Archive for the ‘Use Case’ Category

SimplyCube free NanoConcept demonstrations – final Part

May 5, 2010

Here it is! The final NanoConcept demonstration is online.

This suite of five demonstrations is designed to show you how to use the SimplyCube engine by creating a mini serious game. The goal of the game is to destroy viruses with a Nano robot in a blood vessel while avoiding red cells and lymphocytes.

In the two first demonstrations, we created the different objects needed for our mini game. The first one show you how to create graphic objects with physic properties and the second one started the game play by adding weapons, graphic effects and particles to the objects.

The third and fourth demonstrations added the environment (the blood vessel). Graphic options and post processing effects were added too to bestow the visual looking of the game. We also created a pursuit camera which follows the Nano robot. We set up an “in game” menu which allow us to change graphic options and the Nano robot controls. The “Head up Display” (HUD) was almost done with a speedometer and an arrow which shows the closest target.

In this final demo, we will create the game by adding some features at what we have done in the previous demonstrations. We will create a wind effect in the blood vessel in order to transport red cells through it, and we will add sounds to make the game more immersive. Then, we will generate all the viruses and red cells (hundreds). The final step will be the implementation of the game mechanics: paralyzing and destroying objects, time limit and, of course, scoring system.

Hurry up! You have five minutes to destroy as many viruses as you can!

I also invite you to visit the SimplySim forum, where you can make some feedbacks and ask questions about these demonstrations, or just share your best score with the other SimplyCube beta users!

SimplyCube free NanoConcept demonstrations – Part 4

April 28, 2010

Hello everyone, the fourth demo is released!

NanoConcept Demo is a suite of five demonstrations which designed to show you how to use the SimplyCube engine by creating a mini serious game. The goal of the game is to destroy viruses with a Nano robot in a blood vessel while avoiding red cells and lymphocytes.

In the two first demonstrations, we created the different objects needed for our mini game. The first one show you how to create graphic objects with physic properties and the second one started the game play by adding weapons, graphic effects and particles to the objects.

The third demonstration added the environment (the blood vessel). Graphic options and post processing effects were added too to bestow the visual looking of the game. We also created a pursuit camera which follows the Nano robot.

In this one, we will create an “in game” menu. We will be able to set up graphic options and control’s key binds through it. We will also start the “Head up Display” (HUD) of the game by adding a speedometer and an arrow which will show you the closest target.

Remember that you can post at any time feedbacks or questions on the SimplySim forum!

Last demonstration to come next week! It will be the final step and will add game mechanics, a wind map, and much more!

SimplyCube free NanoConcept demonstrations – Part 3

April 21, 2010

Here it is, the third NanoConcept demonstration is now released!
For the record, NanoConcept Demo is a suite of five demonstrations which designed to show you how to use the SimplyCube engine by creating a mini serious game.

The goal of the game is to destroy viruses with a Nano robot in a blood vessel while avoiding red cells and lymphocytes.

The two previous demonstrations were about creating the different objects we’ll need to make a full mini game.

The first one show you how to create graphic objects with physic properties and the second one started the game play by adding weapons, graphic effects and particles to the objects.

This demonstration is more about the environment. It is time to create the blood vessel, add our objects previously created in it. We will also set up a “pursuit type” camera which will follow the Nano robot trough the vessel.

Finally, we will make our environment look pretty nice by adding post processing effects and creating a graphic settings window which will allow you to choose (and try) different graphic configurations.

Remember that you can post at any time feedbacks or questions on the SimplySim forum!

Stay tuned for the next week’ demonstration release!

SimplyCube free NanoConcept demonstrations – Part 2

April 14, 2010

Hello everyone, last week I released my first demo on the NanoConcept. I am very happy to announce you today that the second demo is now launched!

If you didn’t download the first demo, refer to the previous post for system requirements.

NanoConcept Demo is a suite of five demonstrations which designed to show you how to use the SimplyCube engine by creating a mini serious game. The goal of the game is to destroy viruses with a nano robot in a blood vessel while avoiding red cells and lymphocytes.

The first demonstration was about constructing graphic objects with physic properties: creating the nano robot and blood cells. This one is about the first element of gameplay: adding effects to these objects and weapons to the robot, such as particles when you destroy a virus or changing the graphic appearance of it when you touch it with a paralyzing ball.

I created this demonstration based on the first one, so you can even try to make it by your own with the help of the documentation included! If you have any feedback to share or any question about this demo, you can post it on the SimplySim forum!

