nVIZ Motion Plugin

Installation

Autodesk VRED provides two paths for maintaining plugins. Please identify the directory where you want to keep the nVIZ Motion Plugin. The paths are displayed in the VRED terminal window after launching VRED:

Download and execute the nVIZ Motion Plugin installer. After the installer has completed, you need to copy the two following files to your VRED plugins directory:

  • C:\Program Files\nVIZ\VirtualTestDrive\renderengines\vred\nVIZMotion.py
  • C:\Program Files\nVIZ\VirtualTestDrive\renderengines\vred\nVIZMotion.ui

License

Please contact nVIZ to receive your license file. The license file needs to be copied to the directory:

  • C:\Program Files\nVIZ\VirtualTestDrive

After installation, the nVIZ Motion Plugin can be launched from the context menu like any other VRED module – right click on the Main Tool Bar or on the Quick Access Bar:

Test Drive

The Test Drive tab provides functionality for interactive virtual test driving in the VRED scene with the nVIZ VTD Server software and the nVIZ Seat Buck.

  • Open and Save As: All settings in the nVIZ Motion Plugin can be saved to and reloaded from a project file. The project file type is *.mpb. Clicking the Open or Save As button will open the standard Windows file browser.
  • Host Name: Enter the hostname of the PC running the vehicle dynamics simulation software.
  • Solver Version: Select the version of the vehicle dynamics solver.
  • Sampling Rate: Input the sampling rate. This value determines the interval for updating the VRED scene with transformation data received from the vehicle dynamics solver. The higher the value, the smoother the animation. But take care to not set the sampling rate higher than the FPS value the VRED scene can actually achieve.
  • Speed, RPM, Station, Gear, Steering , Throttle and Brakes: These are display widgets showing the actual data received from the vehicle dynamics solver.
  • Start: Click the Start button to start the listener. The listener will listen on the specified port and apply transformations to the VRED scene when data is received on that port.
  • Stop: Click the Stop button to stop the listener and reset all the transformation values.

Replay

The Replay tab provides functionality for replaying test runs in the VRED scene based on existing results files from vehicle dynamics simulations.

  • Simulation Results File: Load an existing vehicle dynamics simulation results file. Currently supported formats are IPG CarMaker Test Runs.
  • Setup: Converts the binary Test Run file, extracts the data and loads the transformations in VRED.
  • Write Curves: This check box allows you to store the transformations in the VRED curve editor and time line while executing the animation. You can then replay the VRED time line and make use of all the VRED functionalities for rendering movies in raytracing quality.
  • Delete Curves: Will delete all curves from the VRED curve editor.
  • Current Time Step: Displays the current time step read from the results file.
  • Maximum Time Step: Displays the number of time steps available in the results file.
  • Animate: Starts the animation replay.
  • Pause: Pauses the animation replay.
  • Reset: Resets the animation to the first time step.

Vehicle Rig

Each node of the VRED scene, which is to receive a transformation from the vehicle dynamics solver, needs to be specified in the vehicle rig. The plugin loads a default vehicle rig when launched from:

  • C:\Program Files\nVIZ\VirtualTestDrive\UserData\Templates\defaultVehicleRig.txt

This file can be edited to your needs. If you choose to edit it, keep a copy of your file version because an update of the plugin will overwrite the file.

  • The default vehicle rig definition can easily be edited. Select a node in the VRED Scene Graph and then click the corresponding “>” Button.
  • Load Rig: Load a custom rig file.
  • Save Rig: Save the current settings to a custom rig file.

Camera Rig

The camera rig tab controls the movement of the camera relative to the vehicle’s sprung mass while animating the test drive.

  • Translation X, Y, Z: Set the percentage of vehicle’s sprung mass transformation to be applied to the camera. 0% – the camera will not move, 100% – the camera will be fixed to the vehicle translations.
  • Roll, Pitch, Yaw: Set the percentage of vehicle’s sprung mass rotation to be applied to the camera. 0% – the camera will not rotoate, 100% – the camera will be fixed to the vehicle rotations.

Tools

Exchange IPG Road and VRED Scene

This tab provides functions to create the road surface data for IPG CarMaker from the polygon surfaces in the VRED scene.

