Tech Tip: The Golden Rule For Optimizing Image Resolutions in 3DXplorer Studio

Many users of 3DXplorer Studio need to be reminded of the recommended resolutions of JPEG files which are used as a picture or a painting or even a texture in 3DXplorer.

In general, like for any web development platform, you should keep your image resolutions as lowest as possible; an image should not exceed 512 pixels for the larger dimension. A dimension above 512 is considered as a high resolution and such images will be down scaled unless you specifically refuse it at upload time.

But there is also a rule which can help you optimize drastically: Make sure your JPEG file (or PNG file) has the smallest resolution possible while keeping the larger dimension of the image with a number of pixels which is a power of 2 (ie: 16, 32, 64, 128, 512, 1024 or 2048). This means that a 40 x 64 image is well optimized because the larger side (64) is a power of 2. Similarly, an image with a resolution of 40 x 32 is not optimized because the larger side (40) is not a power of 2.

What will happen if you don’t respect the above rule? Well, the real time rendering and the hardware acceleration algorithms used om most computers will be up to 3 times slower and require up to 300% more memory for providing the same visual quality. Same thing for the loading time of the scene which will be up to 3 or 4 times slower for equal visual quality.

Example: Let’s assume you have reached the resolution of 80 x 42 after having optimized your image. You should know that if you reduce it to a 64 x 34 image you may save up to 300% in performance.

Looking forward to your optimized scenes that your users will appreciate.

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How Did 2010 Turn Out For The 3D Internet Market and For ALTADYN / 3DXplorer?

Virtual Worlds, web 3D, “Live 3D collaboration” or “Full 3D Virtual Events” represent different angles of vision for the same group of 3D immersive Internet technologies. As 2010 was clearly the year of emergence of 3D for consumers, I would like to discuss the evolution of this part of 3D internet technologies.

During 2010, AVATAR, the movie , 3D TV screens in the shops, controller-free gaming consoles such as Wii and Kinect, and glasses-free 3D TV, all played a key role to massively introduce 3D environments to all generations and not just to the younger generations , as games did in the past 15 years. This created a new dynamic wave for the 3D Internet in general.

As a testimony to this new 3D wave, Altadyn, now in its ninth year of business, accelerated its growth in 2010, with over 117% revenue increase compared to 2009  :

ALTADYN 3DXplorer revenue 2010

ALTADYN revenue growth 2009 - 2011

In the past 25 years in the 3D technologies and businesses, we have seen years which left their marks more than other years. For instance;

  • 1982 was the year of foundation of Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, Adobe and Autodesk, as well as the year TRON was released by Disney,
  • 1987 was the year when 3D design and modeling applications became affordable to most 3D animators and engineers when  Sun introduced the first non proprietary OS on affordable workstations ,  and 1988 when PTC introduced the first parametric modeling technology ,
  • 1995 when Hollywood started using the first realistic special effects in its productions or just the use of full 3D productions such as Toy Story by Pixar.
  • 2010 was the year of Emergence of accessible virtual 3D environments for all, including consumers.

This general trend of emerging accessible 3D virtual environments strongly impacted technology providers, especially those offering 3D immersive software. Let’s have a look at a few lessons learned in 2010:

1) “Virtual Worlds , a la Second Life” are not meant to be for business, but for entertainment.

The Virtual Worlds market leader, Linden Lab, severely downsized it’s team, during 2010, stopped the Enterprise or B-to-B  Business, and focused on its core business which is entertainment and gaming. The company even hired a new CEO with a clear gaming background. Forterra Inc., a pioneer in this space went out of business, as well as it’s “half sister” company THERE, a leading virtual world. We learned that a virtual world needs to have a purpose. If it’s for entertainment, then it needs to follow the rules of a game business model and the consequences. If it is for business, it has to follow business requirements, be enterprise-friendly, available in SaaS mode (hosted, on-demand), compliant with corporate firewalls, with no software download, etc…

2) Virtual Events are taking off but customers need more engaging Virtual Events.

Within 2010, the tough economy and budgetary restrictions, corporations and event firms produced even more events virtually than in the past, using mostly non 3D web-ex type technologies or pseudo-3D applications, while starting to use full 3D immersive platforms as well. Although some cost reduction goals were fully achieved, they didn’t meet their goals in terms of direct customer interaction, lead generation, new business relationships (see the TSNN report, tables 9 and 10).  In another study, ROI of engagement, it apparent that customers need more engaging virtual events which facilitate networking and encourage active participation.

3) Perpetual Virtual Events or Permanent 3D Websites are needed more

Those clients, who experienced virtual events, notice that it’s much easier to setup a virtual event than a real event, and the cost of maintaining a virtual event space is a fraction of the cost of building it. Consequently, they are interested in more frequent virtual events  or even perpetual  trade-shows or show rooms where visitors can interact with company’s representatives, at any time. That’s the reason why 3DXplorer’s Meet-in-3D service is becoming more and more popular. This service saw a fast growth in 2010 and the trend for 2011 is continued. As a reminder, 3DXplorer/Meet-in-3D enables the transformation of anonymous visitors of a website into real prospects.

4) Other 3D Immersive  Applications are emerging, or continue their development

Among other applications of 3D internet which gained a lot of customer attentions, we noticed:

  • Replicating strategic corporate facilities and enabling accessible virtual visits
  • Simulation and training
  • eLearning and virtual classrooms
  • On-boarding and other HR applications
  • Virtual Showrooms and Art galleries

The trend in 2011 is in the continuity of 2010, with the market getting shaped in a more determined manner as per the above orientations, and we all look forward to it.

Darius Lahoutifard
CEO

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New Release: 3DXplorer V 5.4.08 is released today!

Eight months after pre-announcing V5.4, and with an intensive and long set of tests and real meeting experiences, a new version of 3DXplorer V5.4 is released. As of today, the ‘Last Release” status is attached to V5.4.08.

The most important feature is a more robust and higher quality VOIP, which uses a dedicated port if the user’s firewall authorizes it (if not, the standard port 80 is used).

Among other new features:

  • “Mute audience” button is replaced by a moderator’s control panel allowing a moderator to control separately voice, Desktop Sharing, lasers, chat moderation and video broadcast
  • “Voice” button is replaced by “Mic” and “Speakers” buttons to increase users control on audio settings
  • Presentation features (ie: Desktop Sharing, laser, video broadcast), voice and chat moderation can now be activated/blocked individually for each avatar
  • Skinning import improved for max 2010 COLLADA exports
  • Faster and more reliable network synchronization
  • The size of a video overlay/popup can be set in the material editor
  • New meeting planner with invitation text supporting 8 different languages for 3DX/Online Meeting and 3DX/Conferencing, and customizable invitation templates.
  • And many bugs fixed.

Many of you have set your version to a test release to use VOIP, so please make sure you reset your space to LAST RELEASE status.

Enjoy the new features and please feedback.

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