A couple of weeks ago, the staff of E-on Software & Cornucopia3D took us on a little trip to the past by showing one of the very first images ever made in Vue. Later in that forum thread, it was revealed that the image had been made by Nicholas Phelps (Owner, Founder & CEO of E-on) himself in 1992, and it is indeed one of the first scenes made in Vue d’Esprit, the first Vue version Nicholas coded by himself. Wanna take a look?
(the link takes you to a Cornucopia3D forum, not a naughty site full of viruses 😉 )
1992; I was 6 back then. While hesitating about which colors of crayon to pick or what to do with those 300+ ladybugs I brought home from the playground, I had no idea what CG was, never heard of 3D applications, wasn’t aware of the fact that somewhere in the world, a 3D environment design software called Vue was being made (I also didn’t know about the existence of 3D environment design… and fractal? What kind of animal is that?), and I definitely had no idea about the fact that, in the future, this software would determine my life, my future, my career, would bring lots of new friends and a happy relationship in my life, and 20 years later, I would start my own business with my partner, using Vue as our primary tool. Though nothing is perfect, just as Vue has its imperfections, it’s amazing and very inspiring to see how something can develop to very high standards if you put your heart at it (and work your ass off for long years).
Here is a little trivia Nicholas have shared on his Facebook profile about the image:
I was playing around with fractals, trying various combinations, when this render [link above – Drea] came out that I particularly liked. So I took a photo of the screen and had it processed (yes, chemical photos…) A few days later, I got the prints and showed the photo to a friend telling him I took it while on vacation in Italy. To my amazement, he said: “wow, it’s so pretty! I really have to go to Italy someday!” 🙂
Now, it’s hard to imagine that someone might be fooled by such a crappy render, isn’t it? How could anyone believe this to be real? Well, remember, in those days, we weren’t trained to “doubt” photos. If there was a photo, it *had* to be real. Now that CG is everywhere, we’ve grown a lot more wary and I wouldn’t fool anybody.
Regardless, you can’t imagine how happy I was that day! This certainly fueled my passion
to continue experimenting with what would one day become VUE 🙂
“When have you guys been to China?”
Nicholas’s story about a friend believing that his pretty pioneer Vue render was a photo of an Italian landscape reminded me of a similar story that happened to me in 2009. It was a couple of months after Vue 7 came out, and – making use of the benefits of being a college student – I got an educational license for Vue 7 Infinite. I was playing with Vue for about a year then, learning, experimenting, but I still had a very long way ahead of me. I struggled with basically everything – scale, lighting, composition, and the renders I made back then now make me smile. We all started somewhere, right? 🙂
Being a fan of Asian landscapes and architecture, I made a scene of a pagoda built on a rock in the foreground, some hills populated with old low-poly SolidGrowth Rural Maple trees in the background, some random tilted mountains in the far background and some low fog using alpha planes(!). The image looked far from realistic, but I really liked it back then and – after sharing it on deviantART – I showed it to my family. Somehow the picture ended up on the screen of one of my dad’s co-workers, who saw the picture and asked: “When have you guys been to China??” – So, even in 2009, when CG appeared in more and more movie productions, when really HQ video games came out, it was still possible to fool someone with a “crappy render”! 😀
Just for the fun, here it is:
The first movies with CG
Under Nicholas’s Vue(-to-be) render, an interesting discussion started about movies with early forms of CG elements; how impressive they were 15-20-25 years ago and how fake they look now. Movies heavily relying on CG came out even before I was born, so I don’t have too much to say about the very first CG movies, but if I see a movie from the 90’s with lots of CG I found cool back then, I have to laugh. But at the same time, it amazes me how fast the industry can improve.
How do you feel when you see CG in a movie from 15-25 years ago and made you say “wow” as a kid? Have you ever fooled anyone with a render, saying it’s a real lansdcape? Feel free to share your thoughts and stories!