e-on Software Vue xStream v2015

e-on Software Vue xStream
Vue xStream for VFX Studios, Animators, Architects, Matte Painters, CG Students, and Academic Professionals

The Integrated Solution... VUE xStream offers CG professionals the premiere solutions for creating exceptionally rich and realistic Digital Nature environments with seamless integration into any production workflow.

Highlights

e-on Vue Stream

VUE xStream offers professional CG artists a complete toolset for creating and rendering exceptionally rich and realistic natural environments in 3ds Max, Maya, LightWave, Cinema 4D and Softimage.

Access all the power of the world's leading 3D Digital Nature solution directly from within your favorite application. Create and edit beautifully detailed natural environments using your application's standard manipulators.

Render everything together inside 3ds Max, Maya, LightWave, Cinema 4D or Softimage, with full interaction between VUE and native elements, including 2-way mutual shadow casting, reflection, refraction and GI.

VUE xStream 2015 works with:    

  • 3ds max
  • Cinema 4D
  • LightWave
  • Maya
  • Softimage

VUE xStream provides a unique, unmatched solution for creating and integrating high quality natural scenery into any professional production pipeline, from architectural visualization to broadcast and film.


xStream Integration

xstream integration

Creating and Editing VUE Environments

VUE xStream 2015 operates as a fully integrated plug-in for 3ds Max, Maya, LightWave, Cinema 4D and Softimage. It adds all of Vue's dedicated environment creation tools to your application's interface.

Using these tools, you can create complete, hyper-realistic 3D environments without leaving your favorite application.

This includes (among others) the ability to create atmospheric effects, build procedural terrains, grow SolidGrowth trees or even populate entire forests.

Edit VUE Elements inside your Application

Proxy geometry is dynamically created by VUE xStream 2015 inside the host application so that you can use your application's standard manipulators to move, rotate or resize each element of the VUE environment individually.

You can use all standard tools of your application (such as alignment, scripting or even add fur to VUE elements), and you can make VUE elements interract dynamically with native objects (e.g. collision detection, etc).

Animation of VUE items can be done either through VUE (e.g. for wind effects), or using the host application's animation tools. Both types of animation are naturally combined seamlessly.

VUE xStream 2015 for 3ds Max, Softimage and Cinema 4D will even let you paint EcoSystems interactively (on VUE objects or on native objects), directly through the host application's viewports*.

* This feature is currently only available in 3ds Max, Softimage and Cinema 4D. LightWave and Maya support is planned, but is still pending development by Newtek/Autodesk.

 

Full Support of All VUE Elements

xstream full support

You can create VUE environments directly in the host application, or you can load ready-made environments that were designed on a stand-alone version of VUE (VUE Infinite, or VUE xStream 2015 running in stand-alone mode - xStream can run either as a plug-in or as a stand-alone application).

All components of the VUE environments are supported by VUE xStream 2015, including complete EcoSystems, all types of atmospheres, cameras, lighting, all plants, all terrain types and all procedural materials.

Animated scenes are also supported, including wind animations for plants and EcoSystems, atmosphere and cloud animations, and all animated materials.

All imported meshes included in the VUE scene will be loaded as well.

Lights are automatically converted into their Maya/Max/LightWave/Cinema/Softimage counterparts, and the atmosphere is converted into a special environment shader.

 

Integrated Rendering

xstream rendering

Compatibility

A single license of VUE xStream 2015 can be used with all compatible applications and renderers installed on your system, without requiring the purchase of any Extra Renderer licenses (unlike what was the case with VUE 6 xStream).

  • VUE xStream 2015 for Maya works with MentalRay, V-Ray and Maya software renderer.
  • VUE xStream 2015 for Max works with MentalRay and V-Ray.
  • VUE xStream 2015 for Softimage works with MentalRay.
  • VUE xStream 2015 for LightWave and Cinema 4D works with the native renderer.

The Render Process

Upon rendering, xStream kicks-in its own render engine, which works in parallel to the native renderer. This assures that the VUE elements will look exactly as if they were rendered inside Vue, and also helps speeding up the rendering of polygon-heavy elements such as terrains and EcoSystems.

However, this is a completely transparent process. There is no need to deal with the xStream renderer. Parameters such as render resolution and anti-aliasing quality need only to be set for the native renderer. If necessary, you can override these settings easily.

Why Two Renderers?

Wouldn't it be more simple to convert VUE environments to polygons and have the native renderer render everything?

