Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 14th September 2002

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Many thanks to everyone who participated in the success of VR World Congress V in Paris, France. It was a highly informative and enjoyable event which provided exceptional networking opportunities.

Where would you like VR World Congress VI to be held?
What changes would you like to see?

Please email me your suggestions. Thank you.

Users, Applications & Projects
01 Bidding for European Commission Project Funding?
02 UK University Reduces Risks of Surgery (&CyberTherapy)
03 Kaydara 3D for French Canadians
04 VRCO in Millennium Challenge

Rumour of the Week
05 Microsoft Buys Nintendo's Stake

Products & Services
06 Plug & Play Soft Edge Blender & 3D in a Box
07 RenderDrive Addition
08 European Launch of Architectural Studio 2
09 Linux-based Background Rendering
10 Mobility Radeon 9000
11 AGP 3.0 First for ATI
12 Cult3D Exporter for plasma
13 E&S simFUSION with ATI
14 GeoMedia Grid 5.0 includes 3D
15 Now Shipping: Maya 4.5
16 Native Animation in Maya
17 Free Trial of MPEG-4 and VRML Player
18 Free Trial of 3D Modeling
19 b3d Projector

Companies & Markets
20 Europe's #1 Apple Reseller Signs for REALVIZ
21 Dresden 3D Activities Taken Over
22 AutoVue to go into Documentum
23 Pixelworks Acquires Jaldi
24 Andhra Pradesh to Focus on Animation
25 Centers of Excellence for Malaya
26 New & Renewed Support for Khronos Group
27 Market Watch

Events & Calls for Papers
28 Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002
29 Cave Programming Workshop
30 Delivering Technology Leadership for Life Sciences
31 PRESENCE 2002
32 IEEE Visualization 2002
33 CyberTherapy 2003
34 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics
35 SIGGRAPH 2003
36 More Events

207.01 Bidding for European Commission Project Funding?

The European Commission's Directorate General Information Society will hold an Information Day on the early stages of implementation of the IST programme within FP6 in Luxembourg on October 23-24, 2002. The purpose of the Information Day is to provide participants with first-hand information on the likely scope and content of the calls for proposals that will be launched in the first year of operation of the new programme. Early declaration of your intention to participate in this event can be sent to Joseph Kirsch.

Email: mailto:Joseph.Kirsch@cec.eu.int

207.02 UK University Reduces Risks of Surgery

In an experiment that could help benefit the way surgery is performed, surgeons have begun viewing and manipulating 3D medical images of the patients on whom they are operating while the operation is in progress. Early results indicate the potential for improving success rates on such procedures as the removal of cancerous tumors. Doctors at Britain's Manchester Royal Infirmary used a standard laptop computer in the operating room last April to project and manipulate in real time a complex, three-dimensional image of a patient's organ. The processing power necessary to generate the imagery came not from that laptop but from an SGI Onyx2 with InfiniteReality graphics. The surgeon was able to transfer and manipulate the rendered 3D representation of the patient's organ via a network connection and then project images onto the operating room's wall.

"In oncology, it's important not to cut across a tumor," noted the University of Manchester's Dr Rory McCloy, the surgeon who first used the new SGI technology. "But with flat, 2D scans available to surgery today, it has been difficult to accurately extrapolate the third dimension of depth to avoid that happening. I can now view intricate 3D medical scans in the operating theater on a simple laptop machine. I can see all around a tumor before I attempt to remove it."

URL: http://www.sgi.com

Healthcare professionals should take a look at CyberTherapy 2003. This year's theme acknowledges the increasing use of advanced technologies, including VR, in mental health, disabilities and rehabilitation. San Diego, California, USA - 19-20 January 2003.

URL: http://www.e-therapy.info

207.03 Kaydara 3D for French Canadians

Radio Canada, the public television serving French Canadians since 1952, is using Kaydara ONLINE 3.5 to integrate 3D character animation and live video in real time for its new TV game show called WIZZ. Kaydara ONLINE allows the show's two 3D characters, Bo and Pixel, to interact with the host and contestants in real time and to serve as virtual game pieces - walking, running, and flying their way through WIZZville's animated game board.

"Our goal was to create very human characters that could provide a connection between the real and virtual worlds for the audience and contestants," said Johanne Bouchard, producer and coordinator, Culture and Entertainment at Radio Canada. The game show's operator uses just six individual keystrokes to trigger combinations of moves by which Bo and Pixel advance through WIZZville. Puppeteers using a combination of joysticks and Kaydara Voice Reality, a real-time phoneme-extraction tool for lip-synchronization, control the characters' voices, facial expressions, and upper-body movements. Bo and Pixel appear on 52-inch plasma displays, rendered in real time by ONLINE's PC-based graphics production servers.

