Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 21st February 2002

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Users, Applications & Projects
01 Designing the Olympic Torch
02 Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers to use 3D CAD
03 Motor Coach Manufacturer Turns to 3D
04 One Comprehensive 3D Master Model for Alstom Power
05 Motorcycles in 3D

Quotes of the Issue
06 Siemens, ARM/Superscape, Autodesk
Products & Services
07 Visual Collaboration Software
08 Linking Production Workflow & Industrial Design
09 New Facial Animator in trueSpace5.2
10 Upgrade of RenderPipe for Maya
11 Sales & Marketing in 3D via Internet
12 Video Floor from WayCool3D

Companies & Markets
13 Z-A and Virtools
14 Compaq & Viewpoint
15 IBM and Dassault Systemes
16 BOXX Supports NVIDIA
17 TRIRIGA & Cimmetry
18 TDV3D for Education Market
19 LMS, HKS, AC Engineering & the Virtual Prototyping Market

Standard & Patents
20 Image Processing System
21 VR Display Processing Apparatus

Worth Watching
22 Wireless 2D & 3D Animation
23 Multimedia across 2, 2.5 & 3G Networks
24 Rich Content for 2.5 & 3G Cellular Networks
25 Location-enabled Multimedia Messaging Service
26 Extensions to SMIL Offer 3D Listening

People & Appointments
27 Opportunity at Umeå University, Sweden

Events & Calls for Papers
28 Immersive Projection Technologies Symposium
29 2002 European Simulation Interoperability Workshop
30 More Events

183.01 Designing the Olympic Torch

Alias|Wavefront's StudioTools software was a key contributor in the creation of the official Olympic torch of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The slender, icicle-shaped emblem of the Olympic spirit passed through the hands of over 11,000 people, traveling 13,500 miles, to bring the eternal flame from its home in Greece to the site of this year's Games in Salt Lake City. The fiery icicle design is a departure from earlier Olympic torches because it adds an asymmetrical glass crown to the top of the main body. The complex angles of the crown, coupled with an aluminum shaft that tapers from three inches down to a half-inch, presented a difficult challenge to the team of designers from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

URL: http://www.aliaswavefront.com
URL: http://gatech.edu

183.02 Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers to use 3D CAD

EDS is to supply and implement its 3D CAD Solid Edge software at TransBus International (United Kingdom), part of the Mayflower Group which includes automotive vehicle manufacturers Dennis, Alexander and Plaxton. In addition to software, EDS PLM Solutions will also provide implementation services and on-going technical support for TransBus International's Dennis vehicle chassis facilities and at its Alexander vehicle body facilities.

The new 3D solid modeling-based design system replaces most of TransBus International's existing 2D and 3D CAD systems from other vendors and serves more than 80 design engineers in the company's various UK plants. Initially, the main user of the new product development system is Guildford-based Dennis, which designs and manufactures fire engine chassis and cabs as well as bus and coach chassis. Alexander in Falkirk is another major user of the software. Alexander includes the former Duple Metsec coachbuilder and is responsible for the design and manufacture of bus and coach bodies as well as kits for assembly overseas.

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

183.03 Motor Coach Manufacturer Turns to 3D

Country Coach, a leading motor coach manufacturer, has selected Autodesk Inventor 3D design software to speed production and accelerate sales of its highly customized motor homes. Country Coach, based in Oregon, offers a full product line of coaches and floor plans. The company issues hundreds of new and modified drawings weekly for a single coach model. Manufacturing a motor coach requires many diverse elements of mechanical design, including engineering, electronic component assembly, reinforced plastics, steel fabrication, cabinetry, chassis manufacturing, brake testing, upholstery, wire harness assembly, lamination, and painting.

With its 3D mechanical design functionality, Autodesk Inventor software will be used to communicate accurate design detail to every member of the team, from concept through manufacturing. The engineering department will use it for mechanical design of chassis and other parts, the design department for vehicle structure including interior and exterior design, and the marketing department for brochures and virtual tours on the web.