  • Create IPG Digitized Road File from VRED Scene: This function will extract the x,y,z-coordinates from a spline in the VRED scene and write the data to a file in the IPG Digitized Road format.
    • Spline Node: VRED Scene Graph node with the spline.
    • Width Left / Right Lane: This parameter will be added to the IPG Digitized Road file to define the left / right lane width.
    • Width Left / Right Margin: This parameter will be added to the IPG Digitized Road file to define the left / right lane hard shoulder width.
    • Reverse Direction: Check this checkbox to reverse the driving direction along the selected spline.
  • Create IPG CRG Section File from VRED Scene: This function will map a CRG grid on to a polygon surface in the VRED scene, extract the grid points and write the data to a file in the IPG CRG Section format.
    • Surface Node: VRED Scene Graph node with the polygon surface.
    • Width Left / Right Track: This parameter will be added to the IPG CRG Section file to define the left / right track width.
    • UV Spacing: Defines the spacing of the CRG grid in UV coordinates. Set this value to be small enough to capture the road surface characteristics. But be careful not to set the value too small because the CRG Section files will be huge for longer tracks.
    • Default Z: When mapping a CRG grid to a polygon surface, some grid points will intersect with the polygon surface and others will not. The Default Z value will be applied for all grid points not intersecting with the polygon surface. This feature can be used to create obstacles (high Z values) or holes (low Z values) along the edges of the CRG Section.
  • Create VRED FBX File from IPG Road Files: Many times it will be necessary to validate the CRG Section created from a polygon surface. This function will create a FBX file from the CRG Section data which can be imported into VRED and visualized to compare with the polygon road surface.
    • IPG Digitized Road File: Select the IPG Digitized Road file.
    • IPG CRG Section File: Select the IPG CGR Section file.

Create Path from Picked Points

This function allows you to pick a path in the VRED scene to be used for the road definition.

  • Path Node: The picked path will be stored under this node in the VRED Scene Graph.
  • Recording: Progress indicator – will run after Start is clicked.
  • Start: Click the Start button, then use the VRED option (Shift+Left Mouse) for picking points on to a surface in the VRED scene. The points will be connected by line segments in the VRED scene and can then be used to create a Digitized Road file for CarMaker (see above).
  • Stop: Click the Stop button when done with defining the path.

Create Path on Polygon Surface

This functions will calculate a path on a polygon surface, defined by the polygon edges, for the road definition.

  • Shortest Distance Start to End Vertex: This option will allow you to pick two vertices – the start and the end vertex. It will then calculate the shortest path from start to end along the polygon edges.
  • Maximum Edge Angle: This option will allow you to pick two vertices – the start and direction vertex (on the same polygon). It will then calculate a path by adding the adjacent polygon edges in the direction of the direction vertex until the edge angle exceeds the input value.
  • Process Polygon Data: Check this checkbox when calculating a path on a given polygon surface the first time. For consecutive path calculations on the same surface, uncheck this check box to save time.
  • Surface Node: Select the surface in the VRED scene and reference it here by clicking the “>” button.
  • Start: Click the Start button to begin defining start and end / direction vertex.
  • Set Start Vertex: Pick a point on a polygon surface (Shift+Left Mouse), then click the Set Start Vertex button – the vertex nearest to your picked point will be taken as the start vertex.
  • Set End / Dir. Vertex: Pick a point on the polygon surface (Shift+ Left Mouse), then click Set End / Dir. Vertex button – the vertex nearest to your picked point will be taken as the end / direction vertex and the path calculation will be processed.

Create Path with Transform Tool

This functions allows you to record path points for the road definition while moving the VRED transform tool.

  • Path Node: The defined path will be stored under this node in the VRED Scene Graph.
  • Start: Click the Start button to begin defining the path.
  • Record Position: Move the VRED transform tool – click the button to record the position, move – click, move – click, etc.
  • Stop: Click the Stop button when done defining the path.

Options

  • Print Debug Information: Used by nVIZ for debugging issues.
  • Steering Wheel Gain: Gain factor to synchronize the steering wheel rotation value from the vehicle dynamics solver with the steering wheel rotation in the VRED scene.
  • Tacho Needle Gain: Gain factor to synchronize the tacho needle rotation value from the vehicle dynamics solver with the tacho needle rotation in the VRED scene.
  • RPM Needle Gain: Gain factor to synchronize the RPM needle rotation value from the vehicle dynamics solver with the RPM needle rotation in the VRED scene.
  • Path Sew Tolerance: When creating a path for road definition, it will sometimes be helpful to create multiple path segments. These path segments can then be moved to a single group node in the VRED scene graph before executing the road file creation. As long as the distance between the end point of one path segment and the start point of the next path segment is less than this value, the path segments will be combined to a single road.