company insight sponsored by Sundog Software
Making Simulated Worlds Seem Real
The sky is half of your scene in an outdoor training simulation – and for maritime training, the ocean is the other half. Sundog® Software’s SilverLining™ and Triton™ software libraries deliver fast, virtual skies, clouds, and water that meet the demands of training and simulation.
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A Labor of Love
Sundog Software released the first version of the SilverLining Sky, 3D Cloud, and Weather SDK in 2006, and has been steadily iterating on it ever since. Making clouds and the sky as realistic as possible, while placing a minimal load on your image generator hardware, has been a never-ending passion for Sundog’s CEO and lead software engineer Frank Kane. New cloud types, better realism, and better performance have steadily emerged as SilverLining evolves and adapts to new technologies. This constant improvement over the span of 14 years and hundreds of real-world deployments all over the world means Sundog‘s software is battle-tested, stable, and meets a wide variety of traning requirements out of the box. SilverLining is behind the scenes of many of the biggest names in military and civil aviation training.
The Call of the (Simulated) Ocean
In 2011, Sundog released the Triton Ocean SDK, capable of training-quality simulation of the ocean with minimal resource consumption. The challenge of producing thousands of realistic 3D waves at hundreds of frames per second was too interesting to pass up, and Triton too has evolved steadily in its capabilities and performance over time. Triton offers real-time simulation of the military JONSWAP wave spectrum, a comprehensive set of ship wake effects, rotor wash, water impacts, and more. It’s not just pretty computer graphics; this is a real physical simulation of the ocean under specific wind and swell conditions that can be used to power your ship’s motion in a realistic manner. It can also interoperate with external wave models, or be used in a headless manner to just power buoyancy models.
Personal Attention from a Small Business
Sundog prides itself on its customer support. If you have a question or a problem, you don’t file a trouble ticket and hope that a support engineer gets back to with a helpful response. The first line of support is from the owner of the company and primary author of the software you have licensed, and inquiries received during business hours will often be answered within minutes. If you’ve found a bug, we don’t work it into our schedule – we just fix it, often on the same day. This obsessive level of service has fueled Sundog’s word-of-mouth business and growth.
Dealing with the Unique Requirements of Training and Simulation
Sundog initially created SilverLining and Triton with the intent of selling into both the video game and training and simulation markets, but it soon became apparent that training and simulation has very unique requirements. Sundog’s mission turned to adapting video game technologies to training applications. Drawing clouds and ocean waves within a small gameplay area is one thing, but integrating into a simulation that spans the entire Earth and perhaps even space is a unique challenge. Both SilverLining and Triton are compatible with whole-Earth coordinate systems such as ECEF or WGS84, and offer a level of fidelity and realism that makes them appropriate for training. We also offer sample integrations with the popular OpenSceneGraph framework that is popular within the training and simulation community.
Written by Software Developers, for Software Developers
SilverLining and Triton are software development kits; they are tools for companies building their own image generator software who don’t want to re-invent the wheels of simulating the sky and ocean. If your company is building software using OpenGL or DirectX, for Linux or Windows platforms, our software can accelerate the development of your synthetic natural environments, or perhaps improve the one you have. Sundog provides a straightforward software architecture, extensive documentation, sample code, email-based support, and options for source code to ensure your company’s engineers are successful with Sundog’s products.
Simple, Accessible Licensing
As a privately held small business, Sundog isn’t out to nickle-and-dime you on licensing fees. One license fee covers it all for a single application. There are no per-channel costs, no per-developer costs, no complex and intrusive licensing system to deal with. All you need to decide is whether you want source code or not, and if you want to extend your support and maintenance plan beyond the 3 months included with every new license.
Try before you buy with fully functional evaluation SDK’s available on our website.