within the arms of the sofa we are sitting on. Finally, as a plane flies toward us on screen fans are activated in front of us and we are blown with air.”

    “The offering to consumers will be built around a starter pack of basic lighting, rumble bar and fan – with third party manufacturer producing add-on amBX peripherals as the platform develops.”

    Tue 21 Mar 2006

    Force Dynamics Car Simulator

    Published at 9:34   Category Virtual Reality  

    There are some pretty impressive videos at their website !!
    I asked for a price quotation, in case anyone wants to offer one to me!

    Fri 17 Mar 2006

    Contigra 3D Widgets Classification

    Published at 9:31   Category Virtual Reality  

    ( read on VRoot.org )

    Here’s a classification of 3D Widgets. That’s the kind of thing I want to be able to drag and drop in my VR composition!

    Fri 17 Mar 2006

    VRoot.org, a VR portal

    Published at 9:21   Category Virtual Reality  

    A la slashdot, a very interesting portal for VR! !

    Fri 10 Mar 2006

    The Making-Of ‘Shadow of the Colossus"

    Published at 18:58   Category Game development  

    Here’s an interesting article about the Making-Of the beautiful game ‘Shadow of the Colossus’ (PS2).
    They talk mainly about visual fx :

    - HDR rendering

    - Motion Blur,
    - Shadows,
    - Fur, hair and grass,
    - Huge landscapes rendering,

    - the “deforming collision system”, which uses bone deformable collision meshes.
    - inverse kinematics – and others things I didn’t have time to read yet ;)

    Next Page >>>