Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Matthew Chadwick has been exploring the creation of GPU-computed chaotic attractors of dynamical systems using the Croquet SDK. The code he is using is based on David Faught's procedural textures code. In this implementation, the cube to the left defines a parameter space for controlling the system. Matthew says that the same code he is developing could also be used for other things like in-world physics simulations. Matthew will make all of this available for public release once the code is ready.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Better avatars for Cobalt are almost ready! Here is a video showing an early test implementation of a motion-cycle enhanced avatar in Cobalt. Peter Moore has been doing a wonderful job with this and in getting the Ogre3D XML importer to work with models developed in Maya or exported from Blender. That means that we will all soon have at least two art paths for getting avatars and other animated meshes into Cobalt worlds. It'll also be great to finally retire the stilted Alice and Rabbit avatars. This particular video also provides a sneak peak at some of the texture and environmental/directional lighting work that I hope to have make its way into the next update of the Cobalt code-base.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Hans Baveco of the Netherlands recently posted the first version of a Croquet Geographic Information System (GIS) package to the Croquet repository. This package will also be incorporated into the next Cobalt build. It adds the ability to import and visualize geographic data sets in the formats of ASCIIGRID, ESRI Shapefile, ARC\INFO TINS and geo-referenced images. Sample data for use with this package can be downloaded here.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Here's another video clip produced by the folks out of Malaysia who are working to port freeCAD into Croquet/Cobalt. When completed, this work will establish a much needed in-world content creation tool for Cobalt. The clip shows how handles can be used to manipulate an object within a Croquet space. freeCAD is written in VisualWorks Smalltalk.
Monday, July 7, 2008
This new video by Willi Griephan of Bremen, Germany shows the operation of two Croquet simulation spaces that he created using the Croquet SDK. The first is a falling "Domino" simulation that leverages the Open Dynamics Engine for its physics. The second scene depicts swarm behavior in an aquarium simulation where two members of a swarm can pair, and by doing so, spawn new offspring. The Swarm algorithm that Willi used is described here by Craig W. Reynolds.
Friday, July 4, 2008
I’ve been invited to present a keynote address at the 9th Annual Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC) in Toronto, Canada on July 18th. This event is one of several Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings occurring in conjunction with the 16th annual Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology Conference (ISMB 2008) and is sponsored by the Open Bioinformatics Foundation (O|B|F), a non-profit group dedicated to promoting the practice and philosophy of Open Source software development within the biological research community. The main themes of this year’s BOSC are around emerging technologies and hard problems in bioinformatics. These include infrastructure and data modeling, collaborative technologies, workflows, visualization, and best practices of software design and engineering.
My keynote is entitled “Croquet: An Open Collaboration Architecture for Scientific Visualization and Simulation”. I plan to discuss how virtual contexts can support the collaborative activities involved in the “doing of science”. I will also demonstrate the NSF-sponsored Cobalt application and how it is being developed to support collaboration, scientific visualization, and provide a much-needed infrastructure for the process of data access and software development at a distance.