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S-m-i-l-e
02-09-2005, 02:58 PM
COLLADA is a COLLAborative Design Activity for establishing an interchange file format for interactive 3D applications. Solutions already exist to transport data from one Digital Content Creation (DCC) tool to another with various a degrees of success. Only a few are exposing the intermediate format that is used for this purpose though. Until now, never the major DCC companies such as Alias, Discreet and Softimage have collaborated in such design.

More: http://collada.org/public_forum/welcome.php

jeffthomann
02-09-2005, 05:20 PM
Uh... Is this similar too or the same thing as http://www.3dif.org/ ? If they are two different universal formats... do we have another vhs/betacam, dvdr+- war that will be happening in the future?

I think I'm having de javu of days not so long ago back when vrml was coming in to existence!?...

S-m-i-l-e
02-10-2005, 09:32 AM
Seems like both of them have the same purpose!
"Two different universal formats...!" Not again :shrug:

Why they keep on doing this? Don't get it! hummm, well maybe I do...

I've being following collada development for some time now, I've heard about 3Dif, but I never though it had that kind of suport behind it (intel, microsoft, ati, nvidia... and so on, also major companies...), I don't think we'll get a "war" over the format in the future, but for sure another "double" choice!

* Collada already has importer/exporter plugins for some of the major 3D applications, and they keep on developing it (not yet final version), U3D was already approved by Ecma and seems like they're working on it also...

Let's see what happens!

S-m-i-l-e
02-10-2005, 08:38 PM
After some more reading about this... seems like the companies I named before as U3D supporters, are only founders/members of 3Dif (forum that emerged from meetings between Intel, 3D data users and 3D graphics hardware/software developers).

- Collada using xml and U3D using "binary" based system seems to be the major difference between both formats.


* More on U3D format: http://www.intel.com/technology/systems/u3d/

Beamtracer
02-10-2005, 11:59 PM
It would be good to have a common 3D file format that is not controlled by Microsoft, Intel or Alias. The FBX format looked hopeful for a while until Alias swallowed it.

Hazdaz
02-11-2005, 02:27 AM
It will never work. There will always be atleast one major DCC publisher that will not want to join - fearing that people might jump ship and get a new app if they are not tied to their current app.

This same situation has been TRYING (unsuccessfully) to happen in the CAD world (which is a much more mature 3D world than DCC is) and nothign has really come of it. All the publishers want to hold on to their "patents" and proprietary info and no one wants to play fair. Also formats are sooo varied that having something be even 90% compatible is VERY tough - let alone 100%. So what happens when you save a file that was done in a Program A that supports Feature A and then open it in Program B and doesn't support that feature. Usually bad stuff happens, info gets corrupt or lost and people get pissed.

Strang
02-11-2005, 03:02 AM
did you read about Collada Hazdaz?

It doesnt effect anyones patents. it just uses collada as the middleground. you export to collada. then from collada just decide which app you wanna go to...

i could work fine...

besides.. if 1 app decides not to join. will it hurt collada? no, and since the 3 of the top DCC softwares are already on board. it sounds like it is already working..

it has SECA behind it i think they would be serious. lets just stay tuned and see whats happens. there will be a GDC confrence about this.. i hope to make it :)

-Steven

Bliz
02-11-2005, 10:48 PM
These initiatives make me laugh. Back in 2000 SoftImage proclaimed to the world that their .XSI format was intended to be used by other companies [even competitors] as a universal 2D/3D file format.

After sitting through the intial seminar about it I never heard another peep about this ideal.

Anyway, having read through the link it seems the key word is 'ineractive' so while the format would be useful for people doing non-interactive 3D, it seems safe to assume that the format will be designed to get 3D data pumped through a software or hardware 3D engine as efficiently as possible.
A bit like Microsoft's .X format for directX use.

S-m-i-l-e
03-24-2005, 11:36 AM
Presentation slides from GDC 2005:

http://collada.org/public_forum/viewtopic.php?t=88

alphatron
03-24-2005, 12:56 PM
I've been goingg back and forth between XSI, Maya, and Max using dotXSI for years. There are some problems involved, but it's always sufficed.

Michel Besner
08-09-2005, 06:36 PM
During the Collada tech talk at SIGGRAPH, we mentionned that the FBX SDK will also allow developers to read/write Collada files. This means that all FBX SDK developers (over 2,500 developers) will get Collada support for free once we update the FBX SDK this fall

In short, simply use the FBX SDK and you will be able to read/write FBX, 3ds, obj and Collada files by supporting a single API/SDK ...

And yes, the FBX SDK is now free - even though we've been "swallowed" by Alias .. :-)

Michel

Lyr
08-09-2005, 06:46 PM
And yes, the FBX SDK is now free - even though we've been "swallowed" by Alias .. :-)

Michel

To be fair to Beamtracer his post was before 2005 GDC when it was announced that the FBX sdk is now free. Anyway that is great news that fbx will support collada, it looks like we really may be getting a true universal format. I can only imagine how that will change pipelines.

CaptainSam
08-09-2005, 09:22 PM
An open format that is xml based sounds like a much better idea than restricting to binary like FBX does. Isnt dotXSI readable text as well? Im sceptical though - getting 3d software to talk to each other is a very complex task, if FBX is anything to go by. I used FBX extensively on several commercials last year and it was an absolute nightmare, so after a while I switched to exporting per frame vertex data using the PointOven plugin, which worked much better.

