This month is starting out really nicely. Xfrog is featuring me as their Artist of the Month in April, and Vue 2015 has finally been released.
Artist of April
You can read my AOM interview with Xfrog here. Besides the general who-you-are and how-you-ended-up-in-the-industry questions, we also focus on Xfrog plants, their advantages and disadvantages, some of my tips and ideas for future Xfrog plant packages. Feel free to read it, share it, give feedback on it, share your own ideas etc…
Vue 2015 – Features I’m excited about
Since Vue 2015 has just been released today, it would be too early to write an elaborate “first impressions”-post, but – as a little teaser – I would list some of the features that makes me really excited to work on our next production to come.
As of today, we start switching to Vue Infinite and xStream 2015 at D&D Creations. Perhaps you remember my official review of Vue xStream 2014 published in 3D Artist, where I introduced the features that make Vue’s integration to industry-standard production pipelines way more convenient. With the release of Vue 2015, e-on software raised the bar again and took this convenience to the next level. Note that some of the features might not be available in the Artist product line, also released today.
Fully customizable workspace – This is something I’ve been waiting for for years! If you are familiar with other popular 3D applications and e.g. the Adobe packages, you might also have been bothered by the fixed workspace Vue had. In 2015, you can detach and re-organize all panels, viewports or editors. This is especially useful if you work on two or more screens. What I already really enjoy is detaching the Camera Control panel, dragging it to my second screen, scaling it up, so instead of hitting “preview” render all the time, I can watch my progress as the Camera Control preview automatically refreshes. Vue also has a shiny new content browser.
Ambient Occlusion pass – This has already been a part of other 3D packages and renderers, and now, finally Vue joined the party as well. The AO pass is responsible for creating the deep, darker shadows in cracks and small openings, adding an extra realism to your render. The AO pass has a great significance in re-lighting and compositing.
Geographical data import – This new feature is perhaps what I’m most happy with, since there is a high demand for real-location environment visualization. For such jobs, we have developed a reliable, but fairly complex and resource-hungry pipeline to import highly detailed and accurate (!) geographical data into Vue. With this new feature, which involves importing geo-located terrains and data using GeoTIFF, DTED, SDTS/DDF formats, we can set up a more convenient, but equally reliable pipeline.
New import and export options – Now we are able to import and export scenes, scene elements, camera paths and synchronization data in Alembic (.ABC) format, exchange geometry with ZBrush using GoZ, and export materials using the PTEX standard by Disney.
Using FFmpeg library to load and save animations – FFmpeg is an open-source multimedia framework that can encode, decode, transcode, filter, stream and play, mux and demux any kind of multimedia data.
There are several other new features I haven’t covered yet; you can read about them at e-on software’s website, where you can purchase the new packages at a discount!
Have you upgraded to Vue 2015 yet? What are the features *you* are most excited about?