Wed, 05 Dec 2012 Vue 11 Infinite review
The number one 3D landscape program gets particle effects
- Manufacturer: E-on Software
- Pros: New automatic weather effects, EcoParticles and Effectors, 360 degree EcoSystem population, customisable brushes, faster rendering
- Cons: No visibility toggles for individual objects, not enough content supplied, some glitches with EcoSystems, accurate placement of EcoSystems tricky, new atmospheric effects don’t add enough depth, crashed a few times
- Price: €1082 (DVD), €1022.42 (download), €300 (DVD, Vue 10.x upgrade), €283.44 (download, Vue 10.x upgrade). Starter editions also available
- Star rating:
Every couple of releases Vue adds some new tools that radically enhance just what can be achieved with the program. This looks like being one of those times with the addition of two types of particle systems, as well as the usual under-the-hood improvements. The first treat is the addition of snow and rain to the Atmosphere Editor and these work with any atmosphere model. There’s a type of precipitation and then an area to apply it to. In the case of rain this is a maximum of 30m and in the case of snow it’s 50m. There are parameters for strength, flake size and speed. Then the wind comes into play and can create turbulence and motion blur. Particles can also be set to run into each other. The rain and snow materials themselves can be edited in the Advanced Material Editor. The rain can be quite effective when added to a misty or cloudy scene but the snow really does have to be over the top of a white, snow laden scene. If there’s one problem with both of these is that they don’t create enough of an effect so if you were hoping for a thick snowstorm you’re out of luck. They look a little more intense when run as an animation though.
The other big news is the EcoParticle system which can be used for animated rain and snow, fire, falling leaves and all the other things which were traditionally a little more tricky to do in Vue. You should also be able to create waterfalls and tornadoes. The particle system is added to a material layer in the same fashion as normal EcoSystem material layers but there’s added control for speed and direction, collision properties and how long the particles last. There’s a function node system that enables them to be combined to create more advanced effects like rain hitting a watery surface and making a rain splash.
Those are just the headline additions for Vue 11, there are other enhancements like custom EcoPainter brushes and a Fast Population mode so when a material aspect is changed it can be applied across the entire EcoSystem. Throw in faster rendering, illumination caching for architectural renders, the integrated Selection tool and a completely redesigned EcoPainter and you have a fairly major upgrade.