Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 8th March 2002

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Users, Applications & Projects
01 Immersive Environments via 2.5 gigabit-per-sec Network
02 Land Warrior Virtual Training System

Products & Services
03 Conceptual Designs as Full-size Virtual Prototypes
04 Prototyping & Translator for SGI Platforms
05 Caligari Announces dePak
06 Knowledge Room for PCs
07 Support for VIZ by Electric Rain
08 Rendering System for Film, Design, Games, Art

Companies & Markets
09 Intel Features REALVIZ
10 Maya Bundle for UK
11 Addition to Discreet Developer Program
12 Raindrop Geomagic & Genex Agree
13 LightWord Design to Partner Pathtrace

Standard & Patents
14 X3D Draft
15 Patent: Mechanisms and methods...

People & Appointments
16 Opportunity at University College London
17 Appointment at StereoGraphics

Events & Calls for Papers
18 USA Roadshow
19 Immersive Projection Technologies Symposium
20 2002 European Simulation Interoperability Workshop
21 More Events


184.01 Immersive Environments via 2.5 gigabit-per-sec Network

Two Californian universities, a California Institute for Science and Innovation, and four California-based companies today unveiled a visualization complex dedicated to Earth and ocean sciences, linking wide-screen, "immersive" environments over a 2.5 gigabit-per-second optical network. The group also dedicated a permanent Visualization Center at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), linked to a similar facility at San Diego State University (SDSU) through 44 miles of optical fiber, with optical switches and 3.2-million-pixel screens at each end.

"Analysis facilities for complex scientific data sets can serve as prototypes for real-time analysis of the environment or the health of civil infrastructure during and after natural or man-made disasters, if they are engineered with this use in mind," says Larry Smarr, director of Cal-(IT)2 and a professor of computer science and engineering at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering. The optically-networked visualization centers allow groups of researchers at both locations to collaborate in real-time on large data sets in the form of 3D images projected on high-resolution wall-sized screens. The Cal-(IT)2 Visualization Center at Scripps is built around a Panoram(R) GVR-120E curved floor-to-ceiling screen (8'6" X 28'4") featuring 3.2 million pixel resolution.

"We are talking about at least twenty times the bandwidth of network television," says Theo Mayer, President and CEO of Panoram Technologies. "A system like this one will change the way scientific visualization is done, just as it already has changed the working methods and cultures of industries such as oil/gas and aerospace that use high-resolution computer imaging and modeling." The SGI Onyx 3400 technology driving the system is equipped with InfiniteReality3 graphics and 16 processors. The massive amount of data to be transmitted instantaneously between the two centers requires a new type of high-performance, optical networking platform. TeraBurst Networks developed WAVS (Wide Area Visualization Solution) to address that need. WAVS is based on high-bandwidth technology that is capable of aggregating video, audio and LAN data into optics and connecting disparate locations at data rates required for real-time collaboration.

184.02 Land Warrior Virtual Training System

Reality by Design Inc. (RBD) has selected Quantum3D to provide the realtime embedded visual computing system for use in its Land Warrior Virtual Training System. RBD is developing the synthetic environment embedded simulation and training application under contract from STRICOM for the US Army. The Quantum3D Land Warrior system features Quantum3D's new Sentiris PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC). Sentiris is based on the recently announced NVIDIA Quadro4 embedded GPU and marks the industry's first commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) graphics subsystem based on NVIDIA technology.

URL: http://www.rbd.com
URL: http://www.ais-sim.com
URL: http://www.quantum3d.com

184.03 Conceptual Designs as Full-size Virtual Prototypes

EDS has released Vis Concept 3.0, a Teamcenter product from the company's PLM Solutions line of business. Vis Concept is a software solution used to present conceptual designs as full-size virtual prototypes, and enables manufacturers to experience, evaluate and explore products designs in a realistic virtual environment. Using Vis Concept, users can present high-resolution, photo-realistic designs on their desktop computers or on large screens up to eight feet in height within special virtual reality environments known as CAVEs, PowerWalls, and Desks. Physical prototypes are replaced with interactive 1:1 scale virtual prototypes that can be viewed in a VR setting using 3D glasses. Vis Concept is CAD neutral, supporting a wide range of industry CAD products through a Direct Model (.JT) common data interface.

