VNS 3 Logo

The comparison listed below shows what features are in WCS 6 and what are in VNS 3. It is a very in-depth chart and contains a lot of information that can assist you in making the right product decision. If you have any questions or want a more in depth explanation of any feature please call our sales office at (303) 659-4028.

Visit our Questions to help you select the right product page for further assistance.

User Interface and Tools 3D Object Compatibility Terrains and Textures
Cloud and Sky Elements Foliage Elements Water Elements
Files and Data GIS and Workflow Rendering



Feature Name
WCS
VNS
Feature Description
User Interface and Tools Features highlighted in blue are new to VNS 3.
User Interface Improvements
 
X
VNS 3 introduces a major user interface overhaul to make everything cleaner, clearer, faster and easier. With a new clean theme, new icon artwork and significant thought into each and every window and button, you'll get your tasks done quicker than ever before.
Show Advanced Features
 
X
Whether you're a beginning user or an old hat, sometimes any program just has too many buttons. VNS 3 automatically hides the least-commonly used controls in each window to simplify and speed your operation of the software. When you need access to the more advanced settings, they're just a button click away, or you can tell VNS 3 to show all the advanced controls all the time if you like to see them.
Popup Gradient Editor
 
X
With Gradients so commonly used in VNS, we've made a new popup gradient editor that gives you all of the sophisticated control you might need when you want them, but folds up into a small graphical display when not in use. This permits much better layout of editors utilizing gradients, often condensing multiple tabs into a single panel and greatly reducing the amount of mouse and keyboard operation needed.
New Icon Imagery
 
X
Every graphical button in VNS 3 has been examined and redesigned for maximum clarity, informativeness and appearance. Every Scene at a Glance icon intuitively depicts what it represents and each button is informative and clear.
Toolbar Redesign
 
X
VNS 3's main toolbar has been reworked to only contain the most useful and important controls and make them more prominent and their purpose more obvious. Get to exactly the functions you need without confusion.
View Controls
 
X
Each View window now has its navigation and View Manipulation controls available right at hand, in a row of buttons on the titlebar of the View window itself. Never get stuck in Manipulate Camera Mode again -- these controls are right where they ought to be and automatically deselect when you're done with them.
Window Titlebar Controls
 
X
All common controls that nearly every window or Editor share are now located as buttons in the window titlebar. Load, Save, Undo, Next, Previous, Dock, Show Advanced Controls, they're all in one convenient place making more room for clearer and better organized editor windows.
Docked Drilldown and Diagnostics
 
X
Two of the most useful tool windows in VNS, the Diagnostics and Drill Down windows, now live docked in the lower portion of the Scene at a Glance. Never have to hunt for the window you want or move it out of the way to work with another tool, they're present but unobtrusive. The Drill Down Point Info is now even resizable!
Link Widget
 
X
All vector-attached components (Ecosystems, Terraffectors, Lakes, etc) now share a common control for displaying and managing their vector linkage. See and manipulate the vectors both hard-linked and soft/query linked to a component in one clean and easy interface.
New Database Editor
 
