Modules for VUE 2016 - AdvancedGraph
Access the Scene Graph, craft custom shaders, create advanced object interactions
With AdvancedGraph, you will gain "behind the scene" access to your creations. AdvancedGraph will unleash the true power of the Function Editor, letting you finely control the way your objects or materials interact.
The AdvancedGraph module is an optional module for VUE Pioneer, VUE Esprit 2016 and VUE Studio 2016. It is part of VUE Complete 2016.
The SmartGraph Function Editor
Almost all the parameters in the material editor can be controlled by a function (or set of functions). The function editor is where the true power of material editing lies.
There are hundreds of available nodes to choose from, ranging from numerous types of noises and procedural functions to mathematical nodes, mixers, combiners and filters.
Almost any node can be connected to any other, allowing the creation of highly elaborate materials or special shaders such X-ray, velvet, or cartoon. Reaction to the environment is further enhanced with nodes such as distance to object below or angle of incidence.
You can rename or add comments to any SmartGraph node, in order to improve the readability of your graphs.
E-on developed the SmartGraph technology (inspired by artificial intelligence systems), to help you overcome the sheer number of possibilities presented by the function editor. Thanks to this technology, connecting nodes and creating custom shaders is much more intuitive and fast.
VUE 2016 lets you manipulate the elements of your scene in the standard, straightforward way. With AdvancedGraph, you gain access to a new way of handling your scene that lets you focus on the interactions between the elements of the scene. This is known as the scene graph approach.
Each object, each material in your scene has an associated graph that displays the item's properties as graph outputs. This graph is easily accessed by clicking the graph icon in the World Browser. You can then access any property of any object or material in the scene and use it in the graph to control the outputs of a particular object.
This way, you can define custom relationships between all the objects, terrains and materials of your scene, by visually connecting their properties using a graph of nodes.
This is a powerful concept that lets you create incredibly elaborate scripts to control terrain, material or animation properties based on other items of the scene.
MetaNodes let you group several nodes or links into a single node, known as a MetaNode. MetaNodes will greatly simplify the readability of your graphs by letting you organize your graph into functional modules.
When you create a MetaNode, you can easily decide which internal parameter needs to be accessible from the top-level. This is known as "publishing". Publishing greatly simplifies the use of MetaNodes by letting you define a simple "interface": expose only those settings that are relevant to the behavior of the MetaNode, and hide away all other "internal" parameters.
You can complete the library of preset MetaNodes that ship with VUE 2016 by saving your own MetaNodes for future use.
VUE's powerful parameter publishing feature is now extended to allow the creation of top-level interfaces. Create simplified high-level controls and access these controls directly from the material editor, the terrain editor or the object editors!
You can now reap the power of the function graphs without even opening the Function Editor!
Top-level parameters can be animated via the timeline, including published material parameters. This provides unprecedented control over the animation of your materials.
An additional material mapping option, “Relative to sea”, is now available for material altitudes. With this option you can create materials that appear at certain altitudes, either relative to the sea, or absolute in world coordinates.
An additional input node, “Sea level”, is also directly accessible from the Function Graphs.
The External Dependency nodes of the Function Graph can express object positions and dimensions in user-definable real-world units (meters, feet, etc). This is also the case for other nodes that express real world dimensions, such as Distance to object below, distance from camera, etc.
Also, real world dimensions can now be fed into the Position and Size outputs of the object graphs.
Multi-materials let you change in one single operation all the materials of any given object. Multi-materials can be saved for future use. They can also be copy-pasted or drag-dropped between the different objects of your scenes.
In nature, parts of the rocks that are on the outside will be more exposed to external factors such as weathering. Thanks to the new Rock Convexity node, you can now change the look of the rocks based on their actual geometry, for instance to create dirty insets or polished edges.
Graph-Based Animation Scripts
Using the Scene-Graph approach, you can create complex, graph-based animation scripts to control the properties of your animated objects.
Access each object graph with a click of a button, then build a function to control the properties of the object and connect it to the desired output (e.g. position, orientation, size, etc). Inside the function graph, you can access the properties of other objects in the scene. Using this, it's easy to control your object based on the properties of other objects.
