Title(s): COLLADA (COLLAborative Design Activity) DAE (Digital Asset Exchange) Format
Version ID: As of May 2009, COLLADA v1.4.1 (stable release), v1.5 (newest release)
Date released: April 2008 and June 2008 repsectively
Creator(s): The Khronos Group. The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards for the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos API specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge 3D platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.
Contributor(s): Sony Computer Entertainment, NVIDIA, ATI, Softimage, Autodesk, Google, and Intel.
Description: COLLADA is a royalty-free XML schema that enables digital asset exchange within the interactive 3D industry.
History: Before the decision was made to start the COLLADA project, the team looked at all the existing formats and decided that, unfortunately, we needed to create a new one that would have a chance to become a standard.
Most existing formats are not open formats and have not been designed by a working group, but by a single company. That is a problem: Will all other companies agree to support a format that they have not participated in designing? But most importantly, what would happen if that one company were to disappear or decide to prioritize their support for different tools?
The main existing interchange technologies are not designed as a language, but rather as APIs (available under a license on a limited number of platforms). This enables data to be exchanged among applications that have licensed the technology, but it does not help at all to liberate the data from proprietary formats. How can one risk having one's vital assets stored in a format that one does not have sufficient control over, including the exact specifications for?
What happened to Kaydara (being acquired by Alias) and then Alias (being acquired by Autodesk) should remind everyone of the risks of using proprietary formats, and all of us should keep asking for COLLADA to be widely supported by all DCC companies and different tool makers.
Example(s): DAE Example
Documentation: DAE Documentation
File Extensions: .DAE