X
A complete new design for the Database Editor provides a tabular display of all the properties of every database entity in your project, with columns showing the appearance, extents, enabled states, components, layers and attributes. Everything can be edited right in the table view like a spreadsheet, including multi-selection editing. It's resizable too, to make use of as much space as you like. Pop-up panels are available for Attributes and Layers to help drill-down into the properties of the selected object. New filtering controls let you display only the DEMs or Vectors or choose a Layer or even a Search Query to use to determine what you see. Tame vast databases instantly!
Ability to Disable Individual View Refreshing
X
X
Speed up redraws by turning off unneeded Views.
Animation toolbar
X
X
Global animation and preview controls make animation easier and faster than ever. The Record Mode option creates key frames automatically as you change parameter values. The frame slider lets you scan through the animation and the play button lets you play it in real time.
Blazingly Fast Terrain Gridder
*
X
Grid contour lines, survery points and breaklines into terrain, accomplishing in a matter of seconds what previously took hours or days.
* WCS 6 Note: is slower with datasets over 6000 points. VNS is unlimited in the size of the file.
Component Gallery
X
X
Lets you use and reuse editable building blocks to quickly create amazing scenes. The visual interface makes it easy to find what you need. Your choice of Skies, Environments, Lakes and much more are only a few mouse clicks away. You can even save your own Components!
Comprehensive Menu Commands
X
X
Logically grouped menus include keyboard shortcuts for power users. It's easy to find the command you need when you need it.
Content Disk
X
X
The Content Disk is included with World Construction Set 6. This product adds hundreds of additional foliage objects, textures, pre-built Components and projects. This disk is designed to expedite work flow by allowing users to drag and drop skies, ecosystems, water features, Terraffectors, 3D Objects and other Components into their scenes.
Extensive Previewing Options for Faster Scene Design
X
X
Save hours of time designing your next Project with the comprehensive Render Options and View controls.
Flexible Path and Vector Transferring
X
X
Easily turn an imported vector into a path for a Camera or 3D object!
Icon toolbar
X
X
The Icon toolbar gives you one click access to Task Modes, interactive choices and major windows.
Interactive and Numerical Vector Editing
X
X
Edit Vectors interactively by dragging in a View. Change them numerically in the Vector Editor. Scale, rotate or move entire Vectors or individual points. Smooth and Interpolate Vectors. Change Vectors to motion paths and vice versa.
Interactive Path Creation
X
X
You can sketch paths for Cameras, Targets, Lights and more. Select from preset behaviors including "Ant," 'Eagle,' "Jumbo Jet," and "Satellite," with automated elevation, key frame spacing and speed control.
Interactive Ruler
X
X
Measure any distance with ease.
Interactive Terrafectors in Views
 
X
See the results of terrafectors in real-time OpenGL Views for unprecedented interactivity.
Import Wizard Improvements
X
X
The Import Wizard can now detect and import more file formats, and can detect more settings and metadata automatically, saving manual entry.
Joystick Control
X
X
Use a joystick to “fly” across the terrain in realtime OpenGL Views.
Matrix
X
X
Lets you organize Editors and Views in the most logical manner for you.
Multi-User Mode
 
X
Configure different settings, defaults and paths for each user or use of VNS.
OpenGL Interactivity
X
X
Makes it easier than ever to manipulate your scenes. Quickly create and place Components by drawing directly in a View.
Realtime OpenGL Foliage
X
X
See your foliage in realtime OpenGL Views!
Redesigned Editors
X
X
When you need the power to tweak, it's there. Powerful dedicated controls are grouped together logically so you can do more faster.
Safe Title/Action Display in Views
X
X
Check camera composition for television output.
Scene-At-A-Glance
X
X
Lets you see everything in your Project in simple collapsible list views.
Simple One-Click Positioning
X
X
Put a Sun or Moon in the sky exactly where you want. Place Cameras, Targets, 3D Objects, Lights and more with a single mouse click
Startup Window
X
X
Load existing Projects, Create New Projects, get Tips and access Tutorials!
Task Modes
X
X
Let you hide parts of the program to make it easier to tweak specific options.
Vector Editor and Vector Profile Editor Changes
X
X
Reorganized to be easier and faster to use.
Video Based Training CDs Included
X
X
Walk you through all of the new features and how to use them (and gives you the tools necessary to work on your own projects).
Wireframe OpenGL Views
X
X
Back by popular demand!
3D Object Compatibility Features highlighted in blue are new to VNS 3.
Feature Name
WCS
VNS
Feature Description
Walls
 