URL: http://www.autodesk.com

183.04 One Comprehensive 3D Master Model for Alstom Power

ALSTOM Power UK Ltd. has selected Unigraphics' knowledge-based engineering software from EDS. ALSTOM Power, located in the UK, is a leader in the development, manufacture and packaging of industrial gas turbines. The combined solutions enable a concurrent engineering approach to product development that will allow ALSTOM Power to reduce costs and shorten the time needed to move a project from initial layout, through detailed design and manufacture to on-site installation and commissioning. Says Alan Walker, IS business projects manager for ALSTOM Power in Lincoln. "The Unigraphics software will enable us to integrate these activities under a 'master model' approach, so that all our engineers have one comprehensive 3D master model for various phases of a project."

URL: http://www.eds.com

183.05 Motorcycles in 3D

Big Dog Motorcycles has selected Autodesk Inventor software for the design and manufacture of its highly stylized custom motorcycles. Big Dog was able to transfer its Autodesk Mechanical Desktop data to Autodesk Inventor seamlessly -- saving the company significant time and expense. In addition to these benefits, the software delivered robust sheet metal design capabilities as well as the ability to visualize the fully rendered end result of the product.

To illustrate ideas and concepts to groups such as sales and manufacturing early in the design process, and to help shorten cycle time while improving the product's design, Big Dog uses Autodesk Inventor software's AVI animations. "Before using Autodesk Inventor at Big Dog Motorcycles, I had limited 3D modeling experience," said Dave Davis, a mechanical design engineer at Big Dog Motorcycles.

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

183.06 Quotes of the Issue: Siemens, ARM/Superscape, Autodesk

"We're witnessing the convergence of PDAs and mobile phones, which signals the roll out of next generation wireless networks," says Stuart Goose, Project Manger for the Multimedia/Video Technology Department at Siemens Corporate Research.

"We believe that i3D technology, capable of delivering innovative games, personalized messaging and easily navigable user interfaces on 2.5 and 3G mobile phones will be very attractive to the cellular community," said Steve Evans, vice president of segment marketing at ARM.

"Location-enabling MMS opens the door to an abundance of data-rich services that operators can make available to their corporate and individual wireless subscribers," says Joe Astroth, executive vice president, Autodesk Location Services. "Location sensitivity is the key element that will enable mobile-to-mobile messaging that is highly personalized and relevant to subscribers' changing needs as they move from place to place, activity to activity."

183.07 Visual Collaboration Software

VirtualE3D is giving public demonstrations of its VCollab visual collaboration software which is intended to enable distributed engineering product development teams to visualize, analyze, improve and collaborate with any 3D content independent of the CAD source. VCollab is tightly integrated with SolidWorks software and users can activate a VCollab session from inside the SolidWorks window.

Using VCollab, designers working in a heterogeneous CAD environment can load and study large assemblies and find clashes among parts dynamically. Assembly teams can study assembly sequences while maintenance teams can use VCollab to assess the ease of maintenance of the product. VirtualE3D was founded by the team who founded InfoVision Consultants, Inc. The companies work together closely on marketing, development and implementation of VCollab software.

URL: http://www.virtuale3d.com
URL: http://www.solidworks.com

183.08 Linking Production Workflow & Industrial Design

Paraform 3.0, the latest release of its Digital Form Development software has been released. Originally developed to link the steps in a production workflow and to bridge gaps between industrial design, CAD/CAM, and quality assurance processes, Paraform comes with modeling and editing tools that transform point-cloud data to polygonal files or polygonal files to NURBS (non-uniform rational b-spline) surfaces. The core functionality focuses on free-form geometry and patented mechanisms that automatically adjust design geometrics based on intelligent inferences.

URL: http://www.paraform.com

183.09 New Facial Animator in trueSpace5.2

Caligari Corporation has shipped trueSpace5.2 with a new Facial Animator tool that generates animated human facial muscle movements directly from speech or text input using high level animation controls. This new version of Caligari's 3D modeling program also features Key Frame Editor animation enhancements. Online demonstration versions of trueSpace5.2 are available.

URL: http://www.caligari.com

183.10 Upgrade of RenderPipe for Maya

Advanced Rendering Technology (ART) has begun shipping an upgrade to RenderPipe for Maya, the plug-in interface to the company's PURE and RenderDrive 3D rendering products for users of Alias|Wavefront's Maya application. This update delivers an expanded and improved set of shaders, providing more complete coverage for Maya's standard Shading Nodes and ensuring a good match on these shader nodes between ART's rendering devices and the default Maya renderer. The Shader Pack upgrade will be provided free of charge to all registered PURE and RenderDrive customers who use Maya.

