Ogre3D DCC Wiki

I am involved in project that is rebuilding the New York World’s Fair from 1964/65 in 3D. Read more here…

We are using the Ogre3D engine to render the ‘game’. Producing into a OpenSource engine is not always easy because sometime the tools to export models from 3D modeling applications and many other aspects of a content creation pipeline that is available through the community are outdated or simply don’t work. Ogre3D is a well spread engine by now, but most studios that work with it keep their tools and solutions close to their chest.

Wiki on Ogre3D and more…

In the spirit of the NYWF (New York World’s Fair) project which is funded by the NSF (National Science Foundation) I’m going to provide the solutions we come up on a Wiki for everyone to follow, use or even extend.

Motion4U @ Siggraph 2009

We had our own small booth @ Siggraph 2009 in New Orleans. And yeah the gorgeous woman in the gold suit belonged to us ūüôā I am amazed how underrated the “booth babe” concept is these days.

Motion4U booth @ Siggraph 2009 "Booth-Babe" @ Siggrpah

Here’s Vizworlds photo gallery covering a lot of the show. You’ll also find this picture in case you did not remember her eye color ūüėõ

Google Wave

Watched the video of the new technology Google announced. This looks really interesting. I love the part about the history in emails and chat. How many times did you have to search through email, sms, skype chat history etc. to find that one statement of somebody or a link to something…

Google Wave will keep track for everybody and everything. Let’s hope the whole conspiracy theory stuff is a myth tho ūüôā

Google Wave presentation
Google Wave Wiki (English)
Google Wave Wiki (German)
In depth information on Google Wave

Microsoft Natal

Just a short note on this “new” technology.

Microsoft has started to attack the Wii from Nintendo with the project Natal. Read More…

I remember seeing a video that showed someone sword fighting with his finger and of course I saw Bill Gates Talking at the D5 conference in 2007 about his “last” vision for Microsoft is in Vision Programming.

quote: “So 3D is a way of organizing things, particularly as we‚Äôre getting much more media information on the computer, a lot more choices, a lot more navigation than we‚Äôve ever had before. And we can take that into this communications world where the PC is playing a much more central role, kind of taking over what was the PBX, sort of one of the last mainframes in the business environment. That will be a big change that will come to it. And as we get natural input, that will cause a change. ‚Ķ Software is doing vision and so, you know, imagine a game machine where you‚Äôre just going to pick up the bat and swing it or the tennis racket and swing it.”

Natal is the first device that will actually release that does marker less tracking in an affordable price range. Of course there was the Z-Cam from 3DV, but now that Natal has surfaced it’s clear why Microsoft has bought them up.

I hope that their developers come up with more creative ways to use the motion interaction as some developers do for the Wii.

Google released open-source 3D API for the web

Could this be the one that changes the game? Google has released a 3D API, Quote by Google: “O3D is an open-source web API for creating rich, interactive 3D applications in the browser. This API is shared at an early stage as part of a conversation with the broader developer community about establishing an open web standard for 3D graphics.”

Read more here…

We’ve seen many formats and efforts of bringing 3D to the web in the past. At the begining there was vrml 1.0. I was very excited and built a lot of things in Power Animator and exported it to vrml inclusive authoring. Vrml 2.0 had animation, multi textures on one node and many more features like proximity sensors and 3D sound. I was especially impressed by “Floops” (unfortunately I found no usable links on Floops – anyone – comment?) created by Brad de Graaf for SGI (Silicon Graphics).

Later on vrml was replaced by X3D. X3D is an xml based file format and was supposed to widely spread and the plans were to create exporters for many applications in the animation and cad sector.

I’ve played with X3D and the Flux Player. Flux Player now merged into Vivaty but is still available to download here. I will put my experiment online soon… Stay tuned.

I am really hoping that this will finally kick of some serious business for 3D on the web. It’s about time I think. The bandwith, the gfx power on peoples machines and the technology is here. Now that Google has picked it up it has a real chance to succeed. What do you think?

Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe ?

I went to the Jungfraujoch today. I went there for the first time in my life. It was very impressive. There’s a lot of technology involved in transporting that many people from 2061 m above sea level to 3471 m. Especially thinking of that the train track was built between 1896 and 1912 pretty much by hand. (Infos on the Junfraubahn)

It is very magical to be so close to the legendary tip of the Eiger but the FrenchFries smell in the air drops one back to the touristic grounds in no time…

KleineScheidegg_3Berge_B

Website of gvz_rossat ag/sa goes online

The re-design of the website for the professional gardener supply company gvz_rossat ag/sa goes online. The site uses a Adobe Flex Accordion as navigation and is bilangual.

gvz-rossat_Web_Medium

 

Back in the day flash movies were really hype. Here’s the flash header that I created for this website.



Fallback or ‘alternate’ content goes here.
This content will only be visible if the SWF fails to load.


Motion4U – What is BurstMode?

Here’s a little flash anim posted for historical reasons and sharing.

It’s explaining different operations that can be done in BurstMode.

