Vue 10 Infinite review

Thanks to twice-yearly updates, each new iteration of Vue isn’t that spectacular. That doesn’t mean E-on hasn’t been busy with this update, though, because there are new features that do enhance the already hefty toolset.

Two of the most interesting new features are the spline and road tools. These can create road paths in the scenery and feature a path-finding process to make it look more realistic. The spline function can be assigned either a terrain or EcoSystem effect, making it possible to create localised terrain effects. A previous criticism was that you couldn’t increase the detail level in specific areas; it had to be done across the terrain map, leading to a massive increase in the polygon count. Now you can create a spline shape, increase the detail for it and assign terrain and materials.

One other area much improved is the terrain editor itself, which shows exactly where you have edited in the current session. There’s a raft of new brush options for painting terrain features and there’s a new Strata3D node for creating canyon walls and rock formations. There could be a bit more control over the 3D painting tool, but this is still the most sophisticated terrain editor in the 3D world.

Less dramatic but still useful improvements include a new library of dynamic rock templates. There are upgrades to the water system with physical transparency adding absorption and scatting parameters. Out in the oceans, the underwater caustics should look more realistic, thanks to more accurate reflections of incident light. One area that still needs looking at, though, is the effect of gravity on water-based areas.

The terrain editor has been improved to show more details for brush types as well as where you have edited the landscape

OUR VERDICT

In Vue 10 the spline and road tools take centre stage, but there’s improvements in depth-of-field, water effects, animation control, dynamic rocks and render speed too. It’s still the best 3D landscaping software there is. We tried Vue 10 Infinite but there are versions for all abilities.

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