Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 7th February 2002

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Users, Applications & Projects
01 Spain: VR Cultural Heritage
02 EC FET call on Presence Research
03 Shell: Walkinside
04 Olympic Winter Games

Products & Services
05 Wide Area Visualization Solution
06 Version 3.2 of Rover
07 Studio version 1.1 optimized for Mac OS X
08 3D CAD Web Collaboration

Companies & Markets
09 SGI: Profits & Visual Area Networking
10 AutoVue 16 Shipping
11 Avid Results
12 LightWork Spins Off
13 Thailand: HP in 3D
Standard & Patents
14 ATI Joins OpenGL ARB
15 European Patent: Sony
16 USA Patent

People & Appointments
17 Job Opportunity at the Sheffield Hallam University, UK
18 Appointment at NavisWorks

Events & Calls for Papers
19 NetGames2002: Call for Papers - URGENT
20 Call for Papers - Cyber Terrorism
21 International Conference on 3D Web Technology
22 VR Conference: Speakers from BMW, Audi, EADS/Airbus...
23 PLM World 2002
24 More Event

182.01 Spain: VR Cultural Heritage

gedas iberia, SA has been awarded with a contract from the Cádiz City Hall, Spain, to implement a VR cultural heritage project, related to reproducing the city of Cádiz during 17th and 18th centuries. The final project will have two locations with two different products. In the Museo de las Cortes de Cádiz, gedas will install 5 sites using HMDs where citizens or tourists can interactively "walk" around the city. In the Torreón de Puerta de Tierra, 50 people will see a 3D movie explaining an historical argument. The project will be finished on November, 2002. gedas iberia is based in Barcelona and owned by the VW group. It has implemented several projects and Reality Centers in Spain including one in SEAT R&D center (the first one in Spanish industry) and its own public center (with the first CAVE in Spain).

URL: http://eee.gedas.es

182.02 EC FET call on Presence Research

Our thanks to Wijnand IJsselsteijn of the Human-Technology Interaction Group at the Department of Technology Management, Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands for bringing the EC FET call on Presence Research.

URL: http://www.cordis.lu/ist/fetpr.htm
URL: http://www.presence-research.org/

182.03 Shell: Walkinside

Alain Hubrecht, CTO of VRcontext, who has been selected as an expert to represent Belgium in the NATO industrial advisory group, to make a pre-prototype study of a Peace Support Operation simulation system, has recently visited DaratechPlant2002 in Houston, USA where he presented "Walkinside". A presentation in the Reality Center at Shell to management of the Deep Offshore team converted the company's largest surface installation (350 m length) and showed it in real time, with walking characters and full collision detection.

URL: http://www.vrcontext.com
URL: http://www.walkinside.com

182.04 Olympic Winter Games

Viewers who tune in to NBC's 17-day television coverage of the XIX Olympic Winter Games will see 3D urban modeling software developed by Harris Corporation. Television viewers watching NBC's coverage of the Games will experience 3D fly-throughs of course descriptions of the mountain venues. RealSite is a suite of tools that uses imagery from multiple sources and sensors -- such as satellite and aerial photography -- to create high-resolution, geospatially-accurate 3D models that cover large areas. The models are accurate to within one meter or less. Harris' InReality visualization software provides scene navigation and analysis capabilities. Once completed, the models were processed through Harris RealSite's texture mapping application and translated into the Alias/Wavefront Maya format, which is used by NBC artists to create fly-throughs, animations and other special effects.

URL: http://www.harris.com

182.05 Wide Area Visualization Solution

TeraBurst Networks has unveiled its Wide Area Visualization Solution (WAVS), designed to provide connectivity and real-time collaboration capability between geographically disparate locations of high bandwidth, 3D display and video applications, over optical networks. The solution combines TeraBurst's high performance optical networking platform with its newly developed digital imaging and audio/video/data mapping technologies capable of transporting video, audio and control data over a single wavelength in the optical network. Several potential applications exist for this technology, including collaboration between different groups within the energy and government sectors, high-definition video distribution and computer-aided design collaboration. TeraBurst has announced that it is focusing initially on a 3D stereographic video distribution application used in immersive visualization centers in the oil and gas industry. TeraBurst recently tested the WAVS solution at the Center for Immersive Telecommunications for Global Exchange housed at San Diego State University, USA.

URL: http://www.teraburst.com

182.06 Version 3.2 of Rover

Flatland Online has released version 3.2 of Rover, the Web3D player that supports 3DML. 3DML is a simple XML format for 3D content that lets non-professionals build immersive experiences. Version 3.2 is enhanced with DirectX 8.1 support, fog effects, 100% frame rate improvement, built in scripting support, skinnable standalone player and IE/Netscape plug-in support as well as animation effects.

URL: http://www.flatland.com

182.07 Studio version 1.1 optimized for Mac OS X

Toon Boom Technologies has launched Toon Boom Studio version 1.1 optimized for Mac OS X version 10.1. This upgrade release includes new features, including export to iMovie projects, as well as a number of Aqua user interface improvements. Additionally, Toon Boom Studio's screen layouts and utility palettes have been optimized and redesigned to provide much more on-screen work space. Other improvements include full dual monitor support and custom screen arrangements for the wider G4 PowerBook and Cinema displays. A Japanese version of Toon Boom Studio v1.1 will be available in Spring 2002.

