E-on Software has released Vue 7 Pioneer, a free entry-level version of its landscape creation software. It's available as a 32- and 64-bit application for Windows and Mac OS X.

E-on says that newcomers to 3D and digital artists will find in Vue 7 Pioneer all the landscape-creation tools they
need to easily create and render amazing images of their own 3D worlds. The product can be extended with 12 optional modules that add specific functionality to the base application. Using this, users can progressively upgrade all the way from Pioneer up to Vue 7 Complete. Vue 7 Esprit, Pro Studio and Complete versions.

The modules include Botanica for editing plants and creating new species; DeepAccess for advanced scene and asset management; LightTune for lighting effects; Zephyr for wind effects; AdvancedGraph for access the Scene Graph, and to craft custom shaders create advanced object interactions; and KronosFX for advanced controls over animation. These modules cost $39 (around £27) each.

The $69 (£48) RenderUp module enables users to create larger, higher quality images – while the $69 HyperVue allows rendering up to five times faster with network rendering. The $99 (£69) EcoSystem allows you to instantly populate your scenes with massive forests, cities or crowds of characters. The $99 EcoPainter can add thousands of trees, buildings or objects to your scenes using a 'paintbrush'. The $129 (£90) 3DImport, import objects in popular 3D formats, with the $149 (£104) Exporter module can export trees, skies, terrains, objects to other 3D applications.

Vue 7 Pioneer can be downloaded from www.vue7.com/home.

E-on has also announced a new series of products: the Vue 7 T-Packs (for 'Thematic Packs'). Vue 7 T-Packs include a version of the Vue 7 core application together with a large collection of thematic content centered on the worlds of Fantasy, Science Fiction or Fairy Tale. Each Vue 7 T-Pack includes over £65 worth of exclusive content: such as 3D virtual sets, models (plants, pre-animated meshes, and the like), atmosphere presets and more.

The Vue 7 T-Packs are compatible with all 12 Vue 7 expansion modules and cost $49.95 (£35).

Read our review of E-on Software's Vue 7 Infinite/xStream here.