Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 30th August 2002

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The VR World Congress V Dinner is now fully subscribed. You can check the availability of delegate places (Paris, France - September 9 & 10) by emailing Sophie Lafond.

Users, Applications & Projects
01 French Formula 1 Team Partners 3D Systems
02 Can Real Pictures Help VR Take Off?
03 Tower Research Simulator
04 Schlumberger's Immersive Interaction with 3D
05 "Fairly Dramatic Deployment of Technology" at GM

Products & Services
06 3D Architectural and Mechanical Design Symbols
07 FreeForm Visual Communication Package
08 Effects Plug-in for Adobe After Effects
09 Section Cutting Tool
10 AMD in BOXX
11 QuickTime Video Card

Companies & Markets
12 Save on Gypsy 3 System with FiLMBOX

Worth Watching
13 Supercomputing in China
14 Pliable Display Technology in Boeing Products
15 950 feet of Display Technology

16 Oregon3D Gets New President & VP

Events & Calls for Papers
17 VR World Congress V
18 Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002
19 Cave Programming Workshop
20 Delivering Technology Leadership for Life Sciences
21 PRESENCE 2002
22 IEEE Visualization 2002
23 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics
24 SIGGRAPH 2003
25 More Events

206.01 French Formula 1 Team Partners 3D Systems

3D Systems Corp. has announced the partnership and establishment of an Advanced Digital Manufacturing (ADM) Center in conjunction with the Renault F1 Team specifically concentrated on Formula 1 design and low-run production parts for the Renault F1 Team car. The establishment of the 3D Systems Advanced Digital Manufacturing Center is a committed effort by both companies to continue the work done in the wind tunnel, but also in the development of parts used directly on the car during testing or a race. In addition to the two SLA 7000 systems, the ADM Center will receive two additional SLA 7000 systems and an OptoForm system in September with full commissioning of the new facility expected by December 2002. When fully operational the center will be furnished with four high-end SLA 7000 systems, an OptoForm paste system and a ThermoJet printer.

Future additions to the ADM Center will include 3D Systems SLS (selective laser sintering) systems technology. 3D Systems provides solid imaging products and solutions to reduce the time and cost of designing products and facilitate direct and indirect manufacturing. Its systems utilize patented technologies to create physical objects from digital input used for design communication, prototyping and functional end-use parts. The philosophy for Renault's involvement in Formula 1 is not just about building brand awareness but it also enables a filter down of technology to their road car products. The Renault F1 Team is a wholly owned division of Renault headquartered in Paris, France - where VR World Congress V is being held on September 9th and 10th.

URL: http://www.3dsystems.com
URL: VR World Congress V (email Sophie Lafond to check availability) mailto:Slafond@mva.co.uk

206.02 Can Real Pictures Help VR Take Off?

REALVIZ has announced that Artmaze, a provider of 3D animated architectural presentations and multimedia services based in San Francisco and Sydney, Australia, has chosen REALVIZ MatchMover Professional as their solution for motion tracking. Artmaze cited the manual tracking feature as the top reason the product was chosen. Solutions offered by Artmaze include the major areas of real-time visualization, virtual sets, 3D animation, motion graphics, compositing and multimedia. The recently announced REALVIZ MatchMover 2.5 Professional has added features including the ability to create and handle mattes, to merge multiple instances of tracked features, to limit the number of tracks, to add 3D locators without resolving the shot, and has also added new export options to programs such as Discreet Flint, Flame, Inferno and Apple Shake.

URL: http://www.realviz.com/products/mpro/
URL: http://www.artmaze.com

Luc Robert, Chief Technology Officer for REALVIZ is presenting "How Real Pictures can Help VR Take Off" at VR World Congress V. His underlying message is that one of the problems of VR is that creating interesting 3D content is still too expensive. An Image-based, hybrid 2D/3D (3D for interaction, 2D for realism and beauty) approach is an approach to solve this issue. Email Sophie Lafond to check if places are still available.

