open discussion Carrara vs E-on-Vue vs Terragen

As Vue is down for ages acquired by Bentley I can't see it will be resurrected - I think Bentley quietly killed Vue

besides...

can we discuss the pros and cons of Carrara as a landscape software in comparision with Vue, and Terragen (Bryce does not support latest macOS that's why we should leave it out)

render quality (still and animation)

render speed (still and animation)

object import / export

 

Comments

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,274

    Vue, Terragen and Bryce are all dedicated to landscapes/environments, rather than an all round 3D suite with tools for modelling rigging texturing animating and rendering.

    landscapes, oceans and environments can be done well in carrara, ...see the store for examples.

    Carrara has a plant system where you can create a variety of trees, bushes and plants,. you can also model plants in the vertex modeller and create leaves, blossoms, berries or fruit models which can be used in the plant system.

    Render quality depends on the objects, shaders, lighting and render settings, and also on the render engine used,. Carrara has a good quality, fast render engine but also has render engine plugins for LuxRender and OctaneRender.

    Render speed depends on all of the above and the settings on your render output options,.. still/animation .

    Carrara can import and export OBJ ,. there is a plugin available for OBJ sequence import,. and another for OBJ sequence export

    Hope it helps :)

  • DesertDudeDesertDude Posts: 515

    I have never owned Vue, but I tested using the trial version many years ago...somewhere around Vue 7? I thought because it was a dedicated landscape software it would handle flickering foliage better in animations - ha ha!

    Render times were outrageous from my end...maybe unfair to say since it was so long ago and at that time I had a single processor machine. Plus the price. I think you can get great results from Carrara from what I have seen here over the years.

    Plus, everything 3DAGE just said above.  smiley

  • DesertDudeDesertDude Posts: 515
    edited May 13

    PS

    I forgot my own recent experiements with the Realistc Sky editor. It bugged me forever that the shadow colors were so lifeless, but turning up the Blue Filter under Atmosphere really helps, along with dialing down Red and Green. The controls are kind of sensitive, though.

    Landscape replicated using a Replicator set to Grid.

    I have no experience with Terragen, but I have read on another software forum from someone who is obsessed with clouds that the render times are also painful, but of course, may depend on your system. We do have Volumetric clouds in Carrara.  smiley

    test_004.jpg
    640 x 480 - 26K
    Post edited by DesertDude on
  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 965
    edited May 14

    wow, you think Vue is really Kaput?

    I know they had a major breach that resulted in a site shutdown a few months back, but shutting down the entire company? or did I read that wrong?

    (do you have any links to the current 'story'?)

    I thought Vue was pretty impressive, but the 'complete' package I had didn't do alpha layer rendering, so I dumped it, and it wasn't that much better than the tools I was using for my projects at the time. At the time, the Poser integration/bridge was important to me too. I guess it's still in there.

    I do hate to see players like Vue fall off the edge though. I hope I'm understanding this wrong. They've also got some tree (tree factory?) and particle tools (carbon scatter?) that looked pretty capable ($$).

    I now see the mention of Bryce (macs notwithstanding), which in the right hands can do some amazing stuff, but probably wouldn't surpass Carrara, given the same investment of time and experimentation. Bryce does have some shader tools that would blow minds if they could accessed by mere mortals using a more intuitive interface. Ironically, I believe Bryce was first released on the Mac...

    Never used Terragen, but it was one of the tools that caught my eye when first getting into this 3D realm. From what I can tell it's much more alive (development) than Bryce or Carrara. Curious how it will fare in the long-term.

    --ms

    Post edited by mindsong on
  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 513

    E-On Software and VUE are definately not gone.   They are revamping and integrating with Bentley.   I was able to get a new activation code for VUE and Plant Factory in less than a day from their Tech Support.  They are opening their main site up soon.  Also, their FB group is very active.  They have recently issued an update for VUE 2016.  VUE 2018 is rumored to be near completion (again, just a rumor).

    I am very relieved, as my investment in VUE and Plant Factory, and the hardware to use for rendering, is substantial.  Not that I have actually had time to use them yet...

    https://info.e-onsoftware.com/blog/bentley-systems-announces-new-office-in-paris-france

    https://www.facebook.com/eonsoftware/

    I was sold on VUE after seeing some of the Demos, particularly the add-on called "Shimmerwind".   The vegetation wind effects for VUE/Plant Factory are really impressive.  I also have Carrara, and will be able to use the hardware for that, too.

