Nice Vue

I’ve expressed some reservations about the 3D application called Vue before. Mainly that rendering lush landscapes at one frame per hour seems ridiculous, when you’re used to games like TheHunter that run widescreen at 40 frames per second.

But the top-of-the-range $1,500 version of Vue now has a free no-expire edition. Even if you only use Vue 8.5 PLE as a file-conversion utility, it could prove useful. Since there’s an…

“extensive set of import/export filters for both 3D and 2D content”

Here’s the import list…

Version 8 also loads Poser and DAZ files, although this is not as cool as it sounds. Such files apparently get converted to Collada files on import. However this does mean that those exporting Spore creatures apparently have… “Support for rigged Collada meshes” in Vue 8 Infinite. But it’s not a replacement for Max or Maya in terms of a pipeline to iClone, since there’s no FBX export.

Export is to: .3ds / .c4d / .cob / .dfx / .lwo / .obj

It’s a 440Mb download. You get the choice of xStream or Infinite versions on install. The only difference seems to be that xStream can also stream its content to be rendered using Maya or Max or Lightwave.

The basic PLE details are these…

“Vue 8.5 PLE is a fully functional version of Vue 8.5 xStream/Infinite. With the PLE, users can:

* Create complete projects,
* Save their work and export to other applications,
* Render stills and animations without size/length limit,
* Experience Vue’s power directly inside Max/Maya/Softimage/LightWave/Cinema4D,
* Learn at their own pace (the PLE never expires)!

The Personal Learning Edition ships with a wide selection of Vue presets, as well as the complete PDF reference manual. Users can download the Vue 8.5 PLE at no charge from www.vue8.com/ple. This edition is for personal, non-commercial use only.

Network rendering is disabled, and renders may be watermarked and carry a logo. Files created and saved with the PLE cannot be exchanged with other PLE users and are not compatible with other versions of Vue.”

Update: On install I find that there are no sample files or models with the PLE edition, which rather deflates the idea of it being a “Learning Edition”. There’s also a nag screen on start up. And the ugly watermark means it’s really only a file-conversion utility (unless you can use the plant maker, or the terrain generator)…

And I don’t know what they mean by “Render stills and animations without size/length limit”, since I found all the large render size options to be greyed out.

2 thoughts on “Nice Vue

  1. Vue is a top tier 3D application generally rendered over a network or render farm. To my knowledge it is not an engine, as you cannot preview things in it in realtime. While it does have animation and preview functions… they are not like iClone and engine based 3D. I’ve use Vue much longer than iClone, and use them both in my production pipeline.

    I can understand your frustration with the render time compared to realtime but I doubt iClone will ever be able to match the render and presentation of Vue. I know of no other application that I can create an entire alien world or highly populated jungle in less than 10 minutes of work. The eco-system alone is a massive advantage over other 3D apps.

    But your point is well taken, in that it will slow down your production and may not be for the casual user in terms of rendering time. But is highly usable in terms of any casual user learning it, which is something not said of 3D Studio Max and others. Vue was one of the easiest 3D apps I’ve learned to date. Even though I’ve used Vue for a long time, I don’t tap much of its power though.

  2. I’m sure, like all 3D applications, it can do wonders in the right hands and if someone’s prepared to spend many months learning it. And as I’ve said previously when discussing it here, it does indeed seem well placed to render things like alien planetscapes and space scenes. But it seems like overkill for iClone users who just want some static backdrops of natural scenes.

    Having seen the drag-and-drop eco-system approach taken by real-time engines such as the Far Cry 2 editor (although sadly limited only to African environments), and having seen what the Avalanche engine can do in games such as TheHunter, I’d be fairly confident that we’ll see a real-time Vue like software with perhaps three years. Maybe it won’t be used for stills, but (unless the price and running-costs of render farms comes down radically) I could see many creatives having a lot of fun with something like that.

    I’ve also previously pointed out the useful parts of Vue such as the terrains, the plant wizard (and maybe there are more parts of it you can suggest). But I’ve tried to use it and I can’t really see the general ease-of-use elements that would help a 3D beginner. It’s still a major traditional-style quad-view 3D application, with impossibly huge render times.

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