Vue 2014 xStream includes a number of new features aimed at integration into VFX pipelines, including better interoperability with Nuke. The software is available now, along with standalone version Vue 2014 Infinite.
Originally posted on 7 November 2013. Scroll down for updates.
e-on software has rolled out a sizeable update to its Vue range of digital environment-generation tools, adding a number of new rendering capabilities and pipeline integration features.
The release marks a slight shift in branding: whereas previous releases of the software bore version numbers, e-on has now switched to an Autodesk-style system using years.
The professional editions of the software, Vue 2014 Infinite and Vue 2014 xStream, are available today; the entry-level editions in the Vue 2014 line-up
will follow later in the month are also now shipping.
New rendering capabilities, UI and EcoSystem improvements
Both versions include a number of major rendering enhancements, incluging a new physically accurate sunlight model, support for photometric lights and tone mapping.
There is also a new Natural Grain mode, intended as a quick way to simulate colour variation in natural environments without having to go too deep into the Function Editor.
The Function Editor itself has been redesigned, along with other UI components; and the EcoSystem instancing algorithms have been overhauled to reduce memory footprint and generate more realistic clumping of vegetation.
Better integration into VFX pipelines
There are also a number of additions significant to studios using the software as part of a VFX pipeline, including the option to export a World Point Position (XYZ) pass for use in compositing.
If you’re using Vue 2014 Infinite, the pipeline features end there, but in Vue 2014 xStream, integration with Nuke (above) has been further improved by support for the software’s .chan camera data format.
xStream users also now have the option to import cameras or textured geometry in FBX format; while render layers can be exported as a single multi-layer OpenEXR 2.0 file.
Vue 2014 Infinite and xStream are available now for Windows and Mac OS X. Pricing remains unchanged at $1,495 for Infinite and $1,995 for xStream, including one year’s maintenance. More details in the news release below.
Updated 28 November: the remaining editions in the Vue product range are now shipping.
PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
e-on software, the leader in 3D Digital Nature technologies, today announced the immediate availability of Vue xStream 2014 and Vue Infinite 2014, its newest Digital Nature solutions for CG Professionals. Other products in the Vue 2014 product line – Pioneer & Theme-packs, Frontier, Esprit, Studio and Complete – will be released later in November 2013.
New features of Vue 2014
Release 2014 focuses on strengthening the core features of Vue – light, atmospheres and EcoSystems. Thanks to dedicated exchange filters, it also pushes integration into existing pipelines.
Here is a shortlist of some of the important new features included in Vue 2014:
- Workflow and Production improvements*
Vue xStream 2014 will import FBX scenes with textured geometries and cameras in both ASCII or binary FBX formats. Camera motion can be imported and exported as .FBX as well as Nuke .CHAN files. Vue xStream 2014 outputs all render layers in a single Multi-layer 32Bit OpenEXR 2.0 file; all passes are available in either 32-bit (floating point or unsigned integer) or 16 bit (half format).
- World Point Position (or XYZ) Pass
Vue 2014 adds a WPP pass to the extensive list of rendering components, masks and information passes that can be generated for added compositing flexibility.
- Physically Accurate Sunlight Model and Photometric Lights
The new scientifically accurate photometric sunlight model uses a real-world, physical simulation of sun and atmospheric light intensities. Users can assign physically accurate values to all light properties, such as color temperature, light intensity (Lumens or Candelas) and IES Profiles.
- Tone Mapping
Vue 2014 lets users select different tone mapping filters to control how raw HDR colors are transformed into the final picture. These filters typically simulate the response of the human eye or chemical photographic film.
- Natural Grain
This new mode produces natural color variations particularly well suited for terrains, ground, or any natural element. Ideal for quick results, the Natural Grain option provides high level access to settings such as contrast, balance and roughness, directly in the Material Editor.
- EcoSystem improvements
EcoSystem Clumping replicates the natural phenomenon whereby plants tend to grow in close patches rather than evenly distributed. Vue 2014 features highly optimized algorithms to accelerate the rendering of EcoSystems containing many small items, such as gravel or grass blades.
- Improved Plant Factory compatibility
Health, Seasonality or any other published plant parameter can be animated directly inside the Vue timeline. When using Plant Factory plants in EcoSystems, a new Quality setting is available in the Population list to define the amount of detail of the plant instances, thus saving memory and reducing render times.
- Interface improvements
The Vue 2014 Function Editor was redesigned for improved performance on modern computer displays. A new option is available that protects the render camera from any unwanted modifications and automatically switches to perspective view whenever the viewport is modified. Vue 2014 can position the sun exactly as it would be in real-life, based on time of day, date and location on Earth.
- Many other improvements
Such as Foldable EcoPainter, highly optimized flat Area Lights, naming in Render Stack, improved material manipulation, integration into the latest releases of Autodesk 2014 products, Cinema4D R15** and LightWave 11.6, and more…
* These features are available in Vue xStream 2014 only.
** At time of release, Windows only. Compatibility with Mac C4D R15 coming soon.
Pricing and Availability
Standard Retail Price
Vue xStream 2014 retails for $1,995 (with one year maintenance), and upgrades start at $439. Vue Infinite 2014 retails for $1,495 (with one year maintenance), with upgrades starting at $359. Upgrades from Vue 10.x are also available.
Educational Licenses and Free Student Learning Versions
Schools and training centers can become member of e-on software’s ATC program and equip themselves with Vue xStream or Infinite 2014 at a massive discount. Site licensing is available for $2000 (max. 30 seats) per year. Individual licenses are available to members of ATC institutions only, for $149 (xStream) and $99 (Infinite) per year.
Owners of an active Vue 11.5 EDU license will receive their upgrade to Vue 2014 for free, however, Educational Licenses will no longer be available to individuals who are not part of an ATC institution (see below).
The Vue 2014 Personal Learning Edition allows any Artist or Student to learn the best Digital Nature tool for free. The PLE now outputs files that can be rendered without limitation using an ATC license. Students can thus work from home using the free PLE and bring their work back to school for use (and final rendering) using their school’s resources.
The Vue 2014 Personal Learning Edition is scheduled for release before the end of November 2013.
Vue xStream 2014 and Vue Infinite 2014 are available in English for Windows® XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 and Mac OSX 10.6-10.9 for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
Vue xStream 2014 is compatible with the following renderers:
3ds Max 2008 to 2014: MentalRay (integrated and MR satellites), V-Ray
Maya 2008 to 2014: MentalRay (integrated and MR satellites), V-Ray, Maya Software
Softimage | XSI 7 to 2014: MentalRay (integrated and MR satellites)
Cinema 4D R11.0 to R15*: native renderer
LightWave 9.3 to 11.6: native renderer
Other renderers are under consideration.
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