Some random 3d related things:
a low cost 3D paint package is 3D-Coat. It's a bit like an indie version of Z-Brush oder Mudbox. Some people on CGTalk were very sceptic but after giving it a test-drive many of them like it. Some even love it's retopology feature and use 3D-Coat complementary to Z-Brush.
This procedurally animated 3D spider in flash is very nice! I guess in the next years there will be more and more 3D in flash.
The results of the Ogre3D user survey 2008 has been released. Here is one quote of it
Just over 63% of the respondents were using OGRE either for their own enjoyment or as part of their studies, with just over 50% of that group intending to go commercial with their products later. 29% of respondents were using OGRE for commercial products, with 83% of that group producing closed source products. The remaining 8% of OGRE users were mostly dominated by Academic / Scientific users, with a small handful of government users.
Zign Track is a low-cost facial tracking software. It exports to BVH. No idea how well it works but for that price it might worth an evaluation. The following picture is from a demo video:
Unity Technologies has released extensive statistics from user's hardware where the Unity3D webplayer installation was successfull. They say that it's based on 3 millions data entries. The target audience is the 'casual gamer. It has already been said that this group has older, low-end hardware and usually do not update their system (like drivers etc). Aras (the main guy behind this) resume is:
Casual machines: capabilities quite okay, performance low, low, low. That’s life.
Something that surprised me is, that Mac is still a tiny market share (~ 2.6%). In Berlin's Bars and Cafés I mainly see people with Macbooks – it really increased a lot in the past years. On the other hand, in July, at the Paris airport I mainly saw PC-based notebooks. Their owners were mostly business men.
Blade3D is a XNA based authoring tool. I had a look at – i think over a year ago. It seems to do nice progress and they are currently working on a webplayer. In addition to that it also has a visual scripting system which you can use i.e. to define particle-behaviours. Besides this there are some nice feature like: PSSM shadows, spline-based roads and rivers, terrain engine, foliage rendering and physics.
Very interesting is their pricing model – it's a monthly fee per seat – without any up-front fee. I wonder if you can pause payment for a couple of months – i.e. between two Blade3D projects – and resume later when required.
There is another tool that is XNA based, but last time I checked I really didn't like the usability: Visual3D.Net. Something interesting though might be it's globe-like terrain engine.