Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Microsoft Acquires Caligari for Virtual Earth Animation and 3D Web

Image from June 2007 Honorable Mention, Caligari Corp.

Caligari Site

Microsoft has acquired Caligari Corporation, developer of 3D modeling and animation tools, to work with Microsoft Virtual Earth. Some are looking at this is a counter to Google's inclusion of SketchUp in Google Earth, but I think it goes a little farther. Microsoft already added user-generated modeling from Dassault Systemes, textures from Allegorithmic, and easier integration with 3DVIA and Web-based interaction.

The Microsoft announcement doesn't give much away, but Caligari CEO Roman Ormandy blogged that "we will be working with the Virtual Earth team which is in the process of building out an immersive 3D Web experience. [...]You know me and my ambitions for trueSpace and web-based 3D collaboration. Let me tell you right away that there were no compromises I had to make to accommodate our vision within the Virtual Earth platform, in fact I was challenged to increase the scope of our vision. I talked to many people at Virtual Earth group and I am convinced that the technical team behind Virtual Earth has a significant, long-term commitment to the 3D Web."

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