The latest release of MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG), version 5.11, contains several new features, enhancements, and 3D content, and is available to customers on active maintenance valid through April 20, 2016.
In this issue:
46.A – VRSG version 5.11 features and enhancements
46.B – VRSG Scenario Editor version 1.4
46.C – How to obtain VRSG version 5.11
46.A VRSG version 5.11 features and enhancements
Additions to round-earth geospecific terrain libraries
New high-resolution areas of interest have been added to the Continental U.S. plus Alaska and Hawaii (CONUS++) and Afghanistan terrain data sets:
- Prospect Square area of the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, AZ. The 2 cm per pixel resolution virtual terrain was built with imagery collected by MetaVR's imagery collection UAV and 2 to 10 meter elevation posts. This terrain was delivered and installed on the Battlespace Simulations and MetaVR desktop JTAC simulators at the Special Operations Terminal Attack Controller Course (SOTACC) facility at the Yuma Proving Ground. Running at 60 Hz frame rate, the total coverage area of this high resolution 2 cm terrain data set is 17 sq km, and is an inset to a 30 cm per pixel imagery area covering 2,300 sq km of the Yuma Proving Ground. The entire terrain area is a subset of MetaVR's CONUS++ Southwest region terrain. (A VRSG screenshot of the virtual Prospect Square area of Yuma Proving Ground will be featured as Image of the Month for May on the IMAGE Society website.)
- Sixteen new high-resolution commercial and military airports and airfields to the CONUS++ terrain, which were built and modeled over the past 10 months. The airfields have high resolution insets, built with imagery ranging from 0.15 to 0.60 meters per-pixel (mpp), blended with the underlying CONUS++ 1 mpp terrain imagery. Elevation sources range from DTED 1 to 30 meters-per-post to 10 meters-per-post blended for seamless transition to custom elevation that matches FAA airfield elevations. Each airfield contains a geospecific control tower, a model of one or more runways with runway lights, taxiways, markings and signage, and culture models such as hangars, terminals and other buildings, fuel tanks, windsocks, antennas, trees and shrubs, and light points.
- The modeled village in the geospecific 3D terrain of Kabul province, Afghanistan, has been expanded. The village, based on Khairabad, now includes 680 custom-built 3D structures that match the building footprints visible on the source imagery. The new built-up culture areas in this mountainous region along the Kabul-Gardez Highway include over 2,000 structures instanced from over 160 newly built Afghanistan building models, and 11,000 instances of tree models. These models all feature three DIS damage appearance states.
These high-resolution terrain data sets were built with MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri® ArcGIS® with models built in Autodesk® 3ds Max, and are available to VRSG users on active maintenance.
Additions to model libraries
Over 1,200 new models (including 298 new military models) have been added to MetaVR's 3D content libraries since the release of VRSG version 5.10 in May 2015. Among the culture models are 160 new building models that were built with three damage states (slight damage, moderate damage, and destroyed) and used for the expanded Afghanistan terrain. Among the 298 new military models are several new models of U.S. Navy sea vessels. There are now over 6,300 models of all types in MetaVR's 3D model libraries. The new models, including the culture models with damage states and the new ship models, are featured in new demo scenarios that are also installed with VRSG. Damage switch states will be standard in new culture models added to MetaVR's 3D content libraries. Commercial vehicle models built within the last three years have all been upgraded to contain full interiors and articulating doors. Over 250 new animations have been added to VRSG's animation library, including 9 animations in various deceased positions.
You can watch the videos of VRSG demo scenarios at www.metavr.com/products/vrsg/vrsgdemos.html.
Enhancements for rendering models
- New automatic clustering capability in which VRSG optimizes cultural feature files at load time. Users no longer need to run off-line instancing tools for cultural feature files that contain large numbers of culture models such as trees and vegetation.
- New feature that articulates the front wheels of ground vehicle models about their z-axis to turn in a realistic manner.
- Improved attachment behavior to ensure a trailer attached to another vehicle entity trails behind the towing entity in a more realistic manner.
- New ability to disable the orientation clamping of models on a per-enumeration basis.
Enhancements to environment features
- VRSG's new high-fidelity multi-layer atmospheric model provides continuous variable visibility of atmospheric layers as a function of altitude and earth curvature.
- Users can now provide a custom star field pattern with positions and intensities via a lighting table (.csv file).
- Users can now specify a water texture on a per-tile directory basis to override VRSG's default water texture.
- The attenuation of sound of emitters that are occluded from the earpoint has been improved.
- VRSG now uses reverse depth buffer mapping for improved depth discernment and reduced z-fighting artifacts.
Enhancements to the HD H.264 recording/streaming plugin
- VRSG's simulated UAV KLV metadata has been updated to the MISB ST 0601.8 standard and is now multi-viewport-aware.
- Automatic Gain Control (AGC) is now multi-viewport aware and users can now control AGC on a per-viewport basis.
