Sundog Software http://sundog-soft.com Makers of the SilverLining Sky & Weather SDK and the Triton Ocean SDK Sat, 30 Dec 2017 12:11:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator now features Triton-Powered Oceans http://sundog-soft.com/2017/12/metavrs-vrsg-now-features-triton-powered-oceans/ Wed, 27 Dec 2017 18:04:24 +0000 http://sundog-soft.com/?p=4520 We’re proud to welcome MetaVR as a customer of our Triton Ocean SDK! They are showcasing some videos of their Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) and the new 3D ocean simulation capabilities it offers on their website. VRSG’s Triton integration is one of the most complete and well-tuned ones we’ve seen. In addition to 3D...

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We’re proud to welcome MetaVR as a customer of our Triton Ocean SDK! They are showcasing some videos of their Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) and the new 3D ocean simulation capabilities it offers on their website.

VRSG’s Triton integration is one of the most complete and well-tuned ones we’ve seen. In addition to 3D ocean sea states and ship wakes, they have integrated Triton with VRSG’s sensor simulations, reflections, and bathymetry data for some very convincing results. They are also doing some innovative work on modeling the interaction between ship hulls and the water surface. Having supported their engineers during the integration effort, we know MetaVR highly values accuracy and performance, and we think they’ve achieved both.

MetaVR has posted some videos showcasing their Triton-powered 3D ocean capabilities, a couple of which we’re including here. Combined with their high-resolution ship models with 100,000+ triangles per ship, you’ll see some very convincing maritime scenes. You can find further information, videos, and screenshots, at MetaVR’s 3D ocean simulation page.

MetaVR VRSG 3D Sea States from MetaVR on Vimeo.

MetaVR VRSG Strait of Hormuz Provocation Scenario – 3D Ocean Simulation from MetaVR on Vimeo.

(Images, trademarks, and videos used with permission.)

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See you at I/ITSEC http://sundog-soft.com/2017/11/see-you-at-iitsec/ Thu, 09 Nov 2017 18:53:40 +0000 http://sundog-soft.com/?p=4499 As always, Sundog Software’s founder, Frank Kane (that’s me!), will be roaming the halls of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center at the annual I/ITSEC conference. Every year, the military training and simulation community converges in our town for its biggest US conference of the year. If you’ll be in Orlando and would like to set...

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As always, Sundog Software’s founder, Frank Kane (that’s me!), will be roaming the halls of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center at the annual I/ITSEC conference. Every year, the military training and simulation community converges in our town for its biggest US conference of the year.

If you’ll be in Orlando and would like to set up a time to catch up at the show, feel free to send me a note at fkane@sundog-soft.com. I always enjoy hearing about the challenges facing our customers and how we can help.

This year’s Interservice/ Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference runs from November 27 – December 1.

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What’s New in Triton and SilverLining http://sundog-soft.com/2017/10/whats-new-triton-silverlining/ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:51:30 +0000 http://sundog-soft.com/?p=4490 It’s been awhile since we’ve posted here, but that doesn’t mean we’re not busy! We did lose a couple of weeks from the impact of Hurricane Irma on our office here in Orlando, but we’re back in business now. Let’s do a quick overview of recent updates to both the SilverLining 3D Cloud, Sky, and...

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It’s been awhile since we’ve posted here, but that doesn’t mean we’re not busy! We did lose a couple of weeks from the impact of Hurricane Irma on our office here in Orlando, but we’re back in business now. Let’s do a quick overview of recent updates to both the SilverLining 3D Cloud, Sky, and Weather SDK and the Triton Ocean SDK:

Triton:

A ton of work has been happening in an internal branch of Triton to make it fully thread-safe, and compatible with OpenGL 4.5. A side effect of this work is eliminating more stalls and making Triton even faster and fully bindless – but most importantly, it will allow you to integrate Triton into applications that must render multiple views in parallel without blocking. This work has been merged into our mainline at this point, and is getting some final polish before we roll it out as “Triton 4.0.”

