I’m proud to announce the first Vortex Studio release of this year, version 2018a. As usual there are improvements on both the dynamic and graphic sides, and we continue to streamline the installation, deployment and monitoring of a Vortex Studio-based simulator.
2018a will make it easier to set up a scene with the B-Spline extension. This new feature lets you define a spline path that can be used to animate or otherwise move objects. Waypoints can be placed individually via the manipulation tools, and object behaviors (such as start, pause, stop, etc.) can be defined for each one individually. A B-Spline can be used to drive a camera, get a human to follow a pre-set path, or even (with some scripting and intersection sensors) generate simple vehicular traffic.
We've also done quite a bit of work on the graphics side. Gamma Corrected views, typically referred to as Gamma Correction, are now being displayed. The mathematics for lighting, blending and materials are done in linear space, which will produce more realistic specular highlights, night-time lighting, multiple-light-blending and transparency effects. We've also improved the propeller wash and hull wake effects for objects moving on an ocean; users now have full controls over the dimensions and speed of the wash and wake, and though a default texture is provided you can also specify your own. On the more technical side, multi-monitor support now includes Qt Display as well as 3D Display extensions, making life easier for developers and system integrators.
The new release also includes a number of other tools and improvements. The Vortex Human library has been updated to include new anchor deck worker animations, as well as the associated character model. New animations include dragging, stepping over low walls, and more. New hand accessories include hook, pins and heavy hammer. For Vehicle Systems, a number of automated Python vehicle verification scripts are now available to test vehicles created with Vortex Studio. You will find them in the 2018a Samples package. Well-defined outputs allow comparison with mathematical models of vehicle behaviour, data from field measurements, and project requirements. Last but not least, a new extension called Joystick Controlled Point, is now available to move a point in 3D space via gamepad controls. Setting up a free-floating viewpoint or camera -- such as an instructor view -- is now easy and does not require any scripting.
Vortex Studio 2018a can be downloaded right now. If you have an active maintenance and support contract, upgrade for free –- simply download the new installer through your online account page.
And don't forget you can also post your questions, feedback or ideas on our Community forum!