MetaVR creates 3D real–time environments that provide the fidelity of geospecific simulation with game quality graphics and performance.
The latest release of MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG), version 6.0, contains several new features, enhancements, and 3D content since the release of version 5.11 in April 2016.
In this issue:
47.A – VRSG version 6.0 features and enhancements
47.B – Recent updates to CONUS++ terrain
47.C – How to obtain VRSG version 6.0
47.A VRSG version 6.0 features and enhancements
The release of VRSG version 6.0 contains several infrastructure updates, including full support for the Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit operating system, DirectX 11, Visual Studio 2015, and Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card.
VRSG version 6.0 has undergone extensive tests in the field in two pre-production systems of the USAF Joint Terminal Control Training and Rehearsal System (JTC TRS) close air support dome simulator.
The release of VRSG 6.0 contains the following infrastructure updates:
- Full support for Windows 10 64-bit system, to support customer integration efforts, in keeping with US Department of Defense (DoD) mandate for all the military services, Unified Combatant Commands, defense agencies, and field activities to upgrade their systems to Windows 10 by January 31, 2017.
- DirectX 11 support, which includes VRSG support for Pixel Shader Model 5.0. In addition, VRSG's plugin API now uses DirectX 11 objects. (Note: any user-developed custom plugin which drew graphics or otherwise interacted with the DirectX 9 Graphics API under VRSG version 5 will need to be modified to use DirectX 11 with VRSG 6.0.)
- Built with Visual Studio 2015, which means that if a user-developed custom plugin extends VRSG's Dashboard interface with a property sheet, the plugin must be rebuilt with Visual Studio 2015.
- Support for Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 1080 gaming graphics card, which has a baseline of 8 GB memory and delivers increased performance over the GTX 980 series with less power consumption.
In addition, VRSG version 6.0 contains these new features and enhancements:
- Addition of 189 new models (including 121 new military models) to MetaVR's 3D content libraries. Among the culture models is a set of 7 trees now available with variants for all seasons. The models tree-163, tree-164, tree-cassia-001, tree-cassia-005, tree-elm-002, tree-elm-006, and tree-poplar-004 now offer 4-season variants via their appearance switch states. There are currently over 6,500 models of all types in MetaVR's 3D model libraries.
- Solid particle effects, which model projectiles with dust trails being cast from detonation events. These 10 new ballistic effects, located in VRSG's \Effects directory, all spew solid particles. Some effects thrust particles in a given direction that is denoted in the filename. The release also includes a new billboard flame effect.
- Heat refraction post processing effect for sensor views. This feature, available both on the Sensor tab of the VRSG Dashboard and via a fixed-length SetDataPDU interface, adjusts the simulated heat haze appearance of a scene when it is viewed through a layer of heated air (produced from conditions such as jet exhaust).
- Set of 14 high-resolution microtextures, many of them newly created for this release, of a variety of dirt, sand, and grass geotypical ground textures. VRSG blends a microtexture with the geospecific terrain imagery to produce the most realistic visual depiction of the terrain when it is viewed at close range. The textures are located in \MetaVR\VRSG\Textures\Microtextures.
- Multichannel support is now part of the single unified VRSG executable, enabled with a check box on the Startup Parameters tab on the VRSG Dashboard.
- Changed layout of the Startup Parameters tab on the VRSG Dashboard to improve specifying the location of terrain, models, scenarios, and so on, for VRSG to load (VRSG's search path).
- New direction properties for the Rotating Animation custom attribute of MetaVR's FBX to HPX model converter. DirectionX, DirectionY, and DirectionZ are three distinct properties that define mesh rotation around an arbitrary axis other than a primary axis.
- This release also includes Scenario Editor version 1.4 and all features that were in VRSG version 5.11, which was released in April 2016.
Note: VRSG support for Windows 7 will end on December 31, 2016.
47.B Recent updates to CONUS++ terrain
In parallel with the VRSG version 6.0 release, MetaVR has added a new high-resolution area of interest to the Continental US plus Alaska and Hawaii (CONUS++) terrain. The 3D terrain of White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM, covers a 237 sq km area. As reported in the MetaVR newsletter of May 19, 2014, this terrain was used in Joint Staff-led Bold Quest 14.2 coalition demonstration event, which took place in May 2014, at several sites in the U.S.
The WSMR 3D terrain was built from 22 cm and 1 meter National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery provided by the geospatial group at WSMR and 1 meter imagery used in MetaVR's CONUS++ terrain. The terrain's elevation was built from DTED2, DTED1, 5 meter interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR), and 10 meter National Elevation Dataset (NED) source data, all provided by the WSMR geospatial group. MetaVR built the WSMR virtual terrain with the company's Terrain Tools for ESRI ArcGIS, and placed culture models of storage containers, fortifications, and other elements from MetaVR's 3D content libraries on the MOUT area of the terrain using VRSG Scenario Editor.
The virtual WSMR is available within the CONUS++ Southwest region 3D terrain. MetaVR's CONUS++ 3D terrain in Metadesic format is available for purchase to all MetaVR customers who are on active VRSG software maintenance and are US Government agencies or contractors (for official use only). For US domestic use only, not available for export. The WSMR terrain is provided in MetaVR's terrain format and will only run with a valid VRSG version 6.0 or greater software license with valid software maintenance through July 31, 2016.
47.C How to obtain VRSG version 6.0
MetaVR customers on active maintenance can download the latest release of VRSG version 6.0 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 July 31, 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 6.0 release were developed as the result of customer requests at no additional charge.
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Copyright © 2016, MetaVR, Inc.
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MetaVR, Virtual Reality Scene Generator, VRSG, Metadesic, First Person Simulator, the phrase "geospecific simulation with game quality graphics", and the MetaVR logo are trademarks of MetaVR, Inc. Metadesic US Patent 7,425,952.
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