Unfortunately, this is not possible:

  • VUE environments easily comprise billions of polygons. Plants are unique and sway in the wind. None of the native renderers would be able to handle this level of complexity.
  • The VUE renderer features unique technologies specifically designed to improve the render quality of natural elements (procedural rendering, advanced shading algorithms, etc).

These technologies are simply not available in other renderers.

Integration with MentalRay and V-Ray

VUE xStream 2015 is compatible with MentalRay for Max, Maya and Softimage and V-Ray for Max and Maya. This compatibility extends to specific technologies, such as Mental Ray Sun&Sky, V-Ray Sun&Sky, Mental Ray Photometric Lights or Mental Ray Distributed Bucket Rendering.

VUE xStream 2015 will automatically adjust its settings to match the effects of these features, whenever they are used.

Rendering Flexibility

VUE xStream 2015 lets you easily disable the rendering of the VUE sky and/or atmospheric effects (e.g. when using mr or V-Ray Sun&Sky). You can even disable the rendering of VUE content altogether, for instance if you want to perform tests on the host-application-part of the scene. If the entire VUE content is disabled from render, the VUE xStream plug-in won't be loaded altogether.

VUE atmospheric effects can be rendered alongside other volumetric plug-ins running in the host application (contingent upon the implementation of the plug-in). For instance, rendering alongside LightWave HyperVoxels or Maya Fluids is possible.

G-buffer and Multi-Pass Rendering

VUE xStream 2015 offers powerful g-buffer and multi-pass rendering features, for even greater post-processing flexibility.

 

Workflow


Using VUE xStream inside 3ds Max - 10' presentation

Integrated Interface

VUE features are directly accessible from the host application interface, via menu commands or icons (Max, Maya, Softimage, and Cinema 4D).

All VUE dialogs are non-modal, allowing access to the host application even with the VUE dialogs open. This is particularly useful e.g. when painting EcoSystems.

Matching Scene Scales

VUE xStream 2015 automatically matches its unit system so that the sizing of VUE elements matches that of the host application. This ensures that a one foot-large cube in VUE also measures exactly one foot in the host application.

It is also possible to customize the scaling ratio between VUE and the host application.

Matching Lights

You can adjust VUE and native lights independently using one of 3 options: automatic, ignore light in VUE and manual (the VUE light and its native counterpart are edited independently).

The shadow density is automatically matched to that of the host application (Max, Maya, Softimage, and Cinema 4D only).

If needed, it is also possible to manually control (via a dedicated setting) the brightness of Vue's indirect lighting to better match that of the host application.

Physically Accurate Sunlight Model:

  • When working in xStream integrated mode, the VUE render engine will automatically adapt to the host application's photometric model to provide seamlessly integrated lighting.

Render Times

The render settings of the host application can be automatically adjusted to match the VUE settings. As a result, render times in the host application are consistent with those achieved in VUE standalone.

Display

For each element in the environment, VUE generates a 3D proxy in the host application. These proxies are displayed, like any other native object, using the application's OpenGL or Direct3D engine.

You can change the level of detail of proxies to speed up the refresh rate of very large VUE scenes.

File Management

Stand-alone VUE scenes are saved in VUE format. Combined scenes are saved either in the native format of your 3D application, or can be split as native/VUE scenes. In this case, the native scene will reference the VUE scene.

 


 

 

Rendering

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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 existing Spectral model.

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All plants in this scene were created with Plant Factory

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 adapt to the host application's photometric model to provide seamlessly integrated lighting.

Photometric Lights

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.


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Tone Mapping

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Vue xStream 2014 lets you select different tone mapping filters to specify how raw HDR colors are transformed into the final picture. These filters typically simulate the response of the human eye or chemical photographic film:

  • The Photographic Exposure filter provides the typical response of photographic film, and gives you control over the response curve (such as Shadows, Mid-tones or Highlights).
  • The Linear Exposure filter is the simplest of all: no contrast transformation is performed, the tone curve is flat, and the user can control the steepness of the response.
  • The two Reinhard Exposure filters provide control over contrast enhancement, as well as Brightness, Chromatic and Light adaptation.
  • The False Colors filter can be used to visualize the HDR range of intensities of the rendered picture.
  • The Vue Exposure filter is the legacy response curve, with or without natural film response.

Natural Grain

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Vue xStream 2014 introduces a new color production mode called Natural Grain.

This new mode produces natural color variations particularly well suited for terrains, ground, or any natural elements of your scene.

Great results, no brain squash: Ideal for quick results, the Natural Grain option provides high level access to settings such as contrast, balance and roughness, directly from the Material Editor without having to delve into the intricacies of the Function Editor (of course, you can always customize the look further using the Function Editor).