X
Already powerful and flexible, Walls are now much more clever about figuring out complex polygon shapes, able to roof over even extremely complex building shapes and now obeying "island" or "donut" multipart polygon topology.
3D Object Alignment
X
X
3D object alignment controls let you orient objects based on the orientation of a vector.
3D Object Export
X
X
Export WCS landscape shapes as 3D Objects to use as a reference when designing animations in popular 3D programs that will be composited with WCS animations.
3D Object Rendering
X
X
Import and render 3D Objects within WCS, including DXF (such as Onyx Tree Pro trees), 3D Studio and LightWave objects. Control and animate color, position, size, rotation, specularity, translucency and extensive texturing. Your objects can cast and receive shadows, and reflect in water.
3D Objects are great for visualizing buildings, bridges, signs and other structures within the WCS environment, adding wildlife to your scenes or adding 3D trees with realistic translucent leaves. You can now add 3D foliage directly to Ecosystems and Foliage Effects.
3D Object Randomization
X
X
3D object randomization controls let you render random variations of 3D objects. Randomizing the shape of objects is great for creating a variety of natural features such as rocks, hoodoos, stalactites and stalagmites from a few original objects. Randomizing object size and rotation lets you quickly create variations of buildings, creatures and foliage.
3DS Object Improvements
X
X
Load objects with multiple layers, sub-objects, textures and UV maps from 3D Studio Max or Viz!
3D Tree Support in Ecosystems
X
X
Now add 3D trees and other 3D Objects to your Ecosystems.
AutoCenter for Objects
X
X
Effortlessly reposition 3D objects that were modeled off-axis
Improved 3D Object Rendering
X
X
Enhanced antialisasing lets you render better looking 3D Objects faster. 3D Objects no longer have to be associated with a visible terrain polygon in order to render.
Integration with LightWave 3D and 3D Studio MAX
X
X
3D Nature has developed Plug-Ins that allows 3D compositing of WCS frames within popular 3D programs. LightWave and MAX can now render and animate their objects inside the WCS terrain.
Lightwave LWO support
X
X
Now imports Lightwave 6/7 objects with multiple layers and UV textures.
Lightwave LWS support
X
X
Supports LW6/7 LWS Scene Import and Export.
Scene Import and Export
X
X
Integrate WCS with external 3D programs by exchanging scenes. Comprehensive scene support includes motion paths, lighting, fog and stand-ins for 3D Objects. WCS currently supports 3D Studio and LightWave 3D scene formats.
Vertex Color Map Support
X
X
Import and use objects with 'baked' color data.
Walls
*
X
Extrude vector entities into visible boundaries with texturing. Add textured roofs to extrude simple buildings.
* Note: Walls limited in height in WCS6 to 5 meters and do not include roof capability.
Wavefront OBJ with Textures
X
X
Easy access to numerous objects including those from Poser and Xfrog
Z-Buffer compositing -High Quality
X
X
Perform ZBCOMP compositing with other 3d software right in WCS 6, no plug-ins required. Composited objects can even reflect in WCS scenes! Supports Lightwave, and 3D Studio Max and Viz RLA/RPF formats!
Terrains and Textures Features highlighted in blue are new to VNS 3.
Feature Name
WCS
VNS
Feature Description
Phong Shading
 
X
Never see another hard-edged triangular facet again, just smooth flowing landscapes. And if you want crinkly bumpy ground, you can apply it just where you want with bump mapping and the new Procedural Terrain Displacement.
Procedural Terrain Displacement
 
X
Instead of the old one-size-fits-all fractal subdivision roughening, VNS 3 now provides the full power of the Texture Engine to your terrain. Apply different patterns in different places, use geo-referenced textures, whatever you like, to make great natural-looking landforms. And they could even be animated!
Perfectly Crisp Effect Edges
 
X
No longer are vector-attached and bounded effects limited by a crude raster approximation. No more balancing detail against memory consumption when choosing your effect resolution. VNS 3 has an entirely new vector topology engine for processing effects that delivers out of this world results. Every effect has a perfectly clean, sharp edge right where the vector says it should be, all the time. You don't even need high fractal depth -- VNS 3 will split a big terrain polygon right down the middle if an effect edge crosses it, ensuring high definition. Terraffectors too, like roads and sidewalks and cut walls can now have great sharp transitions right where you want them to be, not just where the terrain mesh permits.
Eliminates High Fractal Depth
 
