Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 11th April 2003

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Users, Applications & Projects
01 Shell Oil Products - Pennzoil Division
02 Virtual Tour of US Heritage Site Planned by NSF
03 Immersive Study of Brain Function
04 OnSet Expect to Save Time and Money with Kaydara
05 Digital Domain Spends Millions with Discreet
06 Six Flags Park Features VR
07 Online Experience of Toyota
08 Imagery for Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda...
09 Switch to 3D CAD

Products & Services
10 PC Stereo Edge Blending Solution
11 New Version of ONLINE for Broadcasters
12 Facial Motion Capture and Performance Cloning
13 New and Faster Products from Sun
14 Integrated 2D and 3D Compositing, Titling and Effects
15 Discreet Color Grading & Correction No Longer Lacks Lustre
16 Hardware Rendering In Maya
17 Electric Rain Rendering in Maya
18 Blue Screen Matte Extraction Plug-In

Companies & Markets
19 Discreet Experiences Growth in HDTV Market
20 Metronor & CADKEY
21 Maximum Throughput & Discreet Sales Agreement
22 Dreamscape 2.0 from Turbo Squid
23 EA Expanding: New Appointments & 300 More Jobs to Come
24 Fakespace Merger Complete: VPs Appointed

Worth Watching
25 Delivery Products for Audio and Video Media

Events & Calls for Papers
26 First International Workshop on ICTs and Cultural Heritage
27 American Telemedicine Association
28 3D Festival

226.01 Shell Oil Products - Pennzoil Division

Through a strategic partnership developed with InterSense and EON Reality, VirTra Systems Inc is utilizing an advanced head-tracking solution in its current VR delivery systems. The integrated head-tracking system has been first utilized in VirTra Systems' recently-completed system developed for Shell Oil Products US Inc's Pennzoil division. VirTra Systems has also implemented this new head-tracking solution into its new IVR-p training system, which delivers judgmental use-of-force training scenarios for law enforcement and security applications. VirTra Systems' immersive VR systems include 3D sound, tactile simulations, and olfactory stimulation.

URL: http://www.isense.com
URL: http://www.eonreality.com
URL: http://www.virtasystems.com

226.02 Virtual Tour of US Heritage Site Planned by NSF

The US National Science Foundation plans to use a virtual tour of Thomas Jefferson's home in an exhibition. The tour was developed by computer graphics researchers from the University of North Carolina and the University of Michigan using a laser scanner and video camera with a rangefinder.

URL: http://www.nsf.gov/home/about/creation.htm

226.03 Immersive Study of Brain Function

VIZTEK Inc has completed the first known study of brain function using the Cyber-P4 fully immersive VR system. Dr Warren Darling, Associate Professor of Exercise Science, and Dr Marc Pizzementi, Associate in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, both at the University of Iowa, completed the first set of experiments inside the Cyber-P4. The Cyber-P4 is a new facility established at the Virtual Reality Laboratory (VR Lab) of The University of Iowa. The team in collaboration with graduate students at the VR Lab used the Cyber-P4 environment to study effects of viewing tilted virtual rooms on visual perception of the vertical axis and on reaching to grasp virtual objects at different orientations relative to vertical.

A major theory of visual function of the brain is that the output of primary visual areas in the occipital lobe is divided into two relatively independent pathways, one to the frontal lobe for identification of objects at the perceptual level and one to the parietal lobe for use in defining spatial attributes to generate motor commands to acquire the target. If these pathways are independent, then reaches to acquire visual targets should depend on true spatial attributes instead of perceived attributes. Researchers found that visually perceived vertical is strongly affected by tilt of a virtual room in the realistic immersion environment of Cyber-P4, but hand orientation for reaching was only slightly affected by virtual room tilt.