The current release of Triton, 3.83, includes a few bug fixes we uncovered related to Uniform Buffer Objects (UBO’s) and wakes and decals. UBO’s are not enabled by default in 3.83, but they will be the default option in Triton 4.0. We also recently fixed a crash that could happen with tidal stream objects. The Triton 3.81 update in July was a larger update, which included tweaks to the wake and spray effects, and the beginnings of our support of OpenGL 4.5 features such as a fully bindless pipeline option.

At a high level, we rolled out some visual improvements in Triton 3.81, and are now focusing on performance improvements and modernizing Triton to take advantage of today’s GPU’s and drivers. Longer term, this work also positions us for Vulkan support – and should make it easier to integrate Triton into Vulkan applications that expose an OpenGL context in the short term.

Our plan is to give SilverLining the same treatment once Triton 4.0 is out the door.

SilverLining:

We just released SilverLining 5.003, which fixes some resource leaks that popped up, and introduces a new “always-apply-state” setting in the SilverLining.config file. This option allows you to disable SilverLining’s lazy application of GL state, which can be useful if you’re not using SilverLining’s DrawObjects() function to draw the clouds, and instead drawing individual objects from SilverLining yourself. If SilverLining’s assumptions about the order you’re drawing things are wrong, it can result in visual anomalies that this new setting will correct.

In August, SilverLining 5.0 was an exciting release that introduced all-new storm cloud representations (cumulonimbus and towering cumulus.) We believe we’ve worked out the few kinks in that initial major release at this point, so if you were holding off on updating – it’s no longer on the bleeding edge.

SilverLining 5.0 also made it into our popular X-Plane add-on, SkyMaxx Pro, in its 4.6 update. This brings SilverLining’s new storm clouds and other improvements to X-Plane users.

We’re also getting ready for the I/ITSEC conference later this year here in Orlando – watch for an advertising blitz from us, and I’m happy to meet up with folks at the show too!

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SkyMaxx Pro 4.6 for X-Plane Unveils 3D Storm Clouds http://sundog-soft.com/2017/08/skymaxx-pro-4-6-x-plane-unveils-3d-storm-clouds/ Sat, 26 Aug 2017 09:53:29 +0000 http://sundog-soft.com/?p=4468 SkyMaxx Pro, an add-on for the X-Plane flight simulator, now features 3D towering cumulus and cumulonimbus storm clouds! SkyMaxx Pro 4.6 is a free update for any SkyMaxx Pro 4 customer. SkyMaxx Pro 4.6 is built using the new SilverLining 5 sky and cloud SDK. It includes a wide variety of hand-modeled storm clouds in...

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SkyMaxx Pro, an add-on for the X-Plane flight simulator, now features 3D towering cumulus and cumulonimbus storm clouds! SkyMaxx Pro 4.6 is a free update for any SkyMaxx Pro 4 customer.

SkyMaxx Pro 4.6 is built using the new SilverLining 5 sky and cloud SDK. It includes a wide variety of hand-modeled storm clouds in various stages of development, which have been tuned and optimized for high performance and natural appearance. These 3D storm clouds look and behave realistically whether you’re viewing them from 100 km away, or whether you’re flying right around or through them. Cumulonimbus clouds also feature lightning and rain shaft effects.

For the first time, X-Plane users can fly into realistic stormy conditions with vertical cloud development, and with good frame-rates too.

As they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words – so we’ll let these screenshots speak for themselves. SkyMaxx Pro 4 users can get their update information here, or you can buy SkyMaxx Pro 4.6 here.

Special thanks to AgileSrc LLC who worked with Sundog to develop our new Unity-based 3D cloud editor application, and to create these new cloud models.

