Landscape Modeling Software (Vue, Terragen, ?)

So I was all set to buy myself Vue as a Christmas present and the site went down.... and stayed down. It's still down. Somebody out there mentioned something called Terragen and I think there's a few other Pretty Landscape Makers out there. Do you have one? Do you know about them? Can you tell me if I should wait and hope Vue returns (maybe with an apology discount hmmm) or if I should send my money elsewhere?

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  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 353

    I got a message from EON Software about the outage this morning via their FaceBook Page:

     "we did not anticipate that it would take as long as it has. We can only apologise and reassure you that we want to be back online as much as you do. ????

    They are also still sending out the daily Artist Showcases and such on FB, so they are still there.

    I am hoping that they get back up very soon, as I have a large investment in the software, and have purchased hardware to build 5 servers primarily for VUE.  I picked VUE in part because of the ability to work with Poser.

    I antiicpate a nice sale when they get back up smiley

  • Charlie JudgeCharlie Judge Posts: 5,873

    Here is a summary of some Terrain software, some of which is free:

    http://vterrain.org/Packages/Artificial/

  • th3Digitth3Digit Posts: 16,646

    Bryce

  • th3Digitth3Digit Posts: 16,646

    oh and Carrara too cheeky

  • dreamfarmerdreamfarmer Posts: 1,829

    Well, th3Digit, the reason I'm reconsidering Vue is that I want to invest in software that's being actively supported by the publisher. :-)

     

    Greymom: I haven't been convinced by the daily Social Media updates since those can be (and probably were) scheduled in advance. Like the newsletter I got today, which was full of broken links to content stored on servers that aren't running.... which was honestly horrifying since they've just announced to their entire mailing list that they no longer exist (if only temporarily).

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 353

    Other reasons I picked VUE include the integration with Plant Factory, the ability to animate plant movement with wind, and wind effects on water.

  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 2,626
    edited January 2

    So I was all set to buy myself Vue as a Christmas present and the site went down.... and stayed down. It's still down. Somebody out there mentioned something called Terragen and I think there's a few other Pretty Landscape Makers out there. Do you have one? Do you know about them? Can you tell me if I should wait and hope Vue returns (maybe with an apology discount hmmm) or if I should send my money elsewhere?

     

    So I was all set to buy myself Vue as a Christmas present and the site went down.... and stayed down. It's still down. Somebody out there mentioned something called Terragen and I think there's a few other Pretty Landscape Makers out there. Do you have one? Do you know about them? Can you tell me if I should wait and hope Vue returns (maybe with an apology discount hmmm) or if I should send my money elsewhere?

    Exactly the same here! LOL First I thought maybe it was an omen ;) The longer the sites are down tho, the more it makes one "squeamish" about buying it, I must say.

    I would think seriously about Terragen were it not for it's node system - I have a mental block against nodes I think ever since fighting with Poser's material room ;). There's World Creator (similar pricing to the other two) as well. Looks nice, but not sure how it compares to the other two.

    Laurie

    Post edited by AllenArt on
  • dreamfarmerdreamfarmer Posts: 1,829
    AllenArt said:

    So I was all set to buy myself Vue as a Christmas present and the site went down.... and stayed down. It's still down. Somebody out there mentioned something called Terragen and I think there's a few other Pretty Landscape Makers out there. Do you have one? Do you know about them? Can you tell me if I should wait and hope Vue returns (maybe with an apology discount hmmm) or if I should send my money elsewhere?

     

    So I was all set to buy myself Vue as a Christmas present and the site went down.... and stayed down. It's still down. Somebody out there mentioned something called Terragen and I think there's a few other Pretty Landscape Makers out there. Do you have one? Do you know about them? Can you tell me if I should wait and hope Vue returns (maybe with an apology discount hmmm) or if I should send my money elsewhere?

    Exactly the same here! LOL First I thought maybe it was an omen ;) The longer the sites are down tho, the more it makes one "squeamish" about buying it, I must say.

    I would think seriously about Terragen were it not for it's node system - I have a mental block against nodes I think ever since fighting with Poser's material room ;). There's World Creator (similar pricing to the other two) as well. Looks nice, but not sure how it compares to the other two.