URL: http://www.viz-tek.com

226.04 OnSet Expect to Save Time and Money with Kaydara

OnSet Motion Consultants Inc, a Canadian production company, has purchased multiple licenses of Kaydara MOTIONBUILDER and Kaydara ONLINE for work on several forthcoming film, game and television productions. ONLINE will act as the heart of OnSet Motion's integrated production environment and allow for the on-stage visualization of live performances alongside animated virtual characters or virtual environments. MOTIONBUILDER will provide character rigging; preparation for live motion capture sessions; and act as the bridge between the Softimage XSI modeling environment and the ONLINE on-stage visualization system. Says Martin New, CEO of OnSet Motion: "This type of pre-visualization technique not only saves us time and money, but also enables an incredible amount of data to be collected for the post-production phase."

URL: http://www.kaydara.com

226.05 Digital Domain Spends Millions with Discreet

Los Angeles-based Digital Domain has completed a multi-million dollar Discreet installation, including a new inferno 5 suite, upgrades to its fleet of flame and flint visual effects systems and expansion of its combustion 2.1 desktop compositing capabilities. Digital Domain's investment in Discreet technology included a new inferno 5 system based on the SGI Onyx 3200 supercomputer, nine flame 8 and 10 flint 8 system upgrades, and 10 new combustion 2.1 software licenses. Digital Domain, having enjoyed its reputation as an Academy Award-winning film studio, has diversified its business to include a range of television and commercial post-production work.

URL: http://www.discreet.com

226.06 Six Flags Park Features VR

Six Flags Over Georgia began its 2003 season on March 15th. The Beta Zone was in full swing offering park thrill seekers a VR experience. Situated in the geographic center of the park, the Beta Zone is a recreation of a Sci-fi space station complete with control center, air lock, and props from actual science fiction movies. Players can experience a variety of VR games using both Head Mounted Display and motion simulators. Most of the games in the Beta Zone are from 3001 AD LLC.

URL: http://www.3001adllc.com

226.07 Online Experience of Toyota

Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc has expanded its relationship with Viewpoint by entering into an enterprise wide license agreement to utilize the Viewpoint 3D modeling application. The expanded agreement allows Toyota to deploy Viewpoint technology across their entire portfolio of websites enabling consumers to benefit from the interactive content. By delivering the consumer an online experience, the interactive 4Runner content quickly became the second most played application on Toyota's 4Runner mini-site and was also used on kiosks at various automotive trade shows. Toyota plans to deploy additional Viewpoint-enabled content across various products and brands including the next generation Prius, the Tundra Craftsman NASCAR race truck, Scion and Lexus models. Viewpoint is developing this content for Toyota under a services agreement. Toyota is the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in the world and the fourth-largest automaker in North America.

URL: http://www.toyota.com
URL: http://www.lexus.com
URL: http://www.scion.com
URL: http://www.viewpoint.com

226.08 Imagery for Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda...

Burrows, part of the WPP Group, has expanded its commitment to ART VPS rendering solutions with the addition of a further three high-end RenderDrive 3D rendering systems. This expansion means Burrows will be able to rely on a network of nine RenderDrive systems to deliver imagery to its roster of automotive clients including Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mazda, and will support expansion of the 3D department at Burrows to meet the increased demand for their 3D visual services. It is often the case that a real vehicle is not available for photographic shoots when Burrows begin their projects. Burrows highly skilled designers, and the ART VPS RenderDrive systems, enable photographic quality images to be created without costly prototypes or production vehicles being required. These are not just artistic representations of the design, but truly virtual photographs created with the original 3D CAD data and using real world physically-based rendering algorithms to calculate the image. Burrows use RenderDrive as part of their N.Visage visualization workflow. N.Visage allows Burrows to use the original manufacturing data directly from the client to create high quality images that include every detail of the final product.

