Implementation of a COLLADA scene-graph

The need for more graphical content in real-time applications is rapidly increasing. As hardware becomes more powerful, the polygon limit, shader possibilities and thereby also the room for details in a scene or model increases. The work to create these large digital worlds is done using different digital content creation tools (DCC tools), for example Autodesk Maya, 3dsMax, Milkshape or Blender.

This makes it valuable to have a versatile non-proprietary format that can handle large data sets, and that’s what makes COLLADA interesting for this thesis.

A COLLADA document can contain and support almost every feature that a modern content creation tool could need. More importantly, it also contains a scene-graph.

Agency 9’s current 3D engine – AgentFX – has been using a scene-graph structure for several years. This scene-graph has to be created by manually building the graph; adding and removing nodes and their children, grandchildren and so on. But is it possible to directly use the scene-graph contained in a COLLADA document for a real-time 3D engine?

The main goal of the thesis is to implement and evaluate a client-server architecture of a 3D engine with COLLADA as the base format, continuing on Agency 9’s path of supporting COLLADA, and using a scene-graph structure. This thesis mainly covers the client part of the 3D engine. It describes the COLLADA format in more detail, and also how to parse and store the COLLADA data structures. Also, the issue of how to communicate as much and detailed information to the rendering server as possible is addressed.

Author: Lindbergh, Johan

Source: Lulea University of Technology

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