VUE works with two different vegetation technologies:
- SolidGrowth 4: lightweight vegetation optimized for viewing in the distance
- PlantFactory: fully procedural plant system capable of producing very high-quality hero trees as well as distant vegetation.
VUE xStream 2016 is natively compatible with PlantFactory content (even if you don't have a copy of PlantFactory).
Because VUE fully supports the procedural definition of PlantFactory plants, the plants are automatically generated at the optimal level of detail (based on render resolution and viewing distance). This ensures best quality with minimum resource usage.
This also means that VUE is capable of animating natively all the exposed plant properties (such as Health, Seasonality or any other published plant parameter) by re-generating the plant geometry as required, as well as allow tweaking the look of the plant using the Plant Editor (see below).
Significant improvements were added in VUE xStream 2016 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 2016 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 2016 adds compatibility with PlantFactory lightweight preset technology (in PlantFactory 2014.5).
If you want to create your own plants and control every aspect of them, check out PlantFactory.
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!
Innovative SolidGrowth™ 4 Plant Technology
Widely recognized as the most efficient vegetation system around, the fourth iteration of SolidGrowth features powerful flicker-reducing algorithms capable of rendering animations with millions of moving plants!
SolidGrowth is based on random growth technologies that ensure no two plants of the same species will ever look exactly alike and will automatically animate plants so that they gently sway in the breeze, or twist and bend in strong winds. It also simulates the different color tones found in nature for even greater variety and realism.
SolidGrowth works seamlessly with the EcoSystem technology, and together they present unmatched capabilities for efficiently creating highly detailed, natural animated environments. This technology features advanced rendering algorithms that are capable of drastically reducing the flickering of distant plant animations.
VUE ships with a library of over 170 plant species (grass, shrubs, trees and underwater plants). Many more SolidGrowth and PlantFactory species are available at Cornucopia3D.
Customize Vegetation in the SolidGrowth Plant Editor
The Plant Editor lets you easily customize any of the plants included with VUE and allows creation of your own, unique plant species.
Adjust the settings for the entire plant, or work on individual subsets of the plant (trunk, branches leaves...). Textures for any subset can be edited or replaced, so you can use your own pictures and scans to create new realistic leaves and trunks.
Save your newly created species which will then behave like any other SolidGrowth or PlantFactory species: each plant will look slightly different, yet the overall characteristics of the species will be preserved.
In addition to global wind and breeze, individual wind and wind generators, it is possible to animate any parameter in the plant editor, allowing the creation of effects such as plant growth and decay, or plant morphing.
VUE makes it easy to use the billboard method to add low-poly trees and figures to architectural visualizations. The alpha plane object provides slots for alpha and color maps, and an additional billboard option to automatically orient itself to face the active camera, with or without vertical rotation.