Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 2nd April 2002

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Users, Applications & Projects
01 Unlocking Secrets of 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy
02 Consortium Demonstrates Virtual Vehicles
03 Manufacturer is Shortening Design Cycle Time
04 Anti-smoking Campaign Uses VR
05 Oscars

06 InSpeck in VREfresh 186

Quote of the Issue
07 Quote of the Issue: Fashion
Products & Services
08 Price Cuts follow Job Cuts at Alias|Wavefront
09 Open Inventor Version 3.1
10 Vega Prime for Microsoft Windows
11 IPA Publish3d for SolidWorks
12 Swift 3D Vector Animations into Macromedia Flash MX

Companies & Markets
13 AEAC Acquires Korean 3D Animation Company

People & Opportunities
14 DMOD, Paraworld

Events & Calls for Papers
15 IMAGINE 2002
16 2002 European Simulation Interoperability Workshop
17 VR World Congress V
18 VSMM - Call for Papers
19 More Events

187.01 Unlocking Secrets of 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy

Groundbreaking research by the British Museum in London utilizing SGI visualization technologies has resulted in the first-ever virtual image of an Egyptian mummy locked away in its outer casing, raising new questions about the history of ancient mummies. Using an SGI Reality Center facility to convert computed axial tomography (CAT) scan data into a 3D image, researchers have been able for the first time to determine what lies hidden beneath the casing, or cartonnage, of a 3,000-year-old mummy, Nesperennub, housed at the museum since 1899.

URL: http://www.sgi.com

Culture and heritage applications are sure to feature in the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme (the fifth had a $3.5bn budget). Use VR World Congress V to identify project proposal partners.

187.02 Consortium Demonstrates Virtual Vehicles

When the global steel industry was looking for a way to "unveil" two vehicle concepts that existed in CAE designs, ICON Corporation proposed a high- tech exhibit that brought the concepts off the drawing board and into a 3D virtual world. The exhibit showcases the designs and performance results of the ULSAB-AVC (Advanced Vehicle Concepts) Program on DVD or CD-ROM. The ULSAB-AVC Program is the initiative of the ULSAB-AVC Consortium, representing 33 steel producers in 22 countries. It produced two vehicle concepts for global vehicles that achieve significantly improved fuel economy, 5-star crash performance and can be sold at competitive prices to current vehicles.

Said Jeff Klemm, ICON Corp. President, "The Consortium needed a way to exhibit these concept vehicles in a way that would be exciting to its audiences around the world, yet also be able to communicate the intricacies of the vehicles' exceptional achievements. We provided them with a solution fitting to attract their piece of the attention at major shows, like SAE or the Geneva Auto Show, while also supplying a structure for housing the details they needed to communicate to specific audiences."

URL: http://www.iconideas.com

187.03 Manufacturer is Shortening Design Cycle Time

Pacific International Tool & Shear Ltd is shortening design cycle time of their quality industrial cutting tools by 66 percent with Autodesk Inventor software. The company uses the visualization capabilities of the Autodesk VIZ application with Autodesk Inventor to produce virtual prototypes. These 3D renderings allow them to rapidly explore and present new design concepts and redesigns to clients, winning approval much earlier in the design process.

"We can accomplish more with fewer steps, enabling us to cut the design time for most products by two-thirds," said Jon Edwards, product engineer at Pacific International Tool & Shear of Kingston, Washington. "Because of the software's advanced 3D solid modeling capabilities, we are creating innovative new products that would have been impossible to produce before." IMAGINiT, an Autodesk channel partner, helped Pacific International Tool & Shear extend the value of Autodesk Inventor technology with VIZ software and PathTrace's EdgeCAM Solid Machinist software.

URL: http://www.autodesk.com

187.04 Anti-smoking Campaign Uses VR

In 1998, there were over 47 million adult smokers in the USA. There are 4.5 million adolescents who smoke and 3,000 teens who begin smoking each day. Of those 3,000 teens, 1,000 will die from a disease caused by smoking because of a decision made as a child. In an effort to educate the public of the consequences of tobacco use, the California Department of Health, Tobacco Control Section in consultation with the CA Arts Council, created a special grant program to combat these statistics. The grant of $641,120 is intended to create an anti-smoking campaign that will launch this month. The project includes a VR exhibit. Named "Smoke and Mirrors," the VR exhibit allows two to six visitors at a time to enter into a shared virtual environment through their own projected computer graphic media portal. Each visitor first has their face scanned, and the scan is then affixed to an avatar. The avatars are each constructed from isolated biological systems from the human body (i.e., respiratory system, circulatory system, the brain, cellular mitosis, etc.). Visitors navigate these bodies through a series of maze-like environments, immersing them in an active engagement with the historically shifting image of tobacco usage.

