Austin 3d Users Group Meeting - Wed. April 30, at 6:30
ACC - Highland Business Center - 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, TX 78752(see Map).
The Boardroom on the 2nd Floor

And for you game developers don’t forget to
register for the Autodesk Austin Game Day Tour
event on Tues. May 6, at the Courtyard by Marriott,
Downtown at 300 East 4th Street, Austin, TX 78701.

Program: Wade Wagner and Bruce Campney of Fisher-Rosemont Systems, Inc., Process Systems and Solutions Division

We will have Wade Wagner and Bruce Campney of the Process Systems and Solutions Division of Fisher-Rosemont Systems, Inc. Wade and Bruce are concerned with research and development of the next generation of systems to control large processing plants such as power plants, refineries, chemical plants etc. They intend to bring a new level of awareness to operators by using 3d representations of what is happening in the plant. They are looking at the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and the Silverlight browser plug-in as a platform for development. This is real world stuff – it just look like a video game. Of course they can’t show you any of this, but they can talk about how these new tools from Microsoft can be used.

Silverlight and WPF -- What is Microsoft up to now?

From Microsoft:

WPF - Windows Presentation Foundation

The Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation provides the foundation for building applications and high fidelity experiences in Windows Vista, blending together application UI, documents, and media content, while exploiting the full power of your computer. The functionality extends to the support for Tablet and other forms of input, a more modern imaging and printing pipeline, accessibility and UI automation infrastructure, data driven UI and visualization, as well as the integration points for weaving the application experience into the Windows shell and includes 3d meshes.

Translation: 3d objects will be part of the next generation operating systems from Microsoft.

Microsoft® Silverlight™ from Microsoft and Moonlight from Mono

Microsoft® Silverlight™ is a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web is a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web.
We hope this means assemblies of 3d objects, arranged in their proper locations, which we can manipulate interactively.

Translation: 3d will be in the browser too.

Background Material from Wade and Bruce:

Silverlight and WPF are the new buzzwords being emitted from Microsoft.   What are they?  How do they relate to Graphics and 3D graphics?  <<pulling out crystal ball>> What does the future hold?

Silverlight and WPF share a retained content model feeding a DirectX 3D compositing engine to the display buffer.   The retained content model can be populated via a markup language known as Xaml ( “zaml”) or via Visual studio .Net CLR languages such as C# and VB.NET. 

Microsoft and others have been developing applications to design 2D and 3D models that output Xaml. 

http://www.erain.com/products/zam3d/DefaultPDC.asp

Tools to import various existing formats exist (e.g. SVG2XAML) or import them in to the tools.

We will take a look at using Microsoft Expressions Blend to design an interface complete with animation.

http://www.microsoft.com/expression/

We will compare Flash and Silverlight.  What is the difference between Silverlight 1 and Silverlight 2?

What is the future of WPF?   How about DirectX 11 having ray-tracing?   I can only read tea leaves on this topic.

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?no_d2=1&sid=08/03/31/1423247

For the developer side a few book references are in order.

For a wide ranging look at the various possibilities of what WPF can do:

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Presentation-Foundation-Unleashed-WPF/dp/0672328917/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207851653&sr=8-1

For a deep dive into exactly how WPF works:

http://www.amazon.com/Applications-Code-Markup-Presentation-Foundation/dp/0735619573/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207851692&sr=1-1

or

http://www.manning.com/feldman2/

On Silverlight:

http://www.manning.com/campbell/

For extending WPF into 3D:

http://www.amazon.com/3D-Programming-Windows-Pro-Developer/dp/0735623945/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207851692&sr=1-3

And new to the Microsoft scene this year is the use of dynamic languages like Python (coming soon):

http://www.manning.com/foord/


To give you an idea of how committed Microsoft is to getting 3d into their operating systems and languages and development environment look at:
Microsoft Visual Studio Island
if this link doesn't work, just go to Second Life. Microsoft will have their Virtual World Launch in Second Life on April 26. You can join the .NET Developers Group in-world there. They say that if you are luck your may get a cool Visual Studio shirt for your avatar!

On May 7, 2008, there will be a big State of .NET event in Houston.


And for you game developers don’t forget to register for the Autodesk Game Tour event on Tues. May 6, at the Courtyard by Marriott, Downtown at 300 East 4th Street, Austin, TX 78701. This is an official Autodesk event and if you read the agenda carefully you will see what is going on from 6:00 to 7:00.

And you will get to meet and greet the new Game Industry Manager for Autodesk, Mary Beth Haggerty, a Texas Aggie (BS Computer Science, MS Visualization Science) who has worked her way up in the industry from her first job at Industrial Light and Magic where she spent 7 years to Electronic Arts where she spent another 4 years.

For the complete description see:

http://ausbcomp.com/a3dug/05_06_08.htm


Map to meeting:


5930 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, TX 78752