Is anyone from Autodesk actively involved in the Collada initiatives?
I think it is necessary to have full devotion from them to get a serious workflow for collada graphics and physics.
Even though Autodesk might participate in Khronos and COLLADA, they are also involved in the proprietary Havok 'Reactor' plugin for Max. The Autodesk Maya build-in rigid body dynamics engine and tools haven't been updated for a long while. But they might develop some new proprietary technology, based on Jos Stam unified Nucleus physics work
. It would be nice if the Nucleus Maya tools would allow to export physics information to fully open standard like COLLADA.
Reactor exports to a proprietary file format, and a lot of the Autodesk efforts use the the proprietary FBX file format, also promoted by Microsoft.
What's the overall view of Collada in terms of business development? Does collada ever compete with some other interests, for example does anyone see a risk in the ease of walking freely between e.g. Max, Maya, Blender and Softimage
See the statement by Marcus Barnes, one of the COLLADA architects (formerly at Sony, now at Intel), at the SIGGRAPH 2007 panel
Mark Barnes wrote:
New and better tools are needed for video game production! Video game quality is no longer limited by console hardware performance. On the contrary, the current generation of consoles are starved for high quality content that is stressing the capabilities of artists using proprietary tools whose features are lagging behind the needs of the industry. Your next-gen gaming experiences are being held back for lack of innovations in the tools of a very few companies with bloated, expensive products. The video game industry thrives on innovation and creativity and is searching for solutions! Open source software is prevalent in computer graphics today. As game production becomes more expensive and complicated, it's valuable to quickly combine available software packages to support novel tool pipelines rather then creating an entire pipeline from scratch. Our panelists are primarily the project managers for open source projects and are here to discuss the motivation, collaboration, and integration of open source tool pipelines that meet the growing demands of next-gen game developers.
- or to easily compare 4-5 physics engines, or correspondingly for graphics engines?
Now that Havok is owned by Intel, and Ageia PhysX is owned by NVidia, hopefully it will help standardization.
Are there any serious workflow examples with collada, i.e. an example where an entire game or simulator is defined almost entirely in collada (of course with the obvious limitations in e.g. procedurally controlled behaviour)?
Several big game companies have used COLLADA in their projects (out of the top of my head, Epic Games, Electronic Arts (The Sims), and Crytek). None of them used the physics features in COLLADA yet, so we need to evangelize and work on this new feature more.
Now we have dealt with the politics, it would be best to continue the technical discussion, so that we get some viable physics tools and plugins, fully open source and based on open standards