E-on Software has detailed the new features available in the upcoming versions of its 3D landscape creation software, Vue 7.5 xStream and Vue 7.5 Infinite, which are due later this year.

Users of the current version 7 with maintenance contracts can download a pre-release version of Vue 7.5.

Read our review of E-on Software Vue 7 Infinite and xStream here.

Vue 7.5 includes many rendering enhancements. There's support of the V-Ray renderer for 3ds Max and EcoSystem painting in Softimage in the xStream plug-in system. The core software gains support for colour and alpha masks of single clouds and cloud layers in the multi-pass renderer, and 'camera mapping' to cut animation render times.

Spherical and planetary procedural terrains can be created with an infinite level of detail, as can spherical cloudscapes -- either procedurally, or based on real-world/modified cloud maps. Material painting and effect-driven material mapping has been added to the Terrain Editor, and there's enhanced multi-processor usage for procedural terrains, Dynamic EcoSystems and panoramic rendering.

EcoSystem populations can evolve over time, and cloud layers can cast and receive shadows from other cloud layers and objects in the scene. There's an omproved OpenGL sky and cloud preview, and coloured EcoSystem instance previewing. E-on says that more details on the new features of Vue 7.5 will be disclosed at the time of release.

Vue 7.5 xStream cost $1,495 (£1,019), with upgrades from Vue 7 xStream available for $495 (£338). Vue
7.5 Infinite will retail for $895 (£610), with upgrades from Vue 7 Infinite available for $295 (£200). Vue 7.5 xStream and Vue 7.5 Infinite will be available for Windows XP32/64 and Vista 32/64, and on Mac OSX 10.4 and 10.5 as a 32 bit application (as a Universal Binary).

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