WHAT’S NEW IN 2021 (R6)?
This release introduces compatibility for MacOS BigSur and for the following host application versions and render engines (bold items are new):
3D Studio Max 2016 to 2021
Maya 2015 to 2020
Cinema4D R20 to R23
Lightwave 11.6 to 2019
V-Ray 5 and Arnold
For a detailed list of changes, check out the full release notes.
The small stuff (VUE & PlantFactory)
Substance GPU engine: In the User Preferences (File – Options), you can now enable the Substance GPU engine for calculating and rendering of Substance materials. Thanks to the calculation on the GPU, you can expect speed increases of up to 200% and more, depending on the Substance material.
New nodes in the Function Editor: For advanced normal map creation, RGB composer & decomposer as well as a “Normal” input were added.
Path Tracer: The Path Tracer now supports both Relighting and NPR.
Real-world displacement: Following the rewritten displacement from the last release, you can now switch optionally to a displacement mode with real-world units. This mode computes the displacement differently than the “unitless” mode, as it takes the object’s scaling along each axis into account, which is especially useful for instanced objects with scale variations.
Additionally, more than 500 fixes and performance improvements were added across both applications.
The BIG stuff (VUE & PlantFactory)
The big features in this release are common to both VUE & PlantFactory.
Deep integration with Cinema4D
The integration with Cinema4D has been completely revamped and encompasses
Rewritten scene export to *.c4D file format with cameras, hierarchies and animation
Support for V-Ray Next & Arnold in the conversion tool of the VUE plugin
The first release of the PlantFactory technology preview plugin for C4D
Harness the power of procedural environment asset creation and become a digital God. Maximize both your team's creativity and productivity, while boosting your return on investment and profitability.
Thanks to plethoric interoperability technologies, the Enterprise Solution seamlessly integrates into any production pipeline – for VFX, movie, gaming, and architectural visualization industries.
The Enterprise Solution includes VUE, PlantFactory, 25 RenderNodes (win/mac). New content libraries are also added on a regular basis to keep your creative juices flowing.
Be EfficientHarness the power of procedural environmental asset creation to become a digital God. Maximize both your teams creativity and productivity while boosting your return on investment and profitability. Thanks to plethoric interoperability technologies, the Enterprise Solution seamlessly integrates into any production pipeline - for VFX, films, gaming, and architectural visualization industries.
Multi-DisciplinaryWherever there's a need for environments, we've got you covered. The Enterprise Solution offers the most comprehensive environment creation toolkit for your artists: for environment asset creators, concept artists, matte painters, lighters, compositors, game designers, and more! Whatever your team creates is exportable to your other pipeline tools. Single assets (terrains, trees, rocks, etc.), entire scenes, 3D cloud layers or standalone clouds, skymaps, HDR light probes and skydomes, multi-pass renders… you name it!
Pipeline FriendlyWhile our main GUI applications are not - yet1 - available on Linux², our solutions are developed with pipeline integration in mind, so that you don’t have to think about it. Both VUE and PlantFactory include the recommended - or most recent - versions of The VFX Reference Platform set of tools and libraries (based on CY2018 norm) such as Python, OpenVDB, OpenEXR, Alembic, Ptex, FBX etc… Software licensing is also standardized with your other pipeline tools, based on the RLM™ licensing technology. No more fiddling with custom license server configurations. Enterprise Solutions can also come as floating licenses so that you can vastly save on your licensing costs.
Content Free Re-fillOn top of the default content that ships with all versions of our solutions, the Enterprise Solution includes a specific procedural vegetation catalog that will be updated regularly. These plants were designed by our internal botanist – to ensure they are physically and botanically correct. The current collection comprises 20 totally new vegetation species that ship both in HD (high poly-count) and LD (smaller poly-count footprint) – fully textured. These are not just mere static vegetation models. Each procedural species is a Plant Engine that can serve to generate anything from game-ready vegetation to blockbuster Hero trees. Each species comes with a truckload of presets, and each preset comes with age variations. Best of all, since all of this is procedural – you get access to all parameters and can change everything.
