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HeightField Terrain Technology - More flexible and a lot more Powerful!
With VUE Pioneer 2016, we're introducing a brand new terrain modeling technology, more flexible and a lot more powerful, called "Heightfield Terrains".
This new technology allows you to add terrain effects that were previously impossible to achieve, such as Hydrological & Thermal Simulations!
Similar to procedural terrains, Heightfield Terrains are based on a function graph, but baked on a fixed-resolution grid. This will give you more flexibility and add more realism to your terrains. Heightfield Terrains are also significantly faster to render!
Heighfield terrains are manually sculptable and parameters can be animated - e.g. to simulate a terrain erosion over time for instance!
And finally, you can easily set up your graph outputs to drive your material presence, directly from within the Terrain Editor interface.
The Heightfield Terrains technology comes with its set of new dedicated nodes and presets, like 9 different Erosion presets and Slope, Convexity, Blur or Terrace nodes.
New Layout Nodes also let you design a terrain's "layout" (most prominent features) using hand-drawn elements like Splines, elements from the scene, or simple shapes (circles, rectangles, rounded rectangles) (requires the AdvancedGraph module) .
Start as simple as drawing a line, let the power of the Terrain Editor do the rest!
Additionally, all terrain presets in the terrain Editor were reworked, and VUE Pioneer 2016 now ships with 42 terrain samples.
Hybrid GPU/CPU Interactive Path Tracer
GPU rendering comes to VUE with the new Path Tracer renderer. This renderer naturally and automatically simulates real-life lighting, and automatically calculates many effects that have to be specifically set with other methods, such as depth of field, caustics, ambient occlusion, and indirect lighting.
Path tracing in VUE Pioneer 2016 is available as an interactive rendering quality in the viewports, as well as an offline rendering engine ( Offline rendering engine requires the RenderUp module).
Easily and quickly add more realism to your scenes. Improve your productivity at the same time!
PlantFactory Preset Variations
PlantFactory 2015 introduced the concept of Presets. PlantFactory 2016 now introduces the concept of Preset Variations.
Preset Variations allow you to immediately include subtle differences to your plant (change the number of buds on a blooming flower, or its petal colors for instance).
This new feature allows you to easily add variety to create realistic environments with one single plant species!
Within VUE Pioneer 2016, you directly get access to the PlantFactory species presets and variations within the Plant Browser, the Plant Editor (requires the Botanica module) and within your EcoSystem population list (requires either the EcoSystem or EcoPainter module).
So, at every step of your scene creation process, you are able to select the species you want, the preset you want and the variations you want!
Multiple Global EcoSystems and EcoPainter Improvements
The features described below require the EcoPainter module.
VUE Pioneer 2016 now allows you to populate your scenes with multiple Global EcoSystems layers (i.e. not linked to any underlying material). You can save your Global EcoSystem populations as EcoPainter brushes, and re-use them at any time, in any scene!
VUE Pioneer 2016 ships with 12 EcoPainter brushes to get you started. Populations in your EcoSystem brushes can also be used in any standard EcoSystem material!
VUE Pioneer 2016 includes 20 EcoPainter effector brushes, including a new Rotate effector to dynamically alter the placement of your EcoSystem populations.
Memory Saving Technologies
You can now optimize memory consumption by using baked (static or dynamic) versions of PlantFactory species for your EcoSystem populations, or by converting any referenced assets in your scenes to EcoSystem Instances (requires either the EcoSystem or EcoPainter module).
Optimized Workspace and Workflow
Split Camera Control Panel: Scene preview and Camera Controls
Resize the EcoPainter Dialog (requires the EcoPainter module)
Optimized Extrapolation/Interpolation commands by creating references instead of hard copies
Set VUE to automatically create a Scene Snapshot after each render
Scene snapshot preview in OS browser is automatically created after the render
Compatible with HiDPI displays
Scenes and assets thumbnail previews in Windows Explorer
Automatic detection of global scale factor (from file format and source software) when importing scenes or assets (requires the 3DImport module)
Export original maps for meshes with Uvs (requires the Exporter module)
Export objects as Collada (requires the Exporter module)