URL: http://toonboomstudio.com

182.08 3D CAD Web Collaboration

Our sister newsletter, El.pub reports: "According to Oracle CADView-3D allows "anyone with a web browser to participate in collaborative design reviews of 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) models over the web. Oracle's patented streaming technology allows teams to view and mark-up any size CAD model over limited bandwidth (56K) network connections" and at the same time prohibits unauthorised distribution. CADView-3D is seen as an enhancement to the Oracle E-Business Suite - a suite of Internet business applications aimed at automating business processes. The Oracle E-Business Suite is offered as "traditional software" or as an online service.

URL: http://www.elpub.org/base02t0050.htm#3cw
URL: http://www.oracle.com/

182.09 SGI: Profits & Visual Area Networking

Shortly after announcing a profit for the Dec. 31, 2001 quarter, SGI announced a vision and products for a new concept in advanced visualization called Visual Area Networking. The vision is to enable universal access to advanced visualization using any computing device, over standard networks. The new products include graphics infrastructure software, high-end graphics hardware, and desktop systems that make this vision a reality. The new software, OpenGL Vizserver 2.0, will allow users to interact with visualization supercomputers individually or as a collaborative community of users, from anywhere in the world. It allows globally dispersed teams to visualize and interact with data in ways never previously possible. The new hardware products include the SGI Onyx 3000 series with InfinitePerformance graphics, SGI Onyx 300 with InfiniteReality3TM graphics as a powerful, compact, and economical visualization system, and Silicon Graphics Fuel, the first in a new generation of desktop solutions leveraging SGI high-end systems architecture.

URL: http://www.sgi.com/

182.10 AutoVue 16 Shipping

Cimmetry Systems' AutoVue 16 is now shipping. This release brings view and markup to a new level by providing new features and enhancements including: AutoVue SolidModel for Java; server-based metafile caching for 3D and 2D files and more. AutoVue supports the native visualization and markup of 200 formats including: AutoCAD, MicroStation, HPGL, CATIA, Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Unigraphics, Inventor, Mechanical Desktop, IGES, STEP, MS Office, TIFF, PDF and Visio.

URL: http://www.cimmetry.com

182.11 Avid Results

Avid Technology Inc has reported its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2001. Including acquisition-related amortization, and restructuring and other costs, net loss for the year ended December 31, 2001 was $38.1 million compared to a net loss of $56.3 million in 2000. For the year ended December 31, 2001, revenues were $434.6 million compared to revenues of $476.1 million in 2000. Major Avid releases during the year included Avid|DS HD 5.0, a high-definition finishing system that allows Avid to tap into the strengthening demand for high definition products and SOFTIMAGE| XSI 2.0, the latest version of Avid's 3D and animation software.

URL: http://www.avid.com

182.12 LightWork Spins Off

LightWork Design, the supplier of computer graphics software for rendering, simulation and verification solutions, is spinning off its NavisWorks Division into a separate and independent company, NavisWorks Ltd.
As an independent company, NavisWorks will be completely focused on developing the market for communication, visualization and navigation of 3D designs in the architectural, engineering and construction industries.

URL: http://www.lightworkdesign.com

182.13 Thailand: HP in 3D

According to The Nation, a Thai newspaper, HewlettPackard (Thailand) has joined forces with Rank PT O'Connor's, a local distributor of 3D animation software, in a foray into the computer graphics market. HP will provide workstations for testing and demonstrating Rank PT's 3D animation graphics software SOFTIMAGE/XSI version 2.0, which will be co-marketed and serviced by both companies. Prasert Charoonpaisal, HP's country manager says both partners believed that the computer graphics software market would grow significantly this year because of the boom in popularity of Thai movies. Last year, Rank PT saw a 30percent growth in revenue from the year before, while this year's revenues are expected to grow between 20 and 30 per cent.

182.14 ATI Joins OpenGL ARB

ATI Technologies Inc has been voted in as a permanent member of the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB), joining existing members 3Dlabs, Compaq Computer, Evans & Sutherland, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and SGI. The ARB helps shape the world's leading cross-platform 3D Application Programming Interface, developing standards and overseeing the certification process for hardware and software vendors designing products to work on OpenGL. Currently, ATI is working with the OpenGL industry leaders to adopt a common interface for the programmable shading architectures of today and the future. OpenGL is an environment for developing portable, i3D graphics applications. Since its introduction in 1992, OpenGL has become a widely used and supported 3D graphics API, bringing thousands of applications to a wide variety of computer platforms.

OpenGL fosters innovation and speeds application development by incorporating a broad set of rendering, texture mapping, special effects and other visualization functions.