Vis Concept 3.0 is fully supported on Hewlett-Packard and SGI hardware platforms.

URL: http://www.eds.com

184.04 Prototyping & Translator for SGI Platforms

VirtualE3D has announced two products for SGI platforms: VCollab, a visual prototyping tool, and VMove, a dedicated translator that converts CATIA V4 data into SGI Open Inventor format. VirtualE3D, a leading engineering and software services company, has also joined the SGI Developer Plus program. VMove and VCollab are marketed to industries such as aerospace, automotive, heavy engineering, consumer goods, electrical and electronic markets. The software allows companies using CAD, CFD, CRASH and CAE tools to visually collaborate with all the 3D engineering data under one common neutral platform. This offers companies productivity and cost savings by allowing complete product development teams across the product life cycle to see and experience the product before it is manufactured.

URL: http://www.virtuale3d.com
URL: http://www.infovision.net
URL: http://www.sgi.com

184.05 Caligari Announces dePak

Caligari Corporation has announced the availability of dePak, a collection of toolkits, suites, individual plug-ins, libraries, and standalone programs - 31 tools in all - for trueSpace design and engineering professionals. The CK Modeling Suite includes 11 plug-ins, including ClothMotion for cloth simulation and animation. Users have the ability to control features such as stiffness and flexibility, cloth weight, gravity, and wind. Collision detection with collision models, self collision, and cloth vertices fixation are invaluable when creating flags, curtains, sheets, clothing, and other objects made of cloth. A companion tool, Magnetic Vertex, magnetically attracts vertices of one object to another, so users can easily fit cloth to a character's body. MeshSize 2 calculates the surface area and volume of any object and allows dePak users to scale the object to any given surface area or volume. Three new path enhancement tools, PathAray, ConstantPath, and textPath, allow users to array objects along paths, evenly space the keyframe divisions, and set text to flow along any chosen path.

URL: http://www.caligari.com

184.06 Knowledge Room for PCs

Tower Hill Development has announced "Knowledge Room", visual document management software for MS-Windows-based PCs. Knowledge Room uses 3D technology to enable users to navigate, gather, organize, and recall information. Taking advantage of human perception and spatial memory, Knowledge Room helps people organize information in their computer in the same way they organize in the real world: by manipulating objects in three-dimensional space, with a sense of depth, color, texture, and lighting. Knowledge Room is available now at $19.95.

URL: http://www.towerhill.com

184.07 Support for VIZ by Electric Rain

Electric Rain has announced support for Autodesk VIZ (formerly 3D Studio VIZ) with their vector rendering plug-in, Swift 3D MAX. Swift 3D MAX now extends the power, speed and versatility of Electric Rain's proprietary RAViX II rendering engine to the Autodesk VIZ user by enabling export to Macromedia Flash (SWF) AI, EPS, and the latest XML-based vector format SVG.

URL: http://www.erain.com

184.08 Rendering System for Film, Design, Games, Art

Exluna has released Entropy 3.1, a production-proven rendering system for creating 3D imagery in film, design, games, and art. Entropy 3.1 brings performance optimizations and new features to Exluna's studio customers and 3D professionals. Entropy now incorporates depth of field and HDRI image-based lighting, adding to the feature set that includes global illumination, caustics, motion blur, and geometry support. Performance enhancements for features such as motion blur, raytracing, and sub-pixel (true) displacement and better overall rendering speed represent some of the advances found in this latest version.

184.09 Intel Features REALVIZ

REALVIZ was featured as a key component of Intel President & CEO Craig Barrett's keynote address at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. REALVIZ Interactive Studio provides a solution for building photo-realistic, i3D models and environments for developers of Macromedia Shockwave, VRML and 3D content. Intel chose to demonstrate REALVIZ Interactive Studio as it is the type of application that pushes the envelope in interactive computer graphics using Intel Pentium 4 Processor based systems.