URL: http://www.art-render.com

183.11 Sales & Marketing in 3D via Internet

Cybelius Software has introduced ShareMore 2.0, a sales and marketing tool that enables salespeople to demonstrate complex mechanical products to customers over the Internet. Using ShareMore and a virtual 3D product, a salesperson now can show what a product looks like and demonstrate how it operates to customers and prospects all over the globe without anyone leaving their workplace. At the beginning of a session, ShareMore automatically downloads an applet to each user's computer, which allows the simultaneous product viewing and interactions. ShareMore runs on a standard server in a J2EE environment. Tools are available from Cybelius to enable the sharing of standard 3D presentations.

URL: http://www.cybelius.com

183.12 Video Floor from WayCool3D

WayCool3D.com Inc has introduced the 3D Video Floor which projects still and/or moving images that appear to float from ankle up to knee height. The 3D Video Floor is made to order to create an eye-catching atmosphere.

URL: http://www.waycool3d.com

183.13 Z-A and Virtools

At Imagina 2002, Z-A and Virtools present for the first time an immersive 3D application in the SAScube, a VR solution comprised of multiple screens based around a PC cluster and VirtoolsT Dev 2.0 i3D development platform. The first SAScube project demonstrated the potential that lies in integrating the SAScube with Virtools development solutions. Wearing stereoscopic shutter glasses and piloting a joystick integrated with a 3D tracker, users immerse themselves in the SAScube and stereoscopic 3D scenes projected on the four surrounding screens. With the hand-held wand's 3D tracker, users can seize objects, throw them against walls and observe their physical interactions as they bounce, fall into a pool and float back to the surface.

URL: http://www.virtools.com
URL: http://www.z-a.net

183.14 Compaq & Viewpoint

Viewpoint has reached a technology licensing agreement with Compaq Computer Corporation. The agreement grants Compaq a license to use the Viewpoint Media Player throughout its network of corporate Web sites including the following capabilities: photo-realistic 3D, 2D ZoomView, Macromedia Flash-compatible vector graphics animation, object movies, panoramas and digital audio and video.

URL: http://www.viewpoint.com

183.15 IBM and Dassault Systemes

IBM and Dassault Systemes have announced that their strategic alliance delivers end-to-end 3D Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions. 3D PLM enables customers to optimize their business processes within engineering, manufacturing, maintenance & support, in collaborative workspaces and sharing a common product, process, and resource model (PPR). With PPR, companies can capture, share and reuse knowledge all along the product lifecycle. The PLM market, driven by IBM's twenty-year history with Dassault Systemes, has grown to become one of IBM's strategic e-business pillars. Since the creation of the IBM PLM business unit in April 2000, both companies have continuously extended their contributions.

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

183.16 BOXX Supports NVIDIA

BOXX Technologies has announced support for NVIDIA's Quadro 4 XGL architecture with nView multidisplay technology in its series of 3DBOXX graphics workstations running Windows 2000 and Linux.

URL: http://www.boxxtech.com

183.17 TRIRIGA & Cimmetry

TRIRIGA Inc has licensed Cimmetry's AutoVue for Java technology for use in its Intelligent Business System (IBS), a Web-based solution designed to centrally automate and manage complete large-scale design, development, and construction activities. AutoVue for Java is a server-based application allowing users to view and markup over 200 2D and 3D CAD and office formats, directly within their web browsers in their native format. AutoVue for Java integrates seamlessly with ASPs and e-commerce / corporate portals. Formats supported include AutoCAD, MicroStation, CATIA, Pro/E, Unigraphics, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, CGM, HPGL, Word, Excel, Visio, PDF, TIFF, and more.

