Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 17th March 2003

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New group
01 The 3D Consortium

Users, Applications & Projects
02 Ten Immersive Visualization Centers for Korea
03 Oil & Gas: ASI & Paradigm Geophysical
04 NASCAR Car in 3D
05 Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
06 Sledgehammer for Jim Henson's Creature Shop
07 USA's Largest Engineering Technology School Gets Inventor
08 Franklin W Olin College of Engineering

Products & Services
09 Raising the Standard of Projection
10 Beta Version of Immersion Software
11 Kaydara FBX Community
12 Wildcat VP990 Pro

Companies & Markets
13 Bluefish444 & Boxx
14 Xybernaut in the UK

15 Virtalis: a family firm?
16 Jochen Spangenberg Quits

Events & Calls for Papers
17 Moscow's Game Developers Conference
18 Canadian Digifest 2003
19 CARVI 2003, Spain

223.01 The 3D Consortium

The 3D Consortium has been founded by Itochu Corporation, NTT DATA Corporation, Sanyo Electric Co, Sharp Corporation and Sony Corporation to encourage the growth and development of a market for 3D applications and products. The consortium's mission is "to enhance the potential market for 3D images through the development and expansion of I/O devices for 3D stereographic displays, development and distribution of 3D content, and by promoting the commercial use of 3D technology in a wide variety of application areas".

The 3D Consortium estimates this market in Japan has the potential to reach 3 trillion yen in annual sales revenue by 2008. In addition to the five steering members, the 3D Consortium is comprised of over 60 standard members, including hardware manufacturers, software vendors, content vendors, content providers, system integrators, video production houses, broadcasters, academic organizations and other interested parties. Subcommittees are being established to discuss specific issues such as devising image formats appropriate to various applications and I/O devices and developing guidelines and authoring tools for creating content.

VREfresh will be monitoring the progress of this initiative.

223.02 Ten Immersive Visualization Centers for Korea

EON Reality and Eversoft Ltd of South Korea have agreed to establish ten Immersive Visualization Centers focused in VR and visualization with the leading educational institutions in South Korea. EON Reality's Immersive Visualization Center (IVC) Program is making immersive visualization equipment such as ICUBE and ICATCHER accessible for a large number of students within universities and educational institutes. The program is aimed for educational and R&D purposes. EON Reality and Eversoft offer a full integrated solution including hardware and software including commercial applications, high-end display systems, training, curriculum and support.

URL: http://www.eversoft.co.kr
URL: http://www.eonreality.com

223.03 Oil & Gas: ASI & Paradigm Geophysical

Anglo-Suisse Inc (ASI), a privately held oil company, has signed an agreement to utilize Magic Earth's GeoProbe, the volume visualization and interpretation software. In its Houston visualization center, Magic Earth will evaluate nearly 500 blocks located on the Gulf of Mexico shelf, held by production (HBP), and 1,800 open-exploration blocks, of ASI's license to Petroleum Geo-Services 3D seismic data. "This agreement… will allow Anglo-Suisse to fully utilize its 3D database in evaluating the nearly 500 HBP blocks for the purpose of acquisition," said John Sherwood, CEO of Anglo-Suisse. "We will be able to quickly and accurately ascertain a field's remaining upside potential in regards to by-passed pay zones, untested reservoirs and deeper exploration potential. We believe this state-of-the-art technology and business relationship model allows companies of our size to be competitive with the larger E&P companies in the Gulf," he added.

URL: http://www.magicearth.com

Paradigm Geophysical is offering pre-installed, ready-to-use visualization and interpretation systems based on HP's Intel Itanium 2-based workstations and servers running on Linux to market. Paradigm has a portfolio of 3D-enabled applications based on its rendering technologies, notably its volume interpretation system VoxelGeo. Other applications include Reservoir Navigator (data roaming), Explorer (depth conversion), GeoDepth (seismic depth imaging), GeoSec (reconstruction). Paradigm's data management is said to be well suited to Linux, including a process to manipulate massive data sets from disk, making it a good match for the HP zx1 chipset and the Intel Itanium 2 microprocessor.

This solution by-passes many of the limitations associated with applications using only computer memory. Paradigm Geophysical provides information solutions to the oil and gas industry. Its set of Software Solutions and Geophysical and Reservoir Study Services ranges from data processing and imaging, through visualization, interpretation, and earth modeling, to reservoir characterization and Petrophysics and well design and drilling operations.

URL: http://www.hp.com
URL: http://www.paradigmgeo.com

223.04 NASCAR Car in 3D

By the time a NASCAR racing car hits the track, only the outline of the car's body conforms to the corresponding model on the showroom floor. For teams such as Richard Childress Racing - home of Winston Cup drivers Kevin Harvick, Jeff Green and Robby Gordon - the challenge is to take the basic SB2 General Motors engine and squeeze out the most horsepower and torque possible within NASCAR rules. Available to GM racing teams is an accurate 3D computer model of the SB2 engine block, created by Richard Childress Racing (RCR) using Geomagic Studio software from Raindrop Geomagic and Parametric Technology Corp's Pro/ENGINEER. The new SB2 model enables GM and its racing teams to conduct finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies based on an accurate digital replica of the cast part. It also provides the foundation for creating a complete digital engine assembly.

