VUE offers a multitude of lighting options to create stunning outdoor and indoor scenery including cutting edge global illumination and indirect lighting engines, HDR image based lighting, a complete set of light types with raytraced and mapped soft shadows and a full-featured lens flare editor.
Feature-Rich Direct Illumination
Planar and Multi-shape Area Lights
In addition to point, spot and directional lights, VUE offers two types of area lights: planar and multi-shape.
The latter lets you convert any mesh into an area light with a simple mouse click. This greatly enhances Infinite’s indoor lighting capabilities, making it possible to create any type of light fixture, in any shape.
Optimized Raytraced Soft Shadows
For optimal quality/time ratio, VUE offers full custom control over the production of raytraced shadows, with separate settings for optimization, quality, blurring and traced shadow rays.
These strategies produce extremely smooth, non-grainy soft shadows.
AccuShadows™ Soft Shadow Mapping
As an alternative to raytraced shadows, AccuShadows™ creates fast soft shadows using shadow maps, giving you full control over map size, quality, sampling level and filter bias.
The softness of mapped shadows can be light-based, object-based or constant.
Double clicking on any light launches an editor that conveniently groups all light controls into a single tabbed interface.
Here you can add volumetric effects, apply flat or spherical gels, create fully customizable lens flares, define attenuation and color graphs, and set specular and diffuse influence on a per-object basis.
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.
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 exsiting Spectral model.
All plants in this scene were created with PlantFactory
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 match the host application's photometric model.
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 2016 were improved and several new presets were added (such as Carbon Arc, Sodium Vapor, Metal Halide etc...).
Instantaneous Post-render Relighting
Fine tuning the lighting of your scenes used to take ages, because it would require re-rendering the entire scene after each minor tweak - not any more!
Thanks to Vue's exclusive Relighting technology, you can instantly adjust the lighting of your scene after the render completes, simply by changing the intensity and color of the different light sources in your scene - in real time!
Turn lights on and off as easily as flipping a switch! You can even adjust the contribution of the sunlight and skylight in your scene!
Best of all, this incredible technology is compatible with all VUE lighting options, including sub-surface scattering, caustics, lens glare and flare effects, etc.
Life-Like Indirect Lighting
VUE's GI and indirect lighting engines are unique in the fact that they are specifically optimized for outdoor renders, and can actually render infinite scenery in a finite amount of time. The indirect lighting capabilities of VUE also produce stunning indoor renders as well.
VUE's EasyGI™ single-slider quality control offers a no-hassle lighting setup, while the Advanced Effects panel provides precise control over all indirect lighting parameters.
Global Illumination Engine
GI works hand in hand with all of the atmosphere models. Sky colors, cloud cover, haze, fog and other atmospheric parameters all directly affect the character of the ambient light.
However, you can override this connection by manually modifying skylight intensity and color.
GI can be enabled/disabled on a per-object or per-material basis.
The ambient occlusion option allows you to render GI effects considerably faster.
By controlling the occlusion distance threshold you can precisely define where GI soft shadows can be ignored, and thus eliminate the need for unnecessary calculations.
Indirect Lighting Engine
VUE's indirect lighting engine utilizes all the latest advances in rendering technology to deliver superior image quality and accuracy at a blazing speed.
Whether illuminating large outdoor scenes or indoor shots VUE produces renderings of striking realism.
VUE can bake the indirect lighting into illumination maps, either per-object or for the entire scene. Illumination maps are saved together with the object/scene.
You can control the overall baking quality and map size. Automatic illumination baking can significantly reduce render times for animations.
Illumination caching dramatically enhances the speed and quality of rendering of architectural projects.
Instead of computing indirect lighting for each frame, the lighting is calculated once at the beginning, re-used in subsequent frames, and dynamically refined as new parts of the scene are uncovered. This results in a higher quality, more stable indirect lighting solution.
HDR Image Based Lighting
The environment mapping atmosphere model lets you easily set up IBL, with full support for HDR image files.
You can use separate maps for environment, lighting and reflection, as well as offset the map's position, and control exposure and contrast.