Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 17 May 2002

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If you have booked your place at VR World Congress V you will meet delegates from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Slovenia, UK and the USA. If you haven't yet booked, you may miss the ideal opportunity to find project partners to bid for some of the European Commission's 3.6 billion euro 6th Framework budget.

Users, Applications & Projects
01 World's First Commercial Aviation 3D Maintenance Center
02 Flexible VR System at Iowa State University
03 Hardinge Save 40% in Design Time
04 Sony & 3D Asset Management
05 Interfacing with Mobiles

Products & Services
06 Real-Time 3D Character Animation by Kaydara
07 Plug-ins, Libraries and Programs for trueSpace Users
08 Performance Increase for ACIS Modeler
09 Free HOOPS 3D Part Viewer for ACIS
10 October Release for VCollab.net
11 Autodesk Users Offered Trade-in by Bentley
12 Carrara Studio Upgraded
13 Simulation Software by ESI
14 HP PC with ATI Graphics Card

Companies & Markets
15 E&S Settles Lawsuit with Lockheed Martin
16 MultiGen-Paradigm Parent under Investigation
17 Exluna Charged by Pixar
18 Intrinsic Graphics & 4X Technologies
19 New Xbox (& PlayStation 2) Pricing
20 New ex-Xbox Gaming Company
21 Shareholders Vote on Creative Technology Acquisition
22 A $2.5m Supply of Resin

Worth Watching
23 Old technology, Not Interactive, but Worth Watching
24 Grid Technology Worth Watching

Events & Calls for Papers
25 2002 European Simulation Interoperability Workshop
26 SIGGRAPH 2002
27 VR World Congress V
28 PRESENCE 2002
29 Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002
30 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics
31 More Events

192.01 World's First Commercial Aviation 3D Maintenance Center

United Airlines has implemented CATIA Version 5 to create and manage key engineering data relating to aircraft maintenance. The decision to use a single CAD/CAM system was based on a strategic move to reduce production costs. This decision included the implementation of over 300 CATIA workstations. INCAT was selected by United Airlines to implement and deploy CATIA V5 solutions at United's maintenance engineering sites. The United Airlines engineering team will use the full range of CATIA V5 3D capabilities including modeling, analysis, manufacturing, and review based on a digital mock-up (DMU) in various areas such as fleet engineering, component engineering, engine overhaul, tooling, general manufacturing, aircraft interior reconfiguration, and illustration creation.

In rapid response to the recent global requirement for upgraded safety in the aircraft industry, United Airlines used CATIA V5 for reinforcing existing cockpit doors. In just half the time normally required, the engineering team was able to re-design the door hardware, perform the required stress analysis, and generate manufacturing instructions. "Not only did we gain in cycle-time, but creating the engineering data in 3D allowed us to verify fit and assembly at the design stage", said Greg Taylor, Director, Information Services Division - United Airlines, "Ours has become the first commercial aviation three-dimensional maintenance center in the world."

URL: http://www.incat.com
URL: http://www.united.com

192.02 Flexible VR System at Iowa State University

Iowa State University's Virtual Reality Applications Center has opened a new flexible system for use in researching VR and collaboration. The "immersive projection" system can create a viewing area as large as 36 feet wide and 9 feet tall. Called the C4, the facility replaces the center's C2 system built in 1996. Like its predecessor, the C4 can also be made into a 12-by-12 foot room with images projected onto three walls as well as the floor. "To begin with, C4 is a new and improved C2, with better, brighter projectors," says Carolina Cruz-Neira, VRAC associate director and associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering at ISU. "But in a matter of minutes, we can reconfigure it into one of the largest 3D projection screens in the world. That greatly expands the types of applications we can run on it."

