Crysis and the current CryEngine 2 is one of the most powerful landscape based game engines available. Complete with ‘Sandbox’ mode it allows landscapes to be imported and populated with geographic features in realtime with the addition of advanced weather and lighting components. Crytek, the developers of the engine have released a preview of the next generation, the CryEngine 3.
If the toolkit is anywhere near as good as the current version then the CryEngine 3 has the potential to be the first choice for those involved in the landscape generation and visualization.
LiDAR is becoming a common way to scan and visualize hidden parts of the the landscape and results of a LiDAR survey around the area of Stonehenge in the United Kingdom are a case in point.
Prehistoric burial mounds (barrows), the great Cursus (a 2km Neolithic monument), the Bronze Age Avenue which links Stonehenge to the River Avon, and other henges such as Woodhenge and Durrington Walls are all clearly visible.
With the latest mobile devices including GPS, Digital Compasses and Accelerometers as standard augmented reality in the field is becoming the current application to develop. The movie above my Enkin details data tagging in urban areas running on Android (the open source mobile platform from Google).
The concept is transferable to the field of landscape visualization with geographic features tagged and viewable by simply panning the device around the landscape. Past and future landscapes can be draped over the views opening up applications as wide apart of historic visualizations to the visual and audio impact of future windfarms.
Our First Working Group event Landscape Visualisation in Support of Management Decision will be held in Cairns 13-17th July. This event will be held inconjunction with the MODSIM09 Conference and there will be 2 sessions with 5 presentations in each.