Your Render Farm IncludedRenderNodes are designed to work efficiently alongside the other tools in your production facility. They are controlled by your render farm manager using simple command line instructions. Your Enterprise Solution includes 25 Windows or Mac RenderNodes (Linux versions and/or additional seat offerings are available upon request). The RenderNode license will enable you to use a 3rd party network rendering application to manage and distribute the rendering of both VUE scene files (.vue) AND integrated scenes (.max, .ma or .mb, .c4d, .lws, .scn) over a network of computers.
VUE features an interface design that's optimized for ease-of-use and productivity and is packed full of amazing rendering features including volumetric effects, glowing materials, lens flares, stars and planets, rocks, and more!VUE is so productive and easy to use that you'll be designing and animating 3D scenery within seconds.
TerrainsVUE integrates flexible and powerful terrain modeling technologies. From creating full planets to infinitely detailed terrainscapes, VUE's got you covered!Create hydrological and thermal simulations, manually sculpt them in real time, and even animate the parameters. Procedural terrains provide an unlimited level of detail; move your camera closer, and more detail is seamlessly added.Like procedural terrains, Heightfield Terrains are based on a function graph, but baked on a fixed-resolution grid. Allowing more flexibility and realism to your terrains. Heightfield Terrains are also significantly faster to render!
VegetationVUE ships with a hefty plant library, comprised of over 170 plant species, from HD vegetation to low resolution. More species are added on a regular basis1.The VUE vegetation technology ensures that no two plants you add to your scene will be identical, freeing you from hardcore vegetation modeling tasks, and adding more subtlety to your scenes.The Plant Editor lets you easily customize any of the plants included and allows you to create your own, unique plant species. VUE will also automatically animate plants for you so that they gently sway in the breeze, or twist and bend in strong winds!VUE is natively compatible with the fully procedural PlantFactory file format, to produce high-quality hero trees as well as distant vegetation. VUE can animate all of the exposed plant properties (such as Health, Seasonality or any other published plant parameter).
EcosystemsWith e-on's patented Ecosystem technology, you can easily populate your scenes with millions of plants, trees, stones and other objects, to achieve an unprecedented level of natural complexity and detail while keeping VUE’s performance and display running smoothly.Ecosystems do not merely scatter objects randomly across the surface. Instead, our technology decides where to place them according to the natural rules you define.Additionally, the Ecosystem painter lets you interactively paint Ecosystems over any surface.
Clouds & AtmospheresSimply said, VUE has the most advanced, complete and fully procedural atmospheric engine on the market. Convert any mesh to clouds, create complex atmospheres from scratch, or use any of the predefined atmospheres, create planetary cloud layers, and export standalone clouds or full cloud layers as openVDB *.You can easily control the overall shape of the clouds, from feathery to clumpy and create skies with as many overlapping spectral cloud layers as you like for complex and unbelievably realistic cloudscapes!
LightingVUE offers a multitude of lighting options to create stunning outdoor and indoor scenery including a scientifically accurate photometric atmosphere/light model, cutting edge global illumination and indirect lighting engines, HDR image-based lighting, a complete set of light types with raytraced and mapped soft shadows and a full-featured lens flare editor.
MaterialsThe creation of natural 3D environments requires highly complex shaders that respond to altitude or slope, seamlessly cover any terrain, and exhibit enough detail whether seen from distance or from close-up.VUE features a shader system that is fully optimized for the challenges of Digital Nature. By using three types of material editors, you can effectively create anything from simple bitmapped textures to elaborate multi-layered procedural materials that dynamically respond to the environment.VUE is fully compliant with the PBR Metalness workflow and includes a Specular to Metalness converter.
