Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GermaniumWeb used in multitouch building directory

There's nothing quite like being able to explore a new location in fully interactive 3D, and with multitouch to boot. Two School of Computing students from the National University of Singapore have made that possible for their school's campus by using GermaniumWeb to build an interactive multitouch directory. Check out their work below:

If you're in the vicinity, you can try it out at the entrance to the COM1 building.

Congratulations to Kent and Torin Nguyen for implementing such a spectacular service, and all the best for your grades!

Ian Loh

Friday, October 15, 2010

GermaniumWeb 1.32 released

GermaniumWeb 1.32 has been released!

The highlights of this release are:

Performance. NVIDIA users will experience much smoother rendering, up to three times faster in high geometry scenes. All users will also experience generally smoother rendering and texture loading.

Image quality. What better way to enjoy the above performance enhancements than to use the added speed to increase image quality?

You can now turn on anti-aliasing, which will reduce unsightly jagged edges. This feature is available on NVIDIA and ATI/AMD video cards.
No anti-aliasing
4X anti-aliasing

You can also increase the number of anisotropic filtering samples, which will make textures viewed at sharp angles clearer. This feature is available on all video cards.
No anisotropic filtering
16X anisotropic filtering

Both settings are accessed through the Settings panel
(Right click > Settings > Display):

Refresh the webpage after you've made changes.

Support for complex text. GermaniumWeb can now display placemark labels which use complex features such as ligatures and diacritics. Note that you will need appropriate fonts installed, such as Arial Unicode MS, commonly installed with the Microsoft Office suite, or the free Code2000. Note also that GermaniumWeb does not support bi-directional text yet.

Beta support for Google Chrome. Some of you may have noticed that older versions of GermaniumWeb and the API were already working on Google Chrome. With this release, we're adding official support, as well as fixing some minor bugs. Support is still beta at this stage, so please report any issues you encounter.


Ian Loh

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

CXA2010 winners announced

The results are out! Congratulations to Team The Dynamics from Nanyang Polytechnic for clinching the top prize with their Green Remote Estate Network (GREN) app. Their app allows the user to monitor and control electrical appliances remotely. GermaniumWeb was used to visualize the premises, which was simulated using the NUS School of Computing model. A CCTV feed was also integrated and displayed within GermaniumWeb, which allowed the user to see if the appliances were actually turned off.

In second place was Team Anjels with their Green Police application which features an impressive array of automated home appliances, which include lights and curtains. These appliances can be operated through an iPad, an Android phone, a web interface, and your good old physical switches. GermaniumWeb was used to show the current state of the appliances, for example darkening the room when the light was off.

Congratulations as well to Team berYL from Singapore Management University (SMU) in third place with their car drivers' tool, as well as to all finalists. Building a working app in 24 hours was no mean feat!

Further details at The Business Times and Scoopasia.

Ian Loh

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Retirement of plugins older than 1.31

To all GermaniumWeb users

As announced earlier, plugins older than 1.31 have now been retired. If you are still using a retired version, you will be prompted to update it the next time you visit a GermaniumWeb-powered website.

Or you can just download the latest version (1.31) right now.

Ian Loh

Friday, July 23, 2010

CXA2010 API key and building updates

First up, for all CXA2010 participants, you can use this special API key which will work for any domain:

<script src="http://api.germanium3d.com/?v=1.4&key=cxa2010"></script>

This key will work for the duration of the competition and the judging.

Secondly, the Republic Polytechnic Centre model is now up. All participants may use it for the competition, courtesy of Republic Polytechnic.

The NUS School of Computing model has also been updated. While it looks exactly the same, it has been significantly optimized. This version directly replaces the old one, with an unchanged URL.

Good luck to all CXA2010 participants today!

Ian Loh

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pending retirement of plugins older than 1.31

To all GermaniumWeb users

As the overwhelming majority of you are using the latest plugin 1.31, we will be retiring all older versions in 30 days, on 21 July 2010. Thanks to all of you for using the latest and greatest version!

For the few of you who are still using older versions, grab the latest version here. If you are still using a retired version on 21 July 2010, you will be prompted to update it the next time you visit a GermaniumWeb-powered website.

Ian Loh

Monday, June 14, 2010

Slides for CXA2010 Training

You can now view the slides for the code::XtremeApps:: 2010 training session here:

Shortcut to the Code Samples app:

[Update]: Video now available.

Ian Loh

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Getting to the CXA2010 training venue

If you have signed up for our training session for code::XtremeApps:: 2010 on 12 June and were wondering how to get to the venue at Republic Polytechnic, worry not! GermaniumWeb is here to show you the way:

Click the image to launch the app.

Note that the JBoss training on 5 June is also at the same venue.

Ian Loh

Friday, April 30, 2010

Building Composer 1.3 released

We have released a new version of Building Composer. This is a minor release, mainly to improve support for buildings with internationalized names (e.g. Chinese).

Or read the full release notes here.

Ian Loh

New Office Building sample

The Office Building sample dataset has undergone intensive renovation and now looks better, has more furniture, has more varied interiors, and still renders almost as fast as the old version.