X
Between the Phong Shading and the new Effect Edges, you'll probably never need high fractal depth again. No need to make tiny facets to break up faceted shading. No need to push the fractal depth to make your effect edges look good. Many projects now look best rendered at fractal depth zero! The only aspect of VNS that still relies on moderate fractal depth is the Rules of Nature -- each polygon can still only be one ecosystem, so you use Fractal Depth to control Rules of Nature detail.
3D Material Texturing Can Now React To the Terrain
X
X
Use the powerful Terrain Parameter texturing on 3D Objects as well!
Custom Editable Remap function Texture Element
X
X
Customize texture levels and contrast
DEM Editor
X
X
Edit DEM elevation values numerically to fix or alter existing terrain data.
DEM Painter
X
X
Raise/lower smooth and roughen terrain, select and drag mountains, dig lakes. With multiple brushes and paint tools.
Enhanced Reflections
X
X
Water reflections look better, now terrain and 3D objects can be reflective.
Extended Texture Applications
X
X
You can now control many more aspects of the program with the powerful Texture Engine. This opens the door to a whole new range of subtlety and nuance for the highest level of realism ever achieved in a professional, GIS-based terrain rendering package.
Enhanced Color Editor
X
X
Now with Color Swatches and a visual color selector.
GeoCropping
X
X
GeoCropping in the Data Import Wizard lets you crop rows and columns off of imported data without distorting the position of the data you keep.
Improved Terrain Rendering
X
X
Improved antialiasing gives you better looking terrain without multi-pass antialiasing. You can still do multi-pass antialiasing if you choose.
Load/Save Texture Components
X
X
Share and reuse your hard work with self-contained texture Components
Manhattan Texture Elements
X
X
Manhattan Texture Elements let you create city-like textures.
Multiple Environments
X
X
Create entire collections of Ecosystems that you can restrict to specific areas. Fantastic control over foliage even across different climate zones.
Multiple Ground Effects
X
X
Cover the terrain with realistic rock and ground textures independently of Ecosystems. Multiple Materials include textures and Strata.
Reflection/Environment Map Texture Mode
X
X
Simulate surrounding environments on reflective surfaces.
Snow Plowing for Roads
X
X
Now when you cover the terrain with snow you can easily clear it from your Terraffector roads.
Terraffectors(tm)
X
X
Change the shape of the terrain by simply drawing a Vector and applying a Terraffector(tm). Roads, dams, clearings, building sites, ditches, craters and mountains are a snap. It's like having the keys to your own bulldozer.
Texture Based Terrain Generator
X
X
The texture-based Terrain Generator gives you all the power of the Texture Engine to create new terrain data. VNS will give you a realtime preview of the terrain in OpenGL.
Terrain Builder & Fractal Terrain Generator
X
X
Create your own landscapes within WCS using real latitude and longitude coordinates. Import control points from CAD and GIS software and generate georeferenced terrain.
Texture controls in texture size, position
X
X
Add natural-looking distortion to textures.
Texture Coordinate Options
X
X
UVW, World, Cartesian, local, etc.
Texture Engine
X
X
New interactive multi-band color gradient control makes it easier to make amazingly complex textures while using fewer actual components.
Unlimited Terrain Rendering
X
X
Why limit yourself? Render anything from close-up scenes to the entire planet. Whole Earth data, suitable for rendering the Earth from space, is included with the program.
Cloud and Sky Elements Features highlighted in blue are new to VNS 3.
Feature Name
WCS
VNS
Feature Description
3D Volumetric Clouds and Atmospheres
X
X
Realistic 3D puffy clouds with natural shading! Create clouds out of any texture, fly around and even through them! Non-volumetric clouds are still available for speed of rendering, as are multi-layered non-volumetric clouds (similar to version 4 cloud models). Click here to see our Featured Clouds Page!
Better Skies
X
X
Make multicolored skies with the new interactive multi-band color gradient support. You can also control how the sky changes color relative to light positions, such as sunlight. This makes skies much more realistic.
Exponential Haze
X
X
Make distantance more believable with realistic haze.
Multiple Atmospheres
X
X
Simulate dust, smog, haze and fog that reacts to shadows and lights. Atmospheres let you create dramatic sunbeams and crepuscular ray effects.
Multiple Celestial Objects
X
X
Render multiple suns, moons and other celestial objects. A moon can even show phases. You can optionally put your own planets or other images in the sky.
Multi-layered Clouds
X
X
Animate amazing multiple layers of moving clouds for highly realistic skies. Clouds react to light sources for backlit and noctiluscent effects. Clouds can cast shadows on the terrain.
Starfields
X
X
Add dots or images in randomized starfields with color variation and animated twinkling.
Foliage Elements Features highlighted in blue are new to VNS 3.
Feature Name
WCS
VNS
Feature Description
Ecosystem Blending
 