- Users who use a device other than the Logitech gamepad for manipulating VRSG's simulated UAV camera view, can now configure button mappings for their joystick device in the UAV.ini file.
- Users can now have VRSG record/stream a simulated video feed immediately upon startup with the new Autostart option.
- Onscreen VRSG messages can now be suppressed during simulated video recording and streaming.
- Fields that reported elevation in WGS84 are now correctly reporting elevation in MSL.
Enhancements to OpenFlight conversion tools
MetaVR's tools for converting models and terrain from OpenFlight formats to MetaVR formats now support V13 of the OpenFlight API. 64-bit versions of these tools are now delivered with VRSG.
New display plugins
- New plugin to support the VIOSO warp/blend system.
- New plugin to achieve the distortion correction for the SA-Photonics SA-82 head-mounted display (HMD).
Sensor simulation enhancements
- VRSG can now read and process multiple files that map per-texture attribution to material codes, (metadesic.irm files), located in any directory in its search path.
- MetaVR has developed a new sample plugin that illustrates how to implement sensor fusion.
- The threat dome syntax has been expanded to include a vertical radius parameter.
- New feature to overlay images (such as reticle overlays) above the rendered scene via SetDataPDUs.
- The compass rose display now shows magnetic heading instead of true heading.
Enhanced CIGI support
- New support for a significant number of the CIGI version 3.3 symbology opcodes.
- A new comprehensive sample CIGI UAV sim host, which illustrates the use of CIGI version 3.3 symbology opcodes.
- Users can now control AGC via CIGI.
- A new spectrum filtering mask for CIGI laser effects.
New SetDataPDU interfaces and enhancement
- New SetDataPDU interface to impose damage on culture models. Users specify a center location, the radius of 3 concentric rings as well as where each ring corresponds to the damage states: Slight Damage, Moderate Damage, and Destroyed.
- New SetDataPDU interface to allow control of the parameters VRSG sends in its DesignatorPDUs.
- New SetDataPDU interface to change lighting tables dynamically.
- Expanded SetDataPDU for attaching light lobes or flares to entities. Users can now include a spectrum mask to indicate in which spectrum the light/flare is visible.
- Support for the Inertial Labs and Sensics Sight tracking systems.
- New ModelMap.ini command to control the origin of the tracks along an entity's x-axis (useful for nonstandard vehicle models).
- New sample plugin project that illustrates how to implement a plugin for a simulated military equipment (SME) device.
Note that VRSG version 5.11 is the last version of VRSG based on DirectX 9. The next version of VRSG will be based on DirectX 11.
46.B VRSG Scenario Editor version 1.4
VRSG Scenario Editor version 1.4 is installed with VRSG version 5.11. New features and enhancements include:
- Support for DIS damage appearance states in culture entities. Damage states for culture are handled in Scenario Editor as effects. Included in the VRSG version 5.11 release are 160 models in the culture model libraries that have the standard slight, moderate, and destroyed damage states. In addition to using these models to depict destruction in scenarios, you can use your own models that have damage appearance states.
- Support for inserting 2D "overlay" images into a scenario that display at specified times. Such images can be used for annotations, textual instructions, title screens, or photographs.
- Improved quality of shapefiles representing building footprints. Shapefiles are no longer bounding boxes, but actual footprint of a culture model on the terrain. For each culture entity in the scenario, Scenario Editor exports a set of shapefiles in the standard shapefile format. Due to the finer granularity of detail, generating shapefiles is no longer automatic with exporting a scenario to VRSG; it is now an option to select before the export.
- Support for updating and exporting multiple cultural feature files (metadesic.clt files) shared among multiple scenarios. If multiple metadesic.clt files change during a scenario editing session, those updates are exported to their respective subdirectories.
- Static culture entities are no longer assigned unique ID numbers by default. (With assigned IDs, the potential for ID conflicts increases when multiple metadesic.clt files that are shared among scenarios are used in the search path for a scenario.) The generation of model ID numbers for culture entities is now optional.
To get started with Scenario Editor right away, examine the sample projects that are installed with VRSG version 5.11 in:
46.C How to obtain VRSG version 5.11
MetaVR customers on active maintenance can download the latest release of VRSG version 5.11 software and model libraries from MetaVR's Download Server. If you prefer, you can also simply download the latest models. Customers on active maintenance valid through April 20, 2016, can request an account on MetaVR's Download Server by sending a request to email@example.com.
You can check the VRSG Dashboard's About tab to determine the maintenance status of a VRSG license. Annual software maintenance is $1,500 USD per license and can be purchased on the MetaVR website by clicking "How to Buy" or by sending a formal request for quotation with your MetaVR dongle ID to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MetaVR continues to implement customer-requested software features at no additional cost beyond the license purchase and the annual software maintenance fees. Many features in the VRSG version 5.11 release were developed as the result of customers' requests at no additional charge.
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