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Mac OS X 10.7 Lion to deliver Scene Kit framework for 3D apps

post #1 of 29
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The release of Mac OS X Lion will debut a new development framework called Scene Kit, which developers say will support easy to implement 3D rendering within their apps.

While AppleInsider has heard earlier mention of Scene Kit, a developer familiar with Lion has explained that the new framework will support the import, manipulation and rendering of three dimensional assets, handing the complex end of 3D graphics for app developers.

This makes Scene Kit similar to the Core Animation data visualization API Apple launched in 10.5 Leopard (which was based upon the Layer Kit developed for the iPhone OS to provide easy to use transitions and other motion graphic effects).

The developer noted that Scene Kit is "consistent" with the APIs of Apple's other graphical frameworks, including Image Kit and Core Animation, and does not require advanced 3D graphical programming skills.

This will reportedly make it easy for third party apps to add consistent, familiar, and easy to use 3D object manipulation and rendering to their apps.

The new Scene Kit framework imports 3D assets using COLLADA, an open, XML-based interchange file format managed by Khronos Group, the standards body behind OpenGL, OpenCL, and WebGL.

COLLADA was originally developed by Sony, with collaboration from Alias, Autodesk and Avid. It is widely used by video game engines and is the standard used by Google in SketchUp Pro 8.0 and later, as well as Google Earth 4 and later.

Lion's new Scene Kit is designed to import COLLADA 3D objects and build scenes composed by cameras, lights, and meshes, with the framework providing tools for manipulating the bounding volumes, geometry and materials used in the scene.
post #2 of 29
This will be cool! Hopefully they'll include it in a later iOS as well.
post #3 of 29
I wonder if it suitable to create those cool 3D building views in Google maps on Android. It would be nice if Apple could create some of the advanced features that Google maps has and deploy them for use on iOS devices.

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post #4 of 29
Mac OS X needs a CoreGraphing API for making nice graphs like Keynote and Numbers.
Some apps do it well but many produce hideous graphs.
post #5 of 29
Is it possible that this might be related to the more focused targeting of the gaming industry? Scene Kit might make it easier to develop 3D-games for iOS-devices?
post #6 of 29
I like this, doing simple 3D animations by hand can be tedious at times and it's the little effects that make everything flow and apps that much more "real".

I remember back in the day when they added support for Core Animation, how awesome was that? Who would have thought that even an OS (let alone a mobile OS) could support awesome transitions like that?
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Is it possible that this might be related to the more focused targeting of the gaming industry? Scene Kit might make it easier to develop 3D-games for iOS-devices?

That is exactly what I was wondering. An already established standard that could be optimized at the OS core. This seems like it would be very similar to DirectX in that way, except that it is standards-based, making implementation of the "scenes" much easier to create and transform.

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post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder if it suitable to create those cool 3D building views in Google maps on Android. It would be nice if Apple could create some of the advanced features that Google maps has and deploy them for use on iOS devices.

Those are simple boxes. iOS and Mac OS-X has the ability to draw boxes since always.

The problem with getting those into Apple's map program is obtaining the data and integrating it. Nothing to do with 3D technology or API's at all.

Personally, I'm really hoping that Apple's next map application for iOS blows Google out of the water, I kind of despise them lately and have removed all their software from my computers except search as a result.

Even so the average person will probably still keep calling the iOS maps app "Google maps" even though it's 100% Apple.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

...
Even so the average person will probably still keep calling the iOS maps app "Google maps" even though it's 100% Apple.

They may start calling them "Bing maps", who knows
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Is it possible that this might be related to the more focused targeting of the gaming industry? Scene Kit might make it easier to develop 3D-games for iOS-devices?

Eventually. WebGL needs a little more time to mature, but this as a file format and a grown up WebGL for lightweight scripting language integration will put a lot of 3D program design into the markup category rather than the programming category.
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post #11 of 29
I remember RenderMan on NeXT.

J
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder if it suitable to create those cool 3D building views in Google maps on Android. It would be nice if Apple could create some of the advanced features that Google maps has and deploy them for use on iOS devices.

Hopefully well see something in the iOS 5.0 demo for a redesigned Maps app utilizing their 2009 purchase of Placebace. If/When this comes to pass I hope they also have a web-baed interface that can be accessed by all compliant browsers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Even so the average person will probably still keep calling the iOS maps app "Google maps" even though it's 100% Apple.

Id think Apple would have a very clear plan to re-market any mapping software with their signature so that its clearly their handiwork.
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post #13 of 29
Based on comments from Apple users on availability of 3D display and photos on one of the new Android handsets (EVO 3D/Sprint), I would doubt there's much interest in 3D gaming on Apple devices. The overwhelming attitude has been that's it's just a gimmick and not worth a hill'o'beans.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/22/h...ed-for-sprint/
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post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Based on comments from Apple users on availability of 3D display and photos on one of the new Android handsets (EVO 3D/Sprint), I would doubt there's much interest in 3D gaming on Apple devices. The overwhelming attitude has been that's it's just a gimmick and not worth a hill'o'beans.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/22/h...ed-for-sprint/

I was assuming that this was not referring to that type of "3D", but rather to 3D in the sense that Quake was 3D. But am I wrong about that?
post #15 of 29
Could just be the typical sniping between fanclubs, but most of the comments from iOS users concerning 3D have been either ho-hum or downright negative. Perhaps if/when Apple offers the feature too then attitudes might change.
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post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Based on comments from Apple users on availability of 3D display and photos on one of the new Android handsets (EVO 3D/Sprint), I would doubt there's much interest in 3D gaming on Apple devices. The overwhelming attitude has been that's it's just a gimmick and not worth a hill'o'beans.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/22/h...ed-for-sprint/

There is a vast difference between creating 3D scenes and displaying stereoscopic 3D images.

