CAIT project no.: 60 30 RU846
Fiscal Year: 1999/2000
Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Hani Nassif
External Author(s): Gary Consolazio, Karl Brodtman
Sponsor(s): NJDOT, FHWA-USDOT
This report discusses the development of a new software system that supports 3D/4D modeling and visualization efforts related to the review of roadside signage. By using 3D renderings of proposed signage projects and 4D “virtual drive-throughs”, engineers can evaluate newly proposed signage projects directly from the point of view of a driver moving along the roadway, reading the signage. In order to generate such visualization, the engineer must be able to model the roadway and signage in three-dimensional space and then render the model graphically from various points of view in the model. The software developed for this project addresses these needs and is made up of two components: a visualization model generation tool; and a visualization-rendering tool. The model generation component permits the user to import geometry data and image data and convert that data into a format appropriate for use by the rendering component of the system. The rendering component is capable of rendering a 3D model with sign faces, textures, etc. from any desired point of view.
A virtual drive-through of a proposed signage project can be simulated using the rendering component by defining a driver-motion path through the 3D model and moving along that path at a prescribed rate. Potential problems of excessive sign density, inadequate sight distance, and obstruction of sign faces can be identified prior to actually installing the signage in the field. By identifying such problem areas using 3D/4D modeling and visualization, expensive changes involving signage already installed in the field can be avoided.