Other Rendering Enhancements:

  • Surfaces can easily be made more or less reflective according to angle of incidence.
  • Highly optimized flat Area Lights: the rendering of planar area lights of same quality is faster than previous versions.

Improved Workflow and Interoperability

With FBX import, Multi-layer 32bit OpenEXR 2.0, WPP passes, .FBX and .CHAN camera exchange, Vue xStream 2014 integrates better than ever with the other tools in your production pipeline.

FBX Geometry Import

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Filmbox (usually called FBX) is an interchange format for entire scenes, used to provide interoperability between digital content creation applications.

Vue xStream 2014 will import FBX scenes with textured geometries and cameras in both ASCII or binary FBX formats*.

* Other elements (such as lights, rigs, morphs) included in the FBX spec are not supported at this time.

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Import / Export Cameras as FBX or CHAN

In addition to the comprehensive list of synchro plugins and Camera Tracking import, Camera motion can now be imported and exported as .FBX as well as Nuke .CHAN files.

Multilayer 32Bit OpenEXR 2.0

OpenEXR is a high dynamic-range image (HDRI) standard developed by Industrial Light & Magic for use in computer imaging applications.

Vue xStream 2014 can now output all render layers in a single multi-layer EXR file. All passes are available in either 32-bit (floating point or unsigned integer) or 16 bit (half format).


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World Point Position (or XYZ) Pass

Vue xStream 2014 adds a WPP pass to the extensive list of channels that Vue can generate for added compositing flexibility.

The WPP Pass is a common technique used by compositors in multiple ways (re-lighting scenes directly in Nuke or After Effects, creating quick atmospheric effects such as ground fog, etc.).




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EcoSystems and Vegetation

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EcoSystem Clumping

In the real world, plants tend to grow close together rather than evenly distributed.

EcoSystem Clumping in Vue xStream 2014 lets you easily replicate this effect using only two sliders, clumping amount and average clump size.


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Gravel and Small Item EcoSystems

Vue xStream 2014 features highly optimized algorithms to accelerate the rendering of EcoSystems containing many small items, such as gravel or grass blades.

These new algorithms also significantly optimize the memory footprint and are compatible with both Static and Dynamic EcoSystems.




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Plant Factory Compatibility

Vue xStream 2014 natively recognizes Plant Factory content (without requiring ownership of Plant Factory). Animate Health, Seasonality or other published plant parameters directly inside the Vue Timeline.

When using Plant Factory plants in your EcoSystems, a new Quality setting is available in the Population list that lets you define the amount of detail of the plant instances, thus saving memory and reducing render times.




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Optimized Interface

A lot of work went into Vue xStream 2014 to enhance your workflow and simplify your everyday use of the software:

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Redesigned Function Editor

Capitalizing on the Plant Factory interface, the Vue xStream 2014 Function Editor was redesigned for improved performance on modern computer displays.

The new Function Editor is shown horizontally with streamlined parameter access.


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Perspective Views

Vue xStream 2014 dissociates the concept of render camera (used for filming the final shot) and perspective view, used to freely browse around the scene. A new option is available (enabled by default) that protects the render camera from any unwanted modifications and automatically switches to perspective view whenever you modify the viewport (you can instantly assign the new point of view to the render camera with the push of a button).

You can switch back and forth between Perspective view and Main Camera, and you can create new "Point of view" cameras based on the current Perspective View.


Map

Real-World Sun Position

Vue xStream 2014 can position the sun exactly as it would be in real-life, based on time of day, date and location on Earth. You can pinpoint the location on a map, select from a set of predefined locations, or indicate the exact coordinates (and store them in the list of presets).


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Other Interface Enhancements:

  • Foldable EcoPainter: All sections in the EcoPainter and Brush Editor are foldable, letting you customize the dialogs to your needs.
  • Names in Render Stack: add titles to the thumbnails of stacked renders.
  • Mouse wheel automatically zooms view beneath mouse pointer
  • Scroll through scrollable areas using mouse wheel
  • Add Camera menu option in the Objects menu
  • Menu items show icons or thumbnails for better clarity
  • Easily identify Recent scenes and Snapshots (manual or auto-saved) using thumbnails directly in the menu
  • Sort Materials by names in the Material tab of the World Browser
  • Easily change the height of Infinite procedural terrains in the Terrain Editor
  • Change material name and scale directly in the material editor when using layered materials
  • Direct access to Wiki or PDF using Help key (set your preference between Wiki and PDF in User Preferences)