Has anyone looked at this at all? Alias has an SDK and such up on their website for a format called FBX. They claim it is supported by all the major 3D vendors as well. It was originally written by Kaydara, which was acquired by Alias. And it looks like it’s been around since Jan 24th 04.
It looks like the major difference is that the SDK is open but the format is closed, so rather than interoperating on a format level, they do so on a code level.
Last time I checked the source code was not available either. I think this qualify as a proprietary, closed API, with a opaque binary file fornat.
It used to be owned by an independant company (independant from the major DCC vendors), and as such was able to be neutral and available on all major tools (discreet, softimage, lightwave), but now that it is owned by one of them, this may change.
Kaydara used to collect fees to provide access to the SDK, it seems Alias provide it for free, is that a positive effect of COLLADA on the market ?
Regardless of those non technical issues, I am looking forward for FBX file converter tools to include COLLADA format.
Actually, Alias has worked a lot on their exporter/importer lately, and have posted updates with major improvement for animation and skinning.
Of course, business is everything. Alias gauges the energy they need to dedicate to COLLADA to the number of users, so be vocal when you talk to them.
In addition, you may be interested to know that we are a month away to release the COLLADA API as part of the COLLADA SDK. This will provide you with a C++ interface, and should make it easier to embrace COLLADA.
The COLLADA API will be release in source code, and is generated almost automatically directly from the COLLADA schema.
Maybe this will trigger you to help the COLLADA community and create a FBX plug-in to load and save COLLADA files