An urban modelling tool which I have discussed several times in this blog, CityEngine, has now received a few more very important updates. Procedural Inc. announced that their 3D city generation software CityEngine is now also available for Mac OS X. In addition, the free 30-day trial version of the CityEngine comes now with stunning example cities such as a spectacular future New York City.
Procedural Inc., an innovative software company located in Zurich, is home to the world’s foremost procedural modeling technology. With the CityEngine, Procedural Inc.’s graphics experts have created a radically different 3D application that allows professional users in entertainment, architecture and urban planning to efficiently model 3D cities.
“We are happy that our Mac friends are now able to benefit from the huge advantages of the CityEngine.” says Pascal Mueller, CEO Procedural Inc. “To celebrate it, we created Apple City consisting of thousands of Cupertino headquarters. So in case Mr. Jobs intends to rebuild Cupertino, he has now the tool to plan it on his new MacBook”. The video of Apple City can be watched at http://www.procedural.com/
More good news for CityEngine users dreaming of infinite cities: the CityEngine includes now full 64-bit support on the Windows platform. That means no more memory constraints due to 32-bit. In addition, the CityEngine comes now also with extensive example scenes which allow architects and designers to quickly create detailed cities via parametric modeling only. Other highlights of the upgrade include: #1: ATI graphics cards are now also fully supported #2: Introduction of city layer editing functionalities #3: Several minor improvements such as 100x faster street growth
A new journal starting out in 2009 for everyone in computer games technology research, from the very reputable Elsevier publisher, is Entertainment Computing.
Entertainment Computing publishes original, peer-reviewed research articles and serves as a forum for stimulating and disseminating innovative research ideas, emerging technologies, empirical investigations, state-of-the-art methods and tools in all aspects of digital entertainment, new media, entertainment computing, gaming, robotics, toys and applications among researchers, engineers, social scientists, artists and practitioners.
Theoretical, technical, empirical, survey articles and case studies are all appropriate to the journal. Specific areas of interest include:
• Computer, video, console and internet games
• Digital new media for entertainment
• Entertainment robots
• Entertainment technology, applications, application program interfaces, and entertainment system architectures
• Human factors of entertainment technology
• Impact of entertainment technology on users and society
• Integration of interaction and multimedia capabilities in entertainment systems• Interactive television and broadcasting
• Methodologies, paradigms, tools, and software/hardware architectures for supporting entertainment applications
• New genres of entertainment technology
• Simulation/gaming methodologies used in education, training, and research
In the area of empirical and experimental studies the journal is looking for contributions which are very well documented, innovative, and tested or evaluated in a particular entertainment domain.
I have just received confirmation that a publication I have co-authored has been accepted as a poster for the upcoming 1st IEEE International conference in Games And Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications, to take place at Coventry, UK between the 23rd and 24th of March 2009 (http://www.vs-games.org.uk/). The paper is titled "Framework for the Development of Online, Location-Specific, Expressive 3D Social Worlds".
The first IEEE International Conference in Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications 2009 aims to meet the significant challenges of the cross-disciplinary community that work around these serious application areas by bringing the community together to share case studies of practice, to present new frameworks, methodologies and theories and to begin the process of developing shared cross-disciplinary outputs.
I have just received confirmation that a publication I have written has been accepted as a short paper for the upcoming 1st IEEE International conference in Games And Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications, to take place at Coventry, UK between the 23rd and 24th of March 2009 (http://www.vs-games.org.uk/). The paper is titled "Towards the Development of an Interactive 3D Coach Training Serious Game".
The first IEEE International Conference in Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications 2009 aims to meet the significant challenges of the cross-disciplinary community that work around serious games application areas by bringing the community together to share case studies of practice, to present new frameworks, methodologies and theories and to begin the process of developing shared cross-disciplinary outputs.
In order to achieve this main aim the conference will pioneer new methods for bringing together and supporting communities of practice emerging in themed areas beyond the duration of the conference. Using the conference as an ignition to support a wider aspiration to form and sustain a community of practice around the field. To achieve this, the team at the SGI will use innovative software called Intronetworks, which allows conference participants to create their own profile allowing them to identify like-minded and complementary skilled colleagues.
A new kid on the block in urban modelling to rival the likes of CityEngine? PixelActive is pleased to announce the latest release of CityScape, their high speed, intelligent world editor. CityScape enables users to create complex urban-themed virtual landscapes 10x faster than traditional modeling tools, while maintaining a high level of quality.
The product is ideal for video game and virtual world developers who need to build large worlds that are optimized for real time engines. CityScape has been shipping to game developers for two years and the latest version adds support for multiple users, allowing several artists and designers to work on the same environment simultaneously. Other new features include support for astrometrics (accurate solar and lunar entities based on geography, time and date), larger worlds, and optimizations for faster performance. Current clients include Volition, Inc. (creators of the Red Faction® and Saints Row® franchises), Bunkspeed, Inc. (creators of visualization technology for design and marketing) and others.
CityScape was built from the ground up to solve the problem of creating cities quickly and efficiently. "For game developers, CityScape allows designers to get in their world sooner to test out design ideas and iterate, iterate, iterate," says Steve Rotenberg, CEO of PixelActive. "But serious game and simulation developers can also benefit from CityScape's support for importing GIS data, allowing geospecific modeling of real world locations."
Most studios currently use a general purpose 3D modeling package to create these cities, but the process is tedious and expensive due to the high labor involved. CityScape gives designers and artists the power to interactively create complex road networks, shape the landscape, place props and buildings, and place application-specific data, all in a single application that works with their entire asset pipeline.