    Laurie

    If they bring it up soon and have a Big Makeup Sale that'd do a lot to offset the squeamishness. But meanwhile I'm trying to find out more about how Terragen compares. The problem is everytime I click on a pretty CG landscape on dA it's almost always Vue. I dunno if I'm trained or it's more dA -artist-friendly or just plain better. And there's not a lot of recent reviews out there. But it does seem like Terragen is on sale. And of course their site is up....

    Hm, World Creator. It seems to mostly be pretty stark landscapes, though. Honestly I'm less interested in sweeping distant vistas and more interested in more intimate, local scenery. 

  • Peter FulfordPeter Fulford Posts: 1,275

    In the context of DAZ figures (if that's important), all these third party options have the problem of integration. In order to enjoy the full benefits of the DAZ figures (especially any render specific features), you're pretty much stuck with using what you create in any "landscape" program as a backdrop within DAZ Studio.

    As a few pioneers (e.g. Howie Farkes, Stonemason) have demonstrated, one of the best potential "landscape"render programs for us (DAZ figure users) is actually DAZ Studio.

  • dreamfarmerdreamfarmer Posts: 1,829

    I don't particularly want to use Daz figures in another piece of software, so that's fine. And it's been pretty clear that Daz Studio utterly chokes on the kind of atmospheric effects that give me shivers up and down my spine. I'd probably be compositing in a third piece of software anyhow.

    I do like Howie Farkes' stuff quite a lot, but I've never been able to duplicate what he does with his own Ultrascatter script in Daz Studio. Still, I keep buying in-Daz landscapes as a stopgap; one reason I'm ready to splurge on a big piece of software is because of the long term savings (and control) I'd theoretically reap. >.> Though I know Vue wants to sell me things just like Daz does....

  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 2,626

    I don't have a problem with exporting Daz figures into Vue...I used to do it long long ago with Vue and Poser figures (long before there was Poser integration). I mostly just wanted to do some realistic landscapes (and potentially some skies).

    Laurie

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 353

     

     

    Greymom: I haven't been convinced by the daily Social Media updates since those can be (and probably were) scheduled in advance. Like the newsletter I got today, which was full of broken links to content stored on servers that aren't running.... which was honestly horrifying since they've just announced to their entire mailing list that they no longer exist (if only temporarily).

    You are right, I think they are automated (at least something is working), but I have also received a couple of replys to messages now.  Apparently some other folks have too.  EON is owned by Bentley Systems since 2015 and they are apparently actively developing 3D mapping and simulation/VR capabilities which will involve self-driving vehicles, among other things.  Siemanns recently invested in Bentley as they have similar commercial interests.  Given all that, I don't think they would just drop VUE like that.   Of course, I am biased, as I have already blown my budget on it : )  .

     

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 353

    Just got another reply from VUE folks, mostly just to let us know they are still alive and working on the problems.   No news or estimates yet on when they will be up again.

     

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 353
    AllenArt said:

    I don't have a problem with exporting Daz figures into Vue...I used to do it long long ago with Vue and Poser figures (long before there was Poser integration). I mostly just wanted to do some realistic landscapes (and potentially some skies).

    Laurie

    Vue is pretty good about importing static figures, but being able to adjust poses of figures within VUE is a feature that would be perfect for what I want to do.

    Also, once I saw the demonstration of the plant movement animation with wind, and the "ShimmerWind" wind-on-water-surface animation plug-in (ooooh shiny!  Flashy lights!) I was sold!

     

  • rksrks100rksrks100 Posts: 49

    I used Terragen a couple years back. It is extremely powerful in the right hands but has a very steep learning curve due to it's flexibility.  Back then and perhaps still, there was a substantial lack of reference material on how to use anything but the most basic of nodes.

  • agent unawaresagent unawares Posts: 3,481

    Vue is awesome, but Terragen is my favorite. Terragen has a huge amount of reliance on procedural everything which on one hand makes it very flexible, on the other hand kind of a bother if you do not like editing node networks. Vue is much easier that way.