URL: http://www.geomagic.com
URL: http://www.ptc.com

223.05 Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The 3DO Company, a developer of interactive entertainment software, has purchased eight Kaydara Motionbuilder licenses for work on several upcoming game titles, including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. 3DO will use Motionbuilder's character animation tools to edit and target motion capture data for the character models of each of the four horsemen and other characters.

URL: http://www.kaydara.com
URL: http://www.3do.com

223.06 Sledgehammer for Jim Henson's Creature Shop

Jim Henson's Creature Shop in London, UK has acquired a Sledgehammer HD!O system from Maximum Throughput Inc for its computer graphics department. The visual effects facility bearing the name of its founder has recently been busy finalizing work on "Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic" (a tentative name) for Universal Studios Japan. The stereoscopic film is part of a new ride attraction at the theme park. Aurelio Campa, Technical Manager of computer graphics at Jim Henson's Creature Shop, comments on the purchase: "We deal with a huge variety of digital imaging projects including high-definition TV, digital film effects, stereoscopic theme park rides, and file sizes up to 54 MByte per frame at 30 frames per second. We needed a shared storage workhorse that provided the enormous bandwidth required to simultaneously feed multiple clients, and a render farm."

URL: http://www.max-t.com
URL: http://www.creatureshop.com

223.07 USA's Largest Engineering Technology School Gets Inventor

Ferris State University, the largest Engineering Technology school in the United States, is advancing student education with AutoDesk Inventor Series. Freshman and sophomore students, who had previously only used AutoDesk Mechanical Desktop software for 2D drafting and an introduction to 3D design concepts, are now also using AutoDesk Inventor software to further their skills.

URL: http://www.autodesk.com

223.08 Franklin W Olin College of Engineering

The Franklin W Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts has purchased 80 licenses of SolidWorks as one of its primary 3D CAD software packages. Olin's first freshman class has been using SolidWorks since the first week of September to design their inventions, including miniature race cars, kinetic sculptures, and products for a national mechanical engineering contest. Students have used SolidWorks for a variety of projects, such as designing a 3D steam engine model, designing 3D models of water rockets, and creating compressed-nitrogen powered dragster models. The assignments were part of "cohort" learning at the college, an innovative curricular approach in which study in two subject areas is combined with a hands-on project that ties them together. CADD Edge, an authorized SolidWorks reseller, is providing ongoing software support and training to Olin College faculty and staff.

URL: http://www.olin.edu
URL: http://www.caddedge.com
URL: http://www.solidworks.com

223.09 Raising the Standard of Projection

BARCO claims to be raising the standard of projection by offering optimal fidelity and the highest resolution available for simulation applications. As part of its WARP6 technology BARCO has optimized its BarcoReality SIM 6 Ultra projector with DynaColor and Gray Level Definition (GLD) to achieve the highest color uniformity for multi-channel installations. High-precision digital "color space transformation" eliminates channel-to-channel color variations through direct control of the primary colors. This feature in LCD projectors draws upon the processing power of the WARP6 geometry distortion processor to perform real-time floating-point calculations.

Barco's proprietary GLD takes care of improved grayscale tracking across the different channels of the multi-channel set-up by controlling the black, white ánd grays to guarantee accurate color matching across the whole dynamic range of the display. Other optimizations are True Motion Reproduction (TMR) to minimize smearing, Optical Soft Edge Matching (OSEM) to seamlessly blend channels for all brightness levels, Extended Contrast Ratio (ECR) for dynamic range enhancement in night-time simulation and Transport Delay Reduction (TDR) for zero-delay response in "man-in-the-loop" applications. An additional Barco development for the Barco SIM 4 is Constant Light Output (CLO). This feature continually monitors and adjusts the brightness of the projector. In its linked configuration, CLO ensures that all projectors in a multi-channel system maintain the same brightness, independent of lamp life.

URL: http://www.barcoprojection.com

223.10 Beta Version of Immersion Software

Immersion has been previewing a beta version of a software product called TouchWare Gaming that can bring the sense of touch to every PC game. According to The NPD Group, only about 300 of the over 6000 PC-Windows game titles have pre-programmed force feedback effects. At the same time, the market research firm's data confirm that the force feedback market share of PC hardware peripherals continues to grow year over year. Immersion has devised an intelligent way to analyze sound effects, convert them using advanced algorithms, and map them to appropriate haptic effects. Logitech, Microsoft, Saitek, Belkin and others in the video console and computer gaming industries were among the first to license Immersion's haptic technology. Immersion has already licensed its 185 patents to more than 100 haptic-enabled peripherals and more than 500 game titles on the market.

URL: http://www.immersion.com

223.11 Kaydara FBX Community

A Kaydara FBX Community has been added to Turbo Squid's Web site. With over 700 active FBX models, scenes, and motion capture files, Turbo Squid's site is a resource for 3D artists in search of 3D content and motion capture data in Kaydara's FBX file format. The new Kaydara FBX community will allow users to search by model type, artist, or keyword while staying within the FBX community. Users may browse the FBX content from their favorite artist within an efficient search engine.

