MetaVR, Inc.

MetaVR News Volume XIX, Issue 2 June 4, 2015  


MetaVR creates 3D real–time environments that provide the fidelity of geospecific simulation with game quality graphics and performance.

In this issue:

45.A – VRSG version 5.10 features and enhancements
45.B – VRSG Scenario Editor version 1.3
45.C – Recent updates to CONUS++ terrain
45.D – How to obtain VRSG version 5.10

VRSG v5.10 Banner

VRSG version 5.10 features and enhancements

New 64-bit architecture
VRSG version 5.10 is now a native 64-bit application, which means it requires a 64-bit version of the Windows operating system, either Windows 8.1 or 7. VRSG can now support ultra-high resolution terrain, such as 2 cm per pixel terrain built from 2 cm imagery, of much larger geographic areas, without performance degradation.

Any user-developed plugins for VRSG must be recompiled for 64-bit to run in VRSG version 5.10. In addition, VRSG 5.10 was built with Visual Studio 2013, which means that if a user-developed plugin extends VRSG's Dashboard interface with a property sheet, that plugin must be rebuilt with Visual Studio 2013.

New H.264 real-time recording/streaming plugin
VRSG's recording and streaming capability has been replaced with a new NVENC-based H.264 plugin, which takes advantage of the dedicated H.264 video encoding chip on NVidia's newer GPUs. The previous recording/streaming plugins (MPEG, CUDA-based H.264, and AVI), which were available in VRSG prior to version 5.10 are no longer supported. The new H.264 plugin contains enhancements that enable users to:

  • Emit transmitter PDUs per CAF-DMO compliance requirements.
  • Select the network card to use for multicast streaming transmission.
  • Stream to multiple IP addresses concurrently.
  • Specify a preference for quality and performance.
You can watch videos of the sample scenarios that are delivered with VRSG, which were recorded with the new H.264 recording plugin, at and on Vimeo at

New environment features
A new solid volumetric cloud particle layer replaces the legacy cloud decks and has improved blending with the terrain and other 3D objects. In addition, users can now turn on a new particle-based global rain/snow effect and set the precipitation level via a SetDataPDU interface or with Common Image Generator Interface (CIGI).

New display features
The new MGRS map grid overlay features labels on the terrain and is useful for generating map printouts.

VRSG now supports Scalable Display Technologies' plugin for multiple projectors per computer when the plugin is used in conjunction with NVidia's Surround or Mosaic modes. Other enhancements include improved performance and visual quality of the plugin on NVidia GPUs and the ability to change mesh files dynamically via a SetDataPDU interface.

A new test pattern plugin displays various patterns for warp/blend alignment and resolution/contrast measurement. (Available upon request.)

VRSG's support for the Oculus Rift HMD, now DK2, is still native; no DLL plugin is needed.

New radar simulation feature
Radar simulation now scales the radar return on an entity specified in the ModelMap.ini file. Other radar simulation enhancements include improved radar processing performance and expanded interfaces for more user flexibility.

Enhancements for rendering models
With a new ModelMap.ini command, users can force a bias to compute LOD ranges for a given model to restrict the highest LOD displayed.

Users can control the display of light points within a given set of spectrums.

Users can now provide a value in the ModelMap.ini file for a model's articulated part when the simulation is not doing so for that part.

The gun pitch of human character entities can now be controlled using articulated part records in EntityStatePDUs.

Additions to model libraries
Over 310 new models have been added to MetaVR's 3D content libraries since the release of VRSG version 5.9.20 (July 2014). Included among the 275 new military models are several new sea vessels. There are now over 5,100 models of all types in the 3D model libraries.

A PDF catalog of all models that are delivered with VRSG version 5.10 is now available on the MetaVR website.

Enhancements to persistent entity track or wheel impressions on the terrain
Users can now specify the creation of track impressions by single-track entities such as motorcycle and human footprints and modulate the intensity of the track impression with new ModelMap.ini commands. In addition, several new textures for track impressions are now available in VRSG's Textures directory.

Conversion utilities enhancements
Two new parameters have been added to the FBX to HPX model conversion utility to convert binary FBX files and limit the mesh node maximum vertex count. Two new parameters have also been added to the OpenFlight to MDS terrain conversion utility to enable users to specify an alternate output path for the converted terrain and an alternate name for master.flt.

