Universal 3D (U3D) is a compressed file format standard for 3D computer graphics data.
The format was defined by a special consortium called 3D Industry Forum that brought together a diverse group of companies and organizations, including Intel, Boeing, HP, Adobe Systems, Bentley Systems, Right Hemisphere and others whose main focus had been the promotional development of 3D graphics for use in various industries, specifically at this time manufacturing as well as construction and industrial plant design. The format was later standardized by Ecma International in August 2005 as ECMA-363.
The goal is a universal standard for three-dimensional data of all kinds, to facilitate data exchange. The consortium promoted also the development of an open source library for facilitating the adoption of the format.
Collada (COLLAborative Design Activity) is an interchange format for interactive 3D applications. Originally developed by Sony Computer Industry, now it is managed by the Khronos Group, a member-funded industry consortium, which now shares the copyright with Sony, Recently Collada has been well adopted by ISO as a publicly available specification, ISO/PAS 17506.
It is an XML-based schema that allows data exchange among 3D Digital Content Creation tools, such as SketchUp, Maya, 3ds Max, and Rhino. COLLADA files have the *.dae file extension, which stands for digital asset exchange.
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