     

  • 3drendero3drendero Posts: 1,040
    edited May 14
    Vue and e-on are still going strong with updates, even after an epic hacking disaster that needed a complete site shutdown. Here is a 2018 news post about the latest updates with links to their new temp sites. http://www.cgchannel.com/2018/03/e-on-ships-vue-2016-r5-and-plantfactory-2016-r5/ Btw thinking about a complete daz3d store backup after reading the scary e-on shutdown. They have stopped development of 2 plugins though http://www.cgchannel.com/2017/07/e-on-software-to-can-carbon-scatter-cloudfactory-ozone/
    Post edited by 3drendero on
  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 513

    Another popular program for terrain is World Machine 2.  Apparently a number of CG professionals use it in combination with VUE, Terragen, etc., as it adds useful features.

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 853

    I'd be surprised if Vue is dead. My understanding is that there are a fair number of high-end users (i.e. filmmakers) who use it, and can afford to pay the price for the top-end package. The current version of the software is still called Vue 2016, which makes it sound old, but it's still actively being developed: the latest release, R5, came out about six weeks ago -- end of March 2018 -- and included significant new features.

    E-On Software did indeed have a major hack, disclosed in January of this year, which has left their website and the Cornucopia3D site pretty much in ruins. They're talking about rebuilding both sites "from the ground up", which I suspect means that whoever built the site for them originally has moved on, and they don't have the necessary expertise to rebuild and secure the existing site. But that seems to be a separate issue from their software development process.

    So I wouldn't count Vue out. To be honest, a product that just got a new feature release six weeks ago actually looks a good bit more lively than Carrara (released in August 2013; last updated with a bugfix release in ... I can't remember, but it was a while back).

    Now, as to the merits of the different bits of software ...

    For my money, Carrara is the least capable of the three as a landscape modeler. Don't get me wrong: I love Carrara to death, I think it's an excellent tool, and I'd love DAZ to update it. I'm also impressed by the features it offers as a landscape modeler, which I think is an under-advertised feature of the software. I've made a bunch of landscape images with Carrara, and been pleased with them.

    That said, I don't think it's in the same league as Vue or Terragen. The atmospheric engine is considerably less sophisticated; people like Tim Payne have done amazing things with Carrara in terms of pushing the envelope to make realistic skies but the output still doesn't come close to the kind of realism that Vue and Terragen offer. The terrain generation and texturing features of Vue and Terragen are also significantly better than Carrara's. Overall, other things being equal, Vue and Terragen will make richer, more realistic scenes than Carrara can manage.

    Obviously, a great deal depends on the artist. A highly-skilled Carrara artist like Dartanbeck can do stuff with Carrara that will blow the doors off whatever I can accomplish with Vue, for example. Hell, Estevez is doing stuff with Bryce that I can't begin to even think about approaching with Vue. But I do believe that Vue (and Terragen) offer more powerful tools and better render-quality out-of-the-box than either Carrara or Bryce.

    Carrara's advantage is probably speed: I can render a fairly ambitious Carrara scene in a fraction of the time that it takes for one of the others to grind out their meticulously photorealistic images. Plus, Carrara has a whole lot of other features -- i.e. modeling tools -- that the others don't offer. It also has better integration with DAZ content; it's easier to get DAZ content into a Carrara scene than into Vue, in my experience, and I think it often looks better. Vue requires a certain amount of texture tweaking, you can't pose the object after import, and I've never felt the results looked quite as good (possibly because I didn't tweak the textures enough).

    With regard to quality, I think Terragen might just edge out Vue in terms of photorealism -- Terragen skies can be stunning -- but the learning curve for Terragen is so steep as to be practically vertical. Seriously. Vue is more like Bryce; you plop in some terrains, you slap on a texture or an ecosystem, you pick a sky from a library, and you're away to the races. Terragen, you edit function graphs. By hand.

