XRayCollada is a lightweight render engine. It was specifically designed for displaying Collada XML files as quick as possible. The accompanying QuickLook plugin for Mac OS X is one typical use case scenario . However, XRay is neither meant as a full blown Collada viewer nor as a general purpose render engine. It should rather give the user a very quick overview of what is happening in the scene with a focus on the geometry of the objects. To speed up the loading process individual materials and textures are completely ignored. Instead the surface of the objects is rendered as an "XRay"-like transparent material. That way, the user is able to see through walls and get an intuitive impression of the complexity of the scene.

From a technical perspective, XRayCollada tries to transfer the Collada data as directly as possible to the OpenGL renderer. Reindexing the Vertices and Normals data should be avoided as much as possible. Sorting geometry for correct transparency is also neglected. Instead it uses multiple render passes with different depth-test setups that yield an "almost" correct image which is much cheaper.

The current XRayCollada implementation replaces the DOM-parser with a SAX-parser for loading Collada files using the OpenCollada framework. OpenCollada allows loading Collada up to 4x faster when compared with the earlier DOM-implementation. This is a very significant performance boost, especially when a large batch of Collada files has to be rendered.

XRayCollada is used for the implementation of a QuickLook-plugin along a Spotlight-importer for Mac OS 10.5. XRay is generating preview images on the fly for each Collada document on your Mac machine. This should allow users to quickly grasp the content of your Mac Collada files and make your 3D data more lively. The spotlight importer indexes the content of the global tag.

To get an impression of the XRay effect you can also download the XRayColladaDemoViewer (requires Mac OS X 10.5). Check out the download section on the right for prebuilt binaries. Please be aware that this release is still in development status. There are some open issues that do not allow every collada file to be rendered correctly. However, the whole suite is published under open source MIT license, so everyone is invited to collaborate on this project.

XRayCollada itself does not use any platform-specific libraries and the DemoViewer is based on GLUT, so it should be very easy to port it to other platforms than Mac.