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!  :-)

Top 10 Excuses to Avoid the 3D Web

By Cliff
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I’m first going to make an assumption that many of you have probably heard before: 

The next generation will not know the difference between the television, the telephone, the computer, and the game console.

You may disagree, that’s fine, but I am looking forward to the day when I can stop paying  for all four of these services/items.  One bill will be nice!

We are starting to see more people watching television/video on their computers, as well as playing online games.  Many gaming companies still believe that the visual quality of games will always (or at least in the near future) be better on the console than on the Web.

I disagree.  I think we are at the “sweet spot” for the convergence of advancements in 3D technology and the Internet to see real value in 3D for the Web. Here is why . . .

I discussed this recently in a presentation at the Web 2.0 conference (seen below).

In my presentation I used this analogy:

  • Digital video production has been around for over 15 years, but YouTube is only 6 years old.
  • Communicating online (email mainly) has been in wide use since the early 80’s, but Facebook is also only 6 years old.
  • Facebook and YouTube could have been created earlier, but would not have seen the success they have had recently.

Why are these sites only recently becoming popular?

Answer:  Wide use of faster Internet access.  Basically, there were not enough people who had access to a high-speed Internet connections.  And with more access, we have seen great new Web tools.

So, why hasn’t “3D” become as popular for the Web?

Answer:  It actually has.

Second Life and World of Warcraft are great examples, but that’s just the beginning.  I believe we will start to see a surge in 3D Communication/Gaming/Apps for the Web, and especially more true stereoscopic 3D as it engages you more than 2D does.

For example:  3D Television has been a big hit this year, along with movies like AVATAR, and you can now see the same quality of true stereoscopic 3D for web games and apps.  Also, today it is much easier to create 3D apps for the web.

For example: this week the 3DVIA team announced “Drag and Drop stereoscopic 3D” for our Web app middleware, 3DVIA Studio (yes, that’s the plug for 3DVIA Studio, but not the point of this article).  Dassault Systèmes has also partnered with a consumer goods company to bring realistic 3D to online games from a cereal box (If you haven’t seen this, it’s very cool!).

So then WHY isn’t everyone using 3D on their websites?

Here are The Top 10 Possible Excuses:

  1. My mother told me if I watch 3D too long I will go cross-eyed.
  2. I’m allowed to use the remote control, but not the computer at home.
  3. I cannot coordinate 3D Glasses with my designer clothes.
  4. I work at Dunder Mifflin, we are in the (flat) paper business.
  5. I had a bad Second Life experience once.
  6. I’m afraid of the future.
  7. After I saw AVATAR, the movie in 3D, for 2 weeks, I believed I was living on Pandora.
  8. I have a 128mb processor computer.
  9. I still have a black & white television.
  10. Let’s hear yours…Submit your best reason in this post’s comment section . . . The person who replies with the best reason, I’ll send you a 3dvia t-shirt!

Seriously:  I believe it’s just a short matter of time before we see wide adoption of 3D for the web.  You agree? With the marketing behind the 3D television/3D TV, more and more individuals see the benefit of realistic 3D as a way to engage customers and users (online).

So, jump on board the 3D Web bandwagon…we’re heading out.  YEE-HAA!

Best,

Cliff