e-on Vue 7 xStream review

£917
Price when reviewed

e-on’s Vue 7 Infinite has built a near monopoly on the high-end production of natural environments over the years. But it needs to work with a dedicated modeller to be able to populate its scenes with buildings, figures and other objects. With Vue 7 xStream, e-on provides such a solution.

e-on Vue 7 xStream review

Vue 7 xStream fully incorporates Vue 7 Infinite, which can be run in standalone mode, but also provides access to all its power directly from your favourite high-end modelling application whether that’s 3ds max, Maya, LightWave, XSI, Cinema 4D or any combination of the above.

In previous versions of xStream this integration was enabled by allowing you to open a Vue scene directly into your modeller, where you could quickly load it into Infinite for editing. With Vue 7 xStream, however, e-on has completely reworked xStream’s underlying architecture. Now all the power of Vue Infinite is available directly via true plug-ins.

In practice this takes the form of a single, new Vue 7 xStream menu added to your host application. From it you can create naturalistic objects such as procedural terrains with infinite detail, unique plants based on over 70 species and realistic spectral atmospheres based on the passage of sunlight through volumetric cloudscapes.

You can then position, scale and rotate your objects using your host application’s own controls and call up the various Vue dialogs for more advanced direct editing. Most impressive of all is Vue 7 xStream’s EcoSystem painter, which acts as a native tool in 3ds max and Cinema 4D, allowing you load up plants, rocks and other objects and interactively paint hundreds of instances onto any object in a scene.

It’s extraordinary power that really pushes the boundaries of what modellers can achieve – but there are problems. In our tests Vue 7 xStream was prone to crash and, bearing in mind the high-end price and the target CG production market, that’s unacceptable.

Hopefully e-on can solve the problems, and a rapidly launched service pack shows it is on the case. But for complicated landscape creation we suggest sticking to the previous approach of editing with the standalone Vue Infinite tool.

xStream’s new fully integrated approach really comes into its own, though, for simpler tasks such as adding believable plants, terrains and atmospheres to scenes. Here Vue 7 xStream does the job superbly well, and will take both your 3D modelling software and your 3D work into entirely new and exciting creative territory.

Details

Software subcategory Graphics/design software

Requirements

Processor requirement 2GHz Pentium or equivalent

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? no
Operating system Mac OS X supported? yes

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