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NatureView is 3D Nature's high-performance realtime 3D viewer technology, designed from the ground up to support highly detailed, realistic 3D landscape scenes such as those created by World Construction Set (WCS) and Visual Nature Studio (VNS) with the Scene Express add-on. NatureView can handle complex scenes with tens of thousands of pieces of vegetation, beautiful texturing, easy navigation and animation capabilities. With a refined user-interface, excellent performance and compact and easy download and install, NatureView is the viewer of choice for 3D landscape visualization.
This page describes advanced configuration options for NatureView Express. Visit our NatureView Express page for more info about NatureView.
Basic Command-line options:
NatureView supports several command-line arguments for specifying configuration options at startup.
The first option is the SCENE argument:
This argument instructs NatureView which scene file to load on startup. If the scene file is specified this way, no file requester will be displayed. The SCENE= portion may be omitted for this argument.
The second option is the SPLASH argument:
This argument specifies the time (in seconds) that NatureView should display the opening Splash screen with the NatureView logo and text. A value of 0 prevents this splash screen from ever being displayed.
The third option is the WINDOW argument. It has several variations:
The presence of either INFO, DRIVE, NAV or MAP will suggest to NatureView that it should display that window on startup. The presence of the same tokens preceeded by a minus or dash (-INFO, -DRIVE, -NAV, -MAP) will recommend to NatureView that it should not display that window by default on startup. The VIEW symbol indicates if NatureView should start in fullscreen (VIEW) or windowed (-VIEW) mode. The TOP and BOTTOM arguments suggest that NatureView should display the group of overlaid control panels at either the top or bottom of the screen.
Configuring NatureView Express for Anaglyphic, Quad-buffered or horizontal or vertical split stereo viewing.:
NatureView Express is built atop the OpenSceneGraph 3D SceneGraph library, and inherits its ability to display scenes in real multi-eye 3D through a variety of techniques. Currently, configuration of these options is done by setting Windows environment variables to indicate several important parameters prior to starting NatureView Express. These environment variables are described completely on this page:
Unlike the osgviewer tool mentioned on that page, NatureView does not currently process stereo configuration settings passed on the command-line, only via environment variables.
Setting environment variables under Windows XP or Windows 2000 is described in detail on these pages, respectively:
Configuring NatureView Express for Elumens dome projection viewing:
NatureView Express requires the Elumens-supplied spiclops.dll to support dome projection. If you have an Elumens dome system, you should have this DLL, or be able to request it from Elumens support.
Place a copy of the spiclops.dll file into the same directory as the NatureViewExpress.exe file. Now, when you start NatureView Express, you can use several command-line options to configure which of several Elumens modes NatureView Express will work in.
NatureView Express Commandline Options for Elumens Support:
This argument controls the "Channel Group" selection of the Elumens software. The Channel Group determines what sort of view is displayed on the Elumens dome, how many render passes are required to create that view, and therefore how much the display framerate will be affected. Quoting from the Elumens documentation:
1 Channel: This channel group provides a single channel centered on the dome. In its preconfigured state, a field of view (Horizontal and Vertical) of 140 degrees is provided. This is sufficient for a VisionStation for a user seated at normal location., but this may need adjusting for use in other Vision Series products.
2 Channel: This channel group will create two adjacent channels, one to the left and one to the right with a total horizontal field of view of a 180 degrees and a vertical field of view of 150 degrees. Each channel uses a 90 x 150 degree frustum. In general, this group will generate a better quality image than that of the single channel group. In this channel configuration, a small portion of the bottom center of the screen will be left empty. The performance is slightly slower than a single channel due to the two draw calls per frame of spherical rendering, but still is reasonable and provides a much better image quality than that of the single channel.
3 Channel: Using 3 channels oriented in a cube fashion (similar to Cube-mapping) w ith two adjacent walls of a cube and the third as the top, this channel group will yield a 180-degree horizontal field of view and 110 degrees on the vertical. Each of the 3 channels uses a 90 x 90 degree frustum. An excellent image quality is generated, but a small portion of the bottom center of the screen is left blank. This option is also slow due to the 3 drawing calls used to generate the three views for textures.
4 Channel: This group is very similar to the 3-channel configuration, except that the bottom is also imaged as well. This configuration uses 90 x 90 degree frustums for all 4 channels creating a full 180 x 180 degree field of view. While this configuration provides the best image quality, it is also the slowest in rendering time due to the four drawing calls necessary to render the textures.
Many graphics cards will slow down significantly when using more than one channel.
The SPICHANNELS argument must be specified to enable Elumens support.
This argument controls internally how the Elumens warping code accomplishes the warping. A varity of options are available. Not all options are supported by all graphics cards -- some experimentation may be necessary to determine which options are available and functional, and which perform best on a given hardware platform. Quoting from the Elumens documentation:
BACKBUFFER - Render to back buffer.
PBUFFER - Render to pixel buffer.
TEXTURE - Render to texture.
AUTO - Automatically determine best rendering surface.
STEREO - Enable stereo viewing (Do not use with pbuffer or render to texture.)
3D Nature has tested BACKBUFFER, PBUFFER and TEXTURE on a variety of hardware. In order of preference, we recommend TEXTURE, PBUFFER and BACKBUFFER. BACKBUFFER may exhibit artifacts where parts of the overlaying control panels (such as the Drive, Navigation, Info and Help windows) may interfere with the dome-projection. If you must use BACKBUFFER, turn off the overlaid control panel windows.
The SPIMODE argument must be specified to enable Elumens support in NatureView.
Permanent Display Option Configuration
Typically, you will not frequently change these options once they are initially configured for your display hardware. You may permanently add these options to a NatureView Express shortcut by opening the Properties for the shortcut and appending them to the "Target" field. If you launch NatureView Express by double-clicking on .nvw or .nvz files, you can setup these command-line arguments for that situation as well by using the registry editor to edit the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\NVW.Scene\shell\open\command key. Normally it will read something like:
C:\Program Files\NatureViewExpress.exe "%1"
Simply append the desired options after the "%1", as in:
C:\Program Files\NatureViewExpress.exe "%1" SPICHANNELS=1 SPIMODE=AUTO
NatureView Express is included free with Scene Express.
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