URL: http://www.rhfleet.org

187.05 Oscars

VREfresh does not usually include awards, but this is special for the entires pecial effects industry. All films nominated for an Academy Award for Distinguished Achievement in Visual Effects used SGI computer graphics systems. The worlds and cyborgs of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and the air and sea battles of Pearl Harbor were created by the artistry of Industrial Light + Magic (ILM), a division of Lucas Digital Ltd. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) also recognized Weta Digital, a New Zealand company that built a production facility based on SGI systems in order to produce the film trilogy of The Lord of the Rings. The first film of the series, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, was not only nominated for visual effects but also garnered 12 other Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

URL: http://www.sgi.com

187.06 Correction: InSpeck in VREfresh 186

In our most recent issue a typographical error resulted in an incorrect URL for InSpeck Inc, a company working in the field of optical 3D digitizing, particularly in applications relating to the human body. InSpeck will provide to 3D artists the necessary tools to create a complex 3D model by digitizing existing 3D objects. InSpeck's main functions include the research, design, development and manufacturing of non-contact optical 3D digitizers and 3D modeling software, which support applications for computer aided design specifically for modeling, animation, multimedia, gaming, electronic 3D archiving, 3D Web, and VR.

URL: http://www.inspeck.com

187.07 Quote of the Issue: Fashion

"We've entered into an era of "smart clothing" that has been bolstered by innovations in computer-aided design, 3D visualization and even nanotechnology," says Ron Wade, IADT's program director of interactive media and multimedia production and design. (See "Events" in this issue.)

Dr Louise Guay, co-founder of My Virtual Model Inc of Montreal, Quebec, has been invited to deliver a Keynote Address at VR World Congress V to present her vision of the future impact of VR/i3D on society.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

187.08 Price Cuts follow Job Cuts at Alias|Wavefront

After last month's job cuts, Alias|Wavefront is cutting the standard list prices of its Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited 3D animation software packages. Maya Complete, formerly priced at $7,500 will now sell for $1,999 and will include modeling, rendering, animation, dynamics, Artisan, Paint Effects and Maya Embedded Language (MEL), an open interface for programming and scripting . Maya Unlimited includes Maya Fur, Maya Cloth and advanced modeling features, which formerly sold for $16,000 will be priced at $6,999. The recent repricing is one of many tactics adopted by Alias|Wavefront in the past year. In April, 2001 it shipped the Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter and later Maya RTA, aimed at the web graphics market. The company followed this with Maya for Mac OS X product in September, 2001 and the free Maya Personal Learning Edition last month.

URL: http://www.aliaswavefront.com

187.09 Open Inventor Version 3.1

TGS Inc has announced the availability of Open Inventor Version 3.1 with improvements and enhancements. TGS offers extensions to Open Inventor allowing developers to "mix and match" the capabilities they need to address their visualization requirements, creating a developer's toolkit that is customizable to the individual developer's specifications. The extensions offered include Volume Rendering (VolumeViz), Multi-Pipe Rendering, Terrain Visualization (TerrainViz), Data Visualization (DataViz, formerly included in 3D-MasterSuite), Hard Copy (formerly included in 3D-MasterSuite), Solid Modeling (SolidViz), and Special Effects (FXViz).

URL: http://www.tgs.com

Open Inventor is designed specifically to use OpenGL for graphics rendering and is optimized to take advantage of OpenGL accelerators. It provides OpenGL at an object-oriented level. Open Inventor's optimized rendering takes advantage of OpenGL features such as display lists, texture objects, and vertex arrays. TGS is a licensee of Open Inventor from SGI with a direction to add value to the capabilities of this technology.

