MetaVR, Inc.

MetaVR News Volume XVII, Issue 2 September 18, 2013  


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

MetaVR announces the release of MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) Version 5.8 which contains several new features, enhancements, and 3D content related to distributed mission operations training. This release is available to customers on active maintenance.

In this issue:

39.A – New Physics-Based IR
39.B – Scenario Editor
39.C – Effects
39.D – General Enhancements
39.E – 3D Models
39.F – Device Support
39.G – Updated Asia Terrain

  Physics-Based IR 39.A

New Physics-Based IR

A key feature of version 5.8 is VRSG's new physics-based IR sensor modeling capability, developed jointly with Technology Service Corporation (TSC). This capability is the real-time computation of the IR sensor image directly from the visual database, with no requirement to store a sensor-specific database. This real-time physics-based IR simulation combines automatic material classification of visual RGB imagery with a physics-based IR radiance and sensor model.

The new IR capability uses pixel-shader technology to convert the per-pixel filtered visual spectrum RGB color into its component materials, which are then used by the physics-based IR model to compute IR radiance and sensor display intensity. The physics-based model takes full account of the local environment, time of day, and sensor characteristics. The result is a physically accurate sensor scene derived from a visual-spectrum database.

Through a simple wizard interface, users can create multiple IR configurations or profiles for 3D terrain data sets for a variety of conditions. On the VRSG Dashboard, a specific configuration file can be selected for use during a given VRSG session. The new physics-based IR simulation is available in VRSG Metadesic. International VRSG users require ITAR approval to use this feature.

  Scenario Editor 39.B

Scenario Editor

MetaVR's new VRSG Scenario Editor enables you to create and edit real-time 3D scenarios to play back in VRSG. This new application, delivered in the release of VRSG version 5.8, extends the drag-and-drop capabilities of adding culture and moving models directly to your 3D terrain. Scenario Editor provides a graphical interface with tools and content libraries you can use to build dense 3D scenes with realistic visual characteristics.

Experienced VRSG users and novices alike can work in a flexible manner to increase the realism of terrain easily with rich culture and scripted movements of vehicles and characters. The 3D terrain that you work with in Scenario Editor is the same 3D terrain you visualize in VRSG, and the scenarios you create can be run in both Scenario Editor and VRSG version 5.8. The application requires the Windows 7 operating system and supports terrain in MetaVR's Metadesic round-earth format.

Scenario Editor is ideal for:

  • Populating virtual worlds with 3D content quickly.
  • Creating and sharing tactical training scenarios easily.
  • Avoiding terrain correlation and model overlap problems by using the same terrain and 3D content in the scenario creation tool as rendered in the image generator.
In a networked environment with VRSG, users can run scenarios created with Scenario Editor by visualizing the static culture content and PDU logs of recorded DIS entities using MetaVR's PlayBack utility. Alternatively, a user can broadcast DIS from Scenario Editor and have VRSG clients view the exercise.

You can use Scenario Editor to perform live updates and create dynamic or static content on the fly. For example, in a classroom setting, an instructor can broadcast an exercise in Scenario Editor and the students can view the exercise in VRSG. The students can immediately see any updates the instructor adds to the exercise.

Scenario Editor was used to create a new UAS simulation scenario video posted on MetaVR's channel on YouTube. The VRSG video is a simulation of an insurgent disruption of an Afghanistan election polling site and the close air support mission that follows the incident. The scenario was built in Scenario Editor and played back in VRSG by a user in the role of UAV operator. The operator observes the scene through the UAS simulated camera view and interacts with the scenario by switching sensor modes and by using a joystick to move the camera (to pan and zoom the scene and track the target).

  Effects 39.C


Nearly 50 new particle effects in VRSG's Effects library and several new and expanded particle effects and keywords, to include:

  • New effects that range from smoke in various colors and different types of contrails to explosions with a variety of characteristics and a particle-based volumetric flame effect for burning vehicles.
  • New particle keywords to control the corkscrewing shape of contrails and to vary the size of created particles.
  • New box-shaped particle emitter for particle systems.
  • Ability to assign a custom effect for smoking or flaming vehicles in the ModelMap.ini file.
  • Ability to automatically align a particle system's direction with a model's gun barrel. This enhancement is useful for particle-based muzzle flash effects.