URL: http://www.realviz.com/products/interactive_studio/

184.10 Maya Bundle for UK

Alias|Wavefront and Advanced Rendering Technology (ART) have produced a product bundle for the UK design visualization market: the combination of Alias|Wavefront's Maya Complete application and ART's PURE P1800 3D rendering add-in PCI board. The bundle is available from Alias|Wavefront resellers throughout the UK, at £8,416.

URL: http://www.aliaswavefront.com
URL: http://www.art-render.com

184.11 Addition to Discreet Developer Program

DSI Datotech Systems has joined the developer community of Discreet. As part of the Discreet Sparks Developer Program, DSI will immediately begin integration of its technology with Discreet's 3ds max software application. DSI's multi-point touchpad interprets pressure, position and speed of finger movements, to provide virtual 3D camera control, object manipulation, and real-time visualization for Discreet's 3ds max application software.

URL: http://www.discreet.com
URL: http://www.dato.com

184.12 Raindrop Geomagic & Genex Agree

Genex Technologies and Raindrop Geomagic have signed a development and reseller agreement that will bring integrated 3D photography solutions to medical device manufacturers and other industries that can benefit from mass customization. Genex becomes a licensed reseller of the Geomagic software line. Raindrop Geomagic will integrate Genex's Rainbow scanner and drivers into its Geomagic Capture software, and Genex will offer a customized version of Geomagic Capture with its Genex Rainbow cameras.

URL: http://www.geomagic.com

184.13 LightWord Design to Partner Pathtrace

LightWork Design and Pathtrace Engineering Systems have announced a partnership that sees MachineWorks technology incorporated into the latest release of the EdgeCAM CAM solution. LightWork Design's MachineWorks technology will provide EdgeCAM users with an accurate, true solid simulation of their toolpaths. This will enable potentially costly machining errors to be automatically and intelligently identified in a virtual environment, before any real damage can occur. EdgeCAM is the sum of around twenty years focused CAM experience, and many thousands of man years in the manufacturing sector. EdgeCAM has over 20,000 users and is available in around 60 countries throughout the world.

URL: http://www.edgecam.com
URL: http://www.machineworks.com
URL: http://www.lightworkdesign.com

184.14 X3D Draft

The Web3D Consortium has announced the availability of the draft version of the X3D ("Extensible 3D") standard to bring 3D graphics to the Web and broadcast environments for a wide variety of applications and devices. The draft specification will form the basis for commercial implementation and evaluation of this open, royalty-free standard in preparation for submission to ISO in August of this year. The X3D Interactive profile has also been accepted by the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as the basis for lightweight, i3D graphics in the MPEG-4 multimedia standard. The X3D Interactive Profile defines a small footprint subset of X3D that enables interactive 3D functionality for MPEG-4 Systems.

By enabling interactive 3D for devices with limited processing power, the X3D Interactive Profile defines a standard for 3D destined for low-power computers, set-top boxes, mobile phones, and personal digital assistants as well as more capable devices such a desktop devices and gaming consoles. The Interactive Profile will enable interoperability between X3D and MPEG-4 content, providing a consistent platform for 3D graphics and application development across Web and broadcast environments. The Web3D Consortium, as an active member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is tightly integrating X3D with other W3C standards, including the Extensible Markup Language (XML), the Document Object Model (DOM) and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).

Tight integration of these standards will allow developers to combine text, audiovisual content, graphics, animations and data to deliver a seamless and compelling end user experience. The X3D standard is being developed with an accompanying sample open source implementation, Xj3D. Xj3D is a java-based X3D toolkit that allows companies to rapidly support the new standard. The source code is available under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), and so can be used by companies as a library without restrictions. X3D will also ship with a rich repository of sample content, over 2,000 files, to facilitate conformance testing and to educate content developers.

