Vue Tools - Chipp Walters
Chipp Walters lives on a horse ranch in Texas with his wife and their daughter. Before co-founding Human Code, Chipp was a computer designer. Now, he mostly works with his partner, Chris Bohnert, at Altuit, designing software and consulting for companies around the world. Together, they have been creating unique rendering and modeling tools for Vue.
Original Tools for Vue
"I've always enjoyed creating tools to help me do things. That's the primary reason why many of these tools have been created."
All of Chipp's projects were developed in-house for his own use, while he was also programming and consulting on other projects.
InteriorPak™ - Creating photorealistic interior rendering
"The impetus for Vue 6 InteriorPak actually came from another radiosity rendering product. It created great interiors, but lacked many of Vue's ease of use features. So, I decided to see if I couldn't tweak Vue's settings and create photoreal interiors renders. I think I got pretty close.
I ended up using lighting techniques and setups from other radiosity renders, and was successful at transferring them to Vue. The goal is to create stunning interior renders using a systemized approach for setting up and rendering interior scenes in Vue 6. I believe the InteriorPak step-by-step manual, provides just that."
altTerrainBuilder™ - Or How to Model Complex Objects Using a Single Terrain
"I started with altTerrainBuilder™, which was a tool I needed to create some terrain models for different product renderings. The picture on the right is a rendering of a single terrain. I needed some mathematically precise tools to help construct such an image."
The altTerrainBuilder was developed in a weekend. The other tools had to be developed over a period of several months (GridModeler, VueTools, TerraPak, InteriorPak).
TerraPack™ - A Hyper-Real Rendering Toolkit for Vue 6
"I began to decompose some of the better Terragen textures, fractal by fractal, layer by layer. This lead to me create TerraPak™, a set of materials, textures, and terrains, along with a systemized approach for rendering photo-realistic images, quickly."
"Perhaps the biggest challenge in TerraPak™ was writing the eBook that comes with it. It provides clear step-by-step instructions on how to go about setting up a landscape scene, including lighting and atmosphere settings. Also, I think it helped people to understand how to shorten their render times significantly, as TerraPak™ came with some great render presets."
"It has been Altuit's top selling product and has been fortunate to have stayed at the top of Cornucopia3D's popular list for several months."
"Mark Lawson, creator of SeaVue, helped me understand water and wave textures, and he also included his bonus texture pack with TerraPak™."
GridModeler™ - A Great Way to Create Extreme and Repetitive Details
"I soon realized an application was needed to do the calculations for creating accurate grid models using various parameters. Once I started building the application, I realized I also needed a small vector drawing application, which could quickly create tileable grids at different resolutions. Thus GridModeler™ was created."
"The GridModeler™ toolkit actually began as an eBook and sets of objects and textures on how to create fences in Vue. While, the 50 page eBook does go into great detail regarding GridModeling, it soon became clear: more was needed. I spent over a month doing research on the formulas and techniques required to create grid models in Vue."
VueTools™ and Python - A Fast Way to Modeling Within Vue Using a Collection of Python Scripts and Toolbar directly within Vue
"One challenge for me, is to try and see if things can be modelled in Vue. For the most part, much of what you see in any of my images is modelled completely in Vue. But, the Vue toolkit is missing a few items, like mirroring, and radiused cubes and cylinders. So, I created a set of Python scripts to help me do these things, and a plugin architecture with a toolbar which could work with any Python scripts. Thus was born VueTools."
"I use a development environment called "Runtime Revolution" to write my programs, like GridModeler. My partner, Chris, and I first created a Vue 'bridge' product which allowed my programs to communicate directly with Vue, but it became clear at some point I was going to just have to dive-in and learn Python. Not too hard, actually. I was fortunate in that my partner already knew Python."
"The Vue Python community was so helpful in creating VueTools, but I have to mention how Dave Burdick, the creator of SkinVue, went out of his way to be of assistance in my fledgling Python days. Mark Caldwell, editor of the VueNews Blog and some others have lots of helpful information for those wanting to get started using Python in Vue."
More About the Creator
When we asked Chipp the feature he prefers, it was just not possible for him to only choose one! He enjoys the MetaBlobs to create objects and the EcoSystems "that are really fun to play with". He is also a big fan of the preview window: "It lets me 'stand back' from a render and concentrate on the composition. I believe this single feature is responsible for many of the fine compositional art renders generated in Vue."
Finally, there is the function editor ("It's power is still pretty much untapped in my mind"), or the network rendering that gave a new life the computers around his house.
Chipp's inspiration comes from many different sources, like Eran Dinur and especially Syd Mead. "I've had the pleasure to work with Syd in the past and he still amazes me with his creative energy and technique."
History with Vue
"I stumbled upon a website which created some super realistic outdoor wallpapers. After a bit of sleuthing, I found about Vue. I purchased Vue Esprit, then immediately bought Vue Infinite as I knew I wanted to play around with EcoSystems."
Chipp started using 3D in 1983 with a now extinct software called Cubicomp. "I've been involved with 3D ever since." After playing with other 3D landscape software products, he realized how easy it was to create realistic landscapes and started using the terrain editor to create vehicles and other things. "To this day, I still enjoy creating terrain-based objects in Vue!"
Chipp has also a personal history with Vue. "When my wife and I adopted our daughter, I created a Vue render for announcement cards. On the morning of the adoption, I was elated to see the card on the front of e-on's website as Picture of the Day!"
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