VRAC also houses the C6, one of the world's leading VR facilities, with six-sided projection and wireless interaction devices. A nearby auditorium is also equipped with 3D projection and display capabilities, enabling large audiences to interact with virtual worlds. The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, one of VRAC's research partners, funded part of the project. The system was designed and built in cooperation with Mechdyne. The C4 is driven by high-performance computers from SGI. Because space is limited, images from the projectors are reflected off two mirrors before reaching the screens, a method known as "folded optics."

To enable the walls to be swung in and out, projectors are mounted on supports connected to the wall framework. The project also required extensive renovation of the facility, which formerly housed wind-tunnel equipment. Three-dimensional sound adds to the realism of the virtual environment. VRAC uses these facilities to conduct research in science and engineering applications of virtual reality. It works with some of Iowa's leading organizations, including John Deere and the Iowa National Guard, as well as with companies and research organizations throughout the country. VRAC is home to $10 million in contract research, providing support for more than 30 faculty and over 100 graduate and undergraduate students.

192.03 Hardinge Save 40% in Design Time

The Research and Engineering Department of Hardinge Inc, a leading worldwide machine tool manufacturer, has upgraded to the Autodesk Inventor Series from Autodesk Mechanical Desktop and AutoCAD software. Hardinge designs top-quality metal-cutting lathes, machining centers, and related tooling and accessories of the highest precision with Inventor 3D mechanical design software. Hardinge was able to save 40 percent in comparable design time over Autodesk Mechanical Desktop for its new ELITE 8/51 CNC lathe. Autodesk Inventor software memory management and file management capabilities were a primary factor in moving to a 3D environment. Hardinge can now work efficiently with complex designs in the context of the assembly. Animations are also a powerful tool, allowing sales and marketing professionals to demonstrate the technical advantages of their products. Presentation files provide exploded views for assembly drawings and manuals, as well as animations for assembly instructions, field service, and electronic service manuals. Hardinge is also evaluating the Autodesk Streamline online collaboration service as a complementary solution to communicate AVI-based assembly/disassembly instructions in the field, both to its service engineers and its customers.

URL: http://www.autodesk.com
URL: http://www.hardinge.com

192.04 Sony & 3D Asset Management

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) is using NXN Software's alienbrain to manage the 2D and 3D art assets of its massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), EverQuest II. Scheduled for release in Winter 2003, EverQuest II features a new 3D engine that is capable of generating a 3D world in which players will have the ability to own real estate, ride horses, command ships and experience newly enhanced spells, quests and events. SOE houses their assets on the central NXN alienbrain server, where every asset is version-controlled, enabling the team to access any version of a file ever created for the project. File management is enhanced by NXN alienbrain's thumbnail views, previewing capabilities and search functionality. This simplifies the management of their massive database and decreases the potential for project delays. The latest release of NXN alienbrain 5.0 SR1 is available for evaluation.

URL: http://www.nxn-software.com

192.05 Interfacing with Mobiles

Pulse, a provider of online emotive interface technologies, is working with Texas Instruments to offer personalized interface technology on 2.5G and 3G mobile devices that use TI's OMAP application processors. Pulse's Veepers can create 3D people and characters with automated text-to-speech and built-in lip-synching functionality, as well as proprietary rendering, compression and streaming capabilities. Pulse technology supports RealNetwork's RealPlayer, Apple QuickTime 5 and the leading browsers for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh PC platforms.

URL: http://www.pulse3d.com
URL: http://www.ti.com

192.06 Real-Time 3D Character Animation by Kaydara

Kaydara has an upcoming release of MOTIONBUILDER 4.0, a new generation of its real-time 3D character animation software previously named FiLMBOX animation. With a redesigned drag-and-drop user interface, MOTIONBUILDER 4.0 is a professional 3D character animation solution that is more powerful, faster and easier to use. Automatic Character Rigging saves animators a significant amount of time when compared to manual rigging. Motion retargeting also allows animators to use diverse motion data in one, unified animation environment. MOTIONBUILDER seamlessly integrates with all the major 3D packages and provides a hub for any game, film, TV or broadcast production pipeline. Kaydara MOTIONBUILDER 4.0 will be available in August 2002 from $3,495 to run on Microsoft Windows NT/2000, Apple OS X, and Red Hat Linux.