  General Enhancements 39.D

General Enhancements

  • New utility for converting OpenFlight databases produced with Terra Vista or Synthetic Environment Core (SECORE) to terrain tiles in MetaVR's round-earth Metadesic (MDS) format.
  • New roll stability and auto zoom control features available for UAV Master mode.
  • VRSG plugins can capture mouse movement events via an enhanced extMouseEvent interface.
  • The MDS Read API is now available in Windows and Linux 64-bit configurations and is now thread-safe for supporting multiple clients.
  • The time-of-day slider on the VRSG Dashboard's Environment tab can now set either Zulu or local time.

  3D Models 39.E

3D Models

Over 400 new real-time models have been added to the MetaVR 3D content libraries since version 5.7.50, which was released in April 2012. The total number of models in all of MetaVR's model libraries is over 4,350. New 3D models and VRSG model-handling enhancements include:

  • Over 200 new military vehicle models added to MetaVR's library of military models, which now totals over 1,300 models, including various paint schemes and markings. In addition to the long-standing catastrophic damage feature, newer fire-power disabled and mobility-impaired features have become standard model features and are incorporated in newer models. New models include all of the primary air defense missiles and radars in use by the Syrian government.
  • Over 150 new cultural feature models (such as huts and other shelters, obstacles, fortifications, household items, and refueling elements) added to MetaVR's 3D culture models libraries.
  • Nearly 50 new character and weapon models added to MetaVR's 3D character models library. In addition over 100 new character animations have been added to the VRSG animation library. This addition brings the total number of BVH character animations available for use in VRSG to 470.
  • Ability to enable a destroyed culture model to be replaced automatically with an alternate model. This feature is useful for replacing a building model with a model of a pile of rubble, effectively make any building destroyable. The rubble model will be automatically scaled to approximate the mass of the original model.
  • New roof-clamp feature that can direct a model to be elevation-clamped to the highest point at a given location, which can include culture models. Useful for clamping human characters to rooftops. This feature can be activated per-enumeration in a ModelMap.ini file, or per-entity via a SetDataPDU interface.
  • New SetDataPDU interfaces to control human character animation, and movement of entities that are attached to other entities (such as human characters walking on a ship deck.)
  • Ability to use dynamic DIS culture models as elevation lookup providers for other DIS models. This enhancement allows for cases such as clamping a human character to the roof of a building model over DIS.
  • Ability to artificially scale models as a function of range. This enhancement enables real-world identification distances to be achieved with the limited acuity associated with computer-generated graphics.

  Device Support 39.F

Device Support

  • Support of 3Dconnexion's new SpaceMouse Pro 6DOF controller. (VRSG continues to support the SpacePilot and the discontinued SpaceExplorer.)
  • Support for Logitech's new F310 gamepad, mapped to functions for VRSG FPS and UAV camera simulation. (Although this gamepad replaces the discontinued Logitech Dual Action Gamepad, VRSG continues to support the discontinued device.)


  Updated Asia Terrain 39.G

Updated Asia Terrain

In parallel with this VRSG release, MetaVR has released its updated geospecific 3D terrain of parts of Asia in its Metadesic round-earth format with several high-resolution inset areas of interest to our customers.

The 1,370 geocell terrain covers 13,560,000 km2 and includes Afghanistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen, as well as portions of the coastal African countries Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Sudan. This terrain was built from 15 meters-per-pixel (mpp) color LandSat imagery, with 2.5 mpp SPOT satellite imagery of Afghanistan, and 1 mpp black-and-white imagery of Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria and portions of Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia color-fused with the 15 mpp base imagery. In addition, MetaVR's Asia 3D terrain includes 0.60 mpp high-resolution natural color insets of Kandahar and the Kabul province of Afghanistan as well as Baghdad, Basra, Djibouti, Kandahar, Kirkuk, Osaka, Tehran, Tokyo, and six checkpoint locations along the Jordanian-Syrian border. Terrain elevation information was based on 3-arcsecond DTED level 1 and void-filled SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) elevation data, subsampled to achieve a nominal 60 m post spacing.

MetaVR's Asia 3D terrain in Metadesic format is available for purchase to all MetaVR customers who are on active VRSG software maintenance and are US Government or NATO agencies or contractors (for official use only). The terrain is provided in MetaVR's terrain format and will run with a valid VRSG software license of version 5.7 and above and a valid software maintenance of July 1, 2013 or later.


How to Obtain VRSG Version 5.8

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

MetaVR customers on active maintenance can obtain the latest release of VRSG version 5.8 by downloading the version 5.8.20 software and model libraries from their account on 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 About tab on the VRSG Dashboard 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

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Copyright © 2013, 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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