X
No longer do there have to be hard edges between polygons of differing Materials or Ecosystems. VNS 3 can blend the ecosystems and materials across each polygon resulting in a nice smooth transition -- more like the real world.
Foliage Editor
 
X
Every foliage-utilizing part of VNS 3 now has the same set of controls for managing Ecotypes, Foliage Groups and Foliage Images all from one page. No more Ecotype editor, no more flipping tabs back and forth between Ecotype, Groups and Items. Everything you need all in one place, and only the controls you need visible when you need them.
Animated Image Objects
X
X
Use still images or animations for foliage, characters or other objects. Built-in luminance keying and chroma-keying. Choose from several kinds of shading for flat or 3Dimensional looks.
Backlit Image Object Foliage
X
X
Providing the realistic lighting that real vegetation has without increasing render times.
Ecotype and Foliage Effect changes
X
X
Increased flexibility in foliage placement control.
Flexible Ecosystems
X
X
Place a forest, plant a flowerbed, or clear the trees from building site. Great for parks, golf courses, and landscaping. A single Ecosystem can now have multiple Materials, which can each have their own overstory, understory and ground overlay texturing for enhanced realism.
Image Object Caching
X
X
Pre-transformed images can be stored on your hard drive for faster rendering.
Image Object Tree Library
X
X
High quality trees worthy of rendering close-up. New trees are included and you can create your own custom trees. Any kind of tree is possible; you can even make forests of non-tree objects. Use an image sequence and you can have animated trees!
Image Sequencing and Dissolves
X
X
Use the sequencing controls to edit complete movies within an Image Object. Slow motion, fast motion and dissolves are all at your command.
Improved Foliage Effects
X
X
Place individual Scaled Image foliage or 3D trees alone or in rows. Perfect for orchards, crops, landscaping, telephone poles, fence posts and road signs. Now supports 3D Objects.
Improved Image Object Rendering
X
X
Better 3D-shading and dynamic range for foliage images make them even more believable. Foliage Effects no longer have to be associated with a visible terrain polygon in order to render.
Real Planet Model
X
X
True spherical terrain for accurate visualization of low level fly-overs and large-scale planet shots. When you do fly-over animations the terrain will come up over the horizon like it should. When you move your camera up you'll see the curve of the horizon. Remember, the Earth is not flat!
Scaled-Image rendering modes
X
X
Scaled Images aren't just for trees and plants. New rendering modes make them useful for signs, buildings, objects, people and animals.
Water Elements Features highlighted in blue are new to VNS 3.
Feature Name
WCS
VNS
Feature Description
Smart Lakes
 
