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

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    This will be cool! Hopefully they'll include it in a later iOS as well.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 29
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Wonderful idea. I just hope their COLLADA importer can handle the different flavors of COLLADA out there. I've personally had a great deal of trouble using COLLADA to move assets from one 3D application to another.



    Edit:

    For those unfamiliar with COLLADA, it's an incredibly complicated format. The specification is over 350 pages long and it's all 100% spec, not examples or tutorials.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 5 of 29
    cbswecbswe Posts: 116member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 29
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    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?
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    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
  • Reply 10 of 29
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member
    I remember RenderMan on NeXT.



    J
  • Reply 12 of 29
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 we?ll 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.



    I?d think Apple would have a very clear plan to re-market any mapping software with their signature so that it?s clearly their handiwork.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,869member
    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/
  • Reply 14 of 29
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,743member
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 29
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,869member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    archosarchos Posts: 152member
    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.
  • Reply 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?
  • Reply 18 of 29
    brainlessbrainless Posts: 272member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.
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