Users can now take thumbnail screenshots in the MetaVR Model Viewer of models converted to MetaVR's HPX model format and have the screenshot image embedded in the model (in the manner of the models in MetaVR's 3D content libraries). A thumbnail image of a model helps users to identify the model in VRSG Scenario Editor's content palettes and in a Windows directory displayed in icon mode.

Other enhancements
VRSG 5.10 contains several new SetDataPDU controls for controlling various VRSG states, new ModelMap.ini commands for specifying particle system origins for dust and contrails and for per-enumeration DIS entity timeout, a new extEntityUserDraw plugin function which enables users to draw additional geometry (such as threat domes, radar volumes) in the coordinate frame of an entity, improved rotor-wash effects that automatically change color when the entity transitions between land and water, and a new smooth-slew feature in UAV mode to lock onto a target or position.

Note that with the release of VRSG version 5.10, the legacy flat-earth (MDX) terrain format is no longer supported.

VRSG Scenario Editor version 1.3

Version 1.3 of VRSG Scenario Editor, which is delivered with VRSG 5.10, is also now a native 64-bit application. New features and enhancements include:

General features and enhancements:

  • New Tool Scale visual aid for scaling entity tools such as waypoints, paths, and orientation tools so they can be seen easily at any distance in the scene.
  • New spacebar toggle to turn on and off scenario playback; useful for scenario playback in full-screen mode where there is no access to Play/Stop buttons.
  • Improved ease of saving viewpoints; viewpoints can be saved any time by pressing the S key on the keyboard.
  • New display of the great circle distance between two clicked points on the terrain; useful for measuring (in meters) the distance between two points.
  • New screen capture feature for capturing the 3D scene to an image file or to the Windows Clipboard.
  • Improved alert for issues encountered in a scenario; the Status tab is now displayed as the front-most tab when Scenario Editor encounters an error.
  • Support for decimal lat/long coordinate format.
  • Ability to print out the workspace tables for entities, culture, and viewpoints.

Behavior entity-specific features and enhancements:
  • New behavior entity orientation tools for setting the roll, yaw, and pitch of the entity on a per-waypoint basis.
  • New ability to create a looped path for behaviors.
  • New ability to select an entity's whole path by grouping waypoints; useful for moving the entity and its path as a single unit to a new location.
  • New Sky Placement tool for placing airborne entities directly into the scene in mid-air.
  • Expanded "-tracks" support in the scenario's ModelMap.ini file to simulate tracks on the terrain made by vehicles and characters.
  • Ability to configure dust effects for an entity with specified xyz location and offsets.
  • New ability to advance and backtrack along an entity's path waypoint-by-waypoint by pressing the up-arrow and down-arrow keys; useful for fine-tuning waypoint edits.
  • New table that reports on all current positions of behavior entities at the current scenario time.

To get started with Scenario Editor right away, examine the sample projects that are installed with VRSG version 5.10 in:
\MetaVR\VRSG 5\Terrain\Somalia\Kismayo\SEv1.3\Scenarios
\MetaVR\VRSG 5\Terrain\Afghanistan\SEv1.3\Scenarios.

Recent updates to CONUS++ terrain

In parallel with the VRSG version 5.10 release, MetaVR has added new high-resolution areas of interest to the Continental US plus Alaska and Hawaii (CONUS++) terrain:

  • Fallon B-17, B-19 target ranges of the NAS Fallon Range Training Complex. Built with 2 cm imagery collected by MetaVR's imagery collection UAV; CONUS ++ Southwest region. (A VRSG screenshot of the virtual B-17 area is featured as Image of the Month for May on the IMAGE Society website.)
  • Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX (Kelly Field Annex). Built with 15 cm imagery; CONUS ++ South Central region.
  • Lancaster Airport, Lancaster, PA. Built with 30 cm imagery; CONUS ++ Northeast region.
  • Muir Army Airfield, Fort Indiantown Gap, PA. Built with 30 cm imagery; CONUS ++ Northeast region.

These high-resolution terrain insets were built with MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS and blended with underlying 1-meter CONUS terrain. You can view a catalog of all terrain datasets that are available to VRSG users on active maintenance on the MetaVR website.

How to obtain VRSG version 5.10

MetaVR customers on active maintenance can download the latest release of VRSG version 5.10 software and model libraries from MetaVR's Download Server. If you prefer, you can also simply download the latest models. Customers on active maintenance can request an account on MetaVR's Download Server by sending a request to

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 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 5.10 release were developed as the result of customers' requests at no additional charge.

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