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WCS vs VNS

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#1
Martin Gamache

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Hans and other 3DN users...I know this might be a bit off-topic but are the price differences between VNS and WCS justified. Do you get a whole lot more with VNS?
Is the rendering capability enhanced. I've seen good work done with both products.

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I've split this into a new topic.

In short, yes, you get a whole lot more with VNS. Whether or not you need it totally depends on the kind of work you want to do with it.

- VNS supports a wider range of projections. With WCS you were pretty much forced to keep ever bit of data in one common projection, but you can mix and match with VNS.
- Better support for handling large images. Also options for georeferencing images that WCS does not have.
- Capable of handling larger terrains and merging DEM's
- Vector data (shapefiles) imported with attributes, so you can attach components or effects to vectors based on their attribute values.

And many more reasons, information here:
http://3dnature.com/...rentiation.html
http://3dnature.com/...ngfeatures.html

Hope this helps.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
Rob

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Martin,

With a $2,000 price differential, it's definitely worth asking.

I pretty sure the render engine is the same in both. As is the steep learning curve.

Here are some of the big differences as I see them from a carto perspective:

VNS is a full blown high end GIS visualization/animation tool. It can recognize and reproject many data formats on different datums. It can render to different projections. You can import attribute data with your shape files, write queries, and render thematic maps. It's terrain gridder is exceptional fast (WCS's is up until 6000 points, I think). And as Hans mentioned the multi resolution DEM merge is really useful for animation or oblique projects.

WCS doesn't recognize coordinate systems or georefencing tags, so all data needs to be reprojected to the same projection/cs before import, and geotiffs for drapes will need their coords entered manually once they are imported. However, it is possible to do solid mapping projects with this software, it just takes a lot more prep time in other packages to get similar out put to VNS.

And 3DNature offers excellent customer service. They are a small shop and are very responsive and helpful. You should check out this board if you have any additional questions.

Another program I use in conjuction with VNS is Leveller, which can write out in .elev (wcs/vns elevation format) and that makes it really simple to edit/clean up highfields; you don't even have to reimport the files, WCS/VNS will just automatically render the edited ones. It costs $150.

For $500, WCS is imho an amazing bargin for how powerful it is. VNS is a bit of a $$ commitment but if you know you can get jobs with it then it will quickly pay for itself. I haven't regretted buying VNS, and given your work/background I think you'd find the added functionality worth the extra cost if this is a tool you'll be using regularly.

rj

#4
merft

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I would also note that 3D Nature has been very good about upgrading between the versions. You can buy WCS and if you need features in VNS, the upgrade price from WCS is the difference between the two products. -Tom

#5
Martin Gamache

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Thanks Rob.

I guess between all the software I want to get and the maintenance I am paying on what I already own I can't see paying the extra for VNS since I have some very good projection, image processing and gridding tools. I've always been curious about the practical differences (from a user's POV) since it seems from the Galleries that people do beautiful work with both versions. It's cool to see that the German DLR folks used it to do the perspective views in the Mountains From Space book.

#6
Rob

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much of the viz work turning out with this package IS really awesome, as the gallery shows... for my viz stuff I usually go vns to ps and touch things up. for more cart projects I'll compile in arc to ai, and then do a similar compile in vns to ps and composite the raster and vector parts for the final product in ai, and then go back to ps for any effects that are needed. wcs/vns has an ai vector export that is very useful in oblique/static scenes if you are draping vectors, which comes in quite handy as well. i'm just getting into 3D modeling (via lightwave) with this package, after 5 years, and there are a lot of doors to be opened. It's a tough curve, though totally exciting... if other peeps have work flows i'd like to hear what you are doing.




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