URL: http://www.kaydara.com

192.07 Plug-ins, Libraries and Programs for trueSpace Users

Caligari Corporation has announced the availability of rayPak, a collection of plug-ins, libraries, and standalone programs for trueSpace users who want to enhance their creations with professional lighting, shaders, and presentation effects. This collection is fully compatible with Caligari's previously announced aniPak for animation, fxPak for special effects, and dePak for professional design. New trueSpace lighting capabilities are provided in rayPak via VirtuaLight, a rendering engine for previewing and photo-realistic rendering of 3D scenes. Regularly priced at $199, rayPak is available for a limited-time introductory price of $99 to trueSpace5 users. New trueSpace users can now purchase trueSpace version 5.2 for $595.

URL: http://www.caligari.com

192.08 Performance Increase for ACIS Modeler

Spatial has released the 8.0 version of their 3D ACIS Modeler product. The release delivers over a 20% performance increase on Windows platforms, an additional 25% performance increase when using Pentium 4 processors and Intel compilers, and improvements in tolerant modeling, versioning, and faceting functionality. In addition support for the Intel Itanium and Solaris 64-bit platforms has been included and more customer issues have been addressed in the latest version than in any other release of ACIS. Based on an object-oriented C++ architecture, 3D ACIS Modeler integrates wireframe, surface, and solid modeling capabilities with both manifold and non-manifold topology.

URL: http://www.spatial.com

192.09 Free HOOPS 3D Part Viewer for ACIS

Spatial and Tech Soft America (TSA) are releasing the free HOOPS 3D Part Viewer for ACIS, which allows for real-time collaborative viewing of ACIS part files. Developed around the ACIS 3D Geometric Modeler v8.0 and the HOOPS 3D Application Framework (HOOPS/3dAF) from TSA, the HOOPS 3D Part Viewer for ACIS includes numerous features such as real-time, simultaneous collaboration between multiple users and the ability to visualize large models and precise distance measurement computation. The HOOPS 3D Part Viewer for ACIS can be downloaded.

URL: http://www.spatial.com/downloads/downloads

192.10 October Release for VCollab.net

VirtualE3D has unveiled VCollab.net. Using Spatial's 3D ACIS Modeler, 3D InterOp translators and HOOPS, VCollab.net allows users to read VRML 1.0 and 2.0 files from any 3D authoring system, including CATIA, Unigraphics, Pro/E, I-DEAS, SolidWorks, MDT, AutoCAD, Inventor or CAE packages such as ANSYS. VCollab.net also works with applications outside of traditional CAD/CAM/CAE/PLM such as Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Alias StudioTools. Once in VCollab.net, data can be published on a Web Server, allowing various clients to access the data using a desktop browser. VCollab.net is currently scheduled for release in October 2002.

URL: http://www.virtuale3d.com

192.11 Autodesk Users Offered Trade-in by Bentley

Bentley Systems is offering a trade-in to MicroStation V8 and Architecture for MicroStation TriForma for users of Autodesk's AutoCAD R14 or higher and Architectural Desktop. The two Bentley products are available to Architectural Desktop users for $1276 when purchased together with one-year Bentley SELECT subscription priced at $920. Architecture for MicroStation TriForma automates the architectural design and production process, from conceptual design to construction documentation by integrating 3D modeling and 2D drawing production, reporting, visualization and animation.

URL: http://www.bentley.com

192.12 Carrara Studio Upgraded

Eovia has announced Carrara Studio 2, an upgrade to Carrara Studio. The English/international version of Carrara Studio 2 will begin shipping in June for both the Mac (OS 8, OS 9 and OS X) and Windows platforms, but can be pre-ordered to ensure priority delivery. Localized versions in French and German will follow shortly. Carrara Studio 2's Photon Maps are able to compute the Global Illumination of a whole 3D scene. This adds rendering features: Phong Shading, Reflection, Refraction, Radiosity (including diffuse lighting, color bleeding, etc.), Caustics (light reflection and refraction), Area light emitters (with no limitation on geometry and complexity), Sky dome Illumination and Environment Illumination. Carrara Studio 2 will cost $399, but special upgrade offers are on offer.

