Posts Tagged ‘real time 3D’

SimplyCube beta, one month on…

March 10, 2010

About a month ago we launched the beta version of the simulation engine of the SimplyCube. It’s time to make an update on how things are going, what we’ve been doing lately, and what we’ll be doing next.

Microsoft Techdays video

The official launch of the SimplyCube beta was marked by a one hour introduction session at the Microsoft Techdays in Paris. Microsoft has just released the video of this session (embedded here, video in French) and of the other sessions of the TechDays (which I advise you to watch if you have time).

Watch SimplySim webcast at Techdays

SimplyCube beta

Today a little more than 150 first beta testers have received a copy of the SimplyCube beta, a larger number of you have already registered, but we’re increasing the number of allowed tester slowly to ensure everyone has a great experience. For now the feedback is mostly positive, and for the second month we’ll open the number of testers more freely. Be sure to register on our website, and you shall receive your download link rapidly.

SimplyCube box

Talking of our website, we have completed a few sections that were missing when we’ve launched it last month. Check out the gallery section and the product description section to see what have changed. These two more detailed sections should give you a better idea of what our product is about.

What’s next? Laval virtual 2010, more demo.

The major next step for SimplySim will be our presence at the Laval Virtual 2010. This tradeshow focused on Virtual Reality, but also simulations, serious games, and 3D marketing applications, will be the occasion for us to unveil the editors of the SimplyCube, more demo of what can be done with our product and to release more stuff in the beta.

laval virtual

One of the main demands about the beta was to get more available demonstrations and examples (I know at least a few of you want to get their hands on our UAV demo). We are currently working on a series of demonstration showing each step of a real project that should be a good addition to the tutorials already included in the demo. Julien Mercier, a student from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis who has joined us for a six month internship will be responsible for the creation of this series of demo. You can follow his progress day by day on the SimplyCube on his twitter account: @VB_Simply3D. This should be an interesting test for the ease of use of our product, to show what a trainee can achieve in a few weeks. You should also stay tuned to this blog and the twitter of SimplySim, as we’ll soon tell you a little more about these new demos.

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SimplyCube beta available, Microsoft TechDays, New website

February 9, 2010

Today is an important day for SimplySim, we’re officially launching the beta period of the SimplyCube simulation engine.

SimplyCube box

SimplyCube Beta

The beta period for the SimplyCube starts today. This first beta package includes the first version of the SimplyCube simulation engine, along with the associated documentation and the Asset Compiler tool. We also include a large number of tutorials to help you get started with this new product. Our first tutorials cover the field of 3D rendering, physics, and sound. They will soon be followed by more tutorials, demo, and learning material (especially on our service oriented architecture).

We’ll open progressively the number of user allowed in, and eventually the beta will be fully public. You can register for the beta on our new website, and we’ll notify you when you have been accepted to the beta. The only thing we ask you, as our first users, is to notify us with any question or problem you encounter so we can help you. Please use our forum for that. You’re also welcome to showcase the project you’re developing on our simulation engine in the forum. And eventually we’d like to give some of you access to our blog to showcase and explain their project.

Microsoft Techdays

For those of you who are in Paris, Microsoft has invited us to launch our product in a session at the Microsoft Techdays. The session is in room 242A at 5:30 pm at the Palais des Congrès de Paris (Porte Maillot). The TechDays are free and I think there is an on-site registration, so it might not be too  late even if you haven’t registered yet.

For everyone else, the session are filmed and will be available on the web in a few days (we’ll notify you on this blog when our session is online). We’ll also make our presentation slide available tonight after the presentation.

We’d like to thank Microsoft once again for giving us this opportunity, and especially everyone in the Bizspark and IDEES program of Microsoft. These two programs are really a huge help for a young and innovative startup company !

New website

As some of you may have noticed already, we have recently launched a new website. This website is completely dedicated to our real time 3D simulation product offering. The website will still evolve in the following weeks (with more content in the gallery and the product section), and will eventually be completed with our online store.

SimplySim website


An inside look: the technology used in our 3D simulation

December 3, 2009

In today’s post we’re going to discuss the technology we use to create our real time 3D simulations, and what we think of these technologies. This inside look should also give you a good idea of what to expect from our products.

SimplySim realistic real time 3D simulation

real time 3D urban simulation using the SimplyEngine

Easy and rapid programming: Microsoft .NET

As we explain in our introduction post on our product, one of our goals is to offer you a product that is easy to use, to enable any developer to benefit from real time 3D simulation technologies. As developer ourselves, we already had an idea of what “ease of use” can mean for a developer, and that led us quite immediately to the choice of Microsoft .NET

As we wanted performance and quality 3D rendering we didn’t had many option: standard C++ or .NET (java was clearly not an option). Then the choice was easy: .NET had two major advantages, the first was for our team: .NET meant that we could develop more rapidly and efficiently (and Visual Studio is an awesome IDE). The second and probably most important advantage is simply that it would be the same for our customers! Plus they can choose their programming language in the variety that the .NET framework offers (as for us, we use and recommend C#).

Graphic engine: Microsoft XNA

The choice of XNA as a graphic engine came quite naturally too, it’s using direct X 9.0 guaranteeing performance and nice 3D rendering and it’s on .NET. Plus we liked their asset managing utility. We’ve tested many other 3D engines in many programming languages before, and XNA is, for now, our choice.