URL: http://www.turbosquid.com
URL: http://www.kaydara.com

223.12 Wildcat VP990 Pro

3Dlabs, a wholly owned subsidiary of Creative Technology, has announced the Wildcat VP990 Pro workstation graphics accelerator. The new Wildcat VP990 Pro combines the highly programmable Visual Processing Unit (VPU) with a full 512 MB onboard, high speed, 256-bit graphics memory on a standard AGP card. The 3Dlabs Wildcat VP990 Pro has an estimated street price of $899 and is scheduled for worldwide shipment in April.

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

223.13 Bluefish444 & Boxx

BOXX Technologies has entered into an agreement with Bluefish444 that allows BOXX to develop a new series of products based on Bluefish444 cards including the new Wildblue AV 10-bit uncompressed SDI card which features viewport frame buffer support for 10-bit 4:2:2 real-time I/O with six channels of AES/EBU digital audio for SD-SDI VTRs. Other features include viewport frame buffer support for Adobe's Premier 6.5, After Effects 5.5 and Discreet's combustion 2.1, offering real-time preview for YUV SD-SDI broadcast monitors.

URL: http://www.boxxtech.com

223.14 Xybernaut in the UK

Virtalis has become the reseller for Xybernaut wearable and mobile computers in Great Britain. In the range is the Mobile Assistant V, a wearable, Wintel-based computer that replaces computing and communications devices. It has enough energy for a working day. With an estimated 137 million mobile workers worldwide, the market for wearable computers is growing: analysts Bear Stearns think that the sector will have grown to $3 trillion by 2005.

URL: http://www.vrweb.com
URL: http://www.xybernaut.de

223.15 Virtalis: a family firm?

David Cockburn-Price, ex-PricewaterhouseCoopers, is to become Managing Director of Virtalis (formerly Virtual Presence). He will also "head-up the company's finance function." We can't help noticing the company's media contact is Sarah Cockburn-Price.

URL: http://www.vrweb.com

223.16 Jochen Spangenberg Quits

Jochen Spangenberg is no longer working for ALTUS Media AG. We wish him well and hope he stays in the VR/i3D community.


To make the VREfresh file smaller for you to download, you will find new event announcements in each issue. Expanded details are available at the VREfresh Web Site.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

223.17 Moscow's Game Developers Conference

LifeMode Interactive, a facial animation solution developer incorporated in 2001 in California with its production studio based in Moscow, Russia, will be participating at Moscow's Game Developers Conference 2003 event - March 21-22. They will be showing a new version of LifeStudio:HEAD; a high-end character creation and real-time facial animation package for game developers and 3D art studios. This year's Conference is the first of its kind in Russia, gathering about a hundred game developer teams from all around the region, with companies such as Intel, Nvidia, ATI and Criterion Software making an appearance.

URL: http://www.kriconf.ru/
URL: http://www.lifemi.com

223.18 Canadian Digifest 2003

Digifest is a festival of digital culture, creativity and innovation, a four-day event (March 26-29, 2003) in Toronto, Canada. The theme of Digifest 2003 is Electronic Cities, and the 'spotlight country' of 2003 is Holland. Digifest operates a SGI Onyx 2-based facility called the Advanced Visualization Centre, using a SEOS Barco vision system with 3 projectors to project on a 2.4 meter high 140 degree curved screen. The organisers chose the VR4MAX Extreme real-time VR software environment to present the 3D work of artists and design firms. VR4MAX is a real-time interactive environment to view, check and distribute 3ds max and Autodesk VIZ models and the product line includes VR4MAX Extreme for Windows and Unix.

URL: http://www.vr4max.com
URL: http://www.dxnet.net/digifest

223.19 CARVI 2003, Spain

The Virtual Reality Applications Conference, CARVI 2003, is to be held on April 3-4 at EUVE's facility in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. CARVI will be the focus of international attention for matters dealing with the latest advances in Research and Development in VR Applications. Topics will include product design and manufacturing processes; architecture, culture and archaeology; VR in scientific applications; television, films and advertising; simulation, coaching and training; as well as new tools and technologies.

URL: http://www.euve.org

March 21-22: Moscow's Game Developers Conference, Moscow, Russia
March 22-26: IEEE VR2003: Los Angeles, USA
March 26-29: Digifest 2003, Toronto, Canada
April 1-2: OpenSG, Darmstadt, Germany
April 3: 3Dims VR workshop, Frankfurt, Germany
April 3-4: CARVI 2003, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
April 27-30: 2003 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics: California, USA
May 7-9: Casa'2003, New Jersey, USA
May 13-18: Laval Virtual Reality International Conference, Laval, France
May 22-23: Joint IPT/EGVE '03 Workshop, Zurich, Switzerland
June 3-5: EurographicsUK 2003, Birmingham, England
July 10-11: Vision, Video and Graphics 2003, Bath, UK
July 27 - 31: Siggraph 2003, San Diego, California, USA
September 1-6: Eurographics 2003, Granada, Spain

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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