Most video games and plenty of modeling apps present objects in a 3D space. You don't need glasses or a special screen to use them. The 3D buzzword applied to movies/TV/games makes 3D appear more distinct, but gives 25% of the population headaches in short periods.

Short answer: Android/TV/Nintendo 3DS are likely fad BS. But 3D scene creation is a tool that's been very useful for a very long time, and that's what Apple is making available in Lion, not some 3D viewer buzzword.
post #17 of 29
Looks like "Scene Kit" is part of Private Frameworks and I can't seem to find its reference anywhere in the dev documentation. Can someone point me out?
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlin'man View Post

This will be cool! Hopefully they'll include it in a later iOS as well.

Exactly. This would be great news..well not for everybody. Guys at Unity3D might be a bit sad with this announcement...looks like pretty much what they are offering right now.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Those are simple boxes. iOS and Mac OS-X has the ability to draw boxes since always.

The problem with getting those into Apple's map program is obtaining the data and integrating it. Nothing to do with 3D technology or API's at all.

Have you used it? I would categorize it as extremely realistic 3D shapes, not simple boxes. It sure resembles SketchUp with moveable camera views and all.

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post #20 of 29
Reminds me of QuickDraw 3D!

Blast from the past: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeZYTw6JKug

I remember how impressed I was with Apple’s walnut-shaped-screaming-hamsters demo.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post

I remember RenderMan on NeXT.

J

u r old.
post #22 of 29
If the 3D story turns out to be factual, it will help explain the delays in releasing iWork 11 in particular Keynote.

I'm fairly sure it's cooked and ready for consumption, but the garnish - in this case Lion - is still to be prepared. For instance, in recent official Apple presentations, we have seen no new Keynote effects - the last new effects were introduced January 27, 2010 at the iPad 1 release.

This will clearly take it up to Powerpoint 2011 which has introduced interesting 3D effects and image and movie manipulations, surpassing Keynote 09, albeit with the unfortunately clumsy Microsoftian interface, known as the ribbon.

I think we can expect presentations to reach new levels of professionalism with Keynote if my hunch is correct.

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Presentation Magic
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Could just be the typical sniping between fanclubs, but most of the comments from iOS users concerning 3D have been either ho-hum or downright negative. Perhaps if/when Apple offers the feature too then attitudes might change.

I have never seen an implementation of viewing 3D that was actually good. 3D right now is just a gimmick. It's cool for the first ten minutes and then the novelty wears of and I just want to watch a normal 2D movie. I doubt Apple will ever do a 3D display. But you never know, maybe they will find a way to do it that actually works.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mynameisjoe View Post

I have never seen an implementation of viewing 3D that was actually good. 3D right now is just a gimmick. It's cool for the first ten minutes and then the novelty wears of and I just want to watch a normal 2D movie. I doubt Apple will ever do a 3D display. But you never know, maybe they will find a way to do it that actually works.

There are only so many ways to effectively do 3D. The way it's done now does work, it's just that everyone is going to have slightly different depth perception.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mynameisjoe View Post

I have never seen an implementation of viewing 3D that was actually good. 3D right now is just a gimmick. It's cool for the first ten minutes and then the novelty wears of and I just want to watch a normal 2D movie. I doubt Apple will ever do a 3D display. But you never know, maybe they will find a way to do it that actually works.

I see 3D eventually getting the kinks worked out and presented properly. If Apple gets this new set of tools into Lion, it'll lay a solid foundation if things go that way and in the meantime look good and maybe enable some new functionality.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Presentationmagic View Post

If the 3D story turns out to be factual, it will help explain the delays in releasing iWork 11 in particular Keynote.

I'm fairly sure it's cooked and ready for consumption, but the garnish - in this case Lion - is still to be prepared. For instance, in recent official Apple presentations, we have seen no new Keynote effects - the last new effects were introduced January 27, 2010 at the iPad 1 release.

Excellent point, and I hope you are correct. I'm limping along with 4 year old Keynote.
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post #27 of 29
Presumably this will be for Lion's successor, but I bet Apple is working on a 3D desktop. Since the beginning the desktop has been consistent with the metaphor, but having a 'room' instead of a flat surface will present all kinds of interesting possibilities as well as challenges for their UI designers.
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post #28 of 29
It wouldn't be a bad idea if Apple took a look at Panda3D and gave Unity3D a run for it's money!

It was developed at Disney!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Is it possible that this might be related to the more focused targeting of the gaming industry? Scene Kit might make it easier to develop 3D-games for iOS-devices?
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post

I remember RenderMan on NeXT.

Me too. I always wondered why 3DKit was abandoned.
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