Posts Tagged ‘StartUp’

The SimplySim Blog has moved !

June 7, 2010

Dear readers,

As you might have noticed on the header of this page, we have created a new blog, which more looks like SimplySim, with an easier navigation and improved features. We have added new things such as a “recommended posts” category, a dynamic 3D tag cloud, a site map, and better sharing options.

Please note that the this is just and upgrade and that our bloggers and articles won’t change. We have already moved the content of this blog there so you can find all our old posts there.

New blog

Don’t hesitate to take a look and leave us your comments there.

Thank you for reading us on “simplysim.wordpress.com”. We hope you will enjoy http://blog.simplysim.net/ as well !

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SimplySim creates an Advisory Board

April 5, 2010

Since we’ve created the company, about two years ago now, we’ve learned a lot through experience and advise from all those that believed in our project and supported us. As we’re now aiming at new developments for our company (including the release of our first product), we have decided to strengthen our team with a small group of experts in our field who will support us with advices. The advisory board will meet every quarter to talk about our company strategy. This is an important step in the growth of our company, and therefore I’d like to introduce the members of our advisory board:

Annie Blandel

Annie Blandel

Annie Blandel is a strategy adviser to European and international SMEs and a professor in marketing for Master’s in IT & Project Management at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis (France). She has also contributed to the formation of a services incubator in France.

The cornerstones of Annie Blandel 25 year’s career in technology marketing have been to support entrepreneurship, recognise and drive forward innovative new products and services, and enable international expansion.

Annie started her career in 1982 as a software engineer, before becoming European Business Development Manager in 1993 at Digital. She then joined Shiva, leader in remote access technologies, as their International Marketing Director. In 1997 she founded CARNAC, her own international marketing agency with offices in London (UK) and Sophia-Antipolis (France).

Annie is a member of Sophia Business Angels, Initmarketing, and the Institute of Directors (IOD, London UK).

We met Annie about a year ago at a Sophia Business Angels meeting, and since then she has been regularly following our project, and supporting us with her advice.

Julien Codorniou

Julien CordorniouJulien Cordorniou is Director of Development and Partnerships at Microsoft France.

After being a consultant for Ernst and Young, focusing on software companies, and working with ETF Group, a Swiss VC firm. Julien joined Microsoft France in 2005 to launch emerging businesses activities, partnering with VCs and ISV. He launched the IDEES program designed to identify and help high potential software companies in France. In 2008, Julien moved to Microsoft Corp to replicate the French program success and direct Microsoft Corp’s efforts to partner with hi-potential software companies around the world (through the BizSpark Program). Julien came back to France in 2010 to take the lead of the Development and Partnerships team.

Julien is co-author of the book “Ils ont réussi leur start-up! Les dessous de la success story Kelkoo”. Edited by Pearson, October 2005.

We met Julien in September 2007 at the final of the « Challenge Jeunes Pousses ». This was the first step toward the creation of SimplySim, and Julien was the first to recognize the potential of our innovations. We quickly joined the Microsoft IDEES program, and he invited us to Microsoft Corp headquarters in Redmond to meet with the Microsoft teams.

Dan Newman

Dan NewmanDan Newman is Managing Partner at Cross Atlantic Advisory and Cross Atlantic Ventures.  In addition, he is also a Venture Partner within the Technology Team at Sofinnova Partners (Paris).

He serves as a Board member and member of various Advisory Boards in a range of technology sectors in both the US and France.  Prior to Cross Atlantic, Dan was a Consultant and Project Leader with several international consulting firms including Lochridge & Company (1986-91), Tenex Consulting (1992-93) and SMG (1994-97).  He brings more than 25 years of venture capital, strategy consulting, and hands-on management experience to his portfolio companies and Advisory Boards

We’ve recently been introduced to Dan thanks to Annie Blandel.