    This is the Terragen image showcase: https://planetside.co.uk/terragen-image-gallery/

    And this is their fairly active images forum where you can see what more "normal" people do: http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php?board=16.0

  • agent unawaresagent unawares Posts: 3,481

    Also, Vue handles populations better than Terragen. Terragen still only can use a single object per population. >>

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 353

    Yeah, the automatic variations in multiple instances of the same plant or tree with VUE is a really useful featue, and adds a lot to the realism of a scene with a forest, etc., at least in my opinion.

     

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 11,948

    How are the hardware demands? My dabbling with free trials suggests you need pretty strong machines to render in Vue or Terragen 

  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 2,626
    edited January 2

    I thought I would start with the basic version of Vue and then add modules as I thought I needed them. I don't do animation or anything related, so those modules I won't need. I figured it'd be easier on my pocketbook that way - not necessarily cheaper in the end, but easier to eat in small bites ;). I still have Poser as well, so if I needed to have a poseable figure in Vue, I can manage that if necessary.

    Laurie

    Post edited by AllenArt on
  • agent unawaresagent unawares Posts: 3,481

    Terragen you're going to want a fast CPU with multiple cores as it's CPU only, and 32 GB RAM. Not familiar enough with Vue to say.

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 353

    Terragen you're going to want a fast CPU with multiple cores as it's CPU only, and 32 GB RAM. Not familiar enough with Vue to say.

    VUE needs a lot of CPU power too.   The render engine is very high quality and realistic, but this translates to serious hardware requirements (similar for Terragen, from what I hear).  Most versions up to "Complete" will use 8 threads/cores per installed RenderCow, while "Infinite" will use basically as many as you have.  VUE Infinite 2015 or 2016 will use a GPU for anti-aliasing calculations.  They are heading toward GPU raytracing, but I doubt they will implement full GPU rendering due to the memory constraints.

    VUE also uses the GPU for OpenGL real-time preview, but only some NVIDIA cards are compatible, last time I looked.

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 353
    AllenArt said:

    I thought I would start with the basic version of Vue and then add modules as I thought I needed them. I don't do animation or anything related, so those modules I won't need. I figured it'd be easier on my pocketbook that way - not necessarily cheaper in the end, but easier to eat in small bites ;). I still have Poser as well, so if I needed to have a poseable figure in Vue, I can manage that if necessary.

    Laurie

    That is a good way to go too, particularly if you don't need all the features.   EON/Cornucopia3D typically has some good sales a couple of times a year.   I got a lot of my stuff for 30-50% off.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 4,104

    e-on and cornocopia has been down for a while.  Got to remember where I backed content from them, just in case. 

     

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  • kenmokenmo Posts: 467

    Love Vue. Presently own Vue Complete 2016. Have been using Vue since Vue Esprit ver 4.

  • dreamfarmerdreamfarmer Posts: 1,829

    I think, if I do get Vue, I have to get Complete because of two of the modules that only show up there. Of course, if they don't show back up soon they may not even have a business anymore.... It must be awful for the vendors who sell at their brokerage. Though speaking of that, how is Terragen on stuff like trees and other plantlife? Procedural, yeah, but is it like Plant Factory levels of control or far more limited or find OBJ to import limited?

  • agent unawaresagent unawares Posts: 3,481

    Find obj to import limited. Terragen does not make its own trees.

  • Peter FulfordPeter Fulford Posts: 1,275

    There's a lot of exciting "landscape" activity at the moment using realtime game engines, such as Unreal. Try image searches for "unreal engine landscapes" or "unreal engine realism" to see what's possible, then watch some tutorial videos to see how the smart and efficient interface is brilliant for rapid artistic creativity. The introduction of photogrammetric assets into this field has resulted in an explosion of realism.

    And being realtime (including volume atmospheres, weather, collisions, etc) means render times are in frames per second, not minutes or hours per frame. The scene you're creating is always waiting for you...

  • TheKDTheKD Posts: 881

    It's been a few years since I messed with vue, but when I last did, the render engine was really really slow. Like rendering for days or weeks slow.

  • dreamfarmerdreamfarmer Posts: 1,829

    Thanks, agent unawares. Some of those forum renders were getting me unreasonably excited so I'm glad to have a call back to reality and reasonable decision making.

    Peter: Does the Unreal engine let you render/save off stills? I was poking at Unity because there's some awfully pretty stuff over there, but it absolutely doesn't let you build and render still scenes, so... not useful to me.

     

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