Beaverton, Ore. - E-on software, maker of Digital Nature solutions , pre-released Vue 8.5 xStream and Infinite, its professional solutions for the creation, animation, and rendering of natural 3D environments. Vue xStream and Vue Infinite are the company’s flagship solutions for the creation of natural 3D environments. While Vue Infinite is a standalone application, Vue xStream operates inside Autodesk's 3ds Max, Maya, and Softimage, NewTek's LightWave, and Maxon's Cinema 4D.
Release 8.5 of Vue adds a number of breakthrough features:
Global Gamma Control: the ability to fully control the gamma in Vue ensures perfect coherence all along the user’s pipeline and will result in much higher fidelity of color and light in the final images. Users can fully control input and output gammas as well as the gamma used for displaying textures and colors inside the application.
Interactive Cloud Control: cloud layers can be manipulated, rotated or resized interactively using the standard manipulation gizmos. They can also be animated using standard animation tools.
Animated Planetary Cloud Density Maps: users can define animated maps to control the density of cloud layers on a planetary scale (e.g. to create animated hurricane shots).
Diagnosis Render Passes: users can easily detect rendering bottlenecks and optimize render times by using the diagnosis render passes. For each pixel in the image Vue can indicate total render time of the pixel, number of anti-aliasing rays, number of texture anti-aliasing samples, total number of sub-rays in the pixel, total number of shadow rays, max recursion depth reached by a sub-ray, and number of final gather samples for that pixel.
Unlimited Material Painting: the material painting tool allows painting distribution maps with any arbitrary number of materials. These painted materials can also be used as paint masks to constrain painting of other materials inside existing distribution maps.
Zone Extraction: specific areas of a procedural terrain can be extracted by simply selecting a zone and converting it to a separate procedural terrain. This is ideal to create customized textures on specific areas for instance.
New Terrain Sculpting Tools: Vue 8.5 introduces 4 powerful new sculpting brushes: Pinch, Flatten, Plateau and UniSlope. Also new in Vue 8.5 is the ability to use a bitmap for reference when sculpting in the terrain editor.
Advanced EcoSystem Control: with Vue 8.5, artists can easily control the influence of the color variations on EcoSystem populations, drag multiple objects or plants from a browser into the EcoSystem population list, EcoSystem painting can be constrained using the underlying EcoSystem material rules (for instance, using influence of slope and altitude or the coloring rules).
Improved OpenGL Engine and Viewport Display: auto-exposure is now reflected in OpenGL views, terrain maps can be viewed directly in the terrain editor, the display quality of EcoSystem instances can be changed on individual population elements, OpenGL preview displays normal mapped surfaces, the EcoPainter brush size is now displayed in xStream for 3ds Max and C4D.
Vue 8.5 is available free of charge for all users under maintenance. Users of Vue 8 who are not under maintenance and wish to advance to Vue 8.5 should purchase maintenance (they will receive Vue 8.5 and the Vue 9 upgrade free of charge).
If they wish, users under maintenance can immediately download a pre-release version of Vue 8.5. Users of Vue 8 who subscribe to a maintenance plan will also be granted access to this pre-release version.
Vue 8.5 xStream and Vue 8.5 Infinite are expected to ship during Q2 2010. Customers who purchased Vue 8 xStream or Infinite within 30 days of the release of Vue 8.5 will receive Vue 8.5 at no cost as part of the free 30-day maintenance included with all new purchases.
Vue 8.5 xStream will retail for $1,790 with one year maintenance ($1495 without maintenance). A one-year standard maintenance plan for xStream costs $395.
Vue 8.5 Infinite will retail for $1,090 with one year maintenance ($895 without maintenance). A one-year standard maintenance plan for Infinite costs $295.
Upgrades from Vue 7.x xStream to Vue 8.5 xStream will be available for $595. Upgrades from Vue 7.x Infinite to Vue 8.5 Infinite will be available for $395.
Annual subscriptions for Educational licenses of Vue xStream and Infinite are available respectively for $149/year/seat and $99/year/seat. Upgrades to Vue 8.5 are free for owners of active educational licenses of Vue 8.
Vue 8.5 xStream and Vue 8.5 Infinite will be available in English for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, for both 32- and 64-bit, and on Mac OSX 10.5+ as a 32-bit application -- Mac Intel only (a beta version of Vue 8.4 and 8.5 for Cocoa 64-bit will be released during Q2 2010).
Vue 8.5 xStream is compatible with the following renderers: Mental Ray for 3ds Max, Maya and Softimage (integrated and MR satellites), V-Ray for 3ds Max and Maya, Maya Software, as well as the native Cinema 4D and LightWave renderers. Other renderers are under consideration. Vue 8.5 xStream adds compatibility with 3ds Max 2011, Maya 2011 and Softimage 2011.