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MVRsimulation News Issue 55

MetaVR News Issue 55, October 23, 2019

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


In this issue:

55 A – MetaVR VRSG in Synthetic Training Environment (STE) simulators
55.B – Release of VRSG version 6.4 with enhanced shadowing
55 C – Recent updates to 3D terrain
55.D – How to obtain VRSG version 6.4
55.E – MetaVR Models in Shephard’s Defence Insight


55.A – MetaVR VRSG in Synthetic Training Environment (STE) Simulators

Twenty-five MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) licenses were purchased for Synthetic Training Environment (STE) Reconfigurable Virtual Cockpit Trainers (RVCT) which have been delivered to U.S. Army PEO-STRI in Orlando by prime contractor, Bugeye Technologies, where they are being evaluated as part of the Army’s STE program. Integrated by ZedaSoft, VRSG fulfills the image generation requirements for immersive virtual reality, augmented reality, sensor, and conventional out-the-window capabilities for both the side door gunnery trainer and the Apache sensor simulation. 

The MetaVR VRSG-based simulators include multiple versions of mixed-reality rotorcraft reconfigurable cockpit systems as well as six virtual reality door gunner trainers. The side door gunnery trainer takes advantage of VRSG’s built-in support for the HTC VIVE Pro Head Mounted Display (HMD), providing high-resolution stereo rendering at 90 frames per second. VRSG also supports the SA Photonics SA-92S augmented reality HMD, and can render a cockpit mask model, which allows the trainee to see through the HMD into a physical cockpit model. Pixels not affected by the cockpit mask model are filled in with imagery from the virtual scene. 

MetaVR provided ZedaSoft with a VRSG plugin capable of decoding streaming H.264 video from a sensor channel, which is then rendered onto the video as an overlay to the out-the-window video in the HMD. This configuration is used to satisfy the sensor video requirements used by the actual Apache Integrated Helmet and Display Sight System (IHADSS) HMD. The sensor video displayed in the HMD can be provided by any H.264 stream on the network, such as an image generator channel simulating a sensor attached to the airframe of a remote aircraft or UAS sensor. 

The program also includes technology supplied by Bihrle Applied Research (Apache aircraft flight dynamics and systems model), RT-Dynamics (Blackhawk aircraft flight dynamics and systems model), PLEXSYS Interface Products (PLEXComm simulated radio and intercom software), SA Photonics (SA-92S HMD), and Acme Worldwide Enterprises (M240D Gun System Simulator). 

The four RVCT and six Door Gunner units are being installed at the U.S. Army’s STE lab at the Central Florida Research Park in Orlando, Florida. 



55.B – Release of VRSG version 6.4 with enhanced shadowing

VRSG version 6.4 includes the following new features and enhancements, and 3D content:

  • Object-on-object dynamic shadowing (which can be customized via the Shadows tab on the Dashboard).
  • Ability to add or modify attributes/metadata to a 3D model via a .JSON file. Capabilities include defining attachment points for particle effects, and associating FirePDU burst descriptor enumerations with built-in muzzle flash effects
  • New MetaVR Video Player. This low-latency player is optimized for VRSG H.264/H.265 streaming and can decode and display KLV metadata
  • New software SDKs to enable users to integrate VRSG streaming video into their own applications, or decode streaming video for display in a VRSG plugin
  • Support for streaming VRSG video via Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)
  • Support for recording/streaming VRSG in H.265 video format
  • Support for HTC VIVE Tracker and Samsung Odyssey HMD
  • Support for Collins Aerospace Coalescence mixed reality system which merges real and virtual worlds
  • New OpenGL interoperability plugin to enable users to code their 2D overlay graphics in machine-native OpenGL for rendering in VRSG. (This plugin supersedes VRSG having to emulate OpenGL 2D overlays with a Direct3D layer). Contact for a sample Visual Studio 2015 project that illustrates how one can draw graphics using OpenGL and have the graphics display over a VRSG scene
  • 925 new models (of which 736 are military models) added to MetaVR’s 3D model libraries, bringing the total count to over 7,950 models
  • Support for Battlespace Simulations’ emulated SOFLAM device
  • Support for animations that move the fingers of a character model, such as signaling animations
  • Ability to attach light lobes to entity and static models
  • ModelMap enhancements for attaching models to other models and using multiple exhaust effects
  • Support in the warp/blend plugin for Scalable Display Technologies for all new Scalable features, to include masking, black level, and color correction
  • New plugin for using VRSG with the Dome Projection warp/blend system
  • New SetDataPDU interface for remote control of video plugins
  • Support in the OpenFlight-to-MDS terrain conversion tool for instancing models that are referenced multiple times
  • Three new options for the OpenFlight-to-HPX model conversion tool to optimize the conversion of models originally made in Esri CityEngine
  • Added support for CIGI V4.0
  • New CIGI component control to control light points by name
  • New CIGI component control to generate arbitrarily-sized tiled NITF screen captures
  • Support DIS protocol on the CIGI port, which can improve synchronization in mixed DIS/CIGI environments
  • Partial support for CIGI regional weather, to include volumetric cloud generation with variable coverage
  • New Model Viewer option to display an open vessel model's lid mesh which prevents the 3D ocean from penetrating the model
  • New Model Viewer display which shows a selected articulated part’s relative position under the mouse cursor. This information helps provide numbers needed to specify certain model attributes in a .JSON file (such as where muzzle blast particle effects are attached to a model)
  • New ability to capture a Model Viewer session to an MPEG video. The video is recorded in H.264 .mpg format using the same path and filename as used for Model Viewer screen captures
  • Several performance improvements to VRSG Radar simulation and the MDS API
  • Scenario Editor version 2.0. Scenario Editor now shares the same graphics engine as VRSG. As result of the merged codebase, visuals in Scenario Editor now match those in VRSG. In addition, Scenario Editor 2.0 features a new Dashboard, which replaces some former settings dialog boxes.