Third demo release to come next week!

SimplyCube new free demo: NanoConcept

April 7, 2010

Hello everyone, as Bertrand announced a few weeks ago, I have joined the SimplySim team at the beginning of March 2010 and since then I’ve been experiencing with the SimplyCube to create content for the community. Today is an exciting day for me as we release the first results of my work. This is the first part of series of 5 small demos and each one will introduce a new aspect of what you can do with the SimplyCube. At the end of the fifth demo, you will have a complete 3D serious game. Ok, now let me explain you the concept of the application we’ll be creating in this demo:

NanoConcept

The concept

The idea is to create a video game where a small robot navigates through a blood vessel. The game is simple: the robot must avoid healthy cells (red cells, lymphocytes) and destroy viruses. This little game could then easily be transformed into an educational serious game.

You will learn throughout this series of demonstrations how to create your objects, add effects on it, set up the environment and add the game mechanics that will make, by the end, a very cool serious game from these demonstrations. The goal of this series of demo is to complete the tutorials already available in the beta, and better explain how the technology can be used to create a complete 3D application.

Getting started

Ok, now you probably want to download the package and start working on this project. Let me explain what you need to get started:

  • First, if it’s not already done, register for the beta of the SimplyCube
  • You’ll receive a link by email, that will enable you to download the beta.
  • Be sure to install all the required software listed in the “system requirements” (we know that the installation process is long and boring, sorry for that but for this first version of the SimplyCube we couldn’t include everything in a single installer, in part for legal reasons).
  • Once you’ve installed everything, you can download the first “Nano Concept demo” here.

In today’s demo you’ll learn how to create a new scene, how to create simple objects like viruses, lymphocytes or red cells. You will also learn how to create a complex object such as the NanoBot and understand how it moves.

We’ll try to release a new demo each week, so stay tuned! You can also follow me on my twitter where I try to give regular updates on my work.

New screenshots of the SimplyCube 3D simulation engine

February 2, 2010

As we’re moving closer to the opening of the beta version of the SimplyCube simulation engine, I wanted to share with you a few screenshots of our latest projects.

Robotics / apartment simulation

Here the robotics / apartment simulation you’ve already seen in our previous blog posts. The robot represented here is a PekeeII by Wany Robotics. In this project, thanks to our use of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio CCR/DSS architecture, the simulated and the real robot can be controlled by the exact same software, and the same user interface.

SimplyCube - PekeeII in apartment

SimplyCube - PekeeII closeup

SimplyCube - PekeeII Bedroom

Underwater simulation

The screenshots below are from an underwater simulation project. Several advanced 3D techniques are in used here (caustics, ambient occlusion, depth of field…)

SimplyCube - Underwater

SimplyCube - Underwater Shark

SimplyCube - Underwater closeup

Starting tomorrow we’ll be in Monaco for Imagina, if you’re nearby, we’ll be glad to welcome you on our booth where you’ll see all these applications live.

The many uses of real time 3D technologies

December 18, 2009

SimplySim designs software tools to create 3D applications. As you might already have seen in our drone simulation, these tools permit to design 3D simulation applications, but there are several kinds of 3D applications that can be created with them. In today’s post, we have a quick look at different potential applications.

SimplySim apartment simulation

This interactive simulation environment can be used for any application from robotics simulations to serious games, or architectural design project.

Simulation

There are several ways to use 3D simulation in different fields: from the experimentation of new systems to the fields of education and training, or the study of human behaviors in realistic conditions. As explained before, the SimplyEngine has been specifically designed for real time 3D simulation, not only for UAVs but for any system.

When we talk about 3D software, video games are what come to most people’s mind (probably because video games are the first 3D applications that have reached our homes). However when we started doing 3D simulation, we felt that today the industry lacks a real 3D real time simulation engine, a software that is really designed for simulation, not for video games.

Video games

Speaking of video games, the needs of the two fields of simulation and video games can often be the same (and that led some game engine to be used in simulation projects). However the priorities are different and sometimes conflicting: simulation needs more realism, accuracy and easy interactions with other software. That doesn’t mean that you cannot use our simulation engine for video games (and given the quality of our 3D graphic real time rendering this would be understandable), just be warned that the software has been created for simulation and that the first upgrades will be for simulation.

Serious Games

During the last decade, both simulation and video game industries gave birth to “serious games”, which apply video game technology to serious purposes. The limit between serious games, simulations, and traditional video games can be hard to define. We like to see serious games as a simulation that includes some game mechanisms. In any case our product is particularly well suited to the creation of serious games thanks to its high realism and multiple possibilities in terms of interactions.

