Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 17th November 2002

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Users, Applications & Projects
01 DOE Chooses HP for Visualization
02 Australian Rail Company Trains in VR
03 SIA Selects E&S
04 Simulating Knees

Products & Services
05 Free Online Directory of Downloadable 3D CAD
06 Cgfx Plug-In For 3ds Max 5
07 Calibration of Image and Video Sequences
08 Free Downloadable Video Game Modification Application
09 More RPC Automobiles
10 REALVIZ Stitcher Gateway to CATIA V5
11 Free 3D Publisher and Viewer
12 Content Paradise in Poser 5
13 Repurposing and Dynamically Updating 3D CAD

Companies & Markets
14 Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
15 Actuality Systems
16 Evans & Sutherland

Worth Watching
17 Flexible Display Devices

Events & Calls for Papers
18 SIGRAD........................................NEW
19 HP (& others) Sponsor SGI Company Event
20 CyberTherapy 2003
21 Solid Edge Global Summit
22 IEEE VR2003
23 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics
24 Casa'2003 - Call for Papers and Tutorials
25 Vision, Video and Graphics 2003
26 SIGGRAPH 2003

213.01 DOE Chooses HP for Visualization

HP has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to develop and demonstrate a graphics visualization system capable of rendering and displaying the very large (terascale) data sets produced by complex computer simulations. NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing (formerly Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative or "ASCI") is tasked with developing the computing infrastructure necessary to carry out NNSA's role of nuclear stockpile stewardship. One of the initiative's pressing needs is to facilitate better understanding by scientists of the enormous amounts of data produced by simulations involving supercomputers using hundreds and thousands of processors.

Perceiving graphics visualization as the best way to enhance comprehension, the ASCI PathForward committee in cooperation with ASCI's Visual Interactive Environment for Weapon Simulation (VIEWS) committee has awarded a three-year contract to HP to develop advanced high-performance visualization technology based on scalable visualization clusters. Under the agreement, HP will develop hardware and software to demonstrate the feasibility of near-real-time visualization of very large data sets, using clusters of workstations. Key to the effort is new HP compositor technology developed at HP's High Performance Technical Computing Labs. An image compositor allows image data to be distributed among a number of workstations, each working in parallel to render a portion of the image. Using a high-bandwidth, addressable image network, the HP compositor then recombines the contributions of each workstation into a single, viewable image. The ASCI VIEWS project is designed to establish the feasibility of very large visualization clusters, built from standard components and scalable over a wide range of performance and resolution levels.

URL: http://www.hp.com

213.02 Australian Rail Company Trains in VR

Trimension, a division of SEOS, has supplied two Reality Centres to the State Rail Authority of New South Wales, Australia, for a contract that they were awarded by SGI. The Reality Centres will be part of a virtual reality and simulation center for emergency response training at the State Rail training facility in Petersham, Sydney. The facility will enhance training and education levels for all State Rail employees, demonstrating the State Rail Authority's commitment to maintaining high standards in NSW transport occupational health and safety.

The collaborative, immersive visualization technology will include a Reality Center classroom for collaborative group training, a hazard perception unit and simulators. Employees, including train drivers, guards and station managers, will personally experience realistic scenarios covering all aspects of driver training, platform safety, emergency procedure training, customer service and engineering maintenance. Scenarios might include incidents such as breakdowns, flooded or obstructed track situations and driving in adverse weather conditions, to dealing with a train entering a station on fire. Trimension supplied two 3-channel Reality Rooms (12ft and 9ft) with toroidal screens providing a 160°x40° field of view. The 919 projectors will come complete with DigiBlend 300 (high performance digital edge blending), Navigator Reference Alignment System, and Odyssey handset with Quest software and audio. SEOS worked with its Australian reseller, VR Solutions Pty Ltd, to complete the installation and integration of the State Rail system.

URL: http://www.seos.com

213.03 SIA Selects E&S

Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation's new EP-1000CT visual system, together with ESCP(R)-2000 projectors, has been selected by Singapore Airlines (SIA) for a new Boeing 777 flight simulator to be installed at Changi International Airport in Singapore. The simulator is to be manufactured by Thales Training & Simulation. Evans & Sutherland's EP (environment processor) line of products includes training-oriented features such as detailed terrain, textured fog, and E&S's Continuous Texture (CT), which provides a high-resolution, textured backdrop to a worldwide 3D training environment.

"This new visual system delivers key features that are important to our pilot training syllabus, and provides benefits that will contribute to the improved safety of our passengers and crew," said Captain G.L. Teo, Assistant Chief Pilot, SIA.