X
Lakes no longer need to be told what elevation to fill to, they can automatically infer their water level by examining the elevations at the vector containing them. Create all of Minnesota with a single Lake component!
Lakes
X
X
Make as many lakes as you want, wherever you want, with individual waves, reflections, texturing, breakers and beaches.
Reflection/Environment Map Texture Mode
X
X
Simulate surrounding environments on reflective surfaces.
Streams
X
X
Create streams and rivers and attach them to any Vector. Slope-based Parameters let streams go from calm streams to raging whitewater, much like real streams. Control waves, water and beach texturing separately for each Stream.
Transparent Water
X
X
Makes underwater features such as rocks, fish & stream beds possible.
Waves
X
X
Now use different sets of waves for each body of water or any specific area. Complete envelope controls let you create wave effects that are more realistic than ever.
Files and Data Features highlighted in blue are new to VNS 3.
Feature Name
WCS
VNS
Feature Description
Gridder Densification
 
X
Improve the output of the your contour-line gridding with the automatic Densification feature, which makes VNS 3's gridder see lines as lines, not just a collection of points, improving the tesselation of contour line datasets and making better looking output.
Gridder Wizard
 
X
Use the new Gridder Wizard to walk through the gridding process step by step, answering each question about your desired result, making gridding an easy process every time.
DEM Merger Wizard
 
X
DEM Merging, one of the most powerful features of VNS 2, now also has a friendly wizard to help you along. Create simple or multi-resolution merges without having to make and choose Search Queries.
GPS Import
 
X
A whole new section of the Import Wizard is dedicated to importing data from GPS/GPX or CSV-like files. Choose your file and VNS 3 will (if necessary) offer you a spreadsheet-like importer to specify which fields you want and what to do with each column. Great for integrating field-survey data.
ArcView ShapeFile support
X
Import ShapeFiles for GIS visualization.
AVI File Saving
X
X
Create animation files without additional utilities.
Coordinate Systems with Dynamic Reprojection
 
X
Visual Nature Studio lets you import and combine data in a variety of projections!
DEM Merging
 
X
Use VNS to merge datasets of different resolution. Now you can have primary site data at a very high resolution and seamlessly merge it with a low resolution dtatset for background ter-rain. Use multiple datasets to create a custom LOD (Level of Detail) setup for your particular project and dataset combination.
DXF Export
X
X
DEM's and Vectors can now be exported to DXF files in any supported projection, making VNS a useful data conversion tool as well. Note: WCS 6 does not offer Terraffector burn-in and coordinate-system conversion choices in this feature.
Georeferencing for Image Objects
 
X
Place image drapes and raster Colormaps in any coordinate system. World and PRJ files will be automatically recognized for easy import and placement.
Image Color and Band Control
X
X
Alter color and contrast of Image Objects. Rearrange GIS color bands. Great for satellite data visualization or foliage color control.
Image Handling -Very Large Images
 
X
Previous versions of VNS had to load any image maps entirely into memory before rendering could occur. This prohibited the use of some extremely large aerial and satellite images within VNS, as Microsoft Windows could not address sufficient memory to load images of that size. VNS can now automatically "crop" out only the section of an image that it requires for a particular stage of rendering. This massively reduces memory overhead and allows enormous image files to be draped with impunity!
Image Support Enhanced
*
X

VNS supports these new georeferenced image formats: BMP with World File; TIFF with World File; ER Mapper ECW; and GeoTIFF.
* Note: Both WCS6 and VNS support these new image formats: JPEG, PNG, TIFF, AVI and QuickTime.