SilverLining 5 screenshot with storm cloudsNew storm clouds in SkyMaxx Pro 4.6

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Sundog Delivers Immersive Storm Clouds with SilverLining 5 http://sundog-soft.com/2017/08/sundog-delivers-immersive-storm-clouds-silverlining-5/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:02:46 +0000 http://sundog-soft.com/?p=4459 ORLANDO, Fla. (August 14, 2017) — Sundog Software today released version 5 of its SilverLining Sky, 3D Cloud, and Weather SDK for simulation and game developers. SilverLining 5 offers a new representation of storm clouds, providing more immersive flight training in dangerous weather conditions. “SilverLining 5 includes a new library of hand-modeled cumulonimbus thunderheads and...

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ORLANDO, Fla. (August 14, 2017) — Sundog Software today released version 5 of its SilverLining Sky, 3D Cloud, and Weather SDK for simulation and game developers. SilverLining 5 offers a new representation of storm clouds, providing more immersive flight training in dangerous weather conditions.

“SilverLining 5 includes a new library of hand-modeled cumulonimbus thunderheads and towering cumulus clouds,” says Frank Kane, founder of Sundog Software. “Our team worked from photographs taken of real storm clouds in various stages of development, to deliver a convincing visual simulation of bad weather from any altitude.” A cloud editor application is also included to allow customers to modify or add their own cloud models as desired.

SilverLining 5 also delivers improved performance in stormy conditions, due to several new optimizations in how its clouds are rendered. These optimizations result in SilverLining’s best performance to date in other weather conditions as well. SilverLining is compatible with round-Earth simulation systems and includes sample integration code for popular frameworks such as OpenSceneGraph.

“Simulating the sky and weather brings a challenging set of requirements for developers of virtual training environments,” Kane expanded. “We allow our customers to convincingly simulate any weather, at any time, at any place, while making integration of our software as simple as possible and its overhead as low as possible.”

SilverLining 5 is available for licensing today at http://www.sundog-soft.com/ on a per-application basis. Free trial versions and demos are also offered for evaluation purposes.

About Sundog Software LLC
Founded in 2006, Sundog Software specializes in the real-time rendering of natural environments. Its SilverLining and Triton C++ libraries provide OpenGL and DirectX developers with visual simulation of the sky, ocean, 3D volumetric clouds and weather effects. Sundog’s software is used worldwide by professional game developers, large military contractors and aviation companies developing flight training simulators, architectural visualization companies and broadcast video application developers. Its customers also include NASA and the FAA. To learn more, please visit http://www.sundog-soft.com.

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SilverLining 5 screenshot with storm clouds

New towering cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds slated for SilverLining 5

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Want a sneak peek at Triton 4? Try Triton 3.81 http://sundog-soft.com/2017/07/want-sneak-peek-triton-4-try-triton-3-81/ Sun, 23 Jul 2017 13:20:25 +0000 http://sundog-soft.com/?p=4450 We just released Triton 3.81, and it contains “experimental” support for the features we plan to release officially in Triton 4.0. If you want to live on the edge – download it and give the following things a try: OpenGL 4.5 support. If your application supports an OpenGL 4.5 context, try our new Triton::OPENGL_4_5 renderer...

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We just released Triton 3.81, and it contains “experimental” support for the features we plan to release officially in Triton 4.0. If you want to live on the edge – download it and give the following things a try:

  • OpenGL 4.5 support. If your application supports an OpenGL 4.5 context, try our new Triton::OPENGL_4_5 renderer when initializing your Triton::Environment. This allows Triton to take full advantage of OpenGL 4.5. This work also positions us for integration into Vulkan applications, using an OpenGL context within Vulkan. Triton 4 will include a sample application illustrating integration of Triton into an OpenGL 4.5 application using command lists. We’re following the guidance in NVidia’s “OpenGL like Vulkan” article and making Triton adhere to it as much as possible.
  • Bindless graphics support. When using new the Triton::OPENGL_4_5 renderer, some new configuration options for bindless graphics become available to you: use-gl-bindless-textures, use-gl-bindless-uniform-buffer-objects, and use-gl-bindless-vertex-buffers. Together, these options expose a fully bindless path for Triton to offer maximum performance under OpenGL 4.5. Please read the comments surrounding these settings inside the resources/Triton.config file for more details on their usage.
  • Better ship wakes. The prop wash and spray effects associated with ship wakes have been improved, and a new “hull wake” feature improves the foam surrounding ship “Kelvin wakes” that trail behind. These effects have been ported across OpenGL and DirectX. Have a look at Triton::WakeGeneratorParameters for some options that weren’t there before. You’ll see that we’ve moved the bow spray into a vector of spray definitions, allowing for more than one bow spray emitter if you wish. The screenshot above gives you an idea of what to expect. Thanks to SimBlocks for their work in developing these new effects.