55.C – Recent updates to 3D terrain

In parallel with the VRSG version 6.4 release, MetaVR has recently released new geospecific 3D terrain:

  • Seoul, South Korea - High-resolution geospecific 3D terrain of virtual built from 0.60 meter and 15 meter-per-pixel resolution source imagery and DTED1 elevation data. The terrain also includes bathymetry data, which was used to model the banks of the Hangang River. VRSG's 3D sea states feature is visible in the river. The terrain is populated with 757,989 building models and 38 bridges. The building models were generated in Esri CityEngine from South Korean government building footprint data with emissive light-map textures for nighttime lighting. The terrain contains built-in light points that follow the road network
  • Mischief Reef, Spratly Islands, South China Sea - High-resolution model featuring hand-modeled terrain, shoreline, and bathymetry; geospecific source data was used as visual reference. This terrain includes shoreline and bathymetry. Culture includes 249 geospecific building models, a geospecific runway model, 20,377 vegetation models, and 2632 models of shipping containers, turrets, and airport instruments. 
  • Monte Real Air Base, Portugal - High-resolution geospecific 3D terrain of virtual Monte Real Air Base, Portugal. This terrain was built using 50 cm per-pixel resolution source imagery of Portugal and SRTM1 (30m) elevation source data; also bathymetry data of Portuguese coastline and western Spain. The runway was constructed with the new Runway tool in Terrain Tools 1.5. Other 3D culture includes taxiways, tarmacs, runway lights, signage, antennas, instruments, grass/tree vegetation, and several geospecific models including the control tower and other air base buildings along the flight-line. The surrounding culture models were generated in Esri CityEngine from OpenStreetMap building footprint data. Light points follow the road network and building models contain emissive light-map textures for nighttime lighting
  • Updated 3D shoreline for Netherlands, France, UK, Ireland, Portugal, and Belgium.

Two new high-resolution geospecific areas of interest have been added to MetaVR's CONUS++ terrain:

  • Fallon Naval Air Station (Van Voorhis Field) Airport with 1 meter base CONUS++ imagery and 10 meter NED elevation. The runway was constructed with the new Runway tool in Terrain Tools 1.5. Culture includes runway lighting, geotypical buildings, built-in light points, fences, and desert vegetation.
  • Daytona Beach & Pensacola NAS high resolution imagery upgrades.

All terrain was built with the latest release of MetaVR Terrain Tools for ESRI ArcGIS, version 1.5. Most culture was placed on the terrain with VRSG Scenario Editor, except for CityEngine-generated culture.

These terrain datasets are available in round-earth Metadesic format, to all MetaVR customers who are on active VRSG software maintenance and are US Government agencies or contractors (for official use only) and may incur a fee for the duplication and distribution media. These databases are for US-domestic use only and require a valid VRSG version 6.4 or greater software license with active software maintenance. 



55.D – How to obtain VRSG version 6.4

MetaVR customers on active maintenance can download the latest release of VRSG version 6.4 software and model libraries from MetaVR's Download Server. The release is organized in multiple components on the Download Server to facilitate customized updates. Customers on active maintenance can request an account on MetaVR's Download Server by sending a request to

The full VRSG 6.4 release is compressed to nearly 112 GB in size and can also be delivered on a USB portable hard drive or Blu-ray disc. As a courtesy, MetaVR will provide at no charge, a Blu-ray reader device to facilitate the latest installation.

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

You can review the VRSG Dashboard’s About tab to determine the maintenance status of your VRSG license. Annual software maintenance starts $1,500 USD per viewport per license and can be purchased by submitting a request for quote on the MetaVR website at or by contacting MetaVR Sales with your MetaVR dongle ID at

MetaVR continues to offer our single viewport license without a price increase in more than a decade. We are implementing pricing on a per-viewport basis which is meant to capture the cost of engineering involved in supporting multiple viewports on a single VRSG channel. VRSG pricing per viewport is listed on our website at


55.E – MetaVR Models in Shephard’s Defence Insight

MetaVR has collaborated with Shephard’s Defence Insight on a joint project to offer our high resolution, real-time 3D military models as part of their intelligence database. These models of key military platforms can be purchased through Defense Insight for use with their intelligence database.

Visit Defence Insight to find out how our 3D real-time models can enhance your military training infrastructure. There you can see our models in action, integrated with Shephard’s business intelligence data, showing accurate system attributes, sub-systems, and user base data. Watch the videos to see MetaVR models bring Defence Insight’s in-service data to life:


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