URL: http://www.es.com

213.04 Simulating Knees

Knee replacement surgery is performed on more than 250,000 Americans annually, yet less technology is brought to bear on this issue than on the development of common household appliances. "More engineering analysis goes into the washing machine in your home than into the artificial knee joints implanted in people," says Dr B J Fregly, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida. Dr Fregly, whose previous work has been published in Journal of Biomechanics and Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, leads a group of researchers who are evaluating and testing artificial knee designs by simulating a real-world environment specific to individual patients.

Dr Scott Banks of the Biomotion Foundation augments motion capture data with a dynamic x-ray procedure called fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy accurately measures knee joint motion for natural or artificial knees. When studying artificial knees, Banks obtains CAD models of the implant components from the manufacturer. He then uses custom software to match the 3D CAD models to each 2D fluoroscopic image as though he were orienting an object to a photograph of its shadow. The image-matched components are used to quantify the 3D motion of the patient's knee under real-life loading conditions, such as walking and climbing stairs. Researchers use Rainbow Geomagic Studio software to automatically generate accurate 3D computer models from the point cloud data. The team uses polygon models from Geomagic Studio for shape-related tasks such as image matching. The polygonal models are then converted into highly accurate mathematical surface models for contact stress analysis.

URL: http://www.geomagic.com

213.05 Free Online Directory of Downloadable 3D CAD

SolidWorks has unveiled 3D ContentCentral, a free online directory of downloadable 3D CAD parts from leading component manufacturers that will help engineers reduce design time and bring products to market faster. Users can search 3D ContentCentral to find and download solid models of parts into their designs to check compatibility and ensure the accuracy of their designs. 3D ContentCentral helps participating component manufacturers attract new customers and increase revenue by encouraging thousands of design engineers to "design in" (check compatibility and subsequently purchase) their products.

Suppliers include Boston Gear, BTM, DE-STA-CO Industries, Enerpac, Festo, Jergens Inc., Kaydon, Nook Industries Inc., Robohand, SMC Corporation of America, Warner Electric, and WDS. Global biomedical company Beckman Coulter depends on easy access to CAD models to stay competitive. Its engineers find CAD models of the cylinders, actuators (used for moving products during a manufacturing process), and other pneumatics products they need to develop biomedical equipment designs on pneumatics manufacturer SMC's 3D-powered online catalog.

"3D ContentCentral offers a convenient, centralized resource for finding the CAD models we need in a matter of minutes," said Sam Rizzotte, a designer at Beckman Coulter. "That's crucial in the biomedical industry where products become outdated shortly after being introduced to market. By downloading SMC components, we can evaluate multiple design configurations while decreasing anticipated time to market by more than seven percent."

URL: http://www.3dcontentcentral.com
URL: http://www.solidworks.com

213.06 Cgfx Plug-In For 3ds Max 5

NVIDIA Corporation and Discreet have announced the availability of a CgFX plug-in for 3ds max 5, Discreet's professional 3D animation and modelling software. Discreet developed the new 3ds max CgFX Plug-in with NVIDIA to allow artists to author and visualise content in 3ds max using advanced hardware rendering and the Cg high level language. Cg was developed in collaboration with Microsoft and works with OpenGL, DirectX, Microsoft HLSL (High-Level Shading Language) and assembly language. The 3ds max CgFX Plug-in is available for download today free of charge.

URL: http://www.cgshaders.org
URL: http://developer.nvidia.com/cg
URL: http://www.discreet.com

213.07 Calibration of Image and Video Sequences

ICARUS is a suite of software packages designed to enable the calibration of image and video sequences, and the reconstruction of geometric models of real scenes from those sequences. It is available on Windows, Linux and SGI platforms, and comes in two versions. The Personal edition is currently free for non-commercial use. For commercial use, please purchase a license for the Professional Edition. The current version of the software comes as three separate components: Lens Distortion Removal, Image and Video Sequence Calibration and Geometry Reconstruction.

URL: http://aig.cs.man.ac.uk/icarus/

213.08 Free Downloadable Video Game Modification Application

Discreet has announced the release of gmax 1.2, a free downloadable video game modification application embraced by game enthusiasts, game developers and publishers. With over 300,000 registered users since its 2001 release, gmax software has become a standard for gamers wanting to add custom characters, environments and animations to their favourite PC games including titles from Infogrammes, Electronic Arts and Microsoft. Leading game developers and publishers have adopted gmax to produce gmax-ready titles with customisation capabilities to enhance the title's appeal to the rapidly growing game "modder" community. The latest version offers compatibility with Discreet's plasma software, Discreet's desktop 3D content creation software. The gmax 1.2 release also offers performance optimisations for the Intel P4 and includes a number of general software fixes.

URL: http://sparks.discreet.com

213.09 More RPC Automobiles

ArchVision has announced the availability of RPC (Rich Photorealistic Content) Automobiles Volume 3, four months after volume 2 was released. Like the previous RPC car volumes, Volume 3 cars are viewable from 360 degrees and utilize the Smart Content user interface. Users can view the cars from any angle and manipulate the cars such as turning the tires, customizing the license plate and window tint and having the vehicles follow a spline path. Building on the previous 12 RPC Automobiles spread out over three collections, the following four vehicles are included in the collection: Lexus RX 300, Range Rover, Nissan 300 ZX and a BMW Z-3.