Be aware that several change have been made to the function signatures in our OpenGL user shaders in this release. If you have user shaders in your application to extend Triton’s capabilities, please refer to the release notes for details.

We’ve also been slowly rolling out better thread safety in Triton since version 3.78 across both OpenGL and DirectX. When drawing multiple views concurrently, you’ll want to use the new Triton::Ocean::DrawConcurrent() method instead of Draw(), and call Triton::Ocean::PostDrawConcurrent() after all views have been drawn to clean things up. And use the new Triton::Camera class so you can pass in the correct view and projection matrices instead of relying on Environment::SetCameraMatrix and Environment::SetProjectionMatrix. We’re still working on the last few issues with fully thread-safe, concurrent rendering under OpenGL.

It’s a lot of changes, and we did keep a copy of Triton 3.80 on our servers just in case we need to roll back. Our testing is extensive and everything seems to work, but do let us know if you run into any trouble.

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Coming Soon: Better Storm Clouds http://sundog-soft.com/2017/07/coming-soon-better-storm-clouds/ Sun, 23 Jul 2017 12:49:27 +0000 http://sundog-soft.com/?p=4447 It’s about time to upgrade SilverLining to a new major version – 5.0. Since the release of SilverLining 4, we’ve added lots of new features such as new stratocumulus clouds, DirectX 11.1 support, and countless little performance improvements. The feature that pushes us over the edge to 5.0 will be all-new representations of towering cumulus...

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It’s about time to upgrade SilverLining to a new major version – 5.0. Since the release of SilverLining 4, we’ve added lots of new features such as new stratocumulus clouds, DirectX 11.1 support, and countless little performance improvements. The feature that pushes us over the edge to 5.0 will be all-new representations of towering cumulus and cumulonimbus storm clouds, as seen above.

We’ve teamed up with AgileSrc LLC to develop a new cloud editor application using Unity, which lets us quickly create 3D models for clouds and visualize them using SilverLining’s engine. Unlike other cloud types, storm clouds are difficult to model procedurally, and hand-modeling yields the best results. We are putting the finishing touches on a library of cumulonimbus and towering cumulus cloud models that represent a variety of storm development stages, and so far they look great.

Towering cumulus are basically cumulus congestus clouds that have started to grow vertically, and are on their way to becoming cumulonimbus clouds. Cumulonimbus are the big anvil-shaped thunderheads you see in heavy thunderstorms. Our cumulonimbus clouds can be as massive as you want – and include rain shafts and lightning strike effects.

Another benefit is that these new models perform much better than SilverLining 4’s storm clouds. By allowing an artist to specify the textures and texture rotation properties at every voxel of a cloud, we can rely more on textures and less on geometry to provide detail. This means we can get away with fewer voxels per storm cloud, reducing the CPU load and fill-rate associated with them rather dramatically.

We also plan to release our cloud editor application as part of the SilverLining SDK, so customers who want to create additional models or to tweak ours can do so. Although SilverLining has become somewhat ubiquitous in the military and flight training industry, it’s little customizations like this that our customers use to stand apart.

We don’t have a hard date for the release of SilverLining 5 – it’ll come out when it’s ready. But as you can see from the screenshot above, it’s pretty close.

