Horse Riding 3DEXPERIENCE: Technological Backstage

By Aurelien
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From March 14 to 16, 2014, Dassault Systèmes participated in the international showjumping event ‘Saut Hermès‘ held in Paris and broadcast worldwide on Eurosport TV channels. There, we provided a first of a kind 3DEXPERIENCE for TV viewers to get more insights about the art of showjumping. Watch this video to see it in action:

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I wanted to learn more about the backstage of this project so I went for a chat with Muriel Descamps, Experiential Lab Specialist at Dassault Systèmes.

Q: The movement of the horse and jumper look pretty natural, how did you capture those movements? With motion capture?

Muriel: No, we used videos of a professional jumper (Pénélope Leprevost) and her horse in order to come up with the 3D models. From there, we ended up with more than 100 animation sequences for the horse and the jumper (trot, gallop, various jumps, etc). When we showed the final result to Ms. Leprevost, she not only recognized her avatar, but also the horse she was riding! It was a great recognition of our work.

Q: What happened next once you had the 3D models of the horse and jumper?

Muriel: So we had the realistic models, but they still needed to be fine tuned with an equestrian expert. We worked with showjuping champion Michel Robert for that matter. In particular, he helped us refine stride animations, by tuning stride distance and speed parameters in our app. His help was immensely valuable to come up with animation sequences as close to the reality as possible.

Watch Michel Robert interact with the project team:

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Q: So I guess you were all set to run the show by then?

Muriel: No, we still had to integrate the actual course! One challenge here was that we could get the course design only 48 hours ahead of the event, because of confidentiality reasons. So 48 hours before the show, the course designer hands us out a… *printed* copy of the course design. That was the other challenge! Nevertheless, we managed to integrate the course design in time. The course designer was not only able to experience his course design in 3D, but he was also eager to make last-minute changes in the course design! Changes that he would otherwise figure out only later when on the ground…

Q: That sounds cool! Tell me what’s next?

Muriel: Something that we’d like to integrate is actual data coming from sensors and cameras, and revert this data back into the virtual world. This could be very useful for the jumpers, the trainers, course designers and TV viewers to better understand, compare and explain the jumpers performances. Here, we chose to focus an equestrian sport, but we could imagine repurposing the same app for other sports such as golf, ski, tennis, Formula 1… we just have to dream it!  :-)

Expo in Shanghai . . . and the Virtual World

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Fireworks at Shanghai World Expo

It was a sleepless night in Shanghai.  When the spectacular fireworks rocketed into the sky, weaving brilliant pictures upon the 5.3 square-kilometer Expo Park, the first World Expo hosted by China unveiled its curtain.

In the meantime, in the virtual world, over 300 virtual Expo pavilions finally opened their doors to greet visitors from any corner of the world.

“We are expecting about 100 million visitors online,” said by Mr. Wang Li Ping, Chief Operation Officer of Expo Website Management Office.

Call me biased, but after a quick visit of the physical and virtual Expo, I found the French Pavilion among the top of all pavilions both on the Expo ground and in the virtual world.  When I first entered the physical French Pavilion, I strongly experienced the power of “See what you mean,” “See it before it even exists.”

For the past six months, I’ve walked through the virtual French Pavilion numerous times.  It indeed felt surreal when I found myself actually standing inside it.  “This is exactly the same!”  I almost screamed at the entrance…

That day, May 1st, the first day of Expo Shanghai, 100,000 out of the 200,000 visitors of the Expo experienced the French Pavilion.  The opening ceremony of the French Pavilion was held at its beautiful roof garden, where it greeted Alain Delon and the famous Chinese actress, Gong Li. Philippe Forestier and Christian Nardin were also among the VIP guests.

For those who will attend this year’s PLM Forum in China, you will be at this romantic garden enjoying the French banquet in just one month!

Up till yesterday, about 1.5 million visitors went to the Expo ground; 500,000 of them visited the Chinese Pavilion (only 50,000 allowed each day) and 700,000 experienced the French Pavilion.  In the meantime, over 30 million people around the world have paid their visit to the first “virtual Expo.”

I was one of them.

However, I wasn’t a “normal” visitor because I was very anxious t to find out what’s inside the 24 pavilions that used 3DVIA to create their online 3D version.

Indeed, there were lots of nice surprise and great findings. These are some of my favorites:


French Pavilion (Zone C): not only one of the most beautiful pavilions, but also one of those that are easiest to navigate through.  The virtual tour to Musee d’Orsay to see the paintings in 3D will definitely be a nice surprise for the visitors! Kudos to Frederic PY for all the hard and great work!


Jilin Pavilion (Zone A- inside China Pavilion): A dreamy pavilion presenting the spring and snowy seasons of the Jilin province. Many cute 3D real-time interactions, for example, when you step on the snow, you see your own foot prints while hearing the sound of each step; you definitely don’t want to mess around with the snowman because he will throw a snow ball right to your face! And definitely don’t forget to make yourself some popcorn and eat it “virtually”!


Taipei (Zone E – Case Joint Pavilion 4-3): Another easy-to-navigate pavilion where visitors can experience fun real-time 3D interactivity.  You can contribute to a cleaner river in Taipei by touching the water; you can also play with the famous Taipei 101 building in your hand in 3D!


Shandong Pavilion (Zone A – inside China Pavilion): Shandong is the cultural hub of the old China. It’s the hometown of Confucius and many historical figures. As you climb the famous Tai Mountain in 3D, you are introduced to the historical figures and their stories. The experience of climbing this virtual mountain reminds me of the movie, Avatar.  This pavilion is not fully completed yet though; in the later version, visitors will be able to see the future city of Shandong where it’s green and sustainable.

What do you think?  I’d love to hear from you to learn which online pavilions you like best!

Meanwhile, happy virtual Expo!




This is Not a Cereal Box

By Kate
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Hi everyone,

I promised to keep you up-to-date as new bricks linked with Dassault Systèmes’ EuropaCorp partnership evolve.

Eh hop! (as the French say) . . .

Nestlé has joined us for an original marketing campaign.

See for yourself in this video, and stay tuned for more 3DVIA Virtools 3D experiences to come . . .

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Looks like Mehdi’s been practicing, non? ;-)

Would love to know what you think . . .



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