URL: http://www.kaydara.com

207.04 VRCO in Millennium Challenge

VRCO recently participated in Millennium Challenge 2002 (MC02), an exercise that was conducted during July and August 2002 by the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) in order to validate advanced war fighting concepts. VRCO's Immersive Common Operating Picture (ICOP) visualization software was used to create the only 3D immersive picture of the exercise. Real-time tactical information about the battle space and the forces operating within it were overlaid on a high-resolution visual database and displayed in an immersive fashion on a large wall display.

URL: http://www.vrco.com

207.05 Rumour of the Week

Japan is buzzing with the news that Nintendo plans to sell its stake in Rare, the UK software developer, to Microsoft for around $250m.

207.06 Plug & Play Soft Edge Blender & 3D in a Box

Cyviz AS of Norway has released the xêd.1 edge blender. The xêd.1 optimises the potential of LCD/DLP projectors to give low cost seamless edge blending. Cyviz AS has also released the xpo.M3 bundle to give stereoscopic visualization in a portable package. Maximum input resolution is 1280 x 1024 (native 1024 x 768), and the xpo.2 accepts any source such as SGI, SUN, HP or PC with a frame sequential stereo signal.

URL: http://www.cyviz.com

207.07 RenderDrive Addition

ART VPS has announced RenderDrive RD3500, an addition to its RenderDrive 3D rendering appliance product line. The RenderDrive RD3500 uses ART VPS's physically based rendering graphics processors to accelerate the complex and computationally intensive photorealistic rendering algorithms. Through ART VPS's RenderPipe plug-in interfaces, the RD3500 can be used seamlessly with Autodesk VIZ, Discreet's 3dsmax and Alias|Wavefront's Maya. ART VPS's 3D virtual photography solutions are used within product design companies including Bombardier Aerospace, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Shell; and architectural practices, such as Chapman Taylor Partners, HDR Architects, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, and WAT&G.

URL: http://www.artvps.com

207.08 European Launch of Architectural Studio 2

Autodesk Architectural Studio 2, a conceptual design creation tool for architects and other building industry professionals, has been announced in Europe. Like their counterparts in North America, European designers can now use Architectural Studio's ability to create early, loose sketches and rough conceptual models in digital form to achieve a continuous digital workflow, enhancing communication between design and production teams while saving time in design development. In a single, integrated workflow, designers export freehand drawings and 3D study models created in Architectural Studio for use in other Autodesk design solutions, such as Revit, Architectural Desktop, AutoCAD, or VIZ software, for further development. They can work in context, aggregating photographs, animations or renderings, freehand sketches, conceptual 3D models, and hard-line drawings in a multimedia environment that encourages swifter resolution of complex design problems while serving as a compelling presentation medium.

URL: http://www.autodesk.com

207.09 Linux-based Background Rendering

Discreet has announced burn, its Linux-based background rendering software. Using burn, rendering is completed offline in a Linux-based render farm. burn will free up Discreet online effects workstations allowing the artist to focus on the creative process, and utilize more time designing the complex high-resolution effects that can be sent to burn and rendered. In addition, burn will allow inferno 5, flame 8 and flint 8 systems to leverage multiple CPUs simultaneously to calculate results.

URL: http://www.discreet.com

207.10 Mobility Radeon 9000

ATI's Mobility Radeon 9000 visual processor is claimed to be the first mobile graphics processor equipped with fully programmable pixel and vertex shading technology, which is required for true-to-life photo-realistic special effects. HP has chosen the Mobility Radeon 9000 mobile visual processor for its new Compaq Presario 2800T series notebook personal computers.

URL: http://www.ati.com

207.11 AGP 3.0 First for ATI

A milestone was met today with the announcement of the final AGP 3.0 specification by Intel. The corresponding technology, AGP 8X, doubles the peak bandwidth capability of the AGP bus to 2.1GB/s, while retaining compatibility with the previous-generation AGP 4X technology. ATI's RADEON 9700 PRO is the first graphics product to support AGP 8X technology.

URL: http://www.ati.com

207.12 Cult3D Exporter for plasma

Cycore has announced the availability of the Cult3D Exporter for Discreet's plasma software. The Cult3D Exporter for plasma allows users to export plasma models directly to Cult3D Designer where interactivity and functionality can be added for instant publication on the Web or electronic documentation. Cult3D Designer 5.3 features support for 3D stereo with ColorCode 3D technology where designers can add further depth and perspective to Cult3D's visual and interactive realism. Cult3D with stereo images can be viewed with low-cost paper and plastic glasses. Collision detection, progressive antialiasing, virtual walkthrough capabilities and extended Java API are among the features available with this release.

