e-on software's Vue 8.5 Infinite and Beyond...
Renderosity Columnist, Ricky Grove, reviewed Vue 8.5 xStream, which he gave very high marks, as well as providing a bit of history on the Vue program. Having seen the info on xStream, I had to have a look at where Vue is currently with the standalone Vue 8.5 Infinite. The difference between Infinite and xStream is that xStream is intended as a plug-in for some of the major 3D programs available, including CINEMA 4D, 3ds Max, etc.
Now with the Vue 9 release just around the corner, as well as two new exciting products (Lumen RT and Carbon Scatter), let me provide a bit of what was introduced in Vue 8.5 Infinite, especially for those who are using earlier versions, so you can see just how far Vue has come. Also, I want to point you to the awesome sale on the Vue 3D Artist line (which includes Vue Complete, Vue Studio, and Vue Esprit), that is bound to save you plenty on the way to the upgrade to Vue 9.
So, what was introduced in Vue 8.5 Infinite? Well, the list is actually quite large, so I will point out a few I found to be most extraordinary, while the full list can be viewed here...
One really cool new addition is the ability to add multiple materials when painting terrains in the terrain editor. You can even use effects with selected materials as well. This allows you to get into real detailed work with your terrains and opens up all kinds of possibilities.
Now, continuing with the terrain editor, there are also new sculpting brushes available. These are: Pinch, Flatten, Plateau and UniSlope. And while I'm at it, I really have to say that the terrain editor in Vue, overall, is absolutely amazing. While you can directly sculpt high detail in terrains using some incredible tools, you can also very easily play with the formation buttons on the left side of the panel to get the perfect base terrain to start with.
Pertaining to atmosphere, there is now a great way to control clouds. Clouds are now easier to get just the way you want them, as you can interactively manipulate them...visually (see the image below)! This is especially useful for manipulating layers of clouds.
Global Gamma Control...Now you can fully control gamma in your preferences. You can also make gamma corrections in the Post Render Options panel, as seen below.
One option that was introduced in 8.5 can really be a great help in avoiding long render times, and this is the Diagnostic Render Pass. What this means is that with this option selected, you are able to actually see (in color-coded statistical format) what areas took the longest in your last render, so you can pay special attention to this and reduce your render time. Certainly a huge help when rendering animations. But also a great learning tool, as you'll eventually come to know what to look for.
Check the 'Enable Diagnosis buffer' box
See just where calculations are increased
Another rendering help is found in the EcoSystem panel now, and this is the 'Display Full Quality Near Camera' setting. And speaking of EcoSystems, you can also now drag multiple objects from one of the browsers into the EcoSystem population, as the browser will stay open until you're finished adding objects.
Ease of use
Initially, Vue is very easy to get started with, especially in terrain sculpting and first scene set-up. There are plenty of starting environments to choose from, and like I said, terrain sculpting is very easy to get used to with the vast amount of tools available. Loading readily available materials can yield some great results straight away, too. However, to really get the photo-real look, there is a lot to learn. That's not really to say it's difficult, or there is a steep learning curve, because there really isn't. Just by loading sample scenes and having a look at how they were done shows you a lot. There is also the wonderful manual to turn to, and of course, tons of tutorials on the web, including right here on Renderosity. I must also mention the wonderful tutorials available from Geekatplay studios - those are a real treat.
Vue for Everyone
Now, of course, what I have shown here is what is available in the current Vue 8.5 Infinite, which is in the professional category of the Vue line. However, depending on what you're looking for, there is a Vue product for everyone...
Maintenance plans are available only for the professional products, Vue Infinite and xStream. Cost is $295.00 per year per license under standard, and $995.00 per year per license for the Premium plan. Maintenance info can be see here. It should be noted here that both plans include free upgrades to .5 and full releases within the contract year, which starts from the time you actually activate the product.
All in all, the price for even the top of the line Vue Infinite and xStream products is really quite reasonable for all that these products offers. And it certainly is a good idea to include at least the Standard maintenance when making a purchase.
And now for the recent exciting news from e-on software...
Last Chance Offer on Vue 8 Esprit, Studio and Complete!
Get Vue 8 now! Use one of the following offers and we guarantee that you will have paid less in total when you upgrade to Vue 9! :-) Until Friday October 15, 2010, save up to 50% on Artist products!
Last Call for all Vue 6 Users!
The Vue 9 upgrade policy will offer upgrade paths from Vue 7 and Vue 8 only. So if you're a Vue 6 user, this offer is your last chance to upgrade.
New Purchases and Upgrades from Vue 7 also Discounted!
A Vue to the Future - Coming soon to Vue 9...
Capitalizing on breakthrough technologies introduced in previous versions, Vue 9 will also deliver a number of important new features such as:
View the exciting features expected in Vue 9, as well as the two new products: Lumen RT and Carbon Scatter here.
Be sure to also visit:
Nick C. Sorbin is a digital artist, sculptor, writer, and Managing Editor for Renderosity's Front Page News.
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