For the second time this year, I’m proud to announce a significant release of Vortex Studio. Based on user feedback and our team’s enthusiasm for the product, we have made some significant improvements in Vortex Studio 2018b regarding both dynamics and graphics, and we’ve continued our work on streamlining the installation, deployment, and monitoring of Vortex Studio-based simulations.
With Vortex Studio 2018b, the performance of the dynamics module has been enhanced, allowing more physical objects to be modelled within a scene. These advances can be attributed to three main improvements. Selective Wake-up is a new method of speeding up simulations which consist of many parts. Relative Sleeping is a performance enhancement in which touching objects that are moving with the same motion relative to one another become “fused” and sleep relative to one another. Last but not least, a newly introduced solver error reduction method will select the most optimal result calculated by the solver up to that point, preventing most instances of simulation instability.
On the graphics side, the Vortex Studio Earthwork Systems have been revised to increase the accuracy of simulated soil. It is now possible to simulate soils to a particle size as small as 1mm. As well, soil clump meshes can now consist of multiple graphical materials, adding additional visual complexity. We’ve also made multiple upgrades to our implementation of SpeedTree, and expanded the size and scope of our vegetation library. Anti-aliasing on leaves and branches has been noticeably improved, and ambient occlusion effects provide volume and depth to the graphics. Also, vegetation can now react to the wind! These changes are available by installing the optional 2018b Vortex Vegetation Library.
On the marine side, the Hull Wake extension has been revised based on feedback from our maritime research partner MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands). The wake now has a more natural shape and appearance, which is most noticeable when turning or moving sideways. MARIN has likewise provided us with extensive assistance on the Propeller Wash extension. Additional parameters now make it easier to set up a wash that matches a real-world example.
Vortex Studio now supports Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 (VC14) C++ compiler. Until the end of 2018, legacy Microsoft Visual Studio Version 2010 (VC10) installers will be available on demand through customer support. If you are still using VC10, please consider upgrading to continue to benefit from the latest Vortex Studio features included in our frequent updates.
You can download Vortex Studio 2018b right now! If you have an active maintenance and support contract, upgrade for free — download the latest installer through your online account page.
Don’t forget that you can always post your questions, feedback or ideas on our Vortex Studio community forum!