    Don't know what a function graph is? It's basically a collection of interlinked nodes where each node is a complex mathematical description of some feature of the image, such as a texture, or a terrain, or a cloud layer, or some aspect of the lighting or atmospheric model. The makers of Terragen provide a handful of pre-made components that you can insert into your graph, but after that you're on your own. It's seriously intimidating. I actually think Terragen is harder to use than Mojoworld (another function-graph-based landscape modeler, now sadly defunct). With Mojoworld, at least a semi-smart monkey like me could produce some moderately pretty images by poking around the UI until I got something that looked nice (and, Lord knows, the Mojoworld interface was not friendly or forgiving). Terragen is a whole different order of complexity. The results, when you get them, are gorgeous, but it's not for the faint of heart.

    Vue, in my view, strikes a reasonable balance between ease-of-use and power. Where it doesn't strike a good balance is stability. It may be just a Mac thing -- I can't believe it could have sold so many copies if the PC version was equally unstable -- but the damn thing crashes all the time on my Mac. It's at its worst right after they put out a new major release: by the time they've put a few bugfix releases out, it tends to settle down a bit, but those initial releases, hoo boy, they're a mess.

    In summary, I'd say that if Carrara is what you have, use it: you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much you can do with it. If you're not satisfied with that, consider moving up to Vue. I think the Studio package probably offers the featureset most comparable to what you'd get in Carrara or Bryce. And if you're the kind of brainiac who eats formulas for breakfast and is never happier than when you're tweaking parameters on a three-dimensional noise generator, go for Terragen.

    And if none of those appeal, there's always ArtMatic Designer 7/ArtMatic Voyager or -- for Mac users on a very small budget -- TerraRay (which may not be in active development any more).

  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789

    @bytescapes
    ​Very interesting reading - thanks for sharing your views...

    ​Selina

  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 965
    Selina said:

    @bytescapes
    ​Very interesting reading - thanks for sharing your views...

    ​Selina

    agreed, well articulated, non-'religious', and seemed well substantiated from a good number of years of actual use.

    very meaningful,

    --ms

  • th3Digitth3Digit Posts: 17,756

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scenery_generator

    has a nice list of scenery generators, Carrara blatantly and undeservedly absent 

    TerraRay is a very cheap Bryce like alternative for Mac users I stumbled upon available at the app store

     

  • Chris Fox ArtChris Fox Art Posts: 277

    I have Vue11 complete and it's an awesome software for environment rendering as it's very realistic.
    Some movies have used Vue like Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull but it needs some time to find your way in.
    It's similar like Daz Studio, so it doesn't really have a modeller, you can use and download content from the website and put it in a scene together to set the scene.

  • th3Digitth3Digit Posts: 17,756

    click video

    OK challenge 

    which software could best recreate this teaser from Besthesda?

  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789

    The one they already used for the teaser - simples !

  • th3Digitth3Digit Posts: 17,756
    Selina said:

    The one they already used for the teaser - simples !

    I already tried using Skyrim as a render engine 

    all my Creation kit imports give an error even though they work in Nifskope

    can hope this new one has an easier system when it finally is released

  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789

    Crumbs Wendy, you have a whole arsonal of different programs to learn and play with. It's taking me enough time just to get to grips with Carrara... smiley

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 7,951

    @Selina, I've sent you a PM.

  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789

    @Diomede - thanks, I'll go check it out... hope you're not telling me off for something !

  • th3Digitth3Digit Posts: 17,756
    Selina said:

    @Diomede - thanks, I'll go check it out... hope you're not telling me off for something !

    or sending naughty renders of Brash Lonergan's extra bits blush

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 513

    The E-ON software folks have moved into the Bentley Systems offices.  Just had a 50% off sale on the VUE artist series (not Infinite, unfortunately,) and the Plant Factory series.

  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789
    Greymom said:

    The E-ON software folks have moved into the Bentley Systems offices.  Just had a 50% off sale on the VUE artist series (not Infinite, unfortunately,) and the Plant Factory series.

    Just had ? That's great news ! Thanks for sharing ...

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 7,951
    edited June 14
    th3Digit said:
    Selina said:

    @Diomede - thanks, I'll go check it out... hope you're not telling me off for something !

    or sending naughty renders of Brash Lonergan's extra bits blush

     

    Moxie has dibs on Brash's naughty bits.  If Selina has been a good girl this year...

     

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789

    Oh that's sad - I've not been a good girl for many a year wink

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