WorldViz Vizard
Soumit par Administrateur le mercredi, 01/09/2009

WorldViz Vizard, 
Andy Beal,
September - 2009


?We help companies decrease cost of prototyping and training by enabling them to simulate complex scenarios in a fully immersive fashion. Next to Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Toyota or Bosch, WorldViz products are also widely used in academic research across disciplines such as medicine, psychology, engineering, and computer science.?

< Serious Game build with WorldViz Vizard

Q1What is the role of WorldViz in the growing market of visual simulation?

We are an industry leader in interactive virtual reality solutions. WorldViz brings immersive 3D simulations to the mainstream by making the technology affordable and easy to use. We help companies decrease cost of prototyping and training by enabling them to simulate complex scenarios in a fully immersive fashion. Next to Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Toyota or Bosch, WorldViz products are also widely used in academic research across disciplines such as medicine, psychology, engineering, and computer science.

Q2Vizard is specially dedicated to handle VR equipments such as Head Mounted Display, CAVEs, or Haptic devices. Is it still a good choice for project that do not require such peripherals?

While Vizard is particularly adept at connecting to all sorts of input and output devices, its Python-based programming environment and modular approach makes it extremely versatile and capable for building even conventional desktop-style applications. For instance, customers use it for data-mining and data-visualization without any special input or output devices.

Q3Vizard uses Python; this is a language well known for web programming. What are the benefits of using this script language for bringing interaction to 3D scenes? Is it fast enough for realtime 3D?

Our customers are convinced that the benefit is faster development cycles. True, Python is well known in the web community, but it?s equally well-known in other scientific and industrial communities. Our philosophy is to leverage high-quality open-source components, which in-turn make available huge resources to our customers (e.g., universities teach Python, enormous Python exist making available numerous high-quality resources). Regarding speed, our Python interface is largely an abstraction. All underlying 3D rendering is done with a C/C++ based engine, and very rarely is Python the processing bottleneck for any of our customers? projects.

Q4Behind Worldviz there is OpenSceneGraph engine (OSG). Since OpenGL performances decrease with MS Windows Vista, is it still a good choice for displaying very large scenes?

This question asks whether OpenGL is competitive on Vista compared to XP. The evidence is that it is; for example see That said, we find Vista?s real-time performance (e.g., networked render clusters) to be less reliable and robust compared to XP, independent of OpenGL or DirectX, and therefore continue to recommend XP as our OS of choice for the vizsim industry. Importantly, W7 is released and is now the only relevant comparison to XP. We don?t not yet have an answer regarding W7 reliability and robustness.


Q5What are the key advantages to use Vizard vs Delta3D since they both use OSG?
A5The two platforms also share Python as their chosen programming interface for the developer (though both allow extension thru C/C++ modules), and overall have many similarities. Our chief advantages separating us from Delta3D would be :
1) we?re a commercially supported product and offer numerous services for our customers, 
2) our inventory of natively supported hardware is larger than any other product we know about, 
3) we specialize in vertical markets different than Delta3D such as real-time motion capture, CAD based training, and architectural visualization. We do not promote ourselves as a gaming platform.
Q6What would a typical industrial application of WorldViz products look like?
A6For example, aircraft turbine manufacturers use WorldViz technology to turn CAD models into stunningly realistic and interactive training applications for maintenance engineers, allowing supervisors to train their maintenance procedures upon virtual aircraft viewed either by donning a stereoscopic head-mounted display or by entering a multi-wall projection system, and manipulating the turbine parts using haptic gloves.
Q7Workflow is a major aspect : how does Worldviz import and update 3D data during the development?
A7Natively, we support numerous standard formats (e.g., wrl (VRML2/97), .flt (Open Flight), .3ds (3D Studio Max), .txp (multi-threaded TerraPage loader), .dae (Collada), .geo (Carbon Graphics), .bsp (Quake3 world layers), .md2 (Quake animation models), .ac (AC3D),.obj (Alias Wavefront), .lwo/lw (Light Wave), .pfb (Performer), the OSG's native .osg/.ive format, DirectX .x format, and .3dc point cloud). However, WorldViz also actively maintains the 3D Studio Max exporter known in the OSG community as OSGExp. This exporter, combined with our WorldViz-side modules, provides a high-quality and efficient artflow capable of binary data format, embedded textures, optimizations, and certain shader operations. For our CAD customers, we have allied ourselves with Anark and their Core? product line for automated CAD asset conversion into the Collada format.
Q8Worldviz can be well integrated with 3ds max, but how can 3d artists using Maya or Softimage can import their assets since Collada is not well supported by OSG?
A8We are investing in Collada loaders and expect that our upcoming Release 4 of our product line will prove that Collada as a format is a viable artflow for both the Max/Maya/SoftImage as well as CAD (e.g., CATIA/SolidWorks/Pro-E) communities.
Q9What can I do with your 3D software toolkit Vizard?
A9With Vizard even undergraduate students can learn within one week how to create fully immersive, interactive virtual reality environments. Vizard is your central platform for importing all common 3D formats, scripting your own interactive scenarios, rendering to any stereoscopic display system, using motion tracking or full-body motion capture, and rendering scenes over complex computer clusters. Our customers are very pleased when they see that their existing virtual reality hardware already works plug-and-play with Vizard.
Q10  How would a company distribute and sell applications created with Vizard?
A10Vizard allows you to build applications as executables. Those applications can be distributed without royalties. This allows to share and sell applications made with Vizard, and let anyone run them without installing Vizard.
Q11What if a customer wants a full solution out of the box?
A11That?s a good question. We have an impressive in-house team of expert software programmers, hardware engineers, and graphics designers, who provide full custom solutions including 3D application development, hardware integration, onsite installation, technical support and training. Clients can come to WorldViz with their own unique vision of a simulation application, and we will deliver it.
Q12What about the motion tracking systems PPT-X and PPT-H manufactured by WorldViz?
A12You will not find a system on the market that tracks larger areas at such low cost. Our PPT motion tracking solutions break the cost-performance barrier, bringing high-quality motion tracking to cover ranges over 50 x 50 meters at competitive prices. We use an optical-inertial hybrid technology which guarantees extremely robust real-time tracking. Recently we have added to the product line a hand-held interaction wand and tracking for shutter glasses, which makes the PPT system an ideal solution for powerwall and CAVE users.
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