URL: http://www.RPCnet.com/

213.10 REALVIZ Stitcher Gateway to CATIA V5

REALVIZ chose the European CATIA Forum 2002 for the launch of REALVIZ Stitcher Gateway to CATIA V5. By combining horizontally and vertically overlapping photos into wide-angle panoramas, REALVIZ Stitcher Gateway to CATIA V5 gives V5 users the power to deliver panoramas for 2D/3D integration of their CAD models. In January 2002, Dassault Systemes welcomed REALVIZ as a new Partner to the CAA V5 Software Community Program. At that time, Dassault outlined the forthcoming program, in which REALVIZ would develop and sell two products, which would expand the rendering capabilities of CATIA V5 and ENOVIA Portal DMU Solutions, by enabling 3D PLM customers to integrate their 3D virtual products into real environments.

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

213.11 Free 3D Publisher and Viewer

Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC) has released its free ModelPress 3D Publisher and Viewer, a system that is designed to simplify the distribution of 3D CAD models so that they can become more commonplace in downstream business applications. ModelPress' compression technology reduces models sizes by 70 - 98%. Possible applications for the component technology include Manufacturing Procurement, Supply/Design Chain Collaboration, Product Life Management Systems (PLM/PDM/ERP), Visual Part Lookup Systems and intranet access on the shop floor. Currently, the ModelPress Publisher supports Autodesk Inventor 3D, SolidWorks parts and assemblies, SolidEdge parts and assemblies, IGES, STL, VRML, 3D AutoCAD (non-ACIS) and 3DS.

URL: http://www.infograph.com/

213.12 Content Paradise in Poser 5

Content Paradise is now live in Poser 5. Content Paradise will enable Poser 5 users to search and browse a database of Poser content, then purchase and download their selected items. Curious Labs has partnered with Renderosity to provide the first collection of 3rd party content. Other 3D content brokers have signed on to the Content Paradise system and will be adding their content collections later this year. Content Paradise is an HTML window in Poser 5 that logs onto the Content Paradise home page. The home page contains a search engine, and users can fine tune their search with parameters that include the artist name, content type, price, keywords, or even where the content is hosted. The searched database is a collection of content descriptions and images provided by the content creator. Actual purchase of the content is managed by the 3rd party partners that process the transaction and manage transfer of the content to the user.

URL: http://www.contentparadise.com
URL: http://www.curiouslabs.com
URL: http://www.bondware.com
URL: http://www.renderosity.com
URL: http://www.runtimedna.com

213.13 Repurposing and Dynamically Updating 3D CAD

Right Hemisphere has announced the immediate availability of its Deep Server enterprise solution. Deep Server provides a single infrastructure for repurposing and dynamically updating 3D CAD and other graphical assets across the entire enterprise -- allowing anyone in the organization to use assets in any mission-critical business or office application. Built on open, industry standards, Deep Server offers an automated graphical repurposing solution through a suite of modules that provide the ability to search, view, collaborate, manage, translate and publish 2D and 3D graphical data, while automatically integrating with other enterprise software solutions.

URL: http://www.righthemisphere.com

213.14 Intel Hyper-Threading Technology

ATI Technologies is among the first graphics technologies to support Intel Corporation's newly announced Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology featured in the newest 3.06GHz Pentium(R) 4 processor systems. The RADEON 9700 visual processing unit (VPU) will be used to showcase HT Technology at COMDEX, when Dreams Interactive unveils Lejendary Adventure, its new online role-playing game (RPG).

URL: http://www.ati.com

3Dlabs, Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd, has also announced its entire family of Wildcat workstation graphics accelerators is fully compatible with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology. "Intel's introduction of 3.06GHz Pentium processors and Hyper-Threading Technology will significantly raise application interactivity for complex professional applications such as CAD and digital content creation," said Neil Trevett, senior vice president of market development at 3Dlabs.

213.15 Patents: Actuality Systems

Actuality Systems, Inc has received four notices of allowance on several patents involving its spatial visualization technology. Three of the notices are from the U.S. Patent Office and a fourth is from the Republic of Taiwan. The notices state that the U.S. Patent Office will allow Actuality's patent claims for "rasterization of lines in a cylindrical voxel grid," "volumetric 3D display architecture," and "volumetric stroboscopic display." The Taiwanese patent covers a "volumetric 3D display system."

213.16 People: Evans & Sutherland

Richard A Flitton has been appointed managing director of Evans & Sutherland Computer UK Ltd. In this assignment, Flitton will be responsible for all of the company's UK operations as well as all commercial simulation business. He joined Evans & Sutherland in 1994.

