Review of e-on software's Vue 5 Easel
Vue 5 Easel by e-on software is not only an entry level program in their line of Vue 5 products, Vue 5 Esprit, Vue 5 Pro Studio, and Vue 5 Infinite, but also an entry level application. It is a great program to try your hand at 3D applications that don't necessarily demand a lot of knowledge. The amount you experiment with this program is up to you.
I have been using e-on's other Vue programs for a number of years now and was pleasantly surprised to see how much of the core program actually appeared in Vue 5 Easel. One can definitely use the program to build landscapes that are simple or complex. Vue 5 Easel has a lot of the same presets as do the other Vue 5 programs, but fewer options. I believe for the person entering the world of 3D this is much easier and a better learning tool. When I first started using Vue 5 Easel, I had no idea how far I could take it. I decided to see how creative I could be with it and found that it offered a lot more options, choices for creativity, flexibility, etc. than what one might think in the beginning.
What can one do with Vue 5 Easel?
e-on has provided 17 presets which can be modified.
One can build landscapes from scratch just by using the tools in Vue 5 Easel. This landscape is not complicated and did not take me long.
I made use of the create water plane, create terrain plane, and use Quadratic and regular spot lights. I could have used two regular spot lights instead of a Quadratic one. Unfortunately, manipulating lights is clumsy in Vue 5 Easel because it is hard to face them in the correct direction. One can line them up using the numerics panel which is the right one in the screen capture below. They can be positioned; it just takes longer than it does in Vue 5 Infinite, for example.
The same plants come with Vue 5 Esprit as they do with Vue 5 Easel. The size of these plants can be modified on the screen like any other object, but they cannot be modified themselves as they can with the Botannica module or in Vue 5 Pro Studio, or in Vue 5 Infinite.
One can assign water to a water plane or to a terrain plane to give it a non flat surface. One can customize the terrain
by flattening it and, then, by double clicking on it to bring up the Terrain Editor. In the Terrain Editor, one can choose the Dig and Raise options to add bumps which can turn into swells and create channel in the lower parts. The swells could have been even more exaggerated.
There is a tremendous amount of materials available for creativity and experimentation in Vue 5 Easel.
One can create all types of atmosphere by loading different atmospheres of which there are over a 100 including those with Global Illumination, natural sunsets, starts, etc., or one can change any of these using the Atmosphere Editor. The two scenes below were changed by loading different skies and by changing some of the colors using the Atmosphere Editor.
I imported different combinations of Poser 5 and 6 figures. One aspect that is import is that even if the import or load Poser path states 5 and 6, make sure you choose the path for the particular version. If it doesn't come up automatically, it can be found under "Options." I imported hair that I had created in the Hair room (on skull caps not follicle sets.). I, also, imported transmapped hair, and "dynamic" hair from Poser 5 and strand hair from Poser 6 as well as dynamic clothing from Poser 6. Below is transmapped hair on a default Jessi.
I found in Poser 5 that I could import the hair that came with the program. While labeled as dynamic hair, it is not built as strand based hair and so it would import. In addition, conforming clothes are necessary.
Strand based hair and dynamic clothing disappeared when imported. I contacted e-on software and they stated that they are working to fix this problem.
To check on my models, I loaded all the models into Vue 5 Infinite and all the hair and the dynamic dress were OK. If you have specific concerns with Poser character, download the Vue 5 Easel trial version.
The sailboat in the scenes above was created from a piece of one of my photographs using an Alpha Plane.
Even though I stated that lights were a little clumsy to use, there is still a lot that can be done with them. Notice how a spot light brightens up the boat and makes it appear sharper. However, it also does spread to the surrounding areas which in this case was fine. There are three light setting Standard, Global Ambience, and Global Illumination.
The power of spot lights, for example, can be changed as can its falloff, its softness, spread, and color. Each type of light: Point Light, Quadratic Point Light, Spot Light, Quadratic Spot Light, and Directional Light all have different properties that can be controlled. The changes that the additional Spot light makes is not as noticeable in the screen captures as it was in the original images.
Text in Vue 5 Easel is composed of Preset Styles as well as factors that one is able to control such as size of letters, type, and spacing.
I placed the programs name on a starry night background Load Atmosphere>Others>Outer Space. To have it covering the whole viewport, I deleted the ground plane.
Vue 5 Easel also has a limited animation component. In their feature list, while they list a number of animation features, if you read it, it shows they are limited. I did a small animation of a boat moving as seen from an Island using the Animation Wizard and a path and it worked although it was not that interesting, but I am not very creative with animations anyway. I saved it as an avi file and it played very well.
Other than the two areas I criticized above, Poser importation of dynamic hair and clothes and lights, my only other criticism was that there was only one level of undo. For novices, especially, I feel there should be more.
I was very pleasantly surprised with Vue 5 Easel. Using Vue 5 Infinite all the time, I thought that there would be little I could do creatively in Vue 5 Easel. I was very wrong. Even though the tools and options are pared down compared to Vue 5 Esprit, Vue 5 Studio Pro, and Vue 5 Infinite, it did not hinder my creativity. I found that I looked at some of the basic elements and found I could use them to create very satisfactory landscapes. The ones I have created for this review are basically quick ones to try out the different features.
If you are new to 3D and want to learn some basics while having fun and seeing immediate results, this program is excellent. If you are familiar with 3D but have never worked with a landscape program, this one is a good choice.The cost of Vue 5 Easel is US downloaded version $89.00. Otherwise $99.00 The sidegrade up to Vue 5 Esprit is US $149.00 while the original cost of Vue 5 Esprit is US $249. For a complete list of pricing, go to: http://www.e-onsoftware.com/buy/?page=2.
I have, also, written a number of tutorials on using Vue 5 Easel and will keep adding to the group. They can be found under Vue 5 Easel on my web site.