Michel Besner
08-09-2005, 09:49 PM
Regarding the problems you had with FBX, I would be curious to know which products you were using. For example, the FBX support in LightWave is not the best and is subject to more issues than using for example Maya, 3ds max or Cinema4D ..

BTW: FBX also supports ASCII files, not just binary ...

Michel

markdc
08-09-2005, 09:56 PM
Regarding the problems you had with FBX, I would be curious to know which products you were using. For example, the FBX support in LightWave is not the best and is subject to more issues than using for example Maya, 3ds max or Cinema4D ..

BTW: FBX also supports ASCII files, not just binary ...

Michel

I have alot of trouble using fbx with XSI (I believe Alias develops the plugin). I'd be happy to send you a file that won't export if someone at Alias will look at it.

CaptainSam
08-09-2005, 11:44 PM
Weve used it for transferring skinned models from Max 6 to Maya 5/6, and baked animation on joints and cameras from Maya to Max. Transferring baked animation on joints was nothing less than a nightmare. Some og it was down to mis matching rotation axes, but no matter how carefully I tried to do the exporting, things still kept on failing.

Its been a while since I switched to exporting cv position per frame now, so unfortunately I cant remember that many specific examples. Usually it would be joints flipped around, the root joint missing animation or being offset in worldSpace. I just gave up on it; getting it to work was way too complicated and required too much extra work in the rigging stage.

I still use FBX to transfer the camera from Maya to Max. Getting the focal length and aperture and so on corectly from Maya to Max makes my brain melt, and may work or may not work with absolutely no consistency. The translate and/or rotate on the camera is wrong 9 times out of 10, so I have to constrain a locator to the camera in Maya, bake it, export that to Max and constrain the camera there to it.

Im sure that there are people that manage to use FBX in a production environment, and it may be that Im just stupid, but in 6 years as a professional animator and TD, I have NEVER had as much trouble with a piece of software as Ive had with FBX. Im sorry that I cant be more specific an provide some reproducable bugs, but I havent used FBX in a year by now.

wmendez
08-10-2005, 04:36 AM
Siggraph 2005 Presentation slides (http://collada.org/public_forum/files/The%20COLLADA%20Show-final.pdf)

rebo
08-10-2005, 06:44 AM
Yeah the various FBX plugins have some real almost no-brainer problems and issues. Its good when it works but half the time it messes up badly.

I have to daily go from max to maya and back again and it can be really infuriating sometimes. Why does FBX assume it know what units to convert from and to? Why cant the Maya plugin allow me to overide the unit conversion? Why does IK have to be baked in max to export bones correctly in Max but not in Maya? And then we get onto hard edge conversion argh!".

FBX is great when it works I just wish they would work with those of us who have to use it in production.

Michel Besner
08-10-2005, 01:44 PM
Be assured that we are continuously working on improving the FBX SDK and the plug-ins that Alias still develop (Maya, MotionBuilder but also 3ds max, xsi and lightwave). Ultimately, you would get better FBX support from 3ds max, xsi and LW if these companies decide to take over the FBX implementation for their software. For example, Maxon does an excellent job supporting FBX using our SDK. If you want better support in 3ds max, please ask Autodesk to take over the FBX support for 3ds max as they have done for flame, inferno, etc.

Michel

pberanger
05-19-2006, 04:18 PM
Time to up, this old post ^^ .

Now that Autodesk as acquired alias, would FBX become THE exchange format between Max and Maya ? I have tested export with latest plugins but many features are still very experimental...

I have better result in using Collada has exchange format between this two DCC. And Collada importers/exporters have features to use shaders.

Would the next version of FBX stores informations about shaders ?

amygdalae
05-19-2006, 10:28 PM
XML / ASCII = BIG / SLOW
Most people stick with binary file formats for a reason (mb, fbx, etc)

shingo
05-19-2006, 10:47 PM
That's great news Michel,

I was wondring if there were legal issues with developers taking this up.


Be assured that we are continuously working on improving the FBX SDK and the plug-ins that Alias still develop (Maya, MotionBuilder but also 3ds max, xsi and lightwave). Ultimately, you would get better FBX support from 3ds max, xsi and LW if these companies decide to take over the FBX implementation for their software. For example, Maxon does an excellent job supporting FBX using our SDK. If you want better support in 3ds max, please ask Autodesk to take over the FBX support for 3ds max as they have done for flame, inferno, etc.

Michel

shingo
05-19-2006, 10:49 PM
Collada is actually based on .XSI.

Sony took the format and expanded upon it.

These initiatives make me laugh. Back in 2000 SoftImage proclaimed to the world that their .XSI format was intended to be used by other companies [even competitors] as a universal 2D/3D file format.

After sitting through the intial seminar about it I never heard another peep about this ideal.

Anyway, having read through the link it seems the key word is 'ineractive' so while the format would be useful for people doing non-interactive 3D, it seems safe to assume that the format will be designed to get 3D data pumped through a software or hardware 3D engine as efficiently as possible.
A bit like Microsoft's .X format for directX use.

pberanger
05-22-2006, 08:26 AM
XML / ASCII = BIG / SLOW
Most people stick with binary file formats for a reason (mb, fbx, etc)

My comparative test between Collada/Fbx gives :

a simple export with a 500x500 plane

maya/3dsmax fbx : 30 sec export / 50 sec import, file size : 32mo(max), 43mo(maya)

maya/3dsmax collada: 12/24 sec export / 6 sec import, file size : 40mo(max), 42mo(maya)

Here Xml Not really bigger but faster.

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