• Price: 406 . 461 . 517 . 572

  • Company: E-on Software

  • Pros: EcoSystem Gen II technology for painting instances directly onto objects. Spectral Engine and Metaclouds. Layered EcoSystems. Omni and directional wind ventilators. xStream provides tight integration with latest versions of 3D software.

  • Cons: Expensive compared to competition. xStream not available for Mac OS or Softimage|XSI. Complex workflow for production-level tasks, yet reference manual is basic.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

Vue has had a bit of an overhaul in the interface department with version 6 Infinite. Gone is the recessed blue façade, to be replaced with a subdued brown background and clearer icons. The preview window has updated controls, but the World Browser, which organizes the scene components in a layered list, remains unchanged.

3D model creation and object translation is simple in Vue, as is the process of assigning materials. Several new shortcuts exist to speed up your workflow, including SmartDrop, which correctly aligns objects on the surface of terrain, rather than having to fiddle about in different views.

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Vue has capitalized on its support for volumetric materials with the Spectral Engine. This is an advanced volumetric effect that can rapidly create layered clouds and fog, accurate light dispersion from water particles and natural phenomena such as ‘Godrays’. 
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As with most Vue effects you can deploy a standard example quickly or tweak the results – both work well. Volumetric effects like this are accessed from within Vue’s Atmosphere Editor, which also supplies an option for applying wind to SolidGrowth objects. New directional and omni ventilators in Vue 6 let you quickly apply local wind effects to plants, and can be moved around or linked to other objects in the scene. As with most things in Vue however, if you want to do anything at a production level with this you’ll need to set aside some experimentation time.
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