187.10 Vega Prime for Microsoft Windows

Vega Prime for Microsoft Windows, MultiGen-Paraigm's 3D application development and deployment tool, is now shipping. Vega Prime includes VSG (Vega Scene Graph), a low-level scene graph that provides an extensible, double precision environment for the creation of real-time 3D visual simulation applications. Vega Prime 1.0 is currently available for Windows users only. However, because of the single source architecture of Vega Prime, applications and code written in the Windows version will be immediately usable and viable for the SGI Irix, Linux and Sun Microsystems Solaris Operating Environment platforms once released later this year.

URL: http://www.multigen-paradigm.com

187.11 IPA Publish3d for SolidWorks

Immersive Design has announced IPA Publish3d for SolidWorks by SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. company. IPA Publish3d for SolidWorks enables SolidWorks users to enerate i3D product and process documentation. IPA Publish3d leverages the data contained in users' SolidWorks assemblies to generate an i3D web page that can be distributed as an e-mail attachment or published to a web site. SolidWorks users can purchase IPA Publish3d for SolidWorks at an introductory price of $195.

URL: http://www.immersivedesign.com
URL: http://www.publish3d.com

187.12 Swift 3D Vector Animations into Macromedia Flash MX

Electric Rain Inc has a new solution for incorporating Swift 3D vector animations into Macromedia Flash MX projects. The Swift 3D Importer, which will be accessed through the Macromedia Flash MX menu system, will recognize a new proprietary Swift 3D file format. Users of the Swift 3D Importer should have access to greater functionality and tighter 3D integration with Macromedia Flash MX than was previously possible.

URL: http://www.erain.com

187.13 AEAC Acquires Korean 3D Animation Company

American Electric Automobile Company Inc has entered into an agreement to purchase 100% of the shares of Cyper Entertainment Inc of Seoul, Korea, a privately held 3D digital animation company providing its services to the television, commercial and film industries. Established in January 2000, Cyper currently has 47 employees producing 3D digital animation. Upon closing of the transaction, AEAC will be changing its name to one more appropriate to the animation industry.

URL: http://www.cyper.co.kr

187.14 People: DMOD, Paraworld

Thomas Ohanian, formerly chief editor, corporate fellow and employee number eight at Avid Technology, has been appointed vice president of product development for DMOD Inc, a provider of secure distribution solutions for digital assets.

URL: http://www.dmod.com

After nine years, Andreas Schoebel has left his position of Director Sales & Marketing for Paraworld AG (formerly known as Virtual Reality Technologies GmbH).

URL: http://www.paraworld.com

187.00 Events & Calls for Papers

187.15 IMAGINE 2002

The International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT), based in Chicago, USA, is adopting into its fashion design curriculum solutions to take apparel into "the next virtual dimension." Many of the design collections utilizing new technology will be debuted at IADT's fashion show gala - "IMAGINE 2002" - on May 22. Rceently the U.S. Army invested $50 million to fund a national institute that would design military uniforms specially engineered to deflect bullets and biological weapons as well as solidify into a medical cast around the site of injuries. Sponsors of this year's IMAGINE include: CS Magazine; CVHV; DataMark; DesignerLines; Diamond Cut Denim; FGS, Inc. Printing; Finlandia; IADT Chicago; Kelly/Brady Advertising; Kingston Zak, Inc.; Korbel; LoRac; Outlook Marketing Services, Inc.; Panera; Red Bull; Trio Salon; Unisource; and UPS.

187.16 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 June 24-26, 2002 at the University of Westminster, UK.

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

187.17 VR World Congress V

VR World Congress V will be held in Paris, France on September 9th and 10th, 2002 and offers an exceptional opportunity to identify project partners to make proposals to the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme (the budget for the 5th was $3.5bn). A copy of the current working draft agenda is available. The delegate fee for this not-for-profit event is just $150 and, as numbers are limited, early registration will be essential.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

187.18 VSMM - Call for Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS: 8th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM 2002), September 25-27, 2002, Gyeongju, Korea. VSMM2002 will be held in Gyeongju, the capital of the ancient Shilla Kingdom, rich with 1000 year long culture and tradition, and the site of one of the UNESCO designated World Heritages. Papers are sought with special emphasis on: Virtual Heritage, Media Art and Creative Technology, Media and VR Technology, Wireless Life and Culture, and Virtual Medicine/Health Science.

URL: http://www.vsmm.org/2002

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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