e-on software has ‘pre-released’ Vue 9.5 xStream and Infinite. The update to its professional environment-creation product range is available free to customers on maintenance contracts: everyone else will have to wait until the full release later this quarter.
For a half-point release, the feature list is pretty extensive, including a new texture placement gizmo for positioning texture maps directly onto a mesh; improved cloud-editing tools; and extensions to the relighting and EcoSystem painting toolsets.
PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
e-on software, maker of the leading solutions for Digital Nature, pre-released today Vue 9.5 xStream and Infinite, its professional solutions for the creation, animation and rendering of natural 3D environments.
New features of Vue 9.5
Vue xStream and Vue Infinite are the company’s flagship solutions for the creation of natural 3D environments. Vue Infinite operates as a standalone application while Vue xStream works seamlessly inside 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, LightWave and Cinema4D. Specifically designed for graphics professionals, these products combine a multitude of cutting edge features that easily integrate into existing production pipelines.
Release 9.5 of Vue adds a number of important new features including:
- Interactive Texture Placement
Anew texture manipulation gizmo allows texture maps to be rotated and scaled interactively, directly on the mesh. Users can now place and rotate textures to any position, angle and scale and preview the result in real-time.
- Fast Hybrid Depth of Field
Vue 9.5 features a new hybrid 2.5D algorithm to allow depth of field (DOF) to be rendered 4 times faster than traditional DOF methods.
- Advanced Cloud Control
Editing, animating and cloud rendering performance greatly improved. Cloud restriction zones allow users to include and edit out specific cloud regions. The new cloud offset animation capability produces breathtaking renders of clouds sweeping over terrains and other scene objects.
- Multiple UV Layers
Support for models containing separate UV layers (e.g. diffuse, bump, specular, noise, dirt, etc) is now included for better compatibility with other 3D applications.
- Atmospheric Relighting
The Vue relighting functionality was extended to allow adjustment of all ambient and indirect lighting.
- GPU Accelerated Anti-Aliasing
Vue will now use the additional processing power of the GPU to accelerate the anti-aliasing of thin polygon meshes.
- MDD File Format
Vue 9.5 now supports the MDD file format which allows morphed meshes to be captured as exact geometry for each animation frame.
- Improved EcoPainting
In 3ds Max and Cinema4D, EcoSystem painting on native objects is now done through the entire brush (instead of just the brush center). This results in much more accurate control of the painted instances.
- Custom Star Maps
Custom “deep space” maps can be loaded as an alternative to the standard Vue stars. Users can even load images of distant constellations.
- Many other improvements
Such as vector quantization node, frame labeling, velocity pass in render buffer, composite layers for matte shadow and reflection materials also added.
A complete and detailed list of features will be made available at the time of final release.
Vue 9.5 Available as Pre-release
Vue 9.5 is available free of charge for all users under maintenance. Users of Vue 9 who are not under maintenance and wish to advance to Vue 9.5 should purchase maintenance today (they will receive Vue 9.5 and the Vue 10 upgrade free of charge).
If they wish, users under maintenance can immediately download a pre-release version of Vue 9.5. Users of Vue 9 who subscribe to a maintenance plan today will also be granted access to this pre-release version.
Vue 9.5 xStream and Vue 9.5 Infinite are expected to ship during Q2 2011. Customers who purchased Vue 9 xStream or Infinite within 30 days of the release of Vue 9.5 will receive Vue 9.5 at no cost as part of the Free 30 Day Maintenance included with all new purchases.
Standard Retail Price:
Vue 9.5 xStream will retail for $1,790 with one year maintenance ($1495 without maintenance). A one year standard maintenance plan for xStream costs $395 (renewal: $295 only!).
Vue 9.5 Infinite will retail for $1,190 with one year maintenance ($995 without maintenance). A one year standard maintenance plan for Infinite costs $295 (renewal: $195 only!).
Upgrades from Vue 8.x xStream to Vue 9.5 xStream will be available for $495. Upgrades from Vue 8.x Infinite to Vue 9.5 Infinite will be available for $395 (upgrades from Vue 7 will also be available). Full pricing information will be disclosed at the time of release.
Annual subscriptions for Educational licenses of Vue xStream and Infinite are available respectively for $149/year/seat and $99/year/seat. Upgrades to Vue 9.5 are free for owners of educational licenses of Vue 9.
Site licensing discounts are available, contact e-on software for further details and pricing information.
Vue 9.5 xStream and Vue 9.5 Infinite are available in English for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, and on Mac OSX 10.5+ (Mac Intel only), for both 32 and 64 bit.
Vue 9.5 xStream is compatible with the following renderers:
* 3ds Max 7 to 2012: MentalRay (integrated and MR satellites), V-Ray
* Maya 6 to 2012: MentalRay (integrated and MR satellites), V-Ray, Maya Software
* Softimage | XSI 5.1 to 2012: MentalRay (integrated and MR satellites)
* Cinema 4D R9.6 to R12: native renderer
* LightWave 9.3 to 10: native renderer
Other renderers are under consideration.