206.03 Tower Research Simulator

At its premises in the Anthony Fokker Business Park near Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory, NLR, has taken delivery of a Visual System for the NLR Tower Research Simulator (TRS). The system was symbolically transferred by Mr H Koemeester, Director of the Siemens Division Traffic, Transport and Special Projects, handing the remote controls of the BARCO high-resolution projectors to Mr F Holwerda, General Director of NLR. The system has been designed and built by a consortium consisting of Siemens Nederland N.V. for project management and systems integration, BARCO of Belgium for the LCD projection system and projection screens, and SGI Nederland, supported by SGI professional services UK, for the Image Generation hardware/software (Onyx2IR3/Vizage) and the visual database of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The visual system makes use of three BARCO SIM6/HB LCD Projectors.

The projection screen has a diameter of 11m and a height of 4m, at present supporting a horizontal Field-of-View (FoV) of 135° and a vertical FoV of 40°. The visual system is capable of providing out-of-the-window views both from a static viewpoint in the Air Traffic Control Tower and from a simultaneously moving viewpoint in a selected airframe. A variety of weather effects like precipitation and visibility are available, apart from dedicated winter and night databases. The system also incorporates an astronomical table enabling realistic sun, moon and star positions to be applied depending upon the time, season and geographical position on the Earth.

URL: http://www.barcoprojection.com

Eric Braux, Director European Operations V&AR for Barco Simulation Products is a speaker at VR World Congress V. Barco is also providing the projection facilities for the event. Email Sophie Lafond to check if places are still available.

206.04 Schlumberger's Immersive Interaction with 3D

Ascension Technology Corporation's tracking technology is now being used by Schlumberger Information Solutions to facilitate immersive interaction with their 3D virtual reality system for oil well planning, real-time geosteering and geophysical analysis. Schlumberger's 3D visualization system, called Inside Reality, gives oil exploration design teams greater understanding of the complex structures inside geological models. Its immersion capability relies on large screens, stereo display, a tracked hand movement device and head tracking.

The display area allows an entire team of experts to collaborate in real time. With features such as volume rendering and the ability to import and export seismic data, well drill paths, well logs and interpreted surfaces, Inside Reality lowers costs and expedites the recovery of oil and gas. New to the system this year, Ascension's magnetic tracker rests on a head-mounted display, transmitting data about the user's motions to the host computer. In turn, that data is used to direct the computer generated image seen by those viewing the 3D datasets and models. Ascension's Flock of Birds provides tracking with full six degrees-of-freedom (6DOF), so Inside Reality can have real-time walk-through and fly-through capability.

URL: http://www.ascension-tech.com
URL: http://www.slb.com

206.05 "Fairly Dramatic Deployment of Technology" at GM

General Motors is buying 10 of IBM's high-performance Unix computers with a plan to link them together to form one of the world's most powerful supercomputers. The deal is a sign of the growing importance of high-powered computing in designing automobiles. Last month both Audi and DaimlerChrysler announced plans to buy IBM supercomputers. IBM and GM decline to specify the value of the deal. The "list price" for a 32-processor P690 computer is $2.1m. IBM will also handle services work installing the computers and integrating them with 13 similar systems owned by GM and its Saab in Sweden and its Opel in Germany. GM will use the IBM supercomputer for a range of simulations. According to Charles King, a senior analyst with the Sageza Group market research company, GM's new system is "a fairly dramatic deployment of technology." Noting that using supercomputers to simulate cars' performance is much quicker and cheaper than building prototypes, he said it should make it easier for GM to "engage in limited production-run products" for specialty cars.

URL: http://www.ibm.com
URL: http://www.sageza.com

Also see item on supercomputing in China.

206.06 3D Architectural and Mechanical Design Symbols

GiveMePower Corporation, a provider of desktop, mobile and wireless software solutions for the design/build industry, has acquired graphics software for use with GiveMePower's PowerCAD CAD software systems. This software includes more than 8,600 2D and 3D architectural and mechanical design symbols. The software was acquired from Cad Easy Corporation. For architects and building designers, eight component libraries feature nearly 1,200 detailed 3D symbols, allowing instant insertion of kitchens, landscapes, bathroom facilities, offices, space planning components and vehicles. The newly acquired symbols also include a mechanical master pack, featuring twelve individual libraries comprised of more than 7,500 related symbols, covering such areas as bearings, fasteners, flow charts, geometric positioning, hydraulics and pneumatics, metric fasteners, pins, pipe fittings, plant process control, steel shapes, structural steel and welding symbols.

