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VBS to Feature Shopping Center for Counterterror Response Training

Mar 06, 2018

From Nairobi to Tel Aviv to Munich, shopping centers have been targeted numerous times by terrorists over the years worldwide. Because they are filled with civilians (representing potential hostages and victims) and often feature complex open layouts filled with places to hide and take cover, shopping centers represent a unique security and tactical response training challenge.

BISim has developed a massive 3D model of a 400-by-250-meter shopping center for a client demonstration. The shopping center model will be available in the VBS3 v18.2 baseline.

The shopping center represents one of the largest objects created for VBS3 and provides an excellent setting for counter-terror training and other urban tactical response training scenarios, according to Mark Lacey, BISim’s Director of Art. BISim technical artists also created two new, high-detailed police 3D character models as part of the demonstration project.

The design of the shopping center is larger than a typical European shopping center, according to Lacey. The BISim team built 32 unique models (and 5-6 texture variations each), including kiosks, benches, garbage bins, tables, plants, photo booths and vending machines that can be placed and arranged by administrators anywhere in the model.

VBS3 incorporates other features that assist trainers in conducting real-time tracking and after-action review assessments. One feature specific to the model is a 2D plan view of the shopping center that provides an accurate layout of the structure and shows all units moving inside it, a feature adapted from tech created for the UK MOD to follow the movements of trainees’ avatars inside the Type 45 Destroyer. The second feature is a series of camera positions throughout the facility that act as a kind of closed circuit television system, enabling the training administrator to quickly access a camera view, instead of using the Real-Time Editor camera to fly to the position.

“This allows police units to train as they would in real life with the advantage of VBS3’s After Action Review and Real-Time Editor,” said Lacey. “The AAR gives them the ability to assess their movement, their decision making, and also track how many rounds were fired, when and how less lethal options such as stun grenades used, etc., without having to sift through hundreds of hours of live CCTV footage.”