CityScape integrates into most workflows seamlessly via COLLADA, an open standard for digital assets. More about the application (and a demo download!) at http://pixelactive3d.com/
Freeworld3D 2.0 is an advanced terrain editor and world editor all in one, designed specifically for 3D game development and the easy integration into existing 3D engines. Freeworld3D 2.0 offers features and capabilities comparable to FarCry's Sandbox terrain editor, yet is designed for beginner and independent game developers. Using the power of OpenGL, Freeworld3D creates realistic 3D terrain and worlds with the simplicity and ease of a few mouse clicks. Freeworld3D takes away the steep learning curves of other game development tools and is geared towards beginners and advanced users alike.
Freeworld3D 2.0 was developed from the ground up, featuring a brand new rendering engine with the following features: - OpenGL Rendering Engine - GLSL Shading Language - S3TC Texture Compression Support - Vertex Buffer Objects - 10x Faster And More Efficient Terrain Editing - 10x More Efficient Terrain Painting - 10x Faster Lightmap Generation - Real-time Water Reflections Using GLSL - Up To 4096x4096 Texture Maps - Up To 10x Faster Texture Collapsing - Over 10 Model Formats Supported With More To Come (3dsmax (.3DS), 3dsmax (.ASE), AC3D (.AC), Blitz3D (.B3D), Wavefront (.OBJ), DirectX (.X), Milkshape (.MS3D), Milkshape Ascii (.TXT), Quake II (.MD2), Ogre3D (.MESH)) - Realistic Lighting And Fog - Advanced Entity System, Skyboxes, Skydomes And Skyplanes - Easy To Read Export Formats In Ascii and XML, Organize Scene Using Scene Layers - Group Cached Meshes Into Separate Folders
Freeworld3D 2.0 also supports a new water rendering system with dynamic reflections using the OpenGL Shading Language. Check the official site which includes a demo download trial download at http://www.freeworld3d.org/
I have been trying to cover games texturing for two units I am teaching at the moment and have just run across a great little article by Jeroen Maton at the equally fantastic CGSociety website which I can recommend to everyone looking for general, practical information on enhancing their texturing work.
The main goal of this article/tutorial is to give the aspirining games texturing artists a few hints and tricks that might help to make textures look better. This covers advice on material definition, base materials, sharpening textures, photo-sourcing, using photo overlays, using ambient occlusion maps, rust /dust / damage placement and others. Photoshop hints are also offered for each one of the 10 tips alongside more general remarks.
I have just received confirmation that a publication I have written has been accepted as a full paper for the upcoming 13th HCI International 2009 conference.
The paper is titled "Evaluation of Non-Photorealistic 3D Urban Models for Mobile Device Navigation".
The conference takes place between the 19th and 24th July 2009 at San Diego, California, USA and proceedings will be published as part of the Lecture Notes In Computer Science series by Springer.
The HCI International 2009 jointly with the affiliated Conferences, which are held under one management and one Registration, invite you to San Diego, California, USA to participate and contribute to the international forum for the dissemination and exchange of up-to-date scientific information on theoretical, generic and applied areas of HCI. Symposiums include;
- 8th International Conference on Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics - 5th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction - 3rd International Conference on Virtual and Mixed Reality (the symposium under which my publication is presented) - 3rd International Conference on Internationalization, Design and Global Development - 3rd International Conference on Online Communities and Social Computing - 5th International Conference on Augmented Cognition - 2nd International Conference on Digital Human Modeling - 1st International Conference on Human Centered Design
University of Teesside hosts the International Festival of Animation and Computer Games, Animex, now celebrating its 10th anniversary. The programme includes talks and presentations from some of the most respected artists in the world involved in animation and computer games. The Animex International Festival of Animation and Computer Games takes place every year in Middlesbrough in the North East of England. The festival has its roots firmly planted in the creative side of animation and computer games and acts to provide animators, directors, students, artists, designers, writers and educators with a forum in which they can share their knowledge and skills and promote the art of animation and games.
Festival delegates are able to attend talks, presentations, workshops, screenings, parties and mingle with friends, old and new, from the all over the planet. Since 2000 Animex has been pioneering events that make the festival a unique experience for all of its visitors. Animex 09 sees the return of many of its fantastic events including Animex Game and Animex Talk!
Game and Talk! see speakers from some of the planet's best animation and games development studios converge on Teesside. The best new talent emerging from the world's foremost seats of learning will be showcased in the Animex Awards which will culminate in a major Awards Evening during festival week. Finally, Animex will be taken to the Street as walls, windows and monitors all over Middlesbrough become temporary screens for animated content from around the globe.
UK-based Blitz Games Studios (Tak and the Guardians of Gross, Bratz: Girls Really Rock) says it has developed proprietary technology enabling stereoscopic 3D on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 games, and it demonstrated the tech for the first time at Los Angeles' 3D Entertainment Summit today. The company says its in-house tech can "replicate the full HD 3D experience" as seen in 3D theaters. Blitz Games co-founder and CTO Andrew Oliver says that 3D games will be "even more immersive" than existing titles, but noted that the industry still needs to learn design issues associated with using 3D.
The company says its technology allows for its games to run in both 2D and 3D in a single version by "simply flicking a switch," and Oliver also expects that 3D-capable television sets are likely to gain in popularity as more compatible film and game content proliferates. "Our BlitzTech technology will prove beyond all doubt that we are already doing what some industry experts have said is impossible on today’s game consoles," claims Oliver. "Our highly tuned engine is capable of producing real-time interactive graphics that are close to offline rendered CG movie quality."
- 3D urban modelling
- non-photorealistic rendering
- human-computer interaction
- mobile graphics
- mobile devices and applications
- location-based services
- computer games technology
- game engine theory and design
- game development education
- virtual reality and virtual worlds
- game-based learning
- serious games