URL: http://www.givemepower.com
URL: http://www.cadeasy.com

206.07 FreeForm Visual Communication Package

SensAble Technologies, Inc. has announced the availability of the FreeForm Visual Communication Package (VCP). With new Render and Publish modules, the VCP allows FreeForm system users to share their models with others involved in the product development process. The Render module produces photorealistic images for design reviews with marketing, sales and licensors. The Publish module generates 3D files that can be reviewed and marked up by users of SensAble's free View application. Robert Kolich, Director R&D Technical Services at Fisher Price said, "We should produce fewer rapid prototypes because of the capabilities of these new modules."

URL: http://www.sensable.com

206.08 Effects Plug-in for Adobe After Effects

electricFX has announced the public beta availability of eFX Extract3D, an effects plug-in for Adobe After Effects. With the release of this plug-in, motion graphics and visual effects artists have access within After Effects to hidden 3D image channels rendered by 3D animation applications like 3DS Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Softimage and Electric Image. eFX Extract3D is available in a Public Beta version at an introductory price of $65.

URL: http://www.electricfx.com

206.09 Section Cutting Tool

Fulfilling a commitment to clients, @Last Software has released SketchUp 2.1 featuring a section-cutting tool. This sixth release of the 3D design software, allows users to cut a section through their model in real-time to generate and export 2D plans, sections and elevations of their 3D model to their CAD program. SketchUp 2.1 is available for Windows and Mac OS X at $495.

URL: http://www.sketchup.com/training/sectioning.php

206.10 AMD in BOXX

BOXX Technologies has announced its R and H series of high-performance 3DBOXX workstations and RenderBOXX rendering systems now feature the AMD Athlon MP processor 2200+ with QuantiSpeed architecture and Smart MP technology. Designed for Windows 2000 or Linux, 3DBOXX and RenderBOXX are available in single and dual processor configurations enhanced with NVIDIA Quadro4 XGL architecture and optimized for modeling and rendering 3D content and animation with software programs such as Maya, 3ds max, Softimage 3D, LightWave 3D, and Houdini.

URL: http://www.boxxtech.com

206.11 QuickTime Video Card

Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd. in conjunction with AJA Video Inc. has announced that the Kona SD uncompressed QuickTime video card is now compatible with the new Mac OS X 10.2. The Kona SD takes advantage of Quartz Extreme technology built into Mac OS X 10.2. Quarts Extreme allows the Kona SD to deliver high quality real time updates on the Mac monitor during video capture, playback and in real time effects. The Kona family is available at $3,295.

URL: http://www.aja.com
URL: http://www.blackmagic-design.com

206.12 Save on Gypsy 3 System with FiLMBOX

Until September 1st you can purchase a new Gypsy 3 system, with FiLMBOX motioncapture and a year of support for $30,995 saving $8,400. Gypsy 3 Wireless is available with FiLMBOX motioncapture and a year of support for $33,995, saving $10,000. Gypsy 3 wireless works with laptop computers and has a wireless range of one half-mile (.8km) outdoors, or 200 yards (180m) indoors. It includes a standalone driver (BVH output) and a Kaydara certified FiLMBOX driver. It also has an SDK for custom applications on the PC.

URL: http://www.metamotion.com/gypsy/gypsy-motion-capture-system.htm
URL: http://www.metamotion.com/captor/motion-captor.htm

206.13 Supercomputing in China

In China, Legend Group Ltd says it has built its first supercomputer capable of achieving a computing speed of 1,000 giga floating operations per second (GFLOPS). The computer is the fastest ever developed in China. The supercomputer will be installed in early September at the Academy of Mathematics and System Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Science for applications including fluid dynamics computation, petroleum and earthquake information control and oil reservoir simulation.

