Visual Simulation Training


Creating believable simulations requires both a proficiency in how to use image editing software and the art of creating simulations. There are many image editing software programs commercially available (e.g. Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro) that can be used to create photo-realistic simulations. Refer to the specific vendor's software manual or tutorials to learn how to use the editing tools. Local community colleges and computer training companies may also offer classes on specific software near you.

If you plan to use the CanVis image editing software, there are two options for learning the basic editing tools. First, there are tutorial videos included in the program. The software provides a movie icon on the Links Toolbar that, when selected, allows you to select another tool icon to learn how to use that tool. The second option is to use Module 1: Basic Image Editing Tools from the CanVis Training CD.

To learn how to create visual simulations for natural resource planning, see NAC's Visual Simulation Guide. Keep in mind that, even though the Guide has editing examples and valuable "how to" information, it was not designed as a training document. Module 2: Creating A Believable Simulation on the CanVis Training CD was developed to provide a self-paced course on how to use the CanVis software to create visual simulations.

You may also view CanVis Tool Videos on the Digital Coast CanVis website.


An experienced mentor who can guide you in your skill development can be particularly beneficial. Begin by asking around in your organization for individuals who have experience with image editing. Potential disciplines that may have these skills include landscape architects, planners, and graphic designers. Even if the person does not have specific experience doing visual simulations for natural resource projects, other types of image editing skills will probably be useful.


The USDA National Agroforestry Center periodically offers training workshops. Contact Nancy Hammond for more information.


About Agroforestry

Agroforestry intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems. Agroforestry takes advantage of the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. Agroforestry practices include:

About the NAC

The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) had its origins in the 1990 Farm Bill. It began as a Forest Service Research and State & Private Forestry effort in 1992 and expanded into a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1995. It is administered by the Forest Service's, Washington, DC, Office of Research and Development. NAC offices are located in Lincoln, Nebraska and Blacksburg, Virginia.

NAC accelerates the application of agroforestry through a national network of partners. Together, we conduct research, develop technologies and tools, coordinate demonstrations and training, and provide useful information to natural resource professionals.

About Working Trees

The right trees planted in the right places for the right reasons can add value to land-use systems. That's the Working Trees message that helps natural resource professionals, community leaders, and landowners identify with the concept of agroforestry. NAC uses the Working Trees theme to promote the development of sustainable agriculture and communities.


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