#59: SHADOWS & LIGHT (Vue)
#58: ADVANCED DIRT MAPPING (Vue)
#57: SSS IN VUE 9, AND THE "SPECKLE" PROBLEM
#56: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL OF ART
#55: FIXING POSER CLOTHING
#54: MAKING "FOREST WAR - GOBLIN SHAMAN"
#53: MAKING A STUDIO RENDER FOR VUE
(and other apps)
#49: NEBULA MKIII (Vue)
#48: RENDER SETTINGS FOR VUE (Vue)
#47: POSTWORK - MAKING A RENDER INTENSE (Any)
#46: MAKING RIVERS THAT FOLLOW TERRAIN HEIGHTS (Vue or Bryce)

GENERAL VUE TIPS

A collection of useful tips for using Vue, this tutorial was made 27-02-2008 with Vue7 Infinite, so, it may not be all the same for your version!
Updated 04-08-2009
Thanks to the folks on Renderosity and Cornucopia3D for some of the tips and ieas :)

SIMPLE TWEAKS TO PLANT MATERIALS

Not all the plants have perect or appropriate colours and materials. Or you may wanna alter them for specific species.
Here's a simple tip on improving the rather bland Palm tree bark :)

Setting the material mode to "World Standard" means that the material will vary for each plant, so, the bark grooves will not all be the same ;)
Now you can save the plant as a new variety.

INCREASING PLANT POLY COUNTS FOR REALISM

A simple tweak many folk don't realize...like myself, until someone showed me, lol!! Is that you can easily improve the realism of a native Vue "Solid Growth" plant, be it a tree, bush or whatever, as long as it's not currently in an ecosystem, by selecting it, and editing it.
You can remove a plant form an ecosystem, convert it to a normal editable plant in some versions of Vue, by the way. Just don't put them back in the ecosystem after editing this way as they have huge poly counts and should be left seperate.
To do this use the "Select Ecosystem Objects" tool
Select them, then use "Manipulate" and "Convert to Objects"

Then, increase the polygon count as much as you want, and watch how more polygons = softer and more natural plant shapes!
"Simples!" as a certain meerkat would say, hehe!

The image below shows this. The plant on the Left is default, one on the Right has been freatly increased in polygons, note how it's trunk is roudne rand less straight.

Theese kind of plants, and also rocks when they are increased in polycount etc, are reffered to as " HERO" objects, as in they are heoric, stand out and more important.


DISPLAY OPTIONS

A lot of the problems folks can have, are due to display settings.
Vue by default, shows OPEN GL images in all view ports, with textures, of all objects, which causes a huge strain on your graphic card when your scene gets complex.
The video card is strying to show all those polygons, all that detail, in real time! There are some easy ways to help though :)

  1. In Vue, go to File --> Options --> Display Options. If you turn OFF "Use Scene anti-aliasing" and "Use line anti-aliasing", it should work better. The anti-aliasing items are trying to smooth the open gl image which uses a lot of power.
  2. When a scene gets complex, turn off the "AutoUpdate" feature on Preview window, it's constantly trying to re-render every time you change the scene, using up resources causing a noticeable "lag".
  3. Turn off "Limit OpenGL polygons", for many systems, that helps a lot.
  4. Turning off "Apply Texture Maps to..." can also help.

Note that "Show red wireframe on selected objects" can be a pain, when trying to do some adjustments by eye, so sometimes it can be an idea to turn that off temporarily.


GENERAL OPTIONS

In the General Options for Vue, I'd recommend turning off "offset duplicated objects", because, say you want to duplicate a wall, if it's offset it may be moved away from a set horizontal level you want, etc.

The "Maximum number of operations that can be undone at any time" can be turned down to reduce using up system resources, which they can have a heavy impact on!


In "Options-->Operations", you can specify folders for looking for textures, this is handy when you want to add a texture in a material quickly. I archive all my texture images in one folder, and can access them in Vue easily doing this.

I also add in a directory where I keep my "HDRI" images, great for using as image based lighting.
You can also add Poser folders, to let Vue find textures easier, or other 3D model directories.


BASIC POSER IMPORT

I've done a previous, in-depth tutorial on Poser importing, but here are some basics

If you use Skin Vue, don't "collapse" materials, otherwise, just do it (unless you wish to do a lot of specific tweaking).

In the "POSER IMPORT" window, you have many options.
In general, select IMPORT SINGLE FRAME, unless you are doing an animation.

Only use "Render materials using Poser Shader tree" is you have plenty of resources lef tin Vue, and it's what you really want to do. Poser materials take up more resources, but save you time hand tweaking the materials to look good. However, if you know what your doing, Vue materials look a LOT better than Poser ones (see my Poser Import tutorial).

Don't use "Allow Reposing in Vue" unless you have a lot of resources, again, takes a LOT of RAM to use that feature. "Reposing in Vue" I find only useful for small tweaks to say, get a foot sitting right on a rock, a hand on a scenery item, etc.