206.14 Pliable Display Technology in Boeing Products

Case study results are in on the integration of IDELIX Software Inc's Pliable Display Technology (PDT) with Boeing Autometric's SoftPlotter 4.0 and KDSP 1.2 applications. Atlantic Air Survey Ltd, a geographic information technology firm, has reported efficiency gains of at least 20% in their data editing and collection process. PDT is a visualization technology that addresses the challenge of viewing high-density data sets and images on a limited size screen display. Integrated into the spring 2002 releases of Boeing Autometric's photogrammetric production solutions SoftPlotter 4.0 and KDSP 1.2, the PDT lens enables photogrammetrists to perform vector collection and quality control tasks more efficiently by magnifying a portion of the imagery under the lens in real time. This allows the close-up view of imagery beneath the lens while maintaining a connected overview of imagery surrounding the lens, thereby facilitating navigation and editing within the imagery without the need for zooming in and out.

URL: http://www.autometric.com
URL: http://www.idelix.com

206.15 950 feet of Display Technology

Daktronics, Inc has received orders to provide digital, full-color LED ProAd display systems for the Fleet Center in Boston and the New Orleans Arena. The value of the two orders together totals approximately $2.9 million. A continuous ring of more than 950 feet of ProAd display technology will be installed on the fascia of the Fleet Center. The display will measure approximately three feet high (32 pixels high by 12,736 pixels wide; pixels on 23 mm spacing) and contain more than 1.2 million red, green and blue LEDs to display graphics, animation and video images. Installation is expected to be completed in October 2002.

URL: http://www.daktronics.com

206.16 Oregon3D Gets New President & VP

Bob Rosenthal has joined Oregon3D as president and Dannielle Yates has joined as executive vice president. Oregon3D's training facility offers 3D graphics professionals a collaborative learning environment and a variety of courses in 3D modeling, animation, special visual effects, editing, and compositing, as well as real-time image generation for data visualization and simulation. It also provides a service bureau that allows clients to access supercomputing visualization technology. Bob Rosenthal was executive vice president of Maduff Group Inc., a Chicago-based financial services company. Dannielle Yates was involved with the startup of Washington's Intel University and the Intel Enterprise Technology Center.

URL: http://www.oregon3d.com

206.00 Events & Calls for Papers

206.17 VR World Congress V

VR World Congress V will be held in Paris, France on September 9th and 10th, 2002.

The Congress Dinner on September 9th is now full, but some delegate places may still be available. Email Sophie Lafond to check if you can still register.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com
Email: Sophie Lafond mailto:Slafond@mva.co.uk

206.18 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).

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

206.19 Cave Programming Workshop

The 2nd Cave Programming Workshop is scheduled for October 2-4th 2002 at the VR Media Lab, Aalborg University, Denmark. The primary goal of the workshop is to provide the participants with in-depth information and hands-on experience with leading programming technologies for CAVE-like display systems. Focus will be on scene graph applications and positional sound.

URL: http://www.vrmedialab.dk/projects/cave2002

206.20 Delivering Technology Leadership for Life Sciences

"Delivering Technology Leadership for Life Sciences," an executive summit hosted by the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI) and SGI, is to take place on October 3 at the University of Delaware. This forum, free for professionals in biotechnology and related fields, features a distinguished roster of researchers addressing trends and challenges in high-performance computing and visualization for life and chemical sciences as it relates to drug discovery and bioterrorism research. The program includes a tour of DBI's new Visualization Center.

URL: http://www.sciences.sgi/go/chembio
URL: http://www.dbi.udel.edu

206.21 PRESENCE 2002

PRESENCE 2002, Portugal on October 9-11, 2002

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

206.22 IEEE Visualization 2002

Co-located with IEEE Visualization 2002 are InfoVis 2002, the IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization, and VolVis 2002, the IEEE/SIGGRAPH Symposium on Volume Visualization and Graphics. Boston, Massachusetts, USA - October 27 - November 1, 2002.

URL: http://vis.computer.org/vis2002
URL: http://www.infovis.org/infovis2002
URL: http://www.cs.sunysb.edu/~volvis02/

206.23 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
URL: http://siggraph.org/i3d

206.24 SIGGRAPH 2003

ACM SIGGRAPH is dedicated to the generation and dissemination of information on computer graphics and interactive techniques: San Diego, California, USA - July 27-31, 2003 (Early abstracts & proposals by October 31, 2002).

URL: http://www.siggraph.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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