URL: http://www.advancedrendering.com

226.09 Switch to 3D CAD

Mann & Hummel Hydromation (MHH) has switched to SolidWorks 3D CAD software to design the filtration systems it sells around the world. MHH manages the design of large assemblies, to streamline processes, and to speed products into customers' hands faster than with its previous solid modeling software. Since 1964, Tongeren, Belgium-based MHH has supplied individual coolant filtration systems for machining tools used by some of the world's most important automotive manufacturers. According to Dirk Novak, coordinator at MHH: "Similar constructions do not need to be drawn each time, but can be realized quickly in the same design. This allows us to create several design alternatives and discuss their advantages and disadvantages with the customer. This reduced design time is very important to us. We needed a tool that gets the job done." MHH is working with SolidWorks' reseller, CADMES in Hertogenbosch, Holland, and Gent, Belgium, for ongoing software implementation, training, and support.

URL: http://www.mann-hummel.com
URL: http://www.soldworks.com

226.10 PC Stereo Edge Blending Solution

Cyviz AS, a Norwegian-based provider of passive stereo 3D projection systems, is claiming the world's first PC stereo edge blending solution. Using Cyviz technology and a super wide resolution signal, a dual channel edge blended setup can be created. Cyviz tell us if you are currently edge blending a SUN/SGI source, you can now utilize your stereo 3D visualization room to its maximum by adding the same capabilities to your PC.

URL: http://www.cyviz.com

226.11 New Version of ONLINE for Broadcasters

Kaydara has a new version of ONLINE, its broadcast production solution for integrating live video and real-time animation. Based on the latest Intel and nVidia technology, ONLINE 4.0 features a robust PC hardware platform, broadcast-quality standard definition and high definition video and audio I/O optimized for the Microsoft Windows environment.

URL: http://www.kaydara.com

226.12 Facial Motion Capture and Performance Cloning

Eyetronics has new on-site services for facial motion capture and performance cloning. The new facial motion capture system records a performance using a digital video or HDTV camera and a unit that continuously projects a fine grid on the actor's face. The mobile system makes it easy to arrange a capture session at any location, reducing overall costs and logistical complexity. The captured data is processed using Eyetronics' proprietary software to reconstruct the 3D shape and textures in high resolution on a frame-by-frame basis. Eyetronics can obtain good results with a handheld video camera, or use an HDTV setup to capture data at much higher quality, producing smoother motion and improving the quality of the data processing.

URL: http://www.eyetronics.com

226.13 New and Faster Products from Sun

Sun Microsystems has released new and faster products to improve the performance in its desktop and graphics product lines: the new Sun XVR-1200 and XVR-100 graphics accelerators, faster SunPCi III PC co-processor card and SunBlade 2000 workstations. The Sun XVR-1200 graphics accelerator, Sun's most advanced workstation-based 3D graphics board yet, delivers up to five times the visual processing performance than its predecessor. Additionally, Sun increased performance in its SunPCi III co-processor card, a unique product that is designed to allow enterprises to run both the Solaris Operating System and Windows operating system (OS) concurrently on Sun UNIX(R) workstations. Base configurations for the Sun Blade 2000 workstation start at $9,995, which includes a single 1.2 GHz UltraSPARC III CPU, 1GB of RAM, Sun XVR-100 graphics accelerator and 73GB hard disk. The Sun XVR-1200 graphics accelerator is available for both the Sun Blade 2000 workstation and the Sun Fire 6800 server, with prices starting at $2,995. The Sun XVR-100 graphics accelerator is scheduled to become available later this month, and is priced at $295. The Sun PCi III co-processor card is as an option starting at $695.

URL: http://sun.com

226.14 Integrated 2D and 3D Compositing, Titling and Effects

The upcoming release of Boris RED 3GL, the first integrated 2D and 3D compositing, titling, and effects application to implement OpenGL, will add support for Sonic Foundry's Vegas 4.0 nonlinear editing application and Vegas+DVD integrated solution for editing, surround mixing, and DVD production. Boris RED 3GL offers three kinds of plug-in integration for Vegas 4.0: transitions, filters, and a media generator to create multi-layer composites on a single layer on the Vegas timeline. Among the features that Boris RED can add to NLEs such as Vegas, are four-point motion tracking, vector paint, rotoscoping, advanced 3D compositing, and 2D and 3D title creation and animation tools on a desktop. Support for OpenGL hardware acceleration means that these effects can be created with exceptional speed and flexibility.