Dominique Pouliquen

Dominique PouliquenDominique Pouliquen, is currently Product Manager for reality capture technologies inside Autodesk, the worldwide leader in 2D and 3D CAD software, with its headquarters in California, USA. M. Pouliquen is also acting as the site manager for Autodesk R&D center in Sophia Antipolis, France.

Autodesk bought REALVIZ in May 2008, a company that Dominique co-founded in March 1998 from a technology transfer with INRIA (National Research Institute for Computer Sciences and Automatics). He was CEO of this company for 10 years, developing its image-based content creation software business in the special effects and digital imaging markets all over the world.

Dominique has spent his career in the computer graphics industry after graduating as an Engineer from Ecole Superieure d’Electronique de l’Ouest, Angers, France in 1986.

We’ve met Dominique for the first time in early 2008 thanks to the Incubateur Paca Est, and since then we’ve met in many local events.

Discover the SimplyCube editors at Laval Virtual

March 24, 2010

As announced before, SimplySim will be present at the Laval Virtual 2010. The Laval Virtual is the first European event dedicated to enhanced and virtual reality, real time 3D and interactive techniques and takes place in Laval France (1 hour and a half from Paris in TGV) from April 7th to April 11th 2010. This year is the 12th edition of the tradeshow, and SimplySim first participation. The entrance is free during the professional day as long you have an invitation … invitation that we are happy to provide right here.

laval virtual

The Laval Virtual will be the first public presentation of the editors of the SimplyCube. The SimplyEdit, SimplyPhysic and SimplyShader are easy to use tools designed to help you create rapidly any professional 3D application: simulations, serious games, marketing applications, video games…

First preview of the SimplyEdit

First preview of the SimplyEdit, SimplyCube's 3D scene edition tool

We will also present our latest demo created using the SimplyCube 3D simulation engine and editors: our UAV Demo, our robotics simulation demo, our underwater demo, and a new “Nanorobot demo” (if you follow @VB_Simply3D you only have an idea of what to expect for this one…).

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.

SimplyCube, a complete real time 3D solution

January 29, 2010

In the first post of this blog we’ve introduced briefly our simulation engine. Now we are moving closer to the release of the first beta version of this engine and it’s time start talking about what’s coming next. And this is the SimplyCube.

SimplyCube logo

The SimplyCube

The SimplyCube is the real commercial name of our product offer; it is composed of two elements: the simulation engine, and a set of editors. The SimplyEngine is for software developers, and though we’ve made it as simple and easy to use as possible, creating a full simulation scene is always much easier with graphical edition tools. Each of these editors addresses a specific aspect of creating a 3D application. Used independently they allow precise tuning and customization of each element of a real time 3D scene. Used together they allow quick editing of a complete simulation scene, with no specific knowledge of 3D software development. Today we’ll present the first four editors we’ll release:

SimplyEdit

The SimplyEdit

The SimplyEdit, is our 3D scene editor. This is the central tool where you can set up the 3D scene. From the definition of the basic setting of the scene (ground, water, sky) to arranging objects and light sources in the scene to finally setting up the last details before importing the scene in your application.

Here’s a quick list of things you can use in this tool to define the scene:

  • Terrain (ground, water, underwater, sky)
  • Objects (we can import any model created by Autodesk software, more detail in “asset compiler”)
  • Lights and shadows (several lights and shadow type available)
  • Sounds (2D or 3D sound sources)
  • Post processing effect (for advanced rendering)

The edition possibilities of SimplyEdit are however kept simple, to keep the user interface understandable, pleasant and easy to use. For most of the simulation elements, you’ll simply have to choose between different options in a list. For example the 3D model are not created or modified by the SimplyEdit, you can just choose which model to import and where to set them up in the scene. Of course we leave you the possibility to control and edit things more in depth, but this is done separately in the other editors (to keep our example, to define in detail how a specific 3D model should look, how it should react to lights, you’ll have to use the SimplyShader editor).