URL: http://www.web3d.org/

184.15 Patent: Mechanisms and methods...

USA Patent 6348927 has been awarded for "Mechanisms and methods for storing, dynamically reconstructing, and navigating a three-dimensional virtual world using a database are disclosed. A virtual world is described in a source text according to the grammar of a modeling language. The source text is read, parsed, and decomposed into a database schema in which characteristics of the world are represented in database tables. In an embodiment, nodes and fields of the world are associated with database queries. When the world is to be displayed, values in the database schema are recomposed into a source text. The database queries are executed against a database, yielding on-the-fly values for the nodes associated with the queries. In another embodiment, the world is segmented into regions, and proximity sensors are defined around the virtual position of a client that is viewing the world. When the virtual position of the client changes, visible adjacent regions of the world are selectively loaded, recomposed, and displayed. Thus, large virtual worlds are efficiently displayed and easily modified."

184.16 Opportunity at University College London

Research Fellow Post, Department of Computer Science, University College London, UK: Advanced Grid interfaces for Environmental E-Science in the Lab and in the Field. The Equator project is an Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration funded by the EPSRC. It is a collaboration between 8 UK universities, carrying out research on the boundary of virtual and physical worlds. Research at UCL focuses on the computer graphics and virtual reality. Applicants should have a PhD or equivalent research experience in computer graphics and/or virtual reality. The specific areas in which we are concentrating for this sub-project are real-time display and interaction with city models that include real-time data from sensors in the urban environment. Expertise in the construction, rendering, interaction, and networking for real-time graphics and/or geographical information systems would be ideal.

URL: http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/research/equator/
URL: http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/vacancies

184.17 Appointment at StereoGraphics

StereoGraphics Corporation has appointed Lenny Lipton, Chairman of the Board and founder of StereoGraphics Corporation, to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Mr Lipton will maintain his role as Chief Technology Officer and continue to lead research and development. While an undergraduate at Cornell University, he wrote the poem that became Puff the Magic Dragon, a popular song.

184.00 Events & Calls for Papers

184.18 USA Roadshow

StereoGraphics and Christie Digital Systems are teaming up to conduct demonstrations of their stereoscopic 3D visualization solutions in Boston, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham and Chicago starting April 30th to May 10th, 2002. These demonstrations will show the benefits of visualizing in Stereo3D to scientists, engineers, digital content creators and other professionals who create complex 3D images in industrial VR, molecular modeling, GIS/mapping, MCAD and medical imaging applications. Christie will showcase its new Mirage line of three-chip DLP stereoscopic projectors incorporating StereoGraphics' Stereo3D controllers. StereoGraphics will feature its SynthaGram Monitor autostereo display (no eyewear required), CrystalEyes3 active shuttering eyewear and Monitor ZScreen 2000i stereo viewing panel (used with passive polarized eyewear). Register online.

URL: http://www.christiedigital/roadshow

184.19 Immersive Projection Technologies Symposium

Immersive Projection Technologies Workshop (IPT) is being held jointly with IEEE VR and has changed names to the IPT symposium. It will be held March 24-25 in Orlando, USA.

URL: http://www.vr2002.org
URL: http://www.vrac.iastate.edu/~carolina
URL: http://www.glasshousestudio.com

184.20 2002 European Simulation Interoperability Workshop

The 2002 European Simulation Interoperability Workshop (Euro SIW) is sponsored by the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO) in cooperation with The Society for Computer Simulation - Europe International Training Equipment Conference (ITEC, Ltd.). The 2002 Euro SIW will be held 24-26 June 2002 at the University of Westminster, UK. This Workshop will include a wide range of modeling and simulation (M&S) issues, applications, and communities. It will include multiple tracks and special sessions addressing simulation interoperability issues and proposed solutions; tutorials on state-of-the-art methodologies, tools, and techniques; and exhibits presenting the latest technological advances.

URL: http://www.sisostds.org/siw/02euro/index.htm

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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