URL: http://www.BorisFX.com
URL: http://www.sonicfoundry.com

226.15 Discreet Color Grading & Correction No Longer Lacks Lustre

Discreet has unveiled its real-time system for digital grading and color correction-named and branded lustre. This new system is a digital color correction technology operating on non-proprietary computer hardware. With this introduction, Discreet enters the market for digital color grading, driving future opportunities in the emerging multi-billion dollar digital cinema marketplace. lustre is expected to be available in summer 2003. Developed in conjunction with Colorfront of Hungary, the lustre system offers colorists and color timers an intuitive environment for highly interactive color correction sessions, enabling them to collaborate directly with directors of photography, cinematographers and filmmakers to adjust the colors and look of a film-from the most subtle of adjustments to extravagant color and lighting effects.

URL: http://www.discreet.com

226.16 Hardware Rendering In Maya

Alias|Wavefront has a new hardware rendering capability in its recently announced Maya 5 software. With Maya 5, customers can produce broadcast quality images up to 20 times faster than before. Maya 5 is believed to be the first 3D application to fully take advantage of the the new NVIDIA Quadro FX graphics engine. Hardware rendering allows customers to meet deadlines faster and render multiple iterations in production refinement. It also allows them to undertake last minute creative changes that would previously be impossible to accommodate given tight production schedules.

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

226.17 Electric Rain Rendering in Maya

Electric Rain's RAViX III Vector rendering engine will be integrated into Alias|Wavefront's Maya 5 to provide expanded rendering options. Integrating the RAViX III technology with the new Maya Vector Renderer provides Maya 5 artists with the ability to output images to the Macromedia Flash (SWF), Adobe Illustrator (AI), Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), and Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) formats.

URL: http://www.erain.com

226.18 Blue Screen Matte Extraction Plug-In

Ultimatte Corporation is to introduce version 1.5 of its AdvantEdge software, a professional level blue screen matte extraction plug-in. This version boasts faster setup and render times, multi-directional matte shrink and blur controls, plus user defined system preferences. AdvantEdge provides a solution for creating blue screen visual effects within Adobe, Apple, Avid, Discreet and other leading graphics applications.

URL: http://www.ultimatte.com

226.19 Discreet Experiences Growth in HDTV Market

Discreet has recorded a significant increase in HDTV programming being finished on its systems over the last twelve months. A recent sample of its worldwide HD client base revealed that many had seen substantial increases in demand for HDTV programming, a trend reinforced by a similar increase in the number of HDTV capable systems being purchased from Discreet. Twenty of the most influential post facilities in the world, representative of hundreds of HD users, worked on over 80 different episodic and long form HDTV productions yielding well over one-thousand hours of content.

URL: http://www.discreet.com

226.20 Metronor & CADKEY

Metronor Group, headquartered in Norway, has signed an agreement to bundle CADKEY Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineering software products with their Metronor line of electro-optical portable coordinate measurement machine (CMM) systems. The portable Metronor Solo uses a digital camera designed with custom optics and filters. Customers measure using a free-standing, carbon fiber light pen with embedded light sources.

URL: http://www.metronor.com
URL: http://www.cadkey.com

226.21 Maximum Throughput & Discreet Sales Agreement

Maximum Throughput Inc and Discreet have entered into a sales and distribution agreement whereby Discreet will begin selling both Sledgehammer NAS and Sledgehammer HD!O in the USA and western Canada.

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

226.22 Dreamscape 2.0 from Turbo Squid

DreamScape 2.0 by Sitni Sati is the latest offering in the Discreet Certified 3ds max Plug-in program and is available from the Turbo Squid online digital marketplace. DreamScape 2.0 is an integrated suite of modeling and animation tools for building complete environments including mountainous landscapes, realistic skies, and bodies of water.

