VUE can animate natural 3D environments like no other software. Create entire forests with millions of animated windswept trees, fly over infinite terrains with unlimited levels of detail, or fill the sky with elaborate volumetric clouds that realistically shift and transform.
Animating the Elements of Nature
In addition to standard animation of all objects and materials, VUE lets you animate a wide scope of environment-specific elements:
- All atmospheric parameters (including all spectral atmosphere parameters)
- All cloud parameters (standard and spectral), including movement, shift, wind direction and wind amplitude
- Moon and planets (phase, brightness and other parameters)
- Terrain erosion, decay and morphs
- Vegetation growth, decay and reaction to wind
- All wind parameters
- Time-dependent natural procedural functions (waves, lava flows, etc)
- Object-terrain interaction
The Powerful Animation Graph Editor
Free-Form Editing of Keyframes and Time Curves
The animation graph editor displays individual high-definition time curves for each animated parameter. Separate X, Y, Z curves are displayed for all transform values: position, size, twist and pivot as well as other parameters such as wind direction.
Freely move any keyframe, or group of keyframes, on both time and value axes. Each keyframe has its own handle, which can be easily manipulated to control tangents and interpolation.
Pan and zoom in the time curves window in order to display and edit any number of curves simultaneously. Use the precise numerical inputs to set time, value, velocity and acceleration for any key.
Conveniently use one of the preset interpolation types: smooth (constant and weighted), ease in/out, linear and step.
Dope-Sheet Style Keyframe Editing
The upper area of the animation editor lets you view all parameters in a collapsible spread sheet hierarchy, making it easy to move and copy keyframes on a global basis (for instance, move all transform keys at once, or copy/paste all keys at a certain frame).
This is also where you set animation start/end, and select timeline display units (seconds, frames or SMPTE).
Linking and tracking is possible between all objects in the scene. Linking can be enabled separately for movement, rotation and size. Pivot points for all objects can be moved independently.
Loose Tracking and Linking
VUE features loose tracking and linking algorithms to give a more "natural" feel to your animations, by automatically introducing delays or overshoots.
While standard forward-dynamics produces precise motion, this motion may look unnatural and jolty, because the linking or tracking is much too "perfect".
You can easily customize the reactivity of the loose forward dynamics engine for each object, from standard (i.e. perfect reactivity) to slack responsiveness.
Animation Preview and OpenGL Rendering
VUE can generate quick previews of your animation, which are displayed in a resizable window at the bottom of the animation editor, and synched to the timeline navigation.
In addition, VUE can render the OpenGL camera view, giving you an ultra-fast way to generate full-sized animation preview clips.
Animate using Graph-Based Animation Scripts
Using the Scene-Graph approach, you can create complex, graph-based animation scripts to control the properties of your animated objects.
Access each object graph with a click of a button, then build a function to control the properties of the object and connect it to the desired output (e.g. position, orientation, size, etc).
Inside the function graph, you can access the properties of other objects in the scene and control your object based on the properties of other objects.
Loose Dynamic Nodes
VUE features a set of nodes dedicated to creating naturally flowing animations. This includes delay, integrator, differentiator, PID and constraint nodes.
You can even design scripts that will make objects interact dynamically with procedural terrains.
For instance, to recreate the deep impact effect of a meteor hitting a terrain you would simply control the altitude of the procedural terrain based on proximity to the incoming meteor.
Intelligent Motion with Dynamic Motion Reaction™
VUE offers an animation wizard that lets you create path animations with exceptional ease by automating most of the process.
Select the desired motion (pedestrian, airplane, motorbike, etc.), draw a path, and the wizard takes over by calculating the underlying terrain heights, adjusting banking and orientation, and adding secondary motion like spin and vibration.
You can fine tune all aspects of secondary motion and manually modify the resulting animation using all keyframe and time curve tools.
Pre-Animated Meshes and Poser Import
VUE can import pre-animated meshes, as well as complete animated Poser characters (including dynamic hair and cloth).
VUE fully supports importing of MDD format.
Re-Pose and Animate Rigged Meshes
Rigged and pre-animated mesh objects can be re-posed and animated directly inside of VUE.
Users can create their own custom poses and movements directly inside of VUE with meshes that are converted to Vue's Rigged Mesh format (import fully rigged and animated meshes using Collada or use the MaxToVue exporter plug-in to export directly from 3ds Max). VUE pre-animated meshes are directly supported.
Pull an arm on one of your rigged characters: the fast and efficient IK solver automatically adjusts the position of the entire body to react to the tug!
Collada IK information is automatically imported when converting characters to Vue's rigged mesh format.
Inverse Kinematics makes posing of your characters in VUE even more precise and easy!
Easier Pose/Motion Handling
The Motion Browser lets you visually select new poses or motions for your rigged meshes. The Motion Browser lets you interactively preview poses/motions on your rigged mesh, before applying them.
Typical poses/motions are also listed directly in the Skeleton Editor, to further facilitate the selection of poses for rigged meshes.
Industry Leading Wind Animation Capabilities
In Vue, wind can affect clouds, waves and, most notably, SolidGrowth plants and EcoSystems. Wind and breeze can be applied globally, per-plant, or by using one of the localized wind generators.
Global Wind and Breeze
Global wind is controlled from the atmosphere editor, and is applied to all SolidGrowth plants and EcoSystems within a scene.
Global wind adds a tremendous amount of realistic movement to natural scenery, ranging from delicate fluttering of leaves to strong bending in violent gusts.
Individual Per-Plant Wind
Each SolidGrowth plant (or group of plants) can have its own individual wind animation.
A wind arrow lets you interactively control wind direction and intensity, and view the plant’s reaction in real time.
The movement of the wind arrow can be animated, giving you the ability to create precisely timed wind effects.
Motion-Blur on Wind Deformation
VUE can optionally render motion blur on the deformation of trees subject to wind. This is essential for perfectly smooth motion of wind-animated trees.
Directional and Omni Ventilators
These wind generators greatly enhance the ability to create localized wind effects that can be linked to the movement of other objects in the scene.
While the omni ventilator blows wind from a single point to all directions (just like a point light), the directional ventilator is limited by a spread cone (just like a spotlight).
Ventilators can affect single plants, groups of plants, or complete EcoSystems.
Both ventilator types can also be reversed to become "attractors". Ventilators can freely move around the scene, or be attached to other animated objects.
All of the wind generator's parameters can be animated as well, allowing for a wide scope of possible effects.
Optimize your Animation using Animation Rendering Options
VUE provides specific options for optimizing and speeding up animation rendering. In addition to the flicker-free SolidGrowth 4 rendering technology, you can enable deterministic anti-aliasing, multi-frame anti-aliasing and distance blurring.
Render broadcast material with even or odd field interlacing and non-square pixels, add customizable time-code frame markings, or kick-in the automatic illumination baking feature.
Animate post-render effects, switch between cameras in a single shot, synchronize cameras and lights to external applications, import motion tracking information and export camera motion for final compositing...