So what is the VTP?Â The Virtual Terrain ProjectÂ fosters the creation of tools for easily constructing any part of the real world in interactive, 3D digital form, andÂ incorporates the fields of CAD, GIS, visual simulation, surveying and remote sensing. VTP writes and supports a set of software tools, including an interactive runtime environment (VTP Enviro). The tools and their source code are freely shared to help accelerate the adoption and development of the necessary technologies.
So why does VTP need Blender? From Ben's e-mail:
For a number of years, the VTP, like most realtime rendering software, has struggled with a difficult art path - the means of getting 3D models from modelling tools into the runtime. Although a variety of formats are supported through OSG (open scene graph), it is almost always tricky to get the CAD or 3D-modelled object to look the same in realtime 3D as it did in the original package.
Finally, after much thrashing and getting help from experienced Blender users,Â I learned how to control [Blender]. I even ended up learning Python in order to make useful improvements to the 'osgexport' script which exports from Blender to VTP/OSG. Those experiences are now summarized in a tutorial.
It's certainly great to see Blender used in such grand projectsÂ like VTP!