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Sundog Education Launches New Elasticsearch Course http://sundog-soft.com/2017/07/sundog-education-launches-new-elasticsearch-course/ Sat, 15 Jul 2017 13:38:54 +0000 http://sundog-soft.com/?p=4441 Sundog Education, a division of Sundog Software, launched its latest online course, “Elasticsearch and the Elastic Stack – In Depth and Hands On!” Elasticsearch is a very hot technology right now, and you can share this link to enroll for just $19. Elasticsearch isn’t just for search anymore. Although it started out as a distributed...

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Sundog Education, a division of Sundog Software, launched its latest online course, “Elasticsearch and the Elastic Stack – In Depth and Hands On!” Elasticsearch is a very hot technology right now, and you can share this link to enroll for just $19.

Elasticsearch isn’t just for search anymore. Although it started out as a distributed platform for powering full-text search on big websites such as Wikipedia, these days you’re just as likely to find it powering web analytics systems. By using the larger “Elastic Stack” ecosystem of Elasticsearch, Logstash, Beats, Kibana, and X-Pack, you can construct an end-to-end system that collects, publishes, analyzes, and archives your web log data, and allows you to visualize it in real time – and at massive scale.

This course covers it all, from installation to operations. With 8 hours of video content across 60 lectures, it teaches how to craft JSON queries for just about any search or aggregation you can dream up, how to import data into Elasticsearch at massive scale, using Logstash, Filebeat, and Kibana, integrating with other systems such as Kafka and Spark, and much more.

We’re quite proud of this latest course’s structure and production quality. Please spread to word to any technologist who wants to learn these valuable skills, and add the Elastic Stack to their big data toolchest.

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Check out this video made with SkyMaxx Pro / SilverLining http://sundog-soft.com/2017/07/check-video-made-skymaxx-pro-silverlining/ Thu, 13 Jul 2017 21:25:27 +0000 http://sundog-soft.com/?p=4438 Branislav Milic is working on producing a film created within the X-Plane simulator called “Between the Clouds.” Using our SkyMaxx Pro add-on for X-Plane, which uses our SilverLining SDK under the hood, he’s created some amazing scenes that border on feature film quality: We look forward to seeing this project develop further! Thanks to Branislav...

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Branislav Milic is working on producing a film created within the X-Plane simulator called “Between the Clouds.” Using our SkyMaxx Pro add-on for X-Plane, which uses our SilverLining SDK under the hood, he’s created some amazing scenes that border on feature film quality:

We look forward to seeing this project develop further!

Thanks to Branislav for giving us permission to link this here.

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How Sundog Got Its Name http://sundog-soft.com/2017/06/sundog-got-name/ Mon, 19 Jun 2017 20:23:58 +0000 http://sundog-soft.com/?p=4424 The word of the day on Dictionary.com is Sundog! A Sundog is in fact: 1. a bright circular spot on a solar halo; parhelion. Above is a great image of one (credit: iStock.com / karinegenest)! This is in fact the Sundog we had in mind when naming Sundog Software way back in 2006. When I...

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The word of the day on Dictionary.com is Sundog!

A Sundog is in fact:

1. a bright circular spot on a solar halo; parhelion.

Above is a great image of one (credit: iStock.com / karinegenest)! This is in fact the Sundog we had in mind when naming Sundog Software way back in 2006.

When I meet people and tell them about my company, they usually want to hear the story about my dog that inspired the name for Sundog Software. Or, they think it has something to do with us being located in sunny Florida.

For some reason, they usually look disappointed when I tell them the company was actually named after the coolest atmospheric phenomenon I could find that wasn’t already trademarked! Truth is, I don’t even own a dog.

Personally, I think sundogs are pretty cool. When it’s a little bit hazy and cool, ice crystals in the upper atmosphere can create a circular rainbow around the sun, with bright spots on either side of it. That’s a sundog! Next time you see one in the sky, think of us.

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