URL: http://www.turbosquid.com/dcpstore
URL: http://www.discreet.com/dcp

226.23 EA Expanding: New Appointments & 300 More Jobs to Come

Electronic Arts has hired additional creative professionals for its Los Angeles studio: David Wainstain, Senior Cinematics Supervisor, brings experience from Dream Quest Images; Charles Anderson, Effects Animator, most recently served as the Atmospheric FX Supervisor at Centropolis; Kevin Lee, Effects Animator, previously worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation; Larry White, Character Animator, has an extensive background in character animation including work at Walt Disney Studios; James Dargie, Weapons Modeler, joins from ESC Entertainment; Dr Andrew Garrett joins EALA from Dragonstone Software; Jimmy Alamparambil comes to EALA from Check Six Studios; Michael Myles brings to EALA extensive experience as a sound designer and recording engineer. In addition to games in the Medal of Honor and Command & Conquer franchises, the EALA studio is working on games based on The Lord of the Rings and James Bond movies. In the summer of 2003, EALA will relocate to a new custom-designed West Los Angeles campus that will house an additional 300 development experts and creative artists, whom EALA anticipates hiring in the next few years.

URL: http://info.ea.com

226.24 Fakespace Merger Complete: VPs Appointed

Fakespace Systems has finalized its merger with Mechdyne Corporation and the company will be known as Fakespace Systems. Chris Clover, previously chief executive officer of Mechdyne Corporation, is CEO and Carol Leaman, previously President of Fakespace Systems, will serve as President. Additionally, the company named five vice presidents: Jim Angelillo, Vice President, Advanced Programs & Marketing; John Bethel, Vice President, Sales; Jim Gruening, Vice President, Operations; Mike Hancock, Vice President, EMEAA; Kurt Hoffmeister, Vice President, Engineering.

URL: http://www.fakespace.com

226.25 Worth Watching: Delivery Products for Audio and Video Media

Through its Digidesign audio business unit Avid plans to provide collaboration and delivery products or services based on technology developed by Rocket Networks. Avid acquired the assets of the privately held developer of delivery products for audio and video media. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

URL: http://www.avid.com

226.00 Events & Calls for Papers

226.26 First International Workshop on ICTs and Cultural Heritage

Call for Papers: the First International Workshop on ICTs and Cultural Heritage that will take place in San Sebastián (Spain) in the 5th May 2003. The artnouveau First International Workshop will bring together policy makers, scholars, researchers, artists, computer professionals and other who are working within the broadly defined areas of Digital Arts and Culture for a discussion on how to better integrate research in ICTs, Arts and Culture Heritage and also to promote Local Development and excellence in Europe. This international Workshop will provide a space for open discussion with the objective to create an active forum (with representation from the European Commission, national and local governments) in order to set off European Guidelines for ICTs, Arts and Cultural Heritage with a special emphasis on Applications, Local Development and Informal Learning.

URL: http://www.artnouveau-net.org

226.27 American Telemedicine Association

The American Telemedicine Association's annual meeting: April 27-30, Orlando, Florida, USA.

URL: http://www.americantelemed.org/conf/annualmeet.htm

226.28 3D Festival

The 3D Festival: May 7-10, Copenhagen, Denmark held in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 7- May 10, 2003.

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

For details of the following events, see: http://www.vrefresh.com

April 27-30: 2003 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics: California, USA
April 27-30: American Telemedicine Association's annual meeting, Florida, USA
May 5: First International Workshop on ICTs and Cultural Heritage, Spain
May 7-9: Casa'2003, New Jersey, USA
May 7-10: 3D Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark
May 13-18: Laval Virtual Reality International Conference, Laval, France
May 18-22: 2003 Bentley International User Conference, Maryland, USA
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 14-18: CREATE, New York, USA
July 27 - 31: Siggraph 2003, San Diego, California, USA
September 1-6: Eurographics 2003, Granada, Spain
October 15-17: VSMM 2003, Montreal, Canada

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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