ArtMatic Voyager 1.6 full review

Created by Eric Wenger, the brain behind 3D landscape creator Bryce, ArtMatic Voyager has been edging towards version 2.0 for the best part of five years. It’s still only at version 1.6. But software this interesting – this unique – doesn’t have to be rushed. It’s the kind of application that you can happily lose an afternoon in, building worlds of astonishing depth and detail.

When you first launch the program, you’ll see a 3D landscape already rendered. Click and move the mouse within the landscape and you can change the orientation of the virtual camera. Sliders take care of zoom and elevation for finer control. Cleverly, a random location feature transports you instantly to another part of the landscape – and you can take snapshots of your favourite terrain by clicking the camera icon.

Voyager’s features are right there in the main window. You can adjust the colour of a world’s sun, change the direction of shadows, tweak ambient light and set the height of terrain. The main window updates in real time to show you the results, although it can take a while to see them. The program ships with several ready made worlds and these can be customised extensively with different skies and textures.

Voyager’s rendering is slow at higher settings – especially when creating animated sequences – though support for quad core processors in this version should improve this. We’d love to see how it performs on a Mac Pro.

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