e-on Software has released the xStream and Infinite versions of Vue 2014
, its flagship scenery rendering software. The 2014 suite makes a host of improvements, most notably adding a photometric sunlight model that simulates sun and atmospheric light intensities. Tone mapping filters, meanwhile, can now be used to control how raw HDR colors are transformed, and a Natural Grain mode should produce more natural color variations in terrain. Similarly, EcoSystem Clumping ensures that plants tend to grow in patches, rather than in an unnaturally even pattern.
An optional world point position (XYZ) pass has been added, and Plant Factory parameters can be animated within the Vue timeline. When Plant Factory vegetation is being used within EcoSystems, a Quality setting in the Population list can be used to reduce memory consumption and render times.
Interface-wise, the Function Editor has been redesigned for better performance. The render camera can be locked to block any unwanted changes, and the app can be set to switch to perspective view whenever the viewport is altered. Workflow enhancements include FBX import, support for multi-layer 32-bit OpenEXR 2.0, and FBX and CHAN camera exchanges.
xStream costs $1,995, and integrates with third-party platforms such as 3DS Max, Maya, Softimage, LightWave, and Cinema 4D. Infinite is a stand-alone program and priced at $1,495. Upgrades start at $439 and $359, respectively. Educational discounts are available. Add-ons and other editions are due to ship later this month.