Virtual reality

Another domain related to those above is the field of virtual reality. 3D has been used in virtual reality for several years now. This is a domain where software and hardware interactions are numerous, and deserve to be simple. Our solution is based on service oriented architecture, and offers very easy ways to integrate any software or hardware with the 3D applications you create with it.

Architecture, 3D Marketing, and more

Of course our tools can also be used in other domains, such as architecture (where 3D has brought a lot in terms of efficiency and cost reduction) or marketing (where 3D offers a new media for brand and product advertising). People working in these domains, and other newcomers to the 3D technologies should particularly appreciate the easy to use and “keep it simple” approach we used when we designed our tools.


More about our UAV simulation

November 27, 2009

Today, Loïc Morvan, who created the UAV  simulation (UAV stands for unmanned aerial vehicle). I have presented in a video last week, is going to tell us more about his work.

SimplySim UAV Simulation

Loïc, what is exactly behind this UAV simulation?

Well, this is a real physic 3D real-time simulation that you see here. It is based on Microsoft XNA for 3D rendering, and on different physic engines for physics. The simulated drone which is flying here has real physic attributes such as its mass, inertia, collision shapes… and it behaves realistically to torques and forces we apply to it. The physic equations are solved by precise discrete solvers, which make the drone having a behavior close to reality.

How did you build that simulated drone, and how long did that take?

The whole construction of the simulated drone did not take more than a few days.

First, we need the 3D model of the drone. That part of the work is done by our 3D designers, and it is actually the longer (1 or 2 days).

Then, we have to define the physic shapes of the drones, and physic constraints (mass, dynamic friction, static friction…). As the physic shapes are defined independently from the 3D model, we can choose our degree of complexity by using more or less accurate physic shapes.

Once the 3D model and physic properties are defined, I have attached some sensors, like the camera and the inclinometers.

Finally, I have added the rotors which are generic objects composed by a rotor blade and an engine (mechanic joint), so that the drone flying algorithm can be implemented.

That was over. The next step was to implement the drone control algorithms to test its behavior.

The simulated drone is supposed to behave like the real one, but you use generic objects, how can you explain that?

Generic objects such as the rotors have many parameters so that you can customize them to create your precise item. Here I have set particular max rotation speed and max torque for my rotors, but we could imagine setting other values for another drone.

What about the drone sensors (camera, inclinometers…)?

We also use generic elements. If you want to create a particular simulated motion camera, you just have to take our generic one and modify the parameters: size and quality of the pictures, number of frames per second, additional noise… That’s it!

Could you tell us more about how the wind is simulated?

The simulated wind is pre-generated considering the static objects (buildings…) which compose the simulation. This generation produces a 2D or 3D map which contains the wind information in each 3D point of the environment. Some of the algorithms we use for that come from the world of image processing.

The map is then inserted into the simulation and the wind is applied to every physic object.

You talk about “multi physic engine compatibility”, could you explain what it is exactly?

A physic engine is the program which computes the physic calculations. It contains the discrete solver used to integrate the equations. There are many physic engines available on the market: PhysX, Newton Game Dynamics, Havok, ODE…

Today, most of simulations are compatible with only one of these physic engines. What we do at SimplySim, is to provide the ability to be compatible with any of them, thanks to a technology that we have called SimplyDynamics. This is why we can talk about “multi physic engine compatibility”.

When you create a 3D simulation, do you only need the SimplyEngine?

No, I also need the 3D models of what I want to simulate. For the drone, we have modeled the drone and the 3D environment with 3D modeling tools which our not created by SimplySim. After that, we worked with the SimplyEngine and with our own edition tools.

Can you tell us a bit more about these edition tools ?

These edition tools represent an easy and graphic way to create the different parts of a simulation. For instance, we have one editor to design the physic properties, which is more user-friendly than typing code! There are a lot of other editors we prepare, some of them will be released in 2010, the goal is really to ease as much as possible the process of creating a 3D simulation.

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Drone in city center video

November 20, 2009

Today we introduce a first video of the SimplyEngine (our new 3D simulation engine). This video shows a demo we created around the use case of a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) simulation in a city center.

If you want to learn more about our drone simulation, check out this page. We’ll also make a longer post here in the following weeks to give you a more detailed view of our work on this simulation. By the way if you have questions or comments, feel free to ask 😉