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golgoth

Collada! Digital Asset Exchange Schema for Interactive 3D

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Yes, I know of a couple of professional game development houses, working on next-gen titles, that are using Collada for asset interchange. The final model format in the game is still a custom binary format, but Collada is being used to export from the DCC applications (3DS Max, Maya) and assets are held in Collada in the version control system. It seems to work pretty well, but you do tend to get pretty huge XML files as output (as you'd expect).

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BrianL    530
I was initially excited about the idea, but after talking with more people, I don't know how valuable it will be for most places.

Basically, this is a problem most existing game companies have solved. There are already semi-standardized formats for moving content between programs, and most shops already have exporters from those formats to their internal binary format.

So far, the collada samples (as I understand it) have been very basic and inefficient - if you are going to use the format, you will still be writing custom tools to work with it anyway. Their existing samples aren't really production level libraries.

On paper, I see why this looks like a good idea, I just don't know how many existing developers need it. It almost feels like they wanted a marketing initiative to combat XNA (which has some good ideas, but also seems like a marketing tool).

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golgoth    100
If my understanding is right,

With the Collada xml based format, in the same production pipeline, we can produce graphic assets in maya, xsi and/or max for instance. Get on with the "game or else" development... no need to even open the software package sdks... but parsing xml. its about time if you ask me! but still...

Amen to that!

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Troll    246
Quote:
Original post by golgoth
If my understanding is right,

With the Collada xml based format, in the same production pipeline, we can produce graphic assets in maya, xsi and/or max for instance. Get on with the "game or else" development... no need to even open the software package sdks... but parsing xml. its about time if you ask me! but still...

Amen to that!


I haven't looked at the collade spec myself, but this idea has been tried numerous times only to meet failure. I suspect it still will. The different packages can represent the same things very differently. Moving between packages has, at least in the past, always resulted in lost information. In some instances this isn't much of a big deal, e.g. using one package for modelling and another for animating. But I've never heard of anyone moving models back & forth between different modelling packages without a lot of heartache. The rigging tends to be different and thus it's a giant headache to rebuild every time.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
A word from an experienced programmer on areas other than gaming: this is god send.

I took a look at the spec and that the first complete and well written specification I ever found on the internet. I tried googling a long time and searching books, but it was incredibly difficult to get:

- a decently documented format. There were some data that were either from 199x or "unnoficial";
- libraries for retrieving the data that were complete and were written on languages other than C++;

They used XML and this is beautiful! It means we don't have to manually write a parser for it, and we still count with several awesome tools such XQuery for retrieving data, XPath, XPointer and XLink for linking resources, the ability to transform that in something else... plus it's readable from MANY languages and platforms.

I have to say, maybe if you have your own homegrown format you won't see much of a need, but for a beginner or a hobbyist this is INCREDIBLY good.

I'm not sure if it's on purpose or this area is like this, but it seems like a secret society or something where only "the initiated" have access to. The majority of articles and documentation are fairly incomplete and books tell everything but how to load a model from a given format.

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