URL: http://www.es.com

213.17 Worth Watching: Flexible Display Devices

As part of a federally sponsored research and development initiative, DuPont, a developer and manufacturer of organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, and Sarnoff Corporation have agreed to develop new organic-thin film transistor (organic-TFT) technology on plastic substrates. Organic-TFTs can offer advances in commercializing future generation flexible display devices such as full-color polymer-based active matrix OLED (AM-OLED) displays. The research initiative will be sponsored as a National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Advanced Technology Program for three years. Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs will be subcontracted to develop a new class of organic-TFT materials and design processes.

This technical collaboration combines DuPont's experience in OLED display panels, flexible substrates, cost-effective printing and organic-TFT technologies, with Sarnoff's experience in active matrix TFT designs and video display systems. The technical venture plans to create flexible organic-TFT technology, which has the potential to reduce the cost of display back planes while enabling the fabrication of lower cost flexible display devices. Standard silicon-based TFT back plane manufacturing is a costly process, and it is also inherently incompatible with flexible plastic substrates - involving multiple high-temperature vacuum deposition and photolithography steps that are hostile to a plastic substrate.

Using polymer materials, OLEDs produce bright, high-contrast display panels with fast refresh rates and a wide viewing angle. OLED panels are emissive, eliminating the need for the backlight required in display technologies such as liquid crystal displays (LCDs). According to the market research firm DisplaySearch, the flat-panel display market is estimated to grow from a current $30 billion to $57 billion by 2006. OLEDs are expected to successfully penetrate key applications including cellular phones, PDAs, Internet access appliances, and industrial and consumer electronics.

URL: http://www.dupont.com/displays
URL: http://www.sarnoff.com
URL: http://www.lucent.com

213.00 Events & Calls for Papers

213.18 SIGRAD

The Annual SIGRAD Conference: November 28th and 29th, Norrköping, Sweden
This year's topic - Special Effects and Rendering

URL: http://www.sigrad.org/

213.19 HP (& others) Sponsor SGI Company Event

Alias|Wavefront, an SGI company, has announced its annual event, 3December, will be sponsored by HP, Intel and ATI. It will be held for the 4th consecutive year with seven cities participating in the computer graphics and industrial design community events. 3December draws 3D professionals and students, who gather to learn from others in their field and see first hand software and hardware companies. The seven host cities for this year's event on December 3rd are: New York and Los Angeles, Sydney, London, Paris, Seoul, and Tokyo. Each city will feature industry guest speakers, technology demonstrations, Maya Master Classes, a 3D Pub and more.

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

213.20 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

213.21 Solid Edge Global Summit

The Fifth annual Solid Edge Global Summit is set for February 19-21, 2003 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort near Orlando, Florida. Keynotes from EDS PLM Solutions executives, Voyager Program exhibition, Solid Edge user presentations, hands-on training, business management conference, developers' conference, social activities and more is on the agenda.

URL: http://www.solidedge.com/summit

213.22 IEEE VR2003

IEEE VR2003: Los Angeles, USA - March 22 to 26, 2003.

URL: http://www.vr2003.org

213.23 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics

2003 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics: California, USA - April 27 to 30, 2003.

URL: http://movesinstitute.org/I3D.html
URL: http://siggraph.org/i3d

213.24 Casa'2003 - Call for Papers and Tutorials

The 16th International Conference on Computer Animation and Social Agents (Casa'2003). Rutgers University - May 7-9, 2003

URL: http://www.cbim.rutgers.edu/conferences/casa2003

213.25 Vision, Video and Graphics 2003

Vision, Video and Graphics 2003: July 10-11, 2003 - Bath, UK. The intersection of computer graphics and computer vision promises many new application areas and raises new fundamental questions. This conference is a response to this developing area, and its purpose is to promote cooperation between the graphic and vision communities. Original papers related to the following themes are invited Image based rendering (view synthesis from other images), Models from images and video, for graphics and visualization, applications, Augmented reality, Video augmented environments, Graphics models for vision applications and more. Submission deadline is March 7, 2003.

URL: http://www.cs.bath.ac.uk/vvg/

213.26 SIGGRAPH 2003

SIGGRAPH 2003, the 30th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, which will be held 27 - 31 July, in San Diego, California, USA, has issued its Call for Participation looking for both first-time and veteran contributors in three areas: presentations, experiences, and services. The presentations are Courses, Educators Program, Papers, Sketches and Applications, and Web Graphics. The experiences are Art Gallery CG03: Computer Graphics 2003, Computer Animation Festival, and Emerging Technologies: Electronic Speedway. The call is also seeking volunteers and support for services, which are GraphicsNet, International Resources, Pathfinders, and Student Opportunities.

URL: http://www.siggraph.org/s2003/cfp

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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