What's New in VUE 2016 R4
Click on the square icon to open the 360 stereo viewer in Full Screen mode. Render ©VUE Artist Drea Horvath.
To see these images in Stereo, you must view this webpage using your mobile device, and use a cardboad-like viewer.
Download 360 Stereo image samples here.
VUE xStream 2016 allows you to render your scenes in Stereo for Stills and Animations. Stereoscopic rendering is available for both panoramic (360° and 180°) and non-panoramic renders. Stereo renders are compatible with most of VUE's Render Options, such as multi-pass or High Dynamic Range (HDR) for instance.
Interpupillary Distance is user defined (default: 6.4 cm) as well as final image layout (top/bottom or left/right). For maximum customization, VUE xStream 2016 offers 3 convergence modes for handling paralax: Parallel, Converged and Off-axis.
Stereo images and videos are automatically recognized by Stereo-compliant platforms (such as Youtube for instance) and can be played on stereo compliant devices such as Occulus Rift, HTC Vive, Nvidia 3DVision, Sony PSVR, Google DayDream, Google Carboard etc.
180 Degree VR Panoramas
Rendering in 360° can sometimes take a lot of computing resources. VUE xStream 2016 now offers VR180 Panoramic still and animation rendering, which in essence will render a 180° vertical and horizontal FOV of your scene. VR180 will be ideal to save some rendering time, for those instances where you don't need to render what's behind the camera!
Multi-Pass Rendering Improvements
Ideal for compositors, VUE xStream 2016 R4 offers optimized handling of semi-transparent materials to prevent background color to bleed within object mask color data. For instance, Cloud passes or tree leaves masks won't show the sky in the background.
Additionally, you can now embed the alpha channel for each mask pass (when the output format supports it).
Path Tracer Renderer Improvements
- The VUE Path Tracer now supports normal mapping.
- You can specify the OpenCL devices that should be used for the Path Tracer: All Available Devices, GPU Devices Only, or CPU Devices Only.
Misc. UX/UI Improvements
- VUE xStream 2016 now supports CPUs with more than 64 cores on Windows.
- Improved 4K/HiDPI display compatibility.
- Adds support for Maya 2018 (MentalRay and VRay - incl. viewport 2.0) and Cinema 4D R19.
- Better responsiveness and faster computation of Procedural Terrain within the Terrain Editor.
- Alembic compatibility updated to version 1.7.3.
What's New in VUE 2016 R3
- Major performance/responsiveness/stability improvements
- All software titles are now available in English, French and German
- Higher quality display in Render Scene preview for soft shadows
- Better handling of editor window manipulations
- Support for HiDPI screens on MacOS
- Faster computing of Spline operations for HeightField Terrains
Optimized scene saving process:
- Up to 4x faster scene saving
- Up to 2x smaller file size
- 3 New scene saving modes: Default, Consolidated Archive, Network Rendering
- Major improvements in dynamic range depth when using Spectral Atmospheres
- New optional Sun Visibility parameter for Spectral Atmospheres
- Automatic de-activation of Tone-Mapping when saving HDR pictures (.hdr or .exr formats)
Path Tracer renderer improvements:
- Adds support for Spectral Cloud layers
- Support for 'Don’t cast shadows' and 'Disable Indirect Lighting' material properties
- New Translucent material type
- Now supports Soft Shadows and Blurry Reflections/Refractions
- New Cloud Opacity modulation
- Access local coordinates for color settings
- Adds support for 3ds Max 2018
- Optimized native spline handling
- Network Rendering: New command line options to set color/alpha/depth passes for both stills and animations rendering
- New Python callbacks for setting and getting Color, Alpha and Depth channels saving locations
What's New in VUE 2016 R2
360° VR Panoramas
Click on the square icon to open 360 viewer in Full Screen mode. ©VUE Artist Rudi Hendrich.
VUE xStream 2016 allows you to render 360 degrees panorama, as static images or animations. They are compatible with all of VUE's Render Options, such as multipass or High Dynamic Range (HDR) for instance.
When rendering a VR panorama, VUE xStream 2016 offers to automatically and perfectly level the camera to avoid unwanted distortion.
Rendered VR panoramas are automatically recognized by Facebook, YouTube (and other panoramic compliant platforms) as 360° images or videos.
VUE xStream 2016 enables you to set up up to 16 viewports (instead of the 4 traditional views).
This feature is particularly useful on a multi monitor system, to test various framing options or adding more camera angles without touching any of your main scene setup.
All additional viewports retain the same usual options, such as render in view or setup as many perspective cameras as you see fit.
Other User Experience Improvements
VUE xStream 2016 R2 also introduces a list of UX/UI improvements, such as:
- "Blend Terrain with Image" automatically modifies the Heightfield Terrain function graph (instead of modifying the terrain Heightmap).
- Simplified "Resample Terrain" replaces "Resize Terrain", to update terrain resolution without changing its size within the scene.
- "Interactive slider changes" option now also affects the mouse wheel for more dynamic visual display of your modifications in real-time.
- Improved visibility in viewports thanks to reworked wireframe selection colors.
- The User Interface is now locked when downloading an object or a scene from the extra content.
- Easier access and edition of multi-material thanks to sub-menu hierarchy display.
- And more...
Integration - Importing and Exporting
VUE xStream 2016 now lets you export almost every single assets of your scenes: Plants, Rocks, Terrains, EcoSystem populations and even full scenes, in a wide variety of file formats, such as FBX, Alembic, 3ds, Collada and more.
As every software imports assets differently, VUE xStream 2016 includes many custom tailored export presets depending on where you're exporting to, e.g to 3ds Max, Maya, Unity, Cinema4D and more. Of course you can also fine tune your exports settings to your specific needs.