Editors interface: Microsoft WPF

An important part of the “ease of use” (or “simply spirit” as we like to call it) that we wanted in our products meant that we had to design efficient user interfaces for our editors. That led us to WPF, mainly because we liked the freedom we had to design our interface combined to the ease of use of the technology.

Software interaction: Microsoft CCR/DSS

We first discovered Microsoft CCR/DSS when we started to use Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio, and we just love this technology. We had already played a bit with the concept of “service oriented” or “component oriented” architecture before and DSS is a really nice implementation of these concepts, while CCR offers a very smart way to solve concurrency and coordination problems. We’ll discuss more about this in a dedicated post, but to sum up the main advantage of this technology for us it to enable our 3D simulation to be really easy to interface with any other software application.

Physic engine: the multi-engine option

As you’ll have understood if you watched our first demo of our UAV simulation, physic realism is really important in our product. So we’ve had a look at all the different physic engine available on the market (PhysX, Newton, ODE, Havok, and a few others) and after an in depth review, we decided not to choose. In fact these physic engines have not been created for the same purpose, and they have different strong points. Some have very good performance with a lot of objects, some are really focusing on the accuracy of the movements, others are designed for fast moving objects… and we felt that the choice of the physic engine really depended on the type of application. So we’ve built the SimplyDynamics, a software library that gives you the opportunity to choose the physic engine you’re application is using. And as it might not be evident which one to choose, you can make this choice at the very last moment: at run time!

How we got it all for free: Microsoft Bizspark program

Finally another thing we like about the technologies and the tools we use is that we’ve access to it for free. We’re member of a really cool program called Microsoft Bizspark that helps innovating startup by providing access to Microsoft software, support and visibility. We had already chosen Microsoft technologies for our development because it answered really well our needs, but Bizspark membership clearly made things easier.

SimplySim is a BizSpark StartUp

Drone in city center video

November 20, 2009

Today we introduce a first video of the SimplyEngine (our new 3D simulation engine). This video shows a demo we created around the use case of a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) simulation in a city center.

If you want to learn more about our drone simulation, check out this page. We’ll also make a longer post here in the following weeks to give you a more detailed view of our work on this simulation. By the way if you have questions or comments, feel free to ask 😉


Introducing our « 3D simulation engine » : the SimplyEngine

November 18, 2009

Since the beginning of 2009, we’ve been busy working on a new product to increase dramatically the realism of real time 3D simulations. I think it is now time to start showing the first preview of this new product… In today’s post we’ll talk about the driving ideas behind the product, why we created it, and the early conception choices we have made.

3D urban environment by SimplySim

Realism is more than just nice looking 3D

Since we have launched our company, our mission has been to bring the most realistic 3D simulations to our customers. 3D simulation consists of creating a virtual model of a real life (or hypothetical) situation, usually to study it (there are other uses of 3D simulation technologies that we will discuss in another post). Realism is of course the goal of anyone who develops or uses a simulation.

3D graphic realism can be stunning nowadays but it represents only one element of realism. 3D is only a tool, which should be made as useful as possible for the real aims of the software application. When we decided to create our simulation engine, we had of course graphic realism in mind (and I think the screenshots tells enough of what we have done on that point) but more importantly we had identified other essential aspects of realism for our product.

The SimplyEngine is what we like to call a “3D simulation engine”, that is the core software on which any real time 3D simulation can be built. We decided to call it a “simulation engine”, because it is not only a nice looking 3D engine, but it includes important elements for physic realism and for software and hardware interactions.

Physic simulation

Our first 3D simulations were made for robotic simulation. Testing and validating the behavior of a robot in a 3D software application is a challenging task. One essential aspect of this challenge is physics realism: creating a simulation where objects behave realistically, where they are liable to physic laws.

When we created our product, physic realism was one of the key priorities. We have created a full software library dedicated to it, with among other thing the ability to use any of the physic engines available on the market (NVidia PhysX, Newton Game Dynamics, Havok, ODE…).

Interactions with software and hardware

As I was saying above, we really consider that 3D technologies should be a tool. A tool that can be applied to many problems and that therefore should have the ability to interact easily with many other elements (software, hardware or human beings) to create a solution.

Our 3D simulation engine is based on a service oriented software architecture that has been designed to make every part of our product easily compatible with any other software application. We’ll discuss in an upcoming post the benefits of our service oriented software architecture.

Ease of use

Finally, we believe that the user should always be the main focus of any software application. That’s why our developments are focused on the ease of use of our products. Our goal is that any software developer should be able to use 3D technologies in his applications, and in ways relevant to his business needs, without any specific formation. Again it will take another post to tell you more about the efforts we made on the ease of use… stay tuned! 🙂


SimplySim is now blogging!

November 13, 2009

Welcome everyone,

This is the corporate blog of SimplySim, a software startup company based in France and specialized in real time 3D technologies. This blog is dedicated to showcase the many interesting uses of real time 3D technologies, and how it can solve real life problems. Of course we’ll also talk about our corporate actuality and our products, but the main focus of this blog shall remain on how our customers and partners use our technologies to solve problems and make this world better.

This blog is also designed to be a place of dialog with anyone interested by real time 3D technologies; we welcome your views and comments.