Evaluation of Blueberry3D Realtime Viewer

(note: this is an evaluation of a product that is no longer available as of 2003)

Evaluation of Blueberry3D Realtime Viewer 2.02

Ben Discoe, 2001.05.20
Test machine: P3-800, 512 MB, Win2000, GeForce 2 GTS w/64MB RAM, drivers version 0650

The Blueberry3D tools for construction and viewing terrain are an exciting new development in terrain visualization software.  No demo of the construction software is currently available, but i downloaded the viewer demo (27MB, no longer online) and evaluated it.

Functionality

The demo installs and runs very easily.  There is one supplied scene, a large island with numerous features and a great deal of vegetation.  You do not interact with or change the scene, other than by navigating or driving a vehicle over the terrain.  It does not appear to be a real-world location, but a well-designed artificial scene.  Performance is controlled by setting a framerate target (default 20 fps), with the LOD of the culture and ground textures adjusted continuously to meet the target.

Strong Points

blue1.jpg (87288 bytes)
Notice how the alpha-morphing tree LODs are
making the building behind them vanish.

Weak Points

blue2.jpg (67711 bytes)
Weird lighting artifacts around the road skirts

Conclusion

The Blueberry3D viewer represents some important steps forward, but is currently held back by the highly visually distracting nature of the LOD while the viewpoint is moving.  It might be appropriate for some applications in which the viewpoint seldom moves or remains at a relatively high elevation.

An important test would be to next evaluate the Blueberry3D creation software, since in many ways creation is a more challenging task than rendering, and a viewer is only as useful as the worlds than can be created for it.  The excellent distribution of vegetation in the demo scene indicates an exciting degree of sophistication in the scene creation process.