A Different Kind of Virtual World: 3DVIA Scenes

By Cliff

3DVIA Scenes has been recently mentioned as another Virtual World, but we must state that is not exactly the case. There are some major differences between other virtual worlds and 3DVIA Scenes…Here are four key differences between 3DVIA Scenes and other virtual worlds:

1- The Vision

2- The Open format

3- No software required

4- Social Development

Let me elaborate…

1- The Vision: We’re starting off with the basics.  Currently, 3DVIA Scenes allows anyone, at any skill level to create a 3D environment.  Eventually, 3DVIA Scenes will allow you to build amazing new environments for many purposes, from full realistic games to lifelike simulations.

2- An Open Format: Other Virtual Worlds have one trait in common:  proprietary formats.  3DVIA Scenes allows users to use 3D Models with common formats, such as COLLADA (.dae), 3DXML, 3DS, and many more.  3DVIA Scenes also allows direct export from Dassault Systèmes software such as CATIA, SolidWorks, and 3DVIA Shape to 3dvia.com, then directly into your Scene.

3- No Software required: Okay, so not exactly “no” software…The 3DVIA Player is a lightweight plugin for your web browser, but no extensive software is required.

4- Social Development: Yes, most applications are social, but 3DVIA Scenes is collaborative, allowing others to change your design, no matter where they are (we’ll, as long as they have Internet access).

As for an example:  This week, I produced this video simulation of my home renovation.  I wanted to allow my wife and others to walk through the redesigned kitchen, before it had been remodeled, and before we start tearing down the walls.  I was able to easily build this walkthrough using 3DVIA Shape (produced the 3D floorplan, lights, etc.) and 3DVIA Scenes (added the models).  I then, sent a URL to my wife, who was able to walk around the remodel herself.  We were able to discuss changes in the design online, in 3D.  This made it easy for her to make important decisions about the remodel before it becomes a reality.

This is the power of 3DVIA Scenes:  A 3D World which anyone can create, allowing common 3D format files, a collaborative environment, with a vision for the future.  This is the future of collaboration, training, simulation and gaming for the web.


For more detailed information on 3DVIA Scenes, it’s benefits, or if you are interested in being a part of the Beta Team, check out this post from Marc on 3dvia.com:  http://www.3dvia.com/blog/introducing-3dvia-scenes-beta-testers-wanted/.

Less than 17 days to go until SolidWorks World 2010

By Matthew

SolidWorks World 2010

It’s that time of year again. Everyone here at SolidWorks is in a mad last-dash effort to get ready for SolidWorks World 2010. And this year promises to be a big one. Why, do you ask?

Well, for starters, we have this season’s most lauded filmmaker delivering the big keynote. That’s right–James Cameron, creator of Avatar, will be appearing to discuss his movie, the ways 3D is becoming part of our everyday experience, and who knows what else. Maybe he’ll even talk about Rambo.

But that’s not all. Like any SolidWorks World, you’ll see a few things that everyone looks forward to every year like the ten most-requested product enhancements and sneak peak at SolidWorks 2011, as well as some big surprises and guests. Naturally, I can’t tell you anything about those. We’ll also have hundreds of Certified SolidWorks Professionals racing awesome RC cars, a big car show on Tuesday night (sensing a theme?) and hundreds of breakouts and hands-on sessions. And last I heard, we’ll have over 100 partners putting in appearances at the partner pavilion.

If you’re already planning to attend SolidWorks World, be sure to say hi if you see me. If you’re a blogger or Twitter user, I’ll even be hosting a tweetup Sunday night after the evening reception. I’m still working out the details, so be sure to keep an eye on the SolidWorks blog or Twitter next week. And if you just want to keep up on what’s happening at the show, here are a few places you might want to add to your bookmarks and RSS reader.

See you in Anaheim!

The SolidWorks Blog

SolidWorks on Twitter

SolidWorks World on Twitter

SolidWorks World #SWW10 hashtag

SolidWorks 2010 Flickr group

SolidWorks on YouTube

SolidWorks Blog Squad & Forum Posts

SolidWorks 2010 YouTube group

Teens Use 3D to Protect Centuries-Old Architectural Heritage

By Herve

cathedral project1
You’ve probably heard teenagers sighing something like “everything I’m learning at school is useless!” There are many reasons behind this typical reaction and I certainly understand that studying the intercept theorem could be boring if never applied to real-life challenges.

To help teens out of this ‘academic funk’, the “Ma pierre à l’édifice(*)” contest  helps students by combining history, literature, mathematics, technology and the arts to serve a civic-minded, real-life useFUL project.

pierre-edificeLast year, the French Ministry of Education, the “Observatoire du Patrimoine Religieux” (OPR, Religious Heritage Observatory) and Dassault Systèmes signed a general agreement defining a yearly contest dedicated to students aged 12-14. The contest drives teenagers to study in-depth a religious building (historical context, architecture, techniques to measure its dimensions…) using most of the disciplines taught at schools.

One example: As you may know, it is almost impossible to obtain a detailed plan of a 300-year old building. To measure the height of a bell tower, students may refer to Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island and see how the engineer Cyrus Smith determined the height of a cliff using the intercept theorem. There are many other ways to make such measures and they are detailed in the teachers’ guide proposed for free to participants.

Based upon their own measures, observations, digital pictures and on-site visits with architects, the teens create 3D representations of historic religious buildings using 3DVIA Shape. Students publish their models on www.3dvia.com and OPR embeds them via the 3DVIA plug-in to their official online inventory. Today the OPR digital inventory includes a portion of the France’s religious buildings but they hope to complete their online collection in the coming years.

pierre-edifice1Last spring, seven junior high schools selected by the Ministry participated in a pilot phase. The winners from the Collège Centre du Creusot and Collège Victor Hugo de Nevers were awarded on November 6th, 2009 during the International Heritage Show held at the Louvre museum.

Here’s an interactive 3D look at digital models from the winning teams.

The first is Eglise Saint-Henry situated in Le Creusot:

And here’s a less-traditional Eglise Sainte-Bernardette du Banlay, situated in Nevers:

The 2010 edition is now open for French school registrations and more information can be found on the official website (in French).

Do you know of any similar projects going on in other countries?  Please share!



Hervé Foucher

Hervé Foucher works for Dassault Systèmes Education Department and is in charge of online communities for students and educators.

(*)For those who are not familiar with French, the name of the project is a play on words. The expression “Apporter sa pierre à l’édifice” (word for word “to bring one’s stone to the building”) means to bring a willingness of working on a project, even if it’s a small contribution. At the same time, the stone and the building refer to the monuments OPR tries to protect.

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