URL: http://www.cult3d.com
URL: http://www.discreet.com
URL: http://www.cycore.com

207.13 E&S simFUSION with ATI

Evans & Sutherland has begun shipping its PC image generator, simFUSION 5000, the first product in the simFUSION family to use ATI graphics acceleration technology. simFUSION 5000 offers four- to sixteen-sample adaptive full-scene antialiasing at screen resolutions up to 2048x1536. OGL, D3D, and Linux compatible, simFUSION configurations include two or four ATI RADEON 8500 graphics chips, one or two DVI-I outputs, and up to 256MB of unified memory.

URL: http://www.es.com

207.14 GeoMedia Grid 5.0 includes 3D

Intergraph Mapping and GIS Solutions are now shipping GeoMedia Grid 5.0, an integrated grid analysis toolkit for GeoMedia built as a collaborative effort with Keigan Systems. Key new features available in GeoMedia Grid 5.0 include 3D visualization. Developers can use GeoMedia Grid COM-compliant objects to enhance existing applications with custom commands or to create spatial analysis solutions for specific applications and users groups.

URL: http://www.intergraph.com/gis
URL: http://www.keigansystems.com

207.15 Now Shipping: Maya 4.5

Maya 4.5 3D software for Windows, IRIX and Linux operating systems is now shipping. Maya Complete 4.5 for Mac OS X operating system will ship on September 23rd. Conceived by Alias|Wavefront's research department, Maya Fluid Effects will allow users to create: atmospheric effects (billowing clouds and cigarette smoke); thick, viscous liquids (mud, lava); pyrotechnics (fire, explosions, nuclear blasts); and space effects (comets, nebulae and meteors). The addition of a new Ocean Shader allows users to create realistic oceans through a displacement and shading technique; the ability to create buoyant objects that react to the simulated water movement makes the Ocean Shader one of the software's most anticipated features.

URL: http://www.aliaswavefront.com/fluids

207.16 Native Animation in Maya

Reiss Studio and Curious Labs have formed a strategic agreement to enable Curious Labs' Poser native animation technology in the Alias/Wavefront Maya software. Reiss Studio's plug-in, BodyStudio, allows Poser users to render and playback animations created in Poser from within Maya. There is currently a community of over 100,000 Poser users, and a large selection of adaptable characters, and props. Most of these models are available for under $29.

URL: http://www.Reiss-Studio.com
URL: http://www.curiouslabs.com
URL: http://www.aliaswavefront.com/

207.17 Free Trial of MPEG-4 and VRML Player

Octaga AS, the Norwegian provider of real-time 3D player and server technologies, is releasing Octagon Player for 3D MPEG-4 and VRML content. The product will be followed by Octagon Server for large model streaming and multi user functionality. Octaga is full member of MP4 Industry Forum. You can download and test Octagon Player v0.6 for a free 21 days period.

URL: http://www.octaga.com
URL: http://www.m4if.org

207.18 Free Trial of 3D Modeling

VX Corporation has a free trial program for its VX CAD/CAM software in the USA and Canada. The trial program is intended to give more users the opportunity to explore the 3D modeling capabilities of VX software, such as in-context hybrid modeling, Class A surfacing, assembly modeling, and mold design. There are two ways of running the software during the trial program--with or without a password. When running without a password, there's an upper limit to the size of a model that can be saved. Users will be able to use the software indefinitely when running without a password--though with the file-size limitation. When running with a password, the software is fully functional and there is no limit on the size of a model that can be saved, for up to 33 days.

URL: http://www.vx.com

207.19 b3d Projector

Brilliant Digital Entertainment, through its Altnet subsidiary, has released b3d Projector 3200. With browser and full screen desktop animation overlay modes, transparency and anti-aliasing, b3d Projector 3200 is intended to provide a benchmark for the use of 3D in rich-media advertising. "With an installed base of 60M players and growing at over 1M per week, the b3d Projector is the leading 3D animation player," said Kevin Bermeister, President and CEO of Brilliant Digital Entertainment.

URL: http://www.brilliantdigital.com
URL: http://www.altnet.com

207.20 Europe's #1 Apple Reseller Signs for REALVIZ

REALVIZ has added Cancom Ltd as a reseller of the Company's software product portfolio. Cancom is claimed to be Europe's number one Apple reseller. REALVIZ develops a suite of image-based content creation solutions for the film, broadcast, gaming, architecture and Internet communities.

