SIGGRAPH 99 Recapped

Dateline: 8/18/99

SIGGRAPH 99 is over. Time to calm down. As usual the show is totally HUGE! I haven't heard the numbers yet but my guess is we're talking about approximately 50,000 attendees.

In terms of Web3D stuff the highlights were:

Let's explore each of these in a little more detail. Blaxxun's announcement of the placement of their Contact VRML browser into Community Source means that the source code to a high quality (still actively being developed) VRML browser can be played with and examined by the community. The Web3D Consortium will maintain the source code and create sub-licenses for non-commercial use. Of course you can't simply take the source and sell it for your own company but you do retain the rights to your changes and can pursue commercial agreements with blaxxun directly. No it's not "free" software, but for my taste it's damn good and blaxxun is to be commended in a MAJOR way.

Last years Web3D Roundup at SIGGRAPH was a sort of "tolerated" event which took place in a room holding 5 or 600 people. This year the Roundup was a first class affair with all the support and considerable resources of SIGGRAPH backing it. The room was a LARGE venue capable of holding 2500 people. It wasn't full but I'd say was about 80% full which is over 2000 people, the best showing by far! Check out the results on my gallery of pictures. There were ample computers for all the presenters in fact the only amusing complaint by participants and viewers was that everything went so smoothly we missed the impromptu crises of years past, watching presenters scramble. Maybe next time we can introduce a fake fire or two ;-)

At the Web3D Consortium meeting Shout Interactive displayed their X3D pure Java implementation. The ability to do cool/useful stuff with NO PLUGIN is clearly a major win. Sony in a BOF showed demos of their X3D proposal Blendo, which from everything I've heard and seen is totally awesome dude (sorry I was in CA for a week).

Finally a non item, no major layoffs of Web3D type people, no major corporate takeovers of big players how unusual! SIGGRAPH the graphics showcase as always lived up to expectations with a stellar collection of papers pushing the envelope.

One Year Ago in Focus on Web3D Chromeffects Look Ma It's So Shiny


Share this Article Email this feature to a friend

Previous Features