Improved data handling
X
X
WCS can handle unlimited DEMs and vast amounts of Vector data. Huge projects are not a problem.
"Island Polygon" Topology Support
 
X
Support for Shapefiles that exhibit "island topology". Now you can use VNS to import and visualize "donut"-shaped vectors without having to manually (or dynamically) assign a higher priority ecosystem to the "hole" vector.
Multiple File Saving
X
X
Perfect for use with hard disk animation playback systems and editing systems where ZBuffer files can't be saved in the same directory with rendered images.
Null Data Detection
 
X
Null data is now detected at import. VNS will ignore it when rendering. This lets you render irregularly shaped terrains and avoid distortions in Vertical Displacement along edges of null data areas.
RLA support
X
X
Now you can save RLA files for easy 3D compositing in other programs.
Shape File Attribute Support
 
X
Import text or numeric attributtes for use in select operations or to control Thematic maps.
Supports IFF-ILBM, BMP, Targa, PICT and many more file types
X
X
Choose between the efficient IFF-ILBM file format or the more common BMP, Targa, JPEG, PNG, TIFF or PICT files wherever WCS or VNS uses bitmapped images.
Vector Profile Export
 
X
Export Vector profiles to Adobe Illustrator format. Easy and powerful creation of accurate cross-section profiles for illustration purposes.
GIS and Workflow Features highlighted in blue are new to VNS 3.
Feature Name
WCS
VNS
Feature Description
Scenario Improvements
 
X
Another powerful VNS 2 feature, Scenarios, has been overhauled and souped up for VNS 3. Simple Scenarios are much easier to create now with an easy on/off control. Advanced animated scenarios are still available, but you don't have to work with the animation controls if you're not using them. And a new "negating" control in the Scenario lets you indicate that some bound items should behave the opposite of the others, allowing you to group the "on" and "off" items of a proposal into one Scenario instead of two.
Thematic Maps
 
X
Thematic Maps are now much faster and easier to use. No more rasterization limitations here, every thematic map works hand-in hand with the components and vectors it is associated with to get the exact values straight out of your attributes and onto your landscape with a minimum of fuss. Search Queries are no longer needed, making the Thematic Mapping Process as easy as selecting an attribute.
Multiple Color Maps
X
X
Now you can apply multiple color maps across multiple DEM areas for projecting high resolution images onto landscapes or specifying exact placement of ecosystems.
Render to Projections
 
X
Render output images in Projected Coordinate Systems other than Geographic. Ideal for Cartographic usage where rendered output needs to be in a non-geographic projection.
Search Queries
 
X
Search Queries let you select items in the database based on their name, label, layer or database attributes. You can use a Search Query to select Vectors to link to Components. Linking can be dynamic or static. You can save Search Queries as reusable Components for use in other Projects.
Scenario Manager
 
X
You can use the new Scenario Manager with a new component type, Render Scenarios, to con-trol the appearance of certain component types through a series of render jobs. A Render Sce-nario is used to set the enabled state of any other component, vector or image object at any point during a rendering. The second use for Render Scenarios is to enable one set of features for a particular Render Job and disable the same features in another render job, but but still have the ability to render them in the same render queue. For example - you may have a project in which you wish to render the same terrain from the same viewpoint a number of times with different ecosystems and 3D Objects. Instead of creating multiple projects, render jobs etc, you can now create a number of scenarios in which the required combinations of objects and foli-age are enabled or disabled as necessary, and attach these to one render job in one project.
Templates
 
X
Templates let you build new Projects based on existing Projects. Save time by creating Template Projects with standard data you use repeatedly such as terrain, Vectors, Environments, Ecosystems and much more. Updating Template Projects automatically updates all other Projects build from the Templates.
Thematic Maps
 
X
Thematic Maps let you control VNS parameters automatically using attribute values from your Shape File data. This makes it easy to import existing Vector data and apply existing GIS attributes to parameters in specific areas of the terrain. You can also attach new attribute values to Vectors within VNS. Control foliage height, foliage density, foliage color, terrain color, lake elevation and more.
Unlimited Database Layers
X
X
Organize your terrain files and Vector files however you want. Use long names for more understandable organization.
Vector Splitting and Joining
X
X
Fix and alter simple topology.
Rendering Features highlighted in blue are new to VNS 3.
Feature Name
WCS
VNS
Feature Description
Faster Rendering All Around
 