URL: http://www.tririga.com
URL: http://www.cimmetry.com

183.18 TDV3D for Education Market

TDV Technologies Corporation has introduced the TDV3D system to the educational market. The TDV3D system "transforms still and moving computer images to 3D images that appear to float in space, enhances education for students of all ages." The technology significantly improves retention and comprehension, providing an exciting and more interesting learning format that captivates users. Through a combination of proprietary software and stereoscopic 3D technologies, TDV adds depth information to the perspective view, resulting in a partially immersive experience. Virtually any course of study benefits from 3D technology.

For example, mathematics students visualize 3D graphical functions in a much more accurate manner when compared to the standard, "flat" 2D textbook approach. In Science classes, students see a highly realistic portrayal of scientific events such as atomic bonding, cell-division, and genomic research. The TDV3D system includes "everything required to convert 2D into 3D-wire and wireless glasses, receiver, connecting cords and infrared transmitter, install system software, and 2D-3D Adobe plug-in (for still graphics)." To access the Stereovision 3D experience on the TDV Web portal, each customer must purchase the TDV Viewing System which retails for $99.

URL: http://www.tdv3d.com

183.19 LMS, HKS, AC Engineering & the Virtual Prototyping Market

LMS International and HKS Inc, providers of simulation solutions and services, have reached a joint development agreement to integrate both organizations' flagship products: LMS's virtual prototyping software Virtual.Lab and HKS's finite element modeling and analysis software, ABAQUS. The resultant interface product from this relationship will be marketed by LMS and will be available later this year. Industry analyst Daratech recently reported that the billion-dollar virtual prototyping market is one of the fastest growing segments within the CAD/CAM/CAE marketplace.

"Manufacturers' initiatives to slash time-to-money and development costs through virtual prototyping and simulation are being slowed by lack of interoperability between applications," says Bruce Jenkins, executive vice president of Daratech Inc. At the same time HKS Inc has completed its acquisition of AC Engineering Inc. Since 1986, AC Engineering represented HKS and its ABAQUS products in the mid-west region of the USA. The organization provided support, software sales, and advanced engineering consulting services for ABAQUS customers in the mid-west area. HKS is the developer of ABAQUS simulation software and provider of implementation and engineering process services. ABAQUS software solutions and services are used by manufacturers to simulate the performance of mechanical products and implement best engineering practices for mechanical design automation.

URL: http://www.Imsintl.com
URL: http://www.abaqus.com

183.20 Patent: Image Processing System

USA Patent Number 6346938 has been granted for "An image processing system renders, displays and provides virtual user navigation through multiple size and aspect views of a three-dimensional (3D) geometric model of an object, such as an urban scene. A user interface, such as a mouse or joystick device, is coupled to a digital image processor and is employed to supply image manipulation signals to the digital image processor for manipulating images displayed upon a digital image display device. The digital image display device contains an overview display window that displays the object from a 'bird's eye' or map perspective, and an inset display window that displays the object from a `down inside the scene` perspective. In response to user interface-sourced commands, the processor can swap the two image perspectives and/or controllably navigate through the inset image."

183.21 Patent: VR Display Processing Aparatus

US Patent Number 6346956 has been awarded: "To allow the user who wants to use three-dimensional virtual reality spaces to easily select a desired three-dimensional virtual reality space. When the browser is started with data about a three-dimensional virtual reality space stored in a predetermined directory, this predetermined directory is searched. According to the search result, an entry room in which three-dimensional icons representing three-dimensional virtual reality spaces are arranged is generated and displayed. The three-dimensional icons arranged in the entry room are linked to the data of the corresponding three-dimensional virtual reality spaces. When user clicks on a desired three-dimensional icon, the corresponding three-dimensional virtual reality space is displayed."

183.22 Wireless 2D & 3D Animation

Quanxi Communications, a Philippines software company, is exploring the use of wireless 2D and 3D animation. Having succeeded in providing short message service (SMS) applications such as matchmaking and fortune telling to Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, Quanxi now is experimenting on multimedia content that can be ported to general packet radio service GPRS) and third-generation wireless platforms. For some time, Nokia has been talking about the impending shift from text-based messaging to multimedia messaging. Nokia previewed late last year the Nokia 7650, which, with a built-in camera, is able to handle multimedia messaging.

