Atmospheres    

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Cutting-Edge Atmospheric Technology

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VUE features an elaborate atmosphere engine that does much more than mere backgrounds. It provides an accurately simulated environment that affects all the elements of the scene, and behaves according to nature’s rules.

The appearance of an object in a VUE scene is directly affected by the position of the sun, the cloud cover, the amount of dust in the air, or the humidity level.

Because projects often require different approaches to the simulation and rendering of atmospheres, VUE offers no less than four different atmospheric models, ranging from simple background skies to photo-based environments and physically accurate atmospheres.

Within this wide choice you will find the solution that best fits your project’s needs.



Standard Atmosphere Model: Fast Rendering

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The standard model lets you control sky appearance through the use of color gradients.

You can create an unlimited number of fully editable cloud layers, control fog and haze densities, or add special effects like twinkling stars, rainbows and ice rings.

All atmospheric elements can be fully animated. The standard model’s main advantages are ease of use and fast rendering.




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Volumetric Atmosphere Model: Enhanced Realism

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The volumetric model offers a compromise between the standard and spectral models, giving you a higher level of realism, yet rendering faster than spectral atmospheres.

Unlike the standard atmosphere, the appearance of the sky and sun is not defined by color gradients. It's directly affected by haze fog settings and by the sun’s position, much like in a real atmosphere.

The volumetric model is especially suited for animations: simply moving the sun around produces beautiful color and lighting shifts.



Spectral 3 Atmosphere Model: Hyper-Realism

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The 3rd generation of Spectral Atmospheres is a physically-based, hyper-realistic model accurately simulates the behavior of real-world atmosphere and lighting according to weather conditions.

The appearance of the sky, sun and clouds as well as the character of direct and ambient light, are all affected by the delicate balance between the elements that constitute the atmosphere: air, dust and water particles.

The Spectral model provides its own set of controls that let you adjust each element’s density and height, as well as additional parameters like aerial perspective, sun corona, scattering anisotropy and rendering quality.

Using the Spectral model ensures a complete coherence of all the elements of a scene.

Spectral Cloud Layers

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The spectral atmosphere engine is capable of rendering highly realistic volumetric clouds with accurate lighting and volumetric shadows. Spectral cloud layers are three-dimensional, allowing you to create anything from thin ground fog to massive Cumulonimbus.

You can place as many layers as you need, at any height, and even combine spectral and standard cloud layers (to add high altitude Cirrus, for instance).

Spectral layers are created using any type of noise function, and provide a wide range of control over density, cover, illumination and even vertical profile.

You can easily control the overall shape of the clouds, from feathery to clumpy and create skies with as many overlapping spectral cloud layers as you like for complex and unbelievably realistic cloudscapes!

They look equally good from below or from above, and thus are perfectly suited for fly-through sequences, as well as ground fog or “mountains peaking through clouds” effects. With the right settings, you can produce natural phenomena like God-rays.


Localized Cloud Layers

On top of the ability to move cloud layers around interactively using the gizmos, VUE lets you "extract" portions of your cloud layers.

If you like a specific part of a cloud layer, you can easily isolate it and get rid of the rest . You can even move these extracted portions around to another location!






Advanced Cloud Control

In order to grant you better control over the shape and look of your clouds, the function graph features outputs that let you control the altitude of the cloud layers (for instance, so that they appear to "go over" certain objects).



Illumination of Clouds

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VUE contains break-through algorithms that are capable of rendering extremely detailed volume clouds and their associated shadows at an incredible pace.

These algorithms are capable of better simulating the intricate complexity of cloud geometry, as well as the indirect illumination that takes place inside the clouds and the internal and external shadows they produce.

Cloud cross shadowing is fully user controllable allowing clouds to cast and receive shadows from scene objects.



Local Lights in Clouds

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In addition to the sunlight, you can make any light-source in the scene illuminate clouds, including local lights. This allows the creation of true-to-life thunder storms, search lights or illuminated fly through clouds.

Cloud Indirect Lighting

White clouds can reflect large amounts of light onto neighboring objects. VUE can accurately account for this effect when calculating indirect lighting.

As a result, the indirect lighting of scenes involving clouds is accurately simulated, resulting in greatly enhanced realism.


Real-World Spherical Clouds

You can import cloud maps to recreate real-world skyscapes over entire planets.

Use any cloud density map, including daily maps from the internet. Add cyclones where you need them by painting them in! Then load the cloud density data using the dedicated tool and VUE will generate the corresponding clouds.



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Animated Planetary Cloud Density Maps

VUE lets you define animated maps to control the density of your cloud layers on a planetary scale.

Using animated density maps, recreate such effects as the swirling hurricane opposite.


Environment Mapping Model: HDRI Rendering

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Especially suited for architectural or product visualization, this model lets you easily set up an environment based on panoramic photographs.

By using VUE's image based lighting, HDRI support and global reflection mapping you can create a seamless integration between your scene and the background plates.



Automatic Weather Effects - Rain and Snow

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Atmospheric effects enable artists to instantly create anything from gentle spring rain to a tropical storm, a gentle falling snow to a blizzard, with a simple click of the mouse.

The heaviness, shape, drop size, speed and falling angle of the precipitation is user controllable.

Motion blur can be added if desired too.

Weather Effects are available for all types of atmospheres.

 

Other Atmosphere Features in VUE xStream 2016

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  • Optional automatic sun softness computation, based on atmosphere parameters
  • "Improve Low Quality Consistency" parameter to better preview your atmosphere looks while rendering at a lower resolution
  • Auto-scale clouds with altitude
  • Link Volumetric color of clouds and Ambient color contribution from sun and sky to a function graph
  • Modulate Spectral clouds sharpness using a function graph