About six months after a fully numbered release such as Vue 10 Infinite, E-on Software has been issuing a .5 release. This review is on Vue 10.5 Infinite. E-on Software has added a number of new features. I will be listing them and commenting on some of them. I used the pre-release prior to receiving the full release which I have been using ever since.
- Spline Roll: It is now possible to add roll to spline keypoints using the local rotation gizmo e.g. to create leaning roads or roller coaster rails that bank along bends.
- Spline Resampling: To complement Vue's Automatic Path Finding, Vue 10.5 introduces Spline Resampling that creates new spline keys while keeping the original spline path to better hug the underlying surface.
- EcoSystem Stacking: Users will now be able to stack EcoSystem instances on top of each other. This new feature is available both while painting an EcoSystem or directly from the material editor.
- Rock Convexity: the Rock Convexity material node changes the look of the rocks based on their actual geometry, for instance to create dirty insets or polished edges.
- TerrainFractal 2: Vue 10.5 introduces a new version of the original Terrain Fractal node with optional stratification. Terrain Fractal 2 generates a higher diversity of natural looking shapes, and rough areas of rocks and cliffs are more convincingly integrated in the relief.
- New Python functions: Vue 10.5 adds several new commands to the Python library, such as: Add/remove/move spline points or modify spline effects, Add or modify cloud layers, Manage object animation functions, Hide objects from render, Enable or disable dialogs to popup or set callbacks, and a lot more...
- Render Display Improvements: RenderCow CPU affinity is automatically synchronized with the Windows task manager, RenderCows can be paused directly from the tray icon, the scene render size can be overwritten directly via a RenderNode command line.
- Many other improvements such as angular splines, Terrain Color Pattern node, EcoSystem manipulation and customization improvements, Render Stack management improvements, cloud layer dummies grouping and more.
We all use Vue to create different kinds of scenes; thus, we all probably will have favorite new features. Mine is EcoSystem stacking. Before when I wanted to accomplish this, I had to build an invisible terrain or object and add an EcoSystem to it. Now I can place objects or plants with more precision and with much more ease.
Other EcoSystem Improvements
- Simply invert the current EcoSystem selection with the click of a button.
- Objects can now be dropped onto EcoSystem instances using the Drop / Smart Drop options.
- EcoSystem Painter settings (brush size, flow, etc.) can be set on a per-material basis.
- Instance colors can be reverted directly from the EcoPainter dialog.
- Vue will automatically generate variations of VOB files created from a Dynamic Rock or a SolidGrowth plant.
Below in different steps I did both scaling and coloring of individual instances. The screen capture below of the EcoSystem Painter menu does not show both changes.
Splines were introduced in Vue 10 Infinite. Now you can even manipulate them better. There have been a number of improvements to splines such as Spline Resample and Spline Roll.
- EcoSystem Effects - EcoSystem instances can be aligned dynamically along the spline direction. Additional Rotation and Variability settings are also available to precisely control the orientation of your instances.
- Spline Roll - It is now possible to add roll to the spline keypoints using the local rotation gizmo. This new tool provides more control over the shape of your splines, for instance for the creation of leaning roads or roller coaster rails that bank along bends.
- Automatic Path Finding - To complement Vue's Automatic Path Finding, Vue 10.5 Infinite introduces Spline Resampling.
- Spline Resampling - will create new spline keys while keeping the original spline path, and drop each point onto the underlying surface.
- Angular Splines - Vue 10.5 Infinite adds the possibility to define broken tangents for each spline keypoint, so you can create more elaborate shapes with angular edges.
I decided to demonstrate one of the new features - the ability to align EcoSystems (actually instances) along a spine. To demonstrate the changes, I created one instance and changed certain settings for these tests. The screen capture of the Spline Editor shows just one of the settings. I always kept "Populate with an EcoSystem" and "Populate on Spline". What I changed were the "Align Instances Along a Spine - Rotate instances along spline direction".
Next I set most (see on screen capture composite below) of the parameters for the dinosaur to be uniform and repeated with the angle rotation of 180 degrees since I wanted the prehistoric animals to be walking away from the hills.
New Render Stack Options
- Each render in the stack can be removed individually.
- The Automatic stacking of renders can be optionally disabled when rendering only an area of the full picture or when rendering in preview mode.
Terrain Fractal V2
Below are the choices available for the Fractal node and the Fractal node v2. Since there are so many variables, it is hard to do any kind of before and after test (using or not using a particular function node) to demonstrate how they work.
Terrain Color Pattern Node
Here, also, is a screen capture of the Terrain Color Pattern Node.
I tried many settings and many rocks, and I only got a slight change.
Vue 10.5 Pricing and Availability
Vue 10.5 Infinite retails 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 9.x Infinite to Vue 10.5 Infinite are available for $395 (upgrades from Vue 8 are also available). Check the online pricelist for more information on all upgrade options. I highly recommend a maintenance contract. You get a number of perks. If you have a maintenance plan, you also get free upgrades to the program, so for under $200 per year, you know you will always get a new version as it comes along. Compared to other companies, these become inexpensive upgrades.
For system requirements click on the requirement's PDF.
Just as I was ready to publish this review, E-on Software came out with their free trial version. For me, my favorite new features are the ability to do EcoSystem stacking as well as the ability to place objects on a spine all going in the same direction.. While I tried out all the new nodes, it was very hard to give examples since individual changes in each node, no matter what they are, generally affect the outcome.