I hope that you will forgive my being a bit long winded in this announcement, as I feel this is truly a momentous occasion for C Tech and our customers. C Tech has been in business now for 27 years and I have personally been involved with 3D modeling and visualization for 39 years. I saw the need for Environmental Visualization System (the original EVS) in 1989 and we had our first commercial Unix-based software available in 1990. However, in 1994 when Windows NT was released we were ready with a product for Windows and our market took off.
Over the next 22 years our software grew and evolved into a line of products that included the 4DIM Player, EVS for ArcView, EVS-Standard, EVS-Pro, MVS and the EnterVol for ArcGIS product line. When we started on EnterVol over 5 years ago we tried to step back and not be restricted by backwards compatibility with EVS & MVS and there were some interesting advances that came from that. At the same time that EnterVol began we started brainstorming the next generation of our EVS product line, which brings us to today’s announcement.
For those of you that recognize that today we offer only two primary products: Earth Volumetric Studio and EnterVol, you might wonder why our product line has shrunk. The answer is our users. We listened to the frustration of users with EVS-Standard or Pro who needed MVS features but couldn’t convince their management to upgrade. We see our EnterVol suite of products as our entry level software and Studio as our flagship. We wanted all of our EVS & MVS users to be able to take advantage of all of the amazing features we were developing in Studio, so about one year ago, we decided to offer only a single version of Earth Volumetric Studio which would be a super-set of MVS functionality.
Nearly 4 years ago we reached out to a select group of users, we nicknamed the MVS Influencers. They were chosen, you might say, because they were the proverbial squeaky wheels. These were the users that our tech support group heard from a lot. We wanted to make sure that our next-gen technology wasn’t developed in a vacuum, and to that end, you have seen us put out quite a few Candidate Releases of Earth Volumetric Studio as we have striven to implement our ideas and theirs. Today also marks the end of Candidate Releases.
There is a part of me that would like to say that Earth Volumetric Studio version 2016.8 is the best software that we could possibly deliver to our customers. But if I waited until we could make it no better, it would never be ready. We are a creative bunch and I assure you that as good as it is today (and it is amazing), it will only continue to improve with each future release. We have so many great ideas, that it is a hard task just prioritizing what we should tackle next.
It is time to explain why this release is such a big deal. This is the first release of Earth Volumetric Studio and it is the first native 64-bit application we have offered. As the development team worked hard on bug-extraction, we’ve been doing extensive testing to try to find the limits of our new 64-bit software. For two decades we’ve been telling you to keep your grids under 3 or 4 million nodes. For some of you, the limits have been the number of modules, since more than 40 modules would often lock up MVS.
I only have 32 GB of RAM in my system, but I have run 160 million node grids and datasets with 2 million samples. At this point, we do not believe there are any practical limits on application complexity, grid resolution or dataset size other than hardware limitations and patience. For more information on this subject see the Performance Benchmarks page in the help.
For those who haven’t made the jump from MVS to Studio, you haven’t yet experienced the tremendous speed improvements Reed Copsey, Jr. and his team have made to the kriging modules and some of the most computationally intensive modules like surf_cut. Some cases have seen a one-thousand-fold increase in speed. Yes: 1000 times, not 1000%. C Tech can now boast the fastest kriging software in the world, with the most feature rich library of gridding and visualization tools to support it. We have also dramatically enhanced the variography and kriging options offered to please the most hardcore geostatisticians. However, Studio’s Prime Directive was that it be easier to learn and easier to use than MVS. I believe we have been true to that goal and though we continue to add new features, we are working just as hard to make the software approachable and to make sure that all users can take advantage of those features.
One of the most important things we have done to help with learning to use Studio is the dramatically enhanced Earth Volumetric Studio Projects. Each major release of Earth Volumetric Studio will include a corresponding release of Earth Volumetric Studio Sample Projects. Each project folder includes a number of applications which strive to introduce all major modules in Studio with real-world examples provided by our customers over our 27-year history. The Studio Projects that accompanies this release includes 58 beginner applications, 109 intermediate applications and 25 advanced applications, along with corresponding data files, Python scripts, and animation scripts. TheStudio Project Gallery will give you a quick overview of all of these applications. Make sure you download and install the latest Studio Projects with this and future releases, since these will be a reference that we will frequently refer you to when you contact us for technical support issues.
For those migrating from EVS-Pro or MVS to Studio, there is a learning curve, but the vast majority of your acquired knowledge is relevant and you can be productive in hours if not minutes. There is a straightforward migration path and we have online classes to make the transition less daunting.
For those who have already embraced Studio, there will be some adjustments required to move from Studio-32 to Studio-64. These are minor, but it is important that you understand the differences to make the transition as painless as possible.
Thank you all for your patience. I know that many users have been waiting for this 64-bit release for months. I hope you enjoy discovering its power as much as I have during my own testing. It is not the best that we will ever deliver to you, but it is definitely the best software that we’ve delivered to date.
President, C Tech Development Corporation