Siggraph 2001 BOF ReportAttendance at the BOF this time was rather small due to some severe competition from both the Web3D Roundup and OpenGL BOF. Approx 30 people showed throughout proceedings.
Most of the BOF was concerned with upcoming Java3D work - both 1.3 and 1.4. There were 4 speakers. Michael Schulman introduced everything, then Kevin Rushforth spoke about 1.3 and Doug Twilleager about 1.4. At the end Julian Gomez spoke about some forthcoming efforts in combining 3D/J3D into business systems.
The following are notes based on the slides and what was discussed at various points.
2D OptimisationsThere's a lot of work happening here but most of it is to enable alternatives to directly using the Graphics3D that is already available. Sun acknowledged that using the Graphics interface basically sucks for performance and that there is nothing that they can do about it. In order to help with this, the idea is to allow the user to deal with their own information and pass that to Java3D. In particular, the suggested approach to provide 2D overlays that users should create their own BufferedImage and then pass that to Java3D to render. Sun will optimise J3DGraphics2D.drawImage() so that this is possible with minimum performance cost.
In addition to this, Raster code will now accept screen pixel offfsets for smaller work. The effect of this, plus the other overlay work in development will be to effectively eliminate the need for Text2D.
Utility ClassesApparently huge numbers of small changes so most is not mentioned. The two items of interest are a new ultiitle callled ConfiguredUniverse that will automatically set up the world for single, multi-screen and HMD systems. This will replace SimpleUniverse for 99% of applications.
The second utility to be added is the Scenegraph I/O package that people have been introduced to in the J3DFly demo from Sun.
1.4 DiscussionPresented were a list of ideas and requirements that are likely to be considered in the 1.4 spec. These are to be considered as discussion points so that the real requirements can be nailed down as tightly as possible before the spec process starts. This will ensure that the spec process takes the minimum time rather than just going in with a completely open slate.
Programmable ShadersCurrently a very hot topic in the graphics community. Problem is that current shaders are hardware specific. The J3D team wants to build a hardware agnostic system.
Advanced Rendering Techniques
J3D and ITThis is thoughts for a new community that involves merging/providing Java3D capabilities in the IT/Business market sector. A lot of it is implicit generation of 3D data visualisation without the need to be a 3D programmer. As such, it is complimentary to both Java3D and the J2EE worldviews. The basic philosophy is to make this equivalent to how EJBs work with relational databases.
The system needs to be cross platform and Julian is looking to start a working group to consider the issues. There is no direction for a formal new area such as a JSR at this stage although at some time in the future there may be. For example, this group would aim to provide suggestions for changes to the Java3D API both in 1.4 and the future.
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Last Updated: $Date: 2007-10-14 19:39:04 $