See the Sample Buildings page for instructions on how to use it, as well as a list of changes.

If you are using the old version (1.0), be assured that it will still be hosted at the old URL:

If you wish to upgrade, simply replace 1.0 with 2.0. Note that we have moved furniture around, but did not hack down any walls :).

Ian Loh

Developer Network updated with API 1.4 features

We've updated the Developer Network to cover the recently released API 1.4 features.

Two new articles have been added to the Developer Guide:
  • Navigation Modes - Explains the difference between the Orbit, FirstPerson and Disabled modes, and how they can be customized.
  • Options - Explains how you can customize the existing GermaniumWeb features like the grid, the background, and auto-rotation.
All older articles have also been updated.

Similarly, there are new Interactive Samples covering the new features. Check them out!

Ian Loh

New Modeling Guide

Lately we've been seeing growing interest in modeling buildings for GermaniumWeb, particularly from Google SketchUp users. However, some of these building models were very complex which resulted in a poor user experience for website visitors who had slower machines.

We decided to shine some light on how you can optimize your buildings while still keeping them looking good, so we now present the Modeling for Real-Time 3D guide. All the techniques listed here were used to model the Office Building and Jukebox Shopping Mall sample buildings.

We've also added a COLLADA Guide which will give you a clearer picture of the modeling workflow, and how to get your 3D models from your modeling package to our Building Composer tool. You can also check the list of known COLLADA exporter bugs and workarounds on our user forum.

As always, do give us your feedback.

Ian Loh

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

GermaniumWeb training sessions for code::XtremeApps::2010

We will be holding GermaniumWeb training sessions for code::XtremeApps::2010 on these following dates. Do sign up for the training sessions early. Registration is free & on a first-come-first served basis. The training venue will be at Republic Polytechnic, Between E2 and E4, Agora Level 1.

Session 1: Sign up for Saturday 12 June 2010, 10am to 1pm, OR
Session 2: Sign up for Saturday 12 June 2010, 2pm to 5pm.

To prepare yourself for the training, please refer to our preparation guide at http://www.germanium3d.com/cxa2010.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

code::XtremeApps::2010 launch briefing slides & video

If you have missed or wish to revisit our GermaniumWeb talk on the code::XtremeApps::2010, you can find our slides & recorded video here:

Video for GermaniumWeb talk

*our 3D Jukebox demo starts at the 00:39min mark.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New networked installer

The GermaniumWeb plugin (1.31) now comes in a new networked installer, which automatically installs Windows Installer 3.1 and the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 if you don't already have them installed. This is commonly known as a bootstrapper.

However, this does mean that during installation, you will need a network connection, and if you are going to install GermaniumWeb on multiple machines, GermaniumWeb will be downloaded repeatedly, once for each machine.

If this does not suit your needs, or if you are having problems with the networked installer, we still provide the old-style standalone installer. However, we did not include Windows Installer 3.1 and the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 in this standalone installer as this would have increased its filesize greatly.

If you encounter any problems with the networked installer, please post them on the plugin installation forum, and we'll try to get back to you promptly.

Ian Loh

API 1.4 and GermaniumWeb 1.31 released

Welcome to the new Germanium Team Blog!

We're launching this blog with a big bang - the release of API 1.4 and plugin 1.31!

Here are some of the highlights of this release:

Control. This release is all about improved control over the user interface, including glide and auto-rotation operations. Details:
  1. You can now disable the user interface. In some cases, you may want to disable the default user interface behaviour, e.g. when you are showing a tour of your building and don't want the user to interact with the 3D scene. You can now:
    • Prevent the user from moving the Eye with the mouse and keyboard by setting the navigation mode to Disabled.
      When you do this, by default the mouse cursor will show a 'disabled' cursor when the user presses a mouse button. If you are going to provide your own mouse interaction (e.g. by responding to the OnMouseDown event), you can turn off this disabled cursor.
      Note that the user can still click placemarks. You can also prevent this by making them non-interactive.
    • Prevent the user from closing a placemark callout by hiding the close button.

    • Prevent the user from using the Eye controls (see figure on right) by hiding them. Note that on plugin 1.31, the Eye controls are automatically disabled during gliding and auto-rotation, so you don't have to hide the Eye controls for these cases.

  2. You can respond when the user presses a key, by listening for the new keyboard events. 
  3. You now have greater control over gliding. The new glide functions  - which also make gliding easier by unifying the existing 15 glide variants into just 3 (GlideEyeTo(), GlideTargetTo(), GlideEyeToFit()) - now allow you to control the speed (duration and speedMultiplier) and acceleration (useEaseIn and useEaseOut). You can also handle a specific glide's end (using endCallback), instead of having to listen for the global OnGlideEnded event.
  4. It's simpler to manage the navigation mode. In API 1.3, where first person navigation was still experimental, you would be unintuitively switched back to orbit navigation after a glide, or if you turned on orthographic projection. Now, once you successfully set the navigation mode (e.g. to first person), GermaniumWeb will always stay in that mode until you set it to something else.
Other improvements. We've also
You can read the full list of changes here:

Ian Loh