In the last few years, there has been an increasing demand for street-level simulation environments. Whether it be for tanks, UAVs, dismounted soldiers, or helicopters, each type of simulator needs to be looking at the same thing, at the same time, and with the same quality. The need for this type of high-quality, accurate, urban, immersive 3D environment can raise many challenges for those seeking to create them on a large scale.
In our last blog, we described the path Presagis took to be able to automatically generate massive terrains with little human intervention. We outlined the basic steps to achieve terrain, roads, and buildings using either public, commercial, or private data, or a mix of each.
Nature is an excellent designer...
Continuing on the path to creating realistic, immersive large-scale synthetic environments, this article will outline how vegetation is generated and placed, how textures are positioned, and how materials are assigned to surfaces so that the environment is sensor-ready.
Seeing the Forest for the Trees
“Nature is an excellent designer. So creating realistic or accurate tree placements and groupings is not as simple as randomly dropping trees on to a map,” explains Lead Architect Dave Lajoie.
“When trees grow, their shape is a function of their environment. A cluster of trees, for example, will have a taller one casting shade on smaller ones and that affects the natural look of the cluster. So, vegetation shaded by a building will have a different shape or color than vegetation spread across an open park,” he adds.
In VELOCITY, Presagis aims to recreate that realism. Through imagery, point clouds and other data, VELOCITY analyzes the locations of trees as well as their volume and strives to restore the canopy silhouette depicted in the imagery to duplicate the organic placement and volume of vegetation in the actual city.
“Creating and placing vegetation in this way just looks more natural and goes a long way in creating a realistic and immersive environment,” says Lajoie.