Asset Compiler

The Asset Compiler

The Asset Compiler is an essential tool to import assets in our simulation engine (a first version of the Asset Compiler will be available in the beta of the Simulation Engine). It can process any 3D model file in the .FBX file format, which mean you can import any 3D model created by Autodesk 3D edition tools (Maya, 3DS Max …). We are also compatible with the .X file format so you can import any XNA compatible 3D model. The asset compiler can also import textures files (images in BMP, JPG, DDS…) and shaders (.fx) created by FX Composer (Nvidia) or Render Monkey. This ensures two important things:

  • You can rely on the high quality creation tools of other software editors (Autodesk, Nvidia, AMD…)
  • If you have already existing libraries of 3D models, you can easily import them in our tools.

SimplyPhysics

The SimplyPhysics

The SimplyPhysics editor is a unique tool to define every physic property of a 3D object. As we’ve seen before, accurate physic simulation is essential, as it guarantee the realistic behavior of objects in a 3D scene. To ensure this accurate physic simulation, it is essential to define the properties of every 3D objects. With the SimplyPhysics, you can define:

  • The mass/or density of any object
  • Simple collision shapes for accurate and efficient physic collisions
  • The physics properties of objects (damping, inertia, force and torque)
  • The material properties of objects (friction, elasticity)
  • Joints (to create complex physics objects)

It is important to note that thanks to our multi physic engine support, the properties of the objects are defined for every physic engine in a single editor. Of course, the 3D models we provide with our simulations are already set up with correct physic settings, so if you’re a novice user you can create simulation without having to bother about physic concepts.

SimplyShader

The SimplyShader

The SimplyShader is an edition tool where you can define and configure the “shaders” that affects a 3D object. “Shaders” are advanced 3D graphics techniques that enable very realistic 3D rendering in real time. In the SimplyShader you can add details and texture to an existing 3D model, set up the way the object react to light, or the reflection of an object. Here is a list of the type of “Shader” you can define in this editor:

  • Multi layered surface
  • Normal and Parallax mapping (add relief to an object)
  • Self illumination (for object that are also light sources)
  • Reflections
  • Specular mapping (define the way the object react to light)

Upcoming editors

We have several other editors planned for 2010, 2011 and 2012, they will bring new easy edition capabilities and give you more control on the simulation. We’ll announce them on this blog.

Real time 3D simulation scene created with the SimplyCube

Real time 3D simulation scene created with the SimplyCube


SimplySim in 2010: Product release, Imagina and Microsoft Techdays

January 7, 2010

First, in the name of everyone working at SimplySim, I’d like to wish a happy new year to all our readers. All the best for 2010 🙂 For SimplySim, 2010 will be the year we release our products. So in today’s post we will give you a first view of our roadmap for this year.

February 2010

February will be an important month for us as it is the month we release the first version of our simulation engine and participate to two important conferences. We’ll also start the month by releasing a new website that better present our products and company.

From February 3rd to 5th we will be at Imagina 2010 in Monaco to present our products. We’ll have a booth in the exhibition hall, so if you’re nearby take the time to visit us; the access to the exhibition hall is free for all professionals, students, and education personnel (you’ll just have to register).

Imagina 2010

From February 8th to 10th we will be in Paris for Microsoft TechDays. I have attended the TechDays twice and it’s a really great conference for anyone interested in software, the access to the conferences and exhibition hall is free (you just have to register). I highly recommend everyone to attend (note that most of the conferences are in French). We have a session there where we’ll present our product (in the “Enjeux”, “Innovation et Recherche” thematic).

TechDays

Product release

During the first months, the product will be in beta version, first to a limited number of users and then in an open beta. The exact duration of the beta period is not yet defined but probably around 2 – 3 months, this should give us time to get some good feedback on the product. We’ll open the registration for the closed beta soon, so stay tuned (we’ll announce it on this blog).

Apartment simulation environment

apartment simulation environment in the SimplyEngine


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