What's New?    

Vue xStream 2014.5

In Short

Plant Factory Compatibility

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Vue xStream 2014.5 natively recognizes Plant Factory content (without requiring ownership of Plant Factory). Animate Health, Seasonality or other published plant parameters directly inside the Vue Timeline.

When using Plant Factory plants in your EcoSystems, a new Quality setting is available in the Population list that lets you define the amount of detail of the plant instances, thus saving memory and reducing render times.

Significant improvements were added in Vue xStream 2014.5 to speed up the rendering of TPF plants - with a render-time gain of up to 20 times faster (advanced pre-computing of illumination on plants, improved illumination quality, etc...). Major improvements in the normal mapping algorithms also dramatically boost overall plant rendering quality.

Vue xStream 2014.5 offers a better access to TPF plant published parameters and mesh resolution directly within the Plant Editor. The Plant Editor is now resizeable for improved plant customization.

Finally, Vue xStream 2014.5 adds compatibility with Plant Factory lightweight preset technology (in Plant Factory 2014.5).

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Physically Accurate Sunlight Model

The new photometric sunlight model uses a real-world, physical simulation of sun and atmospheric lighting intensities. This new, scientifically accurate model offers an alternative to the more artistic approach of the existing Spectral model.

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All plants in this scene were created with Plant Factory

Just like your SLR: Because light intensities match their real-world couterparts, you can adjust exposure using the standard shutter speed, film speed (iso) and f-number settings, exactly as if you were taking a picture using a real camera. If you like, these settings can also be handled automatically by Vue.

As a result, your renders will look more photo-real in a subtle way, and HDR renders will preserve all the range of the natural spectrum.

You can easily switch between the new photometric model and the standard spectral model; Vue will make all the required changes automatically.

When working in xStream integrated mode, the Vue render engine will automatically adapt to the host application's photometric model to provide seamlessly integrated lighting.

Photometric Lights

You can now assign physically accurate values to all light properties, such as color temperature (Incandescent, Halogen, Fluorescent, Tungsten...), light intensity (Lumens or Candelas) and IES Profiles.

IES profiles represent the distribution of light emitted by a given light source in any direction. Using IES profiles, you can recreate exact digital replicas of real-world light sources.

Use one of the many preset IES profiles or load your own using the dedicated IES Viewer.

To produce even more realistic renders, the Photometric Light presets in Vue xStream 2014.5 were improved and several new presets were added (such as Carbon Arc, Sodium Vapor, Metal Halide etc...).

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Tone Mapping

Vue xStream 2014.5 lets you select different tone mapping filters to specify how raw HDR colors are transformed into the final picture. These filters typically simulate the response of the human eye or chemical photographic film:

  • The Photographic Exposure filter provides the typical response of photographic film, and gives you control over the response curve (such as Shadows, Mid-tones or Highlights).
  • The Linear Exposure filter is the simplest of all: no contrast transformation is performed, the tone curve is flat, and the user can control the steepness of the response.
  • The two Reinhard Exposure filters provide control over contrast enhancement, as well as Brightness, Chromatic and Light adaptation.
  • The False Colors filter can be used to visualize the HDR range of intensities of the rendered picture.
  • The Vue Exposure filter is the legacy response curve, with or without natural film response.
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Natural Grain

Vue xStream 2014.5 introduces a new color production mode called Natural Grain.

This new mode produces natural color variations particularly well suited for terrains, ground, or any natural elements of your scene.

Great results, no brain squash: Ideal for quick results, the Natural Grain option provides high level access to settings such as contrast, balance and roughness, directly from the Material Editor without having to delve into the intricacies of the Function Editor (of course, you can always customize the look further using the Function Editor).

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Hover the image to compare the render
with and without Light Portals

Light Portals

Light Portals (aka Daylight Portals) are invisible objects that help Vue render interior scenes more efficiently. By helping Vue understand the way light enters indoor scenes, Light Portals greatly enhance the accuracy and quality of interior renders.

You can create and place Light Portals manually or let Vue place them automatically thanks to an intelligent assisted mode.

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Other Rendering Enhancements:

  • Surfaces can easily be made more or less reflective according to angle of incidence.
  • Highly optimized flat Area Lights: the rendering of planar area lights of same quality is faster than previous versions.

Improved Workflow and Interoperability

With FBX import, Multi-layer 32bit OpenEXR 2.0, WPP passes, .FBX and .CHAN camera exchange, Vue xStream 2014.5 integrates better than ever with the other tools in your production pipeline.