RenderingVUE offers 2 render engines: a fully customizable CPU Ray-tracer, and a hybrid GPU/CPU Path tracer. Both render engines incorporate all of today’s high-end features yet stands out in their ability to handle huge polygon counts quickly and efficiently.Render your scenes in stereo, 360° VR Panoramas, VR180, to play them on any Stereo-compliant platform (such as Youtube for instance) or devices such as Occulus Rift, HTC Vive, Nvidia 3DVision, Sony PSVR, Google DayDream, Google Carboard etc.For more artistic freedom, VUE also includes a fully featured Non-Photorealistic Rendering shader that analyzes your renders to create stylized artwork.
IntegrationBecause we understand that our tools will find their place with bigger arsenal in your pipeline, we made sure that what you do in VUE does not merely stay in VUE, and what you do outside of VUE can be imported seamlessly.VUE can be installed both as a standalone package, and as a plugin for 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema4D or LightWave. With the included conversion tool, VUE scenes can be rendered with any renderer such as RenderMan, Arnold, Octane, VRay Next, Corona, etc.VUE features an extensible architecture that can be programmed using the Python cross-platform standard for application scripting.Easily exchange geometry with ZBrush using GoZ (terrains as quads, other meshes as triangles).Camera motion can be imported and exported as .FBX as well as Nuke .CHAN files. - And that’s just scratching the surface of how well VUE can fit into your workflow!
ExportVUE lets you export every single asset of your scenes: Plants, Rocks, Terrains, Ecosystem populations, procedural materials, Camera paths, lights, Cloud Layers, Standalone Clouds and even full scenes, in a wide variety of file formats, such as FBX, Alembic, OpenVDB, 3ds, Collada, Ptex and more. You can control every single Level of Detail, per instance, or globally. On top of this, skies can be exported as HDR skydomes or skycubes.
VUE provides extensive multi-pass rendering options. Virtually every rendering element, every layer, every material and every single object can be assigned a separate pass. VUE generates all multi-pass renders in High Dynamic Range, including all objects, cloud and layer masks, rendering components, ambient occlusion, shadows, reflections, atmospheric contributions, etc. Multi-pass renders can be exported as EXR 32 bit files with each pass stored in high dynamic range format.
PlantFactory is packed with amazing features that deliver unsurpassed realism and performance. An essential tool for any VFX pipeline, PlantFactory will have you creating stunning digital art in a flash!
Production ProofBecause we understand that our tools will find their place with bigger arsenal in your pipeline, we made sure that what you do in PlantFactory does not merely stay in PlantFactory!Plants created with PlantFactory can be exported to any 3D application using export formats such as Alembic, FBX, 3DS, OBJ, C4D, LWO, etc.Plants are exported fully rigged, fully textured, with UV maps and displacement, and with all their LODs. Breeze or wind animated plants can be exported as a fully rigged mesh or as a cloud of animated vertices (MDD style).You can fine-tune the animation of rigged mesh plants directly inside your target 3D application.PlantFactory also offers a variety of export presets, custom tailored for specific host applications. Such presets include export for 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema4D, LightWave, Modo, ZBrush, Unity, Unreal, Blender, and more...
PlantFactory + VUEWhen used in conjunction with VUE, PlantFactory will fully integrate and expand the software, so that you can access the plant editing power of PlantFactory directly from VUE and use the VUE tools to affect the PlantFactory vegetation.Furthermore, when used inside of VUE, PlantFactory creates unique vegetation - i.e. no two plants of the same species will ever look exactly alike. PlantFactory plants also sway in the breeze, or twist and bend in strong winds.PlantFactory plants will automatically adapt their resolution with distance, through a dynamic LOD system, making them perfect for Hero plants, foreground, mid-ground and background placements in your compositions.PlantFactory vegetation can be edited directly within the VUE Plant Editor. Specific parameters from the plant graph can be extracted to the Plant Editor to create simplified, high-level controls and facilitate your plant editing process.Last but not least, like any VUE component, PlantFactory plants will work seamlessly with the EcoSystem™ technology to create landscapes containing millions of unique plants!
SeasonalityOne of the key features of PlantFactory is its ability to dynamically set global plant characteristics such as plant age, health, and seasonality.These characteristics can drive any node or set of nodes in the TPF graph to add more complete plant definition and realism.