Whether you wish to use "Group sigures as single meshes" is up to you, it saves time and resources, but prevents finer tweaking later on (I sometimes re-use a model in other renders, moving parts and hiding any resulting flaws in post work, etc).
You have to select this for Skin Vue to work correctly.

Note: Skin Vue is a commercial python plugin for Vue which tweaks skin very heavily, making it look much better.


TERRAINS

The basic terrain only has a resolution of 256x256...this means it's very polygonal and this shows up on renders, see below. It's only good for distant terrains. For closer items, you must increase the resolution of the terrain in the editor, or use a procedural terrain.

Note: procedural terrains are fractal items, they show high levels of detail no mater if you are closse up or far away, but do use up a lot of resources.

Note 2: When you drag up a non-procedural terrain's height, you'll notice the polgon problem much worse, as there's not enough poly's in the part where you've stretched it.

Note3: if you use Soft Shadows, and better light set ups, you will see less of the polygonal shadows.

256 x 256 terrain

1024x1024 terrain stretched up

2048 x 2048 terrain and not stretched up

Procedural terrain

Same procedural terrain as above, zoomed in close, showing detail increases as you approach.

SAVING RESOURCES BY ALTERING DISPLAY WINDOWS

Altering the display in the Vue viewport windows, will reduce resources used up, so, if you switch them to wireframe, a scene will use up less memory. Some items, obviously, don't need to be shown in detail in the view port screens.

This is VERY important in scenes where you have a lot of complex meshes and ecosystems etc. It will make your system much more repsonsive, and thus more fun to use.


TIP ON USING METACLOUD MATERIALS FOR SMOKE, FOG ETC

As you can see below, a metacloud material can make wonderfully detailed fog etc when applied to a very large sphere, and the material tweaked to suit (Overall density and fuzziness). It does render slower though.

When using metacloud materials for close up items (i.e. less than oh a few hudnred metres), such as using a sphere with a metacloud mat to make smoke, steam etc, it's very important to realize that metacloud materials drastically slow up your render times unless you turn off cast and recieve shadow in the material editor for the mat!

FOG MADE JUST USING ATMOSPHERE SETTINGS

FOG (or smoke) MADE USING METACLOUD MATERIAL ON A SPHERE

FOG MADE USING VOLUMETRIC MATERIAL ON A SPHERE
The obvious edge is a problem so you need use a larger sphere etc.


NOTE TO VISTA USERS:

Run Vue, and other important apps, as "Administrator", this stops a lot of weird Vista problems.
As soon as you've installed Vue, right click a programs icon or file name in search or whatever, and you should see a "Run as Administrator" choice, do so.

A clever fella on www.renderosity.com pointed this may need to be done to prevent odd problems with the activation of Vue! Thanks! :)

Turn off UAC!! It's the pesky security system Vista has, good for stopping newbies to computers installing malware etc, but gets in the way of running many apps.
To turn of UAC, you need to do the following:
Start up the Control Panel, type" UAC" and then click on it the result "User Accounts - Turn Use Account Control on/off".
Click "OK"
Then, deselect the "Use User Account Control to help protect your ocmputer" and press the OK button.
next you'll be asked to restart your computer, do so.

And that's UAC turned off! Note, it does reduce your computer's secruity, but it makes running programs much easier! Also, when UAC is turned off, it won't remind you to run some apps as Administrator.


USING BACKDROP IMAGES

Often overlooked ability, is to set images as backdrops, say, a sky, or harbour picture or whatever you have.
It's quite easy to do, but most folk don't know it' sthere or how to do it.

Simple: select your camera. Hit the "Backdrop" button in the camera's property inspector, or use that from in the Advanced Camera Editor.
Then navigate to your image, and voila'!

Note though, that you may need to adjust your render settings to be the same image size ratio as the backdrop image, so it doesn't get squashed or stretched ot fit your scene! So if the image is square ratio, 1000x1000 say, render at 1000x1000 or 2000x2000 etc, and similar for other ratios.

ECOSYSTEMS DON'T HAVE TO BE THE SAME BLAND, BORING AND UNREALISTIC COLOURS!

Important tip on using ecosystems for realism.

Say you are making a forest. Real forests do not have trees made up of all the same oclour! Some are old, sick, or young etc etc. So you get variations of colour. This is easy to make in Vue. Depending on the type of plant, the variations maybe subtle, or large (say at Autumn as leaves fall)

Enter the material editor for the ecosystem, go to the COLOR tab, then select "Variable colour", alter the colour map to suit, add a noise or fractal to drive the function, and populate.

The colour map variations can be strong or subtle as you wish.

ORIGINAL

WITH VARIABLE COLOUR AND RE-POPULATED FOR IT TO WORK

I hope you find this of use! :)

HOME
All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012

 

I hope you find this of use! :)

HOME
All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012