Left Mouse Button = Object Manipulation
Middle Mouse Button = Camera Manipulation
Right Mouse Button = Burst Fly Mode

Check out the Flash below. Beware it loads for a while…

FlightCabin_03

LEGO – squash and stretch to the ugly…

I wrote up an article one day because I am constantly getting annoyed by the ignorance of producers and animators towards the legacy of Godtfred Kirk Christiansen the son of the founder of the LEGO Group. To me the LEGO figure is molded with rigid plastic. Bringing those figures to live by deforming them destroys the look and feel. Read it here…

Now this Intro page to the upcoming LEGO 3D Digital Universe is probably the worst I have ever seen. Watch the mini figure in red dancing and bowing, errrmm… hitting his head to the floor. And mind the broken geometry on the arm when he’s waving…

Here’s a screencapture (1.8 MB QuickTime movie) of¬† the LEGO Universe Intro (In case it changed…)

Here’s a more elaborate 3rd party article on the LEGO Universe followed by a very good comment written by a fellow co-worker at SPU Darwin and a dear friend of mine Christian Greuel. (NOTE: This is coming from the web archive website. Please be patient, it will load for a while.)

P.S. This text, nor any text on this web site are related, recognized or endorsed by/to the Company “LEGO¬ģ Group”. LEGO¬ģ is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies.

Porsche Design – Worldtimer

Two of the biggest challenges in creating watch animations are that most likely if you get to animate a watch it means it doesn’t exist yet. So you got to cobble together the look of the real material in that particular shape and finish. The other challenge is the that most watches are only visible because they reflect their environment. Now to do that for still shots is somewhat easier than animations because, even in real life, reflections on such a small object can become erratic and you end up animating the environment which can make the 3D scene somewhat complex.

Here’s the three 3D animation we made as freelancers for MDI Production in Neuchatel/Switzerland in collaboration with two freelancer animators from France, Geoffrey Dupuy (Storyboards, 3D animation) and Nicolas Parreira (3D animation, Expression setup, materials, rendering). The AfterEffects work was done by Mathias Schmid who was in his last weeks of his apprenticeship as a media designer at MDI.

I was supervised the project for Franco. COnverted and prepared all the models from CAD to Maya. My main focus was on animating, texturing, lighting the Porsche Design Worldtimer and i was responsible for rendering all the animations on the 30 CPU render farm. I basically slept next to 8 PC’s setting the alarm clock every 2 hours. Yes, it was hot and noisy.

Watch Animation – 2007 – Porsche Design "WorldTimer" from Alex Furer on Vimeo.

Watch Animation – 2007 – Eterna "Vaughan Big Date" from Alex Furer on Vimeo.

Watch Animation – 2007 – Eterna "Vision" from Alex Furer on Vimeo.

Alpenlachs Schweiz GmbH – Logo and CI

Alpenlachs Rubigen GmbH is licensee of the Alpenlachs brand form Austria. Alpenlachs Rubigen GmbH aquierd a big fish farm inbetween Berne and Thun to be used as a example facilty and Alpenlachs Rubigen GmbH also acts as licensor of the brand for the Swiss territory.

I designed the company logo, creating the the web design and CI, flyers, lables and at the moment and I am also photographing and documenting the re-construction of the facilities in Rubigen.

Otronicon 2006 – Blasteroids

I did the spaceship, the comets and the environment for this little game that was showed at Otronicon. The game was played with the head. The setup contained a stereo cam that created a zDepth image from which the face then was tracked.

Otronicon is a yearly four day event of Full Sail to “celebrate technology”, as they say. Full Sail is an university for digital media of all kinds in Orlando.

Otronicon 2006 - Blasteroids

Lightwave Test

After doing the last watch animation in Lightwave I did a small test in Lightwave at home. I think Lightwave is a very good software. The main reson for me to get into Lightwave tho is that it has this very impressive plugin renderer that really blew my mind.

I tempted to underestimate anything else than Maya but I had to learn a lesson. Once you overcome the horrible interface you will meet a lot of stability, expandability and ease of use.

This is just a stupid test but the main thing for me was to do an outdoor scene using fPrime.

Cart Racer - Lightwave test
Lightwave Test

3D Internet – The future?

What if a website would be completly in 3D? I made the experiment and created this test using the X3D modeling package called Vizx3D. Media Machines (Tony Parisi) acquired Vizx3D and released later an application called Studio3D based on X3D.

You will need the newest installer to play this experiment. Get it here. Vivaty has taken over from Media Machines and has finally developed a plugin that also works in FireFox.

Update January 2016: Vivaty was bought up by Microsoft and their products and gallery were discontinued. More info also here. The player is now downloadable as part of this package.

Note: If you install the “SetupFluxPlayerStudio2-1.exe” from this package it will install the Flux Studio 2.1 and the Flux Player. Flux Studio is an interactive X3D authoring tool.

Warning: Although the Flux Player install will crash and report that FireFox is open and the plugin cannot be installed, the player will be installed. You can find it in the start menu under “Media Machines, Inc”. I can confirm that it runs on Windows 7.

If you run it you can then open the URL: http://fullframestudios.ch/AREA/X3D/files/index_04.x3d to see the demo I did 8 years ago.

Be aware, this is completely experimental and I don’t take responsibility if it crashes your computer.

 

My basic idea was to transport the regular experience of browsing a website into 3D space plus add a little more excitement.

X3D_Images_01

Continue reading 3D Internet – The future?