X
All of the improvements above make VNS 3 get the job done quicker. Most projects will render significantly faster in VNS 3 and look better at the same time! VNS 3 has been better optimized to make use of features of modern CPUs as well, making it even faster on every task.
Heading PostProcess
 
X
The new Heading PostProcess component gives you a quick and easy way to put compassbearing information right onto your renderings. Display a horizontal degree ruler along the bottom of your image indicating direction and compass bearing numerically so observers can instantly see what direction and horizontal view arc are being shown.
Depth-of-Field
X
X
Depth-of-Field lets you focus on the action.
Fractal Depth Maps
X
X
Like variable Fractal Depth but designed for animations. Gives you the higher quality of Fractal Displacement rendering, yet renders faster. Think of it as automatic Level-of-Detail control for animations.
Fractal Displacement Rendering
X
X
Use this stunning rendering method to create incredibly detailed and realistic terrain surfaces.
Georeferenced Rendering
X
X
Accurate latitude and longitude coordinates let you render real places where they belong on the planet. Use WCS alone or with other GIS software to visualize real places as they were, as they are now or as they could be in the future.
High Dynamic Range Support
X
X
Render, apply effects and save images with High Dynamic Range.
Improved Shadows
X
X
Easily create better shadows from 3D Objects, clouds, foliage and terrain.
Include/Exclude Lists for Lights
X
X
Lights can now ignore selected objects, or only take certain object types into account.
Motion blur
X
X
Motion blur gives you a natural "moving camera" look.
Multi-Pass Antialiasing
X
X
Set the number of antialiasing passes you want.
Multiple Cameras
X
X
Render multiple angles. Set up special cameras to monitor parts of your scene. Choose from a variety of Camera types.
Multiple Lights
X
X
Splash light where you need it to add interest and mood. Lights can be attached to Celestial Objects like the sun and moon, cast shadows and affect the sky and atmosphere. Choose from a variety of light types.
Pixel Fragments
X
X
New Pixel Fragment rendering mode delivers crisp clean antialiasing and improved transparency and reflections without multipass rendering.
Post Processes
X
X
Color balance, Exposure, Gain, Gamma, Levels, Lighten, Darken, Contrast, Texture Overlay, Image Overlay, Chromax, Posterize, Median, Box Filter, Distort, Edge Ink, Glow, Star, Line, Negative, Composite. Post Process supports built-in variables for easy Pre-production reference tiling: framenum, camera and target, heading, pitch and bank, latitude, longitude, elevation and ViewArc. Include/Exclude lists allows selective Post Processing. To learn more about Post Processing visit our Walk Through of Possibilities.
Render Engine capability for additional workstations
X
X
When it comes time to render you can now use all the computing power at hand to speed up the process. When you run WCS without its hardware key it turns into a rendering engine! Render on separate machines or across a network.
Render Farm Controller
X
X
SuperConductor allows users to take full advantage of all of their machines with the free unlimited render licenses, and manage them quickly and easily with the distributed render controller.
Render Flexibility
X
X
Render Options let you check your options at a glance before you render. Set up different sets of Render Options and combine them with Cameras into Render Jobs. Render multiple Render Jobs in a queue.
Shadow Caching
X
X
Pre-calculated shadow maps can be stored on your hard drive for faster rendering.
Splined Terraffectors
 
X
When rendering Terraffectors, VNS can now interpolate a spline between nodes on the con-trolling vector rather than rendering the terraffector as a series of connected, straight-line seg-ments. This is useful for making smoothly curving roads or stream beds.
Stereo Cameras
X
X
Automatically render stereo image pairs for stereo viewers or other stereo image applications.
Variable Fractal Depth
X
X
Ideal for rendering still images or for quicker previews of animations. Saves rendering time by automatically lowering the fractal depth for polygons that are farther from the camera. Think of it as automatic Level-of-Detail control for still images.

Visit our Questions to help you select the right product page for further assistance.