News 2018-07-09

Next Generation of Maritime Simulators: Both Functional and Photorealistic

Simulation industry is constantly developing, and it’s natural that training systems used several years ago have become outdated. The modern world requires to bring the simulation to the new level. The functionality itself is not enough anymore, now realism plays a key role, as it allows to boost trainings efficiency.

So VSTEP, leading in maritime simulation and virtual training, decided to make an improved version of their NAUTIS maritime simulator to provide customers with the best instrument for preparing the staff for real-life situations. The VSTEP team thoroughly reviewed several 3D engines and decided on implementing the cutting-edge UNIGINE 2 Sim solution.


Let's look through the main features that are essential for maritime training systems.


The most important thing is immersive photorealistic graphics. To efficiently train skills to safely navigate a vessel and to respond to an emergency situation, UNIGINE 2 Sim enables the creation of every facet of the environments, water, and objects in a true-to-life manner. The superior shading and lighting combined with the advanced rendering system result in truly photorealistic images. So a person trained in such graphics could confidently behave in any real-life situation. It’s utmost important for maritime sectors like pilotage and restricted waterway navigation where the visuals are the primary resource for navigation, as well as for young specialists who are used to immersive graphics in computer games and expect the same quality in the simulators.

Moreover, the real-life atmosphere is also achieved with geometry waves with correct Beaufort scale, ship wake waves, shoreline simulation, underwater mode. Visual effects like vegetation and smoke responding to weather circumstances highly enhance the immersive experience. All of these features are available out of the box.

Unlike game engines, UNIGINE 2 Sim is tailored specifically for professional simulation and training needs. It not only generates lifelike visuals but also provides API access to all the detailed information about the virtual world state, including wave height and normal vector info at any point of the water surface. This is a crucial requirement for distributed systems with complex hydrodynamics simulation.

Furthermore, UNIGINE 2 Sim allows to create large-scale worlds with high fidelity and geo-referencing, so a virtual copy of any existing territory can be visualized. It will ensure that the trainees are familiarized with their challenging sailing environment. This also allows realistic and accurate creation of ports in development, marine engineering complexes like bridges, docks, and locks to conduct engineering studies.

More and more often it is necessary to enrich the simulator with innovative hardware integration like Oculus Rift in addition to high-quality seamless projection screens. It can be easily done with native support of HMDs available out of the box.

Above all, UNIGINE was selected by VSTEP for its versatility. It can be easily embedded into any special complex project and development environment.

With the benefits of UNIGINE 2 Sim, NAUTIS continues to grow as a state-of-the-art product that provides safe and effective virtual training to customers all around the world. The simulator already got positive feedback from the customers. For example, recently VSTEP delivered their NAUTIS maritime simulator to SEACOR Island Lines that engages in marine transportation from the USA to the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.