New features available in Imagine IG 4.1

As many companies, we had no other choice than to change our internal organization in order to face the global pandemic. Since March 2020 the whole staff has been working remotely most of the time. While this has been a rather important paradigm shift, that new working scheme actually turned out to be really efficient as far as development is concerned.

We haven’t communicated much during the last twelve months; however, we have spent most of that time developing our technology, tools and software. And we have developed intensively!

Last year, Imagine IG has been selected to fuel the visual component of a military flight simulator project. The project involved delivering a database covering a full country, populated with buildings, forest, roads (including street lights), railways, electric poles, lakes and rivers. In order to fulfil that requirement, we developed the long-awaited procedural data generation module for Scene Editor.

Using the new tools we added in Scene Editor, users can easily populate areas (regions, countries, continents) using procedural 3D models, vectors or water bodies, and this can be done in a matter of minutes. Multiple vector data sources can be used for that purpose (OpenStreetMap data, ESRI shape files, etc.). Custom inclusion/exclusion filters can be defined in order to filter the relevant data (for instance when using OSM data extracts). On top of that, exclusion areas can also be defined manually and visually, directly in the 3D view, allowing artists to locally “erase” procedural data when needed (for instance, to replace a generic building through a custom 3D model).

As far as procedural 3D buildings are concerned, users can customize the façade, roof, windows and door textures that will be used for a given type of buildings. Various roof types are supported and their occurrence ratio can be configured. Relevant data such as height, number of floors, building type (residential, commercial, etc.) are automatically extracted from the source data when available.

We spent a lot of time optimizing the IG in order to guarantee 60Hz, despite the huge amount of data to be rendered.

Beyond that procedural data, the list of additions and improvements is significant, and possibly too long to fit in that post.

We implemented a new volumetric rendering method that has been used to update ground fog and sand storms. It has also been used to implement a new local weather front feature. Various little improvements have also been added, such as push the limit of simultaneous overlapping HD material layers supported, allowing artists to create much more realist ground textures. Vector data can be created out of a 3D model through the “vector from mesh” Scene Editor node. The CIGI protocol module has been significantly extended. Shadows have been improved. Trees now support wind animation and morphing between LODs. Airport lights now offer automatic PAPI lights and rabbit/sequence lights can easily be created. Text labels can be added at runtime. That’s only the visible part of the iceberg – and that iceberg is likely to continue growing!

Please discover what Imagine IG version 4.1 offers in the video below !

Some screenshots showing Scene Editor used to create procedurally generated datasets:
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