PRESAGIS - 2008
MODELING & SIMULATION EXPERTS AEGIS USE PRESAGES SOLUTIONS ALONGSIDE PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE TO CREATE SPECTACULAR AERIAL SIMULATIONS FOR NBC'S COVERAGE OF THE BEIJING OLYMPICS
Watching the 2008 Summer Olympics on television has given many of us the opportunity to see China for the first time. To provide its viewers with a more complete picture of the country, NBC has been running aerial simulations of several Chinese cities. Beginning with Matt Lauer on "The Today Show" the week before the 29th Olympiad began, NBC viewers have been experiencing China from above.
The coverage features simulations of seven cities--Beijing, Hong Kong, Qindao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Tianjin--and includes 350 individual structures and all 35 Olympic venues. To create these extraordinary simulations, NBC turned to the modeling and simulation experts at AEgis. Headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, AEgis provides simulation development and microsystems engineering services to customers worldwide.
For the Olympic aerial simulation project, a team of 10 people from AEgis worked less than 7 weeks. Scott Allman, Director of GeoSpacial Programs at AEgis explains, "The biggest challenge on this project was the workload and getting it done on time. We began less than 2 months ago and delivered all the data sets at the beginning of June." To deliver the project on time, the team worked in groups--programmers, synthetic environment modelers, and artists--and took full advantage of Presagis software in their pipeline.
PRESAGES TOOLS IN THE AEGIS PIPELINE
On this project, the team at AEgis employed Creator and Terra Vistaalongside proprietary technology to create the simulations that will run throughout NBC's Olympic coverage. "Presagis tools have been part of the AEgis pipeline for years," states Allman, who has himself been working with Terra Vista for the last 5 years. "We have been using Creator from the very beginning. We build all our high-resolution models with it and do all of our final renderings and project integration with Terra Vista."
For the work, AEgis began with over 3200 hand-held photographs taken over several days in China that were geo-referenced back in Huntsville. "Because we could not get the GIS data for this project, we achieved accuracy and height for the structures by extruding heights from RPC camera codes from satellites. We were extracting our data through 2D imaging." Based on the photographs, the team was able to create the buildings in Creator for the simulations.
Using Creator allows development teams to create highly optimized, high-fidelity real-time 3D content for urban simulations. With its powerful plug-in architecture and integrated toolset, Creator helps teams create precise content and synthetic environments.
By using in-house technology and Presagis software solutions together in an integrated workflow, the team at AEgis is able to distribute work and develop different aspects of their simulations in parallel. For example, their artists can build the textures as the data for the models is being extracted from the 2D images, thus allowing the models to be integrated and rendered as they go.
Explains Allman, "With the configuration of our render farm, we are able to run up to 20 gigabytes through Terra Vista at any one time. This means that we do not have to hold off on integration or rendering until the end of the project. We're integrating throughout the entire process." AEgis uses Terra Vista to generate the highest level of correlation in more formats than any other terrain database solution in the industry.
The result is a spectacular aerial simulation that rendered a 1:1 resolution and runs at 60 frames per second in real-time. Says Allman, "We're a small private company with really good talent, and we believe we're the fastest high-fidelity users of great products."