URL: http://www.eovia.com

192.13 Simulation Software by ESI

ESI Group, a provider of virtual prototyping and manufacturing solutions, has announced PAM-RTM 2002, simulation software for Liquid Composite Molding (LCM), and PAM-FORM 2002, a forming simulation solution for composites and plastics. Formerly known as LCMFLOT, PAM-RTM 2002 simulates various LCM processes, including Resin Transfer Molding (RTM), Vacuum Assisted RTM, and Resin Film Infusion. PAM-RTM 2002 provides fast solutions for preliminary design, as well as refined calculations for process and mold optimization and final design verification. PAM-FORM 2002 enables virtual and realistic analysis and optimization of a variety of manufacturing processes, including thermoforming, dry-fabric stamping, draping, diaphragm-forming, blowing, extrusion-blowing and stretching-blowing.

URL: http://www.esi-group.com

192.14 HP PC with ATI Graphics Card

ATI Technologies' ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 7500 graphics card is now available to France and United Kingdom customers on the new HP Pavilion PC "Football Special" models. Customers can control their own instant replays with the all-in-one TV, video and graphics card to double check that the ball actually did cross the goal line.

URL: http://www.ati.com

192.15 E&S Settles Lawsuit with Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin has settled its lawsuit with Evans & Sutherland arising from Lockheed Martin Information Systems' termination, two years ago, of E&S as subcontractors on a simulation and training program. The contract was to provide an image generator to the UK Ministry of Defense and was worth about $34 million to Evans & Sutherland.

URL: http://www.es.com
URL: http://www.lockheedmartin.com

192.16 MultiGen-Paradigm Parent under Investigation

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued subpoenas to former auditors of Computer Associates, parent company of MultiGen-Paradigm, and others in its investigation of the software maker's accounting practices. The SEC is investigating the firm and its executives jointly with the Justice Department as a preliminary inquiry into revenue-booking practices of the company. Investigators are reported to be looking into whether CA executives manipulated revenue in order to report higher earnings. Some senior executives were recipients of a 1998 stock grant, totaling approximately $1 billion at the time, that was tied to how well the company's stock performed. Ernst & Young audited CA's books until June 1999 since when the auditor has been KPMG. In January the stock was $38.74; at the time of writing it is $17.75. CA has responded by establishing an annual board evaluation of its chief executive; adopting the guidelines of the New York Stock Exchange concerning which directors qualify as independent, or non-company affiliated; limit the number of inside directors to three on a 12-person board; and limit the terms of independent directors.

URL: http://www.ca.com
URL: http://www.multigen.com

192.17 Exluna Charged by Pixar

Pixar Animation Studios has filed an amended complaint charging Exluna Inc with misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright infringement and patent infringement. The complaint alleges that Exluna, which was formed by three former Pixar employees, has misappropriated trade secrets from Pixar's RenderMan, a program used to develop animated movies. It also charges Exluna with infringement of copyrights and US Patent No. 4,897,806.

URL: http://www.pixar.com

192.18 Intrinsic Graphics & 4X Technologies

Intrinsic Graphics Inc, developer of the Intrinsic Alchemy game development platform, and 4X Technologies have formed a partnership agreement for the European distribution of Intrinsic Alchemy. 4X Technologies has become the sole distributor of Intrinsic Alchemy in Europe. 4X Studio, a 4X Technologies game development studio, will convert to utilize Intrinsic Alchemy exclusively for title development moving forward. Components of 4X Technologies middleware platform, Phoenix 3D, will be integrated into Intrinsic Alchemy product platform.

