Monday, 30 November 2015

Database Generation for Maritime Simulation

Capability Upgrade

Simulation users and consumers have become accustomed to the high visual quality provided by nowadays computer games, which led to increasing importance of serious games in the simulation industries. With traditional tools and modeling techniques, the results are not convenient with regard to the limited budgets of typical simulation projects, however, especially taking into account the large terrain dimensions regularly demanded.
TrianGraphics GmbH, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, has develop a novel database generation system that meets this new demands for quality as well as for quantity through an extraordinary high level of automation. Besides traditional landscapes for flight, combat or driving simulation, Trian3DBuilder now also supports the generation of large-scale terrains for maritime simulation. A typical terrain project is set up by applying a multitude of input data types typically satellite imagery, height, and vector data in miscellaneous formats. Depending on the input attributes, generation features can be applied and a terrain is written to a visual database with meta-data for various additional simulation tasks like Computer Generated Forces (CGF). In terms of maritime simulation, so-called ENC vector data is imported that is containing all information, which can be found in nautical charts. The standard formats to be used hereby are S57 or the encrypted S63 format. The data is sorted based on the ENC code and all attributes are used on import for post-processing and preserved for later use.

Trian3DBuilder supports the generation of large-scale terrains for maritime simulation.
Photo: TrianGraphics GmbH
The seabed is Delaunay triangulated from the exact coastline as well as depth contour lines, areas, and depth points (soundings). This is combined with a multitude of further terrain generation techniques to form a fully featured database targeting maritime simulation in a matter of only a few hours setup time. Buildings are created from footprints, rails, profiled roads, and junctions are automatically created from the middle lines and canals, rivers, and seas are cut in the terrain mesh. The terrain is further beautified by adding vegetation like huge forest areas and specific models using point object placement.
Especially important for nautical training is the correct placement of buoys. Each buoy is imported with specific model and top mark, as well as exact light assignment including colour, direction, range, intensity, and blink code. Piers and shoreline constructions are also added. When having imported all data and set up, the project the data can optionally be edited and enhanced in the database generation system. The result is optimised for real-time rendering and can be exported to a variety of well-known standard formats like OpenFlight, FBX or VBS. Modern software tools like Trian3DBuilder drastically simplify the generation process for large-scale 3D terrains. Now, also maritime simulations with their very special demands are targeted. This enables the users to generate a landscapes densely populated and of unlimited size. This demand cannot be fulfilled with traditional modeling tools through technical limitations. Even less due to the huge amount of handwork that would need to be invested.

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