URL: http://www.i-quanxi.com
URL: http://www.nokia.com

183.23 Multimedia Across 2, 2.5 & 3G Networks

The Eyematic Synthetic Video software platform has been unveiled. Eyematic's software allows mobile carriers to provide a wide variety of enhanced multimedia services across 2, 2.5 and 3G networks. Eyematic Synthetic Video is an environment for multimedia application development across communications, information and entertainment categories. Application demonstrations at the 3GSM World Congress included animated 3D multimedia messaging, personalized device agents, television-style newscasts and a first-person 3D action game entitled "Spaceluge."

Eyematic's Synthetic Video multimedia and communications platform works across existing 2, 2.5 and 3G wireless networks in addition to wired Internet connections from 56 kbits/second. Eyematic's multimedia software applications were shown running on Texas Instruments Incorporated's OMAP family of application processors. The Eyematic software platform is available on 14 wireless devices with additional devices under development including support for a variety of leading operating systems and programming languages including Java, Linux, Microsoft Windows CE, Palm OS and Symbian OS.

URL: http://www.eyematic.com

183.24 Rich Content for 2.5 & 3G Cellular Networks

According to Dow Jones, ARM, the semiconductor group, and Superscape have developed 3D software technology for mobile phones. The software rendering engine is a key element in the company's interactive 3D applications platform, Swerve. Swerve enables the delivery of 3D games, user interfaces and messaging on mobile phones. The technology "will deliver rich 3D content to consumers over 2.5G and 3G cellular networks, increasing network traffic."

183.25 Location-enabled Multimedia Messaging Service

Autodesk Location Services, a division of Autodesk Inc, has announced the availability of location MMS (location-enabled Multimedia Messaging Service) and location SMS (location-enabled Short Messaging Service) solutions. Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) offers an increase in mobile-to-mobile messaging by enabling two or more media sources--including sound, animations, and video clips--to be integrated and sent along with text. By location-enabling MMS, wireless operators can offer value to subscribers by making the MMS relevant to the user's location. For instance, a business traveler seeking accommodation could enter a short command for locating hotel options and the location intelligence in the system would determine the whereabouts of the traveler and provide information for hotels in the vicinity. Using MMS, the subscriber would be able to view photographs of the hotel's facilities.

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

183.26 Extensions to SMIL Offer 3D Listening

Scientists at Siemens Corporate Research (SCR) are developing next generation mobile applications that promise to "supercharge hitherto plain vanilla offerings." SCR believes this is the first solution of its kind for enabling a commercial wireless handheld device to offer a 3D listening experience. SCR has created 3D audio extensions to the Synchronized Multimedia Interaction Language (SMIL). The server-based framework can receive a request, process the SMIL file, create multiple speech and audio objects simultaneously and spatialize them in 3D space. This done, the framework then multiplexes the audio objects into a single stereo audio stream and transmits it wirelessly to a mobile device.

URL: http://www.scr.siemens.com
URL: http://www.ttb.siemens.com
URL: http://www.usa.siemens.com

183.27 Opportunity at Umeå University, Sweden

Umeå University has a professor or tenure track position in Computer Graphics and Scientific Visualization. Umeå University continues to develop research and development in computer graphics, scientific visualization, and VR technology. The activities are based on collaboration between departments and centre formations at Umeå University, including the Umeå Center for Interaction Technology (UCIT), VRlab and the High-Performance Computing Center North (HPC2N).

URL: http://www.umu.se/umu/aktuellt/arkiv/lediga_tjanster/311-87-89-02.html

183.00 Events & Calls for Papers

183.28 Immersive Projection Technologies Symposium

Thanks to Carolina Cruz-Neira of the VR Applications Center at Iowa State University for reminding us that the Immersive Projection Technologies Workshop (IPT) is being held jointly with IEEE VR and has changed names to the IPT symposium. It will be held March 24-25 in Orlando, USA.

URL: http://www.vr2002.org
URL: http://www.vrac.iastate.edu/~carolina
URL: http://www.glasshousestudio.com

183.29 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 24-26 June 2002 at the University of Westminster, UK. This Workshop will include a wide range of modeling and simulation (M&S) issues, applications, and communities. It will include multiple tracks and special sessions addressing simulation interoperability issues and proposed solutions; tutorials on state-of-the-art methodologies, tools, and techniques; and exhibits presenting the latest technological advances.

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

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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