URL: http://www.intrinsic.com
URL: http://www.4xtechnologies.com

192.19 New Xbox (& PlayStation 2) Pricing

Sony is cutting the USA price of PlayStation 2 to $199, from $299. Microsoft is reportedly following suit by reducing Xbox to $199. More than two million Xbox machines have been sold in the USA.

192.20 New ex-Xbox Gaming Company

Two of Microsoft's Xbox architects, Seamus Blackley and Kevin Bachus, are planning to start a game company with the ambition to ease the costly game-development process and produce high-quality titles and not just for Xbox. The company will be called Capital Entertainment Group Inc. It said its economic model would be more appealing than the conventional publisher-developer model, whereby the publisher pays the developer an advance and royalties after the game's shipment. Capital Entertainment plans to pay developers retroactively after it recoups development costs from sales. The company has yet to raise money.

192.21 Shareholders Vote on Creative Technology Acquisition

3Dlabs Inc's shareholders approved the company's acquisition by Creative Technology Ltd by over 99% of those shareholders entitled to vote who cast their votes at meetings held on May 9, 2002 in Bermuda. Creative will acquire all of 3Dlabs' outstanding shares and 3Dlabs will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative.

URL: http://www.3dlabs.com

192.22 A $2.5m Supply of Resin

3D Systems Corp has renewed its exclusive resin supply agreement with Align Technology Inc. The agreement spans the next 18 months and is valued at a minimum of $2.5 million. Align Technology pioneered mass customized manufacturing using multiple SLA 7000 systems running 24 hours a day at its California facility. The systems produce accurate custom molds for thermoforming its clear Invisalign orthodontic appliances. 3D Systems provides solid imaging products and solutions that help reduce the time and cost of designing products and facilitate direct and indirect manufacturing. Its systems utilize patented technologies that create physical objects from digital input.

URL: http://www.3dsystems.com

192.23 Old technology, Not Interactive, but Worth Watching

Spider-Man is destined to be the superhero of the summer in movie theaters, comic shops and bookstores. To bring the webbed avenger to life on the printed page, Blue Dream Studios helped transform the 2D character into 3D for Marvel Enterprises Inc using BOXX Technologies' 3DBOXX workstation and Discreet's 3ds max software.

URL: http://www.boxxtech.com
URL: http://www.bluedreamstudios.com

192.24 Grid Technology Worth Watching

Butterfly.net Inc, a development studio and infrastructure provider to the online video game market, and IBM have announced the deployment of a commercial grid for the online video gaming market. The Butterfly Grid could enable online video game providers to support a high number of players within the same game by allocating computing resources to the most populated areas and most popular games. The Grid was built by Butterfly.net over the last two years using IBM e-business infrastructure technology that distributes the processing of video game interaction across a network of server farms. The Grid is a secure system built on customized software operating on the private network of Butterfly.net.

URL: http://www.butterfly.net/
URL: http://www.globus.org

192.00 Events & Calls for Papers

192.25 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

192.26 SIGGRAPH 2002

ACM SIGGRAPH is dedicated to the generation and dissemination of information on computer graphics and interactive techniques: San Antonio, Texas, USA - July 21-26, 2002 (exhibition 23-25).

URL: http://www.siggraph.org

192.27 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

192.28 PRESENCE 2002

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 to our attention PRESENCE 2002 in Portugal on October 9,10,11, 2002

URL: http://www.presence-research.org

192.29 Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002

ACM Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002: Bonn, Germany - September 30-October 2, 2002. CVE 2002 is a conference dedicated to the design, development and use of collaborative virtual environments (CVEs). Submission deadlines for Papers, Posters, Panels, Workshops, and Tutorials is May 1st 2002.

URL: http://www.cve2002.org/

192.30 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics

2003 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics: California, USA - April 27 to 30, 2003. Papers Deadline: 15 September 2002

URL: http://movesinstitute.org/I3D.html

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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