Loose Dynamic Nodes
On top of the easy-to-setup loose forward dynamics introduced in the "loose tracking and linking" section above, VUE 2016 features a set of new nodes dedicated to creating naturally flowing animations. This includes delay, integrator, differentiator, PID and constraint nodes.
Advanced Cloud Control
In order to grant you better control over the shape and look of your clouds, the function graph features outputs
that let you control the altitude of the cloud layers (for instance, so that they appear to "go over" certain objects).
Cyclic Noises & Fractals
New cyclic noises and fractals provide powerful capabilities to generate patterns that repeat seamlessly, in space or time (for instance, for that perfectly looping water animation effect)!
You can control the cycle rate along each axis to produce truly amazing patterns.
Texture Projection Mapping Improvements
You can now select the mapping mode for all Projected Texture Maps independently from the general material mapping mode, allowing the creation of very complex materials. This new parameter is also available for the Projected Animation Map node.
For instance, in one single material, you can have a Projected Texture Map for the Color channel set to World Parametric and a second Projected Texture Map used for displacement set to Object Standard.
Complete Feature List
- Powerful scene control based on the Scene Graph approach
- 4th Level of material Edition
- Control all material parameters via function graphs
- Control materials based on the properties of other objects
- Ability to control the direction of displacement through the material graph
- Advanced Python node for custom functions
- Advanced SmartGraph input nodes: screen position, angle of incidence, distance to camera, distance on ray, depth in object, distance to object below, incident light angle, light direction, light color, reflected direction, etc
- Detailed function output observer
- Detailed node previews in function editor
- Group parts of SmartGraph graphs as MetaNodes
- "Publish" specific MetaNode parameters for easy access from the level above
- Build your own MetaNodes library of commonly used graph snippets
- Control distribution of materials on terrains from within the procedural terrain altitude function
- Control procedural terrain altitudes based on relationships with other objects
- The altitude of procedural terrains can be dynamically affected by other objects
- Procedural terrain preview in function editor
- Control the intensity of the EcoSystem coloring through the function graph - also requires EcoSystem
- Consistent unit system in Function Editor
- Planetary mapping node with ability to set location of origin (latitude and longitude)
- Assign colors to graph nodes for improved readability
- Altitude node produces altitudes in the range of -1 to 1 on each object
- "Scene graph" approach allows advanced relationships between objects
- Access and control object properties using SmartGraph
- Save and reload entire object graphs in a single file
- Object graphs can express dimensions in real-world units
- Object graph parameters can be published for access at top interface level
- "PID" and "Delay" controllers in SmartGraph for improved realism in object interactions
- Create custom interfaces by publishing function graph parameters
- Customize the shape an look of full cloud layers through outputs in the Function Editor
- Control cloud layers altitude to make them “go over” or circle certain objects
- Control animation phase on a per SolidGrowth instance basis through the function graph. (Also requires EcoSystem and KronosFX)
- Vector-quantization node to create procedural terrains with terraces
- Publishing parameters will refresh terrain geometry automatically
- Cyclic Noises and Fractals to generate patterns that repeat seamlessly, in space or time
- The cycle rate of Cyclic Noises and Fractals can be controlled along each axis
- Select the mapping mode for all Projected Texture Maps independantly from general material mapping mode
- Select the mapping mode for Projected Animation Map nodes independantly from general material mapping mode
- Multiple UV layers can be accessed via the function graph
- Rich collection of function nodes to control EcoParticle behaviors. (Also requires EcoSystem and KronosFX)
- Access more Natural Grain parameters from the Color Production output in the Function Editor
- Modulate the Sub-Surface Scattering depth using a function graph
- Link Volumetric color of clouds to a function graph
- Link Ambient color contribution from sun and sky to a function graph
- Modulate Spectral clouds sharpness global setting with a user-defined function
- Use local coordinates on cloud modulation
- Non Photo Realistic (NPR) full edition - also requires RenderUp
- Edit multiple nodes in the Function Editor in one go
- Layout nodes (Area demarcation, Spline Proximity etc)
- Modulate Spectral clouds opacity with a user-defined function
- Access local coordinates for color settings on cloud modulation