URL: http://www.realviz.com/products/index.php
URL: http://www.cancomuk.com/

207.21 Dresden 3D Activities Taken Over

The activities of Dresden 3D have been taken over by i2i GmbH ("eye-to-eye"). The objective of the new company is continue and stabilize the development of the 3D technology started in Dresden 3D. The CEO of i2i GmbH is Mr Lars Povelsen, CTO is Dr Armin Schwerdtner, founder of Dresden 3D GmbH. i2i GmbH has been founded with the sole objective to invest in 3D display technology.

Our best wishes go to the development teams in Dresden following the terrible floods.

207.22 AutoVue to go into Documentum

Cimmetry Systems is to integrate AutoVue with Documentum 5, the enterprise content management (ECM) platform from Documentum. The integration of AutoVue with Documentum 5 will allow users to view and mark up documents in a variety of native formats directly from within their Documentum environment.

URL: http://www.cimmetry.com

207.23 Pixelworks Acquires Jaldi

Pixelworks has completed the acquisition of Jaldi Semiconductor Corporation, a privately held fabless semiconductor company based near Toronto, Canada. Jaldi's technology will expand Pixelworks' product portfolio for the digital television market. Pixelworks is a provider of system-on-a-chip ICs for the display market. Their ImageProcessor Architecture powers highly regarded flat panel display products, including monitors, projectors and advanced televisions marketed by Compaq, Dell, HP, NEC-Mitsubishi, Samsung, SANYO, Sharp, Sony and ViewSonic.

URL: http://www.pixelworks.com

207.24 Andhra Pradesh to Focus on Animation

According to Asia Intelligence, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to tap the overseas market in an effort to focus on the animation sector. "The state government has proposed to foray into the animation industry by setting up a school-cum-studio in a joint venture, roping in global training schools and companies to train and develop 2D and 3D animation and graphics in India," said information and communication department joint director CK Veeresh. The animation school-cum-studio would ensure that students are trained in 2D and 3D-based animation as well developing graphics using the latest available software, Mr Veeresh said. The state government is dispatching a high-powered committee headed by the IT secretary to Canada and the USA for identifying joint venture partners. According to industry projections, the global animation industry is experiencing a boom. The global computer-based animation production has been projected at $25 billion and is expected to double in the next three years. Asia's contribution is very low at $1 billion and India contributes only 10 per cent to that.

207.25 Centers of Excellence for Malaya

Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) hopes to boost its competitive edge with the establishment of two soon-to-be-launched centres of excellence -- the MSC Flagship Centre and Centre for Health Innovation and Medical Enterprises (CHIME). Senior vice presidents Datuk Dr Mohamad Arif Nun and Sarina Karim said the lab and CADC would serve as centres of excellence for creative content development visualisation and as a showcase and test centre for the MSC Flagship Applications. The showpiece facility at the CADC is the MSC Virtual Reality Centre. The facility is powered by Silicon Graphics' technology following the signing of $5.6m.

207.26 New & Renewed Support for Khronos Group

3d4W, ARM, DVS, Imagination Technologies, Motorola, Nokia and RealVision have joined the Khronos Group as Promoting Members, and, along with group founders and renewing Promoting Members 3Dlabs, ATI Technologies, Discreet and SGI; are undertaking to promote graphics and dynamic media market growth through the creation of open API standards. These companies are working together to develop and deploy OpenML and OpenGL ES: royalty-free, open standard APIs that will enable authoring and playback of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.

URL: http://www.khronos.org

207.27 Market Watch

If you want to see one educated view of the future, watch the chip manufacturers. Intel has downgraded its revenue forecast for Q3 2002. AMD is delaying the introduction of the desktop version of its Hammer chip from Q4 2002. Philips expects sales at its semiconductor division to be down as much as 15% in Q3 against Q2. Less than three months ago Philips forecast just a 5% downturn. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, the largest contract chip manufacturer, has reported its first sales drop in five months. The Semiconductor Industry Association says European semiconductor sales are down more than 20% in 2002 against 2001m, but says the market is showing some improvement predicts 2.5% growth in Europe this year. Things are no more encouraging at Motorola or National Semiconductor.

207.00 Events & Calls for Papers

207.28 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/

207.29 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

207.30 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

207.31 PRESENCE 2002

PRESENCE 2002, Portugal on October 9-11, 2002

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

207.32 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/

207.33 CyberTherapy 2003

This year's theme acknowledges the increasing use of advanced technologies, including VR, in mental health, disabilities and rehabilitation. San Diego, California, USA - 19-20 January 2003.

URL: http://www.e-therapy.info

207.34 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

207.35 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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