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Cesium at SIGGRAPH 2021

Cesium had a terrific presence at SIGGRAPH this year! The Building the Open Metaverse BoF was organized by Cesium CEO Patrick Cozzi and Marc Petit, VP and General Manager of Unreal Engine at Epic Games. In addition, members of our team presented at the Carto BoF and a BoF exploring pervasive 3D in geospatial with glTF. In case you missed any of these presentations, the recordings are available online to SIGGRAPH registrants through October 29, 2021.

Cartographic Visualization BoF

This year I continued the Cesium tradition of presenting at the Carto BoF, an annual Birds of a Feather session that focuses on the intersection of computer graphics and 3D geospatial. I discussed how Cesium is bridging the gap between 3D geospatial and game engines with Cesium for Unreal, and showcased how VR applications built with Cesium for Unreal can be used for real-world use cases like construction.

Measuring distance in VR

Measuring distance in VR

Next, I discussed how Cesium Native, our engine-agnostic C++ library, can be used to integrate 3D Tiles into game engines. Cesium for Unreal is built upon Cesium Native, and we are working to bring 3D Tiles and geospatial to O3DE using Cesium Native. I also showed some of the newest CesiumJS features: procedurally generated terrain and dynamic terrain exaggeration are giving users more control of their virtual worlds, and KTX 2.0 support is enabling versatile optimization which reduces memory, bandwidth, and power consumption.

Dynamic terrain exaggeration in CesiumJS

Dynamic terrain exaggeration in CesiumJS.

The final section previewed developing technology. An overview of 3D Tiles Next explained how enhanced metadata, implicit tiling, and time dynamic visualization will support the next generation of geospatial applications. I also discussed how we are using 3D Tiles Next and glTF to help create an open and scalable metaverse.

As always, we are interested in learning more about community use cases and priorities for CesiumJS. To share your thoughts, please leave a comment on this community forum thread. The Carto BoF was both fun and informative. A big thank you to Theresa-Marie Rhyne for hosting this event!

An Exploration of Pervasive 3D in Geospatial with glTF BoF

Organized by Leonard Daly of The Khronos Group, this event focused on the widespread usage of glTF in bringing realism to the 3D geospatial realm. Speakers representing geospatial use cases from flight simulation to city management shared their perspectives on using glTF and other open standards such as 3D Tiles to efficiently represent 3D geospatial data at runtime. The event also included discussions about the work the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is doing to utilize glTF in formats such as CDB, and presentations from SimBlocks, Esri, and others.

Cesium’s Sam Suhag presented an overview of 3D Tiles along with a brief look at 3D Tiles Next, highlighting the enhanced metadata attribution capabilities and compression methods. To learn more about 3D Tiles Next, see our overview on GitHub.

Material ID textures and imagery in 3D Tiles Next

Material ID textures and imagery in 3D Tiles Next.

Building the Open Metaverse BoF

This was the first Building the Open Metaverse BoF, and it was clearly a discussion we will be continuing for many years to come. The event brought together experts from a wide range of industries and backgrounds to discuss the philosophy, approach, and challenges to building an open and interoperable metaverse.

Shehzan Mohammed of the Cesium team joined the discussion, explaining how 3D Tiles will provide the spatial index for the metaverse and Cesium will help bring high precision real-world data to these virtual worlds. For more information on this event, please check out our follow-up blog post.