FBX Geometry Import

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Filmbox (usually called FBX) is an interchange format for entire scenes, used to provide interoperability between digital content creation applications.

Vue xStream 2014.5 will import FBX scenes with textured geometries and cameras in both ASCII or binary FBX formats*.

* Other elements (such as lights, rigs, morphs) included in the FBX spec are not supported at this time.

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Import / Export Cameras as FBX or CHAN

In addition to the comprehensive list of synchro plugins and Camera Tracking import, Camera motion can now be imported and exported as .FBX as well as Nuke .CHAN files.

Multilayer 32Bit OpenEXR 2.0

OpenEXR is a high dynamic-range image (HDRI) standard developed by Industrial Light & Magic for use in computer imaging applications.

Vue xStream 2014.5 can now output all render layers in a single multi-layer EXR file. All passes are available in either 32-bit (floating point or unsigned integer) or 16 bit (half format).

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World Point Position (or XYZ) Pass

Vue xStream 2014.5 adds a WPP pass to the extensive list of channels that Vue can generate for added compositing flexibility.

The WPP Pass is a common technique used by compositors in multiple ways (re-lighting scenes directly in Nuke or After Effects, creating quick atmospheric effects such as ground fog, etc.).

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Deeper Interoperability

  • Vue xStream 2014.5 now supports Autodesk 2015 Media & Entertainment products (3ds Max 2015, Maya 2015 and Softimage 2015), and also adds support for V-Ray 3 for 3ds Max (support V-Ray 3 for Maya is under development)*.
  • New Python callbacks were added to Vue xStream 2014.5 to edit EcoSystem populations, or to create a terrain from an existing heightmap file.

* Support for the upcoming version of LightWave is also under development,
and will be added to Vue xStream 2014.5 as soon as such new version is released.

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EcoSystem Clumping

In the real world, plants tend to grow close together rather than evenly distributed.

EcoSystem Clumping in Vue xStream 2014.5 lets you easily replicate this effect using only two sliders, clumping amount and average clump size.

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Gravel and Small Item EcoSystems

Vue xStream 2014.5 features highly optimized algorithms to accelerate the rendering of EcoSystems containing many small items, such as gravel or grass blades.

These new algorithms also significantly optimize the memory footprint and are compatible with both Static and Dynamic EcoSystems.

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Optimized Interface

A lot of work went into Vue xStream 2014.5 to enhance your workflow and simplify your everyday use of the software:

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Redesigned Function Editor

Capitalizing on the Plant Factory interface, the Vue xStream 2014.5 Function Editor was redesigned for improved performance on modern computer displays.

The new Function Editor is shown horizontally with streamlined parameter access.

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Perspective Views

Vue xStream 2014.5 dissociates the concept of render camera (used for filming the final shot) and perspective view, used to freely browse around the scene. A new option is available (enabled by default) that protects the render camera from any unwanted modifications and automatically switches to perspective view whenever you modify the viewport (you can instantly assign the new point of view to the render camera with the push of a button).

You can switch back and forth between Perspective view and Main Camera, and you can create new "Point of view" cameras based on the current Perspective View.

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Real-World Sun Position

Vue xStream 2014.5 can position the sun exactly as it would be in real-life, based on time of day, date and location on Earth. You can pinpoint the location on a map, select from a set of predefined locations, or indicate the exact coordinates (and store them in the list of presets).

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Other Interface Enhancements:

  • Foldable EcoPainter: All sections in the EcoPainter and Brush Editor are foldable, letting you customize the dialogs to your needs.
  • Names in Render Stack: add titles to the thumbnails of stacked renders.
  • Mouse wheel automatically zooms view beneath mouse pointer
  • Scroll through scrollable areas using mouse wheel
  • Add Camera menu option in the Objects menu
  • Menu items show icons or thumbnails for better clarity
  • Easily identify Recent scenes and Snapshots (manual or auto-saved) using thumbnails directly in the menu
  • Sort Materials by names in the Material tab of the World Browser
  • Easily change the height of Infinite procedural terrains in the Terrain Editor
  • Change material name and scale directly in the material editor when using layered materials
  • Direct access to Wiki or PDF using Help key (set your preference between Wiki and PDF in User Preferences)

Further Information

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EcoSystem Generation 4

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Natural Elements

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Interface & Workflow

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Import & Export

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Compositing & Synchronization