Blog | Winter 2019 Software Update

Winter 2019 brings the polar vortex and new updates for Virtual CRASH 4. As always, Virtual CRASH updates are free! Read below to learn more.

Improved Text Object

Text boxes can now be filled and outlined. In addition to this, you can attach an arrow. The video below demonstrates this new functionality.

We’ll be adding additional functionality to this tool shortly, allowing for multiple arrows to be attached. Check back to this post soon.


Self-paced Training

Want to learn more about creating amazing 3D environments in Virtual CRASH 4? Don’t wait. Take advantage of our self-paced training course Building Environments in Virtual CRASH 4!


Time-Distance Tool

The axis tool now includes the ability to show distances as a function of constant speed. This is a great addition that allows the axis tool to be used as a time-distance indicator for kinematics studies. In the video below, we show how this tool can be used to visualize the positions of two vehicles that move at constant speeds until they collide. Their positions are shown every second before impact. Note, in this video, we’re also taking advantage of the show interposition steps option (illustrated in Chapter 15 of the User’s Guide).

The time-distance option can be enabled by simply selecting “type:time” from the drop down menu.

• The “velocity” input corresponds to the constant speed to be used for the kinematics calculation that sets the time tick marks and labels in space.

• “offset” can shift the tick marks and labels relative to the origin of the axis tool.

• “spacing” determines the minor tick mark increments (a typical setting would be 0.1).

• “major lines every” determines the number of minor increments that will be placed between major tick marks (a typical setting would be 10).

• “major text every” determines the number of major increments that will appear between neighboring major tick mark labels. For example, if set to “1”, a label will appear every major tick mark. If set to “2”, a label will appear every other major tick mark.

• “decimal places” determines the number of decimal places with which to display the major tick mark labels.

Note, the axis tool is drawn on the x-y plane (in 2D). So, if it’s projected onto a 3D surface using “receive projection”, the distances visualized on the 3D surface mesh using the axis tool will be approximately correct for reasonably flat surfaces. For the most accurate measurements in 3D, one should use the “Dimension Line 3D” tool. Using the show interposition steps option is another great way to accurately visualize vehicle positions in 3D as a function of distance or time: the distance option uses the actual 3D path length of the vehicle cg trajectory.

New Road Markings

Take a look in gallery > road markings and you’ll find a new set of scalable images you can use to indicate turn lanes, crosswalks, and bicycle lanes. Just left-click, drag, and drop the image into your scene.

New Barrier Objects

This update also brings new barrier objects: barrel, folding barrier, and water barrier. Note the barrel and folding barrier objects include lights which can be easily adjusted as needed for your scenario. You’ll find these new objects in gallery > other 3d > barriers.

The barrel and folding barrier objects are group objects which contain lights. The lights can be deleted or reconfigured as needed. You can find more information about attaching and configuring lights in Chapter 20 of the User’s Guide.

You can modify the flashing pattern by selecting all lights and then selecting the “rectangular pulse” option using the box next to “intensity”.

To extend the lighting further away from the signal light, simply adjust the “end” value in the “far attenuation” menu.

You can also soften the shadowing beneath the barricade by adjusting the hotspot angle in the “light cone” menu:

Below we show an ad video where we use the new barrel with light object.

Overhead Sign Support Structures

Finally, in gallery > other 3d > miscellaneous, you’ll find two new overhead sign support structures: both half width and full width.