URL: http://www.opengl.org
URL: http://www.ati.com

182.15 European Patent: Sony

Sony Computer Entertainment America has been awarded European Patent 1176559 for: "A hand-manipulated prop is picked-up via a single video camera, and the camera image is analyzed to isolate the part of the image pertaining to the object for mapping the position and orientation of the object into a three-dimensional space, wherein the three-dimensional description of the object is stored in memory and used for controlling action in a game program, such as rendering of a corresponding virtual object in a scene of a video display. Algorithms for deriving the three-dimensional descriptions for various props employ geometry processing, including area statistics, edge detection and/or color transition localization, to find the position and orientation of the prop from two-dimensional pixel data. Criteria are proposed for the selection of colors of stripes on the props which maximize separation in the two-dimensional chrominance color space, so that instead of detecting absolute colors, significant color transitions are detected. Thus, the need for calibration of the system dependent on lighting conditions which tend to affect apparent colors can be avoided.

182.16 USA Patent

USA Patent Number 6342887 has been awarded for: "A method and apparatus for reproducing real-world lighting effects in a computer animated object, in which a three dimensional virtual set is created in proportion to the physical set, optical parameters of each physical light source used on the real-world set are input into the model and qualified by effects such as dimming, filtration, diffusion, occlusion and attenuation to produce synthetic lighting of the virtual set. The camera lens transmission characteristics and film speed may also be incorporated into the virtual set parameters. The three dimensional computer animated object is positioned and oriented within the virtual set according to the position and orientation in which the visual effect is to appear in the cinematographic scene, and is thus synthetically `illuminated` within the virtual set in exactly the manner that a physical object of the same shape in the physical set would be illuminated, to produce a computer animated object that exhibits lighting effects as would appear in a comparable physical object photographed through the same camera lens using the same film as used in the physical set. The invention thus eliminates most of the judgment required on the part of a visual effects artist trying to reproduce in a computer animated object the lighting effects used in a cinematographic scene, and thus significantly reduces the time required to integrate the visual effect object into the cinematographic scene. Inherent characteristics of many light sources, filters, cameras and films can be maintained in a database or look-up table and can thus be entered into the virtual set by reference to the actual light sources and camera used on the real-world set."

182.17 Job Opportunity at the Sheffield Hallam University, UK

The position is for a Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Visualisation - Networks and Multimedia Subject Area to join an established team in delivering teaching in the area of visualization and computer graphics at undergraduate level and possibly later at postgraduate level, and contributing to research and funded development in relevant areas within the Computing Unit of Assessment. The Networks and Multimedia Subject Area currently consists of 21 permanent academic staff dedicated to the development of the subject of Networking, Multimedia, Visualization, Computing Mathematics and related topics as they arise in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, in academic research activity and in research and development activities associated with industry.

E-mail: mailto:p.collier@shu.ac.uk

182.18 Appointment at NavisWorks

Peter Thompson, previously General Manager of the NavisWorks Division within LightWork Design, has been appointed Managing Director of NavisWorks Ltd.

URL: http://www.navisworks.com

182.00 Events & Calls for Papers

182.19 NetGames2002: Call for Papers - URGENT

NetGames2002 - First International Workshop on Network and System Support for Games. April 16-17, 2002 - Braunschweig, Germany

URL: http://www.ibr.cs.tu-bs.de/netgames2002/
URL: http://argul.ifi.uio.no/NetGames/REG-paper/

182.20 Call for Papers - Cyber Terrorism

SECTOR 5, a B2B executive conference and exposition dedicated to exploring cyber terrorism and the targets of critical infrastructures, scheduled August 21-23, 2002 in Washington, D.C, USA, has announced a call for speakers. SECTOR 5 will gather executives from corporations, organizations, and government agencies that represent the five critical infrastructure sectors of banking/financial services, utilities/energy/water, telecommunications/information services, transportation and vital health/safety/emergency services.

URL: http://www.sector5.biz

182.21 International Conference on 3D Web Technology

7th International Conference on 3D Web Technology, sponsored by ACM SIGGRAPH and the WEB3D Consortium in cooperation with Eurographics, is being held in Tempe, Arizona, USA from February 24th to 28th.

URL: http://Web3DSymposium.org

182.22 VR Conference: Speakers from BMW, Audi, EADS/Airbus...

Thanks to Ludwig Fuchs for telling us Realtime Technology is holding its third VR conference in Landshut, Germany on March 7th and 8th. The company has assembled an excellent group of speakers from BMW, Audi, EADS/Airbus, NVidia, Siemens and vrcom.

URL: http://www.realtime-technology.de

182.23 PLM World 2002

PLM World 2002 takes place April 29 - May 3 in Orlando, Florida, USA. This new users' group conference combines the Unigraphics Users Group and The ICCON Network. The conference will feature sessions on many products from EDS PLM Solutions including Unigraphics, I-deas, i-Man and Teamcenter, and will highlight cross-product exposure, product differences and input on product evolution priorities. For agenda and registration details:

URL: http://event.plmworld.org

For extensive information about events relevant to the European VR/i3D community, see the events pages on El.pub: for Europe: base05.htm, for the rest of the world: connone.htm

About VREfresh news
Each edition of virtual reality news is now published on a separate page, ensuring that links (particularly from VREfresh) continue to remain current. To view news from previous issues, please use the navigation buttons below.
Email alerter of news items and associated URLs, send an email with your name, organisation, country (and for the US a zip code) to the Editor via the link above.
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