Trian3D Builder 2.0
9th April 2008
Trian3D Builder is a modern database generation system, which uses geo data to generate terrain databases optimized for realtime rendering.
The software is developed from the German company TrianGraphics. Originally used as proprietary tool for the service sector, the software was introduced in summer of 2006 to the public and arouse strong interest with its new approaches to terrain generation. In the meantime the software is available in version 2.0.
Highlights of the software package are amongst others the generic landscapes, which enable the user to create photo-realistic terrains with low costs, as well as the intuitive WYSIWYG editing in the 2D and 3D view. The GUI was developed with a special focus on easy of use and straight workflow. Thus the training period is surprising short and working with Trian3D Builder is fast and pleasant. Roads may be created with profiles and come with an automatic generation of crossings. The terrains are exported to OpenFlight or OpenSceneGraph format.
The user interface appears in a modern look and turns out to be clearly arranged. The largest part is occupied by the 2D view, where all project data, like height, satellite or vector data are displayed. This view may also be used for watching the generated terrain or objects from the libraries in the internal 3D viewer. Alternatively additional 3D views may be opened and arranged in the main window.
On the right side of the view the command panel provides fast access to all attributes of the imported or created data, the generation settings and the libraries. Furthermore you gain access to all tools of the vector editing.
The interface may be configured individually and the views and toolbars may be docked anywhere or may also be moved to a second monitor.
A huge spectrum of formats is supported. Using the OpenSceneGraph library all usual texture and 3D formats are supported. Concerning geo data the GDAL library is used to support all popular formats.
Frequently used data as textures, geometries or vector attribute sets are managed in libraries, which can be edited or extended conveniently. Trian3D Builder is delivered with various textures and geometries.
Data and Vector Attributes
The tools for the vector editing are comprehensive. Apart from generating points, lines or areas, also Bezier lines are supported. Normal lines may be converted to Bezier lines or vice versa. Vector data may be selected on group, object or point level and be translated, rotated or scaled. Furthermore helpful tools are provided to refine, simplify or merge vectors.
To use the vector data for the terrain generation, various vector attributes may be assigned. Those attributes control for example if objects are placed or a sea is cut into the terrain mesh. The library may be used to assign preset attribute sets e.g. from previous projects. Those attribute sets are subdivided in single functions, the so called modifiers, which may be combined to receive more complex functionalities. Other modifiers are for example drawing objects to the terrain texture, the generation of power lines, the extrusion of forest or fences, as well as the generation of layer objects for generating markings on streets and runways.
Since version 2.0 Trian3D Builder also provides modifiers for complex buildings with various levels and roof types. Moreover complex roads with profiles, markings and crossings are generated automatically.
When vector data like ESRI shape is imported vector attributes may be assigned directly based on FID or FACC attributes. Those assignments may be saved and reused for later imports. The user may configure the vector import to his needs.
With the release of
version 2.0 multitexturing terrains may be generated. For this terrain
type the textures are blended in the shader section of the graphics board.
The blending can be calculated similar to the generic approach described
above or be drawn in the 2D or 3D view using a brush tool.
This approach being used in modern computer games provides very high
texture resolutions with low texture amount.
Working with the WYSIWYG interactive editing is very pleasant. Simply generate a region, switch to 3D and draw vectors or place objects directly. Also changes in the vector attributes are visualized immediately. Everything being created in 3D is also updated in the 2D view and may be worked on in parallel. Even the manipulation of the height data can take place in 3D, provided that there are terrain vertices to be moved.
It goes without saying that every change can be undone and redone in multiple steps.
When the terrain is generated it may be verified and analyzed directly in the internal viewer. You may display render and scene statistics and take a look at the scenegraph's tree. For the visual verification the lighting and camera settings may be changed.