EcoSystem and Full Scene Export
EcoSystem populations can now be exported as FBX and Alembic. You can set VUE to export all texture maps to a sepearate folder, to re-texture your assets in your host application with ease.
Exported scenes in Alembic or FBX include all EcoSystem populations, FBX also allows exporting the sky as a cube map.
VUE xStream 2016 allows you to preview your exports (in OpenGL) to check how your geometry/materials will look like in your target application, without leaving the VUE interface. A precious time saver!
You can preview only selected assets or the full scene at once.
xStream Convert Tool - Render With Any Renderer
With the Conversion tool in VUE xStream 2016, VUE scenes can be rendered with any non-natively supported renderer such as RenderMan, Arnold, Octane, VRayRT, etc.
VUE xStream 2016 enables you to convert your entire scenes to native assets*. This process bakes the entire scene and converts all EcoSystem instances to the appropriate native format. You can then freely share your scenes, and render them with any renderer, without requiring VUE xStream 2016 to be installed.
This is particularly useful when you don't render with any of the natively supported renderers, or want to use an outsourced renderfarm that does not currently support VUE xStream 2016.
Any VUE asset that was converted can be reverted to its VUE original form at any time.
* Warning: wind animation from PlantFactory species is not transferred and
converting very large populations may bring your host application to its knees!
This feature is currently available in VUE xStream for 3ds Max, Maya and Cinema4D.
Other Import and Export Improvements:
- Set specific export quality for all assets in your scene independantly or globally, including EcoSystem populations
- Export textured assets as FBX
- Export textured assets as Collada
- Choose to export all texture maps when exporting to Alembic
- Import all objects included in an Alembic File, including instantiated objects
- VUE will automatically detect and apply a global scale factor when importing scenes or assets coming from other software
- Export your meshes' original maps with their UVs
HeightField Terrain Technology - More flexible and a lot more Powerful!
With VUE xStream 2016, we're introducing a brand new terrain modeling technology, more flexible and a lot more powerful, called "Heightfield Terrains".
This new technology allows you to add terrain effects that were previously impossible to achieve, such as Hydrological & Thermal Simulations!
Similar to procedural terrains, Heightfield Terrains are based on a function graph, but baked on a fixed-resolution grid. This will give you more flexibility and add more realism to your terrains. Heightfield Terrains are also significantly faster to render!
Heighfield terrains are manually sculptable and parameters can be animated - e.g. to simulate a terrain erosion over time for instance!
And finally, you can easily set up your graph outputs to drive your material presence, directly from within the Terrain Editor interface.
The Heightfield Terrains technology comes with its set of new dedicated nodes and presets, like 9 different Erosion presets and Slope, Convexity, Blur or Terrace nodes.
New Layout Nodes also let you design a terrain's "layout" (most prominent features) using hand-drawn elements like Splines, elements from the scene, or simple shapes (circles, rectangles, rounded rectangles).
Additionally, all terrain presets in the terrain Editor were reworked, and VUE xStream 2016 now ships with 42 terrain samples.
Hybrid GPU/CPU Interactive Path Tracer
GPU rendering comes to VUE with the new Path Tracer renderer. This renderer naturally and automatically simulates real-life lighting, and automatically calculates many effects that have to be specifically set with other methods, such as depth of field, caustics, ambient occlusion, and indirect lighting.
Path tracing in VUE xStream 2016 is available as an interactive rendering quality in the viewports, as well as an offline rendering engine.
Improve your productivity at the same time!
PlantFactory Preset Variations
PlantFactory 2015 introduced the concept of Presets. PlantFactory 2016 now introduces the concept of Preset Variations.
Preset Variations allow you to immediately include subtle differences to your plant (change the number of buds on a blooming flower, or its petal colors for instance).
This new feature allows you to easily add variety to create realistic environments with one single plant species!
Within VUE xStream 2016, you directly get access to the PlantFactory species presets and variations within the Plant Browser, the Plant Editor and within your EcoSystem population list.
So, at every step of your scene creation process, you are able to select the species you want, the preset you want and the variations you want!
Multiple Global EcoSystems and EcoPainter Improvements
VUE xStream 2016 now allows you to populate your scenes with multiple Global EcoSystems layers (i.e. not linked to any underlying material). You can save your Global EcoSystem populations as EcoPainter brushes, and re-use them at any time, in any scene!
VUE xStream 2016 ships with 12 EcoPainter brushes to get you started. Populations in your EcoSystem brushes can also be used in any standard EcoSystem material!
VUE xStream 2016 includes 20 EcoPainter effector brushes, including a new Rotate effector to dynamically alter the placement of your EcoSystem populations.
Memory Saving Technologies
You can now optimize memory consumption by using baked (static or dynamic) versions of PlantFactory species for your EcoSystem populations, or by converting any referenced assets in your scenes to EcoSystem Instances.
VUE xStream 2016 lets you reorganize the layout of the interface even further to better suite your workflow:
- Group/Ungroup related dialogs together to save space and customize your interface at will
- Automatically re-open grouped/tabbed subdialogs when re-opening master dialogs (Terrain Editor, Material Editor, Function Graph...)
- Function Editor and Terrain Editor sub-parts (toolbars and other menus) can be re-organized
- World Browser and Object Properties tabs can be re-organized
- Split Camera Control Panel: Scene preview and Camera Controls
- Dock each part of the Camera Control Panel independantly
- Resize the EcoPainter Dialog
Other Interface and Workflow Improvements
- Optimized Extrapolation/Interpolation commands by creating references instead of hard copies
- Set VUE to automatically create a Scene Snapshot after each render
- Scene snapshot preview in OS browser is automatically created after the render
- Compatible with HiDPI displays
- Scenes and assets thumbnail previews in Windows Explorer