By Lisa Casler
When I received
Vue dEsprit 2 to review I was ready for another
Metacreations Bryce knock off. I was pleasantly surprised from
the moment I installed Vue dEsprit 2, a natural
scenery rendering program from France. A classic rendering interface
with four wireframe views with detail levels, selected objects
properties panel, selected materials, world browser, and multi-threaded.
Add USGS DEM importing, DXF mesh support, drag and drop, multiple
layer organization, a SolidGrowth vegetation generator
and you have a well rounded, full featured rendering program.
Guide is well laid out and easy to understand. I highly recommend
reading the User Guide from cover to cover because of the wealth
of information you will find on the program. A number of tutorials
are also included for such things as a Boolean house, rain,
underwater scenery and a Kick Start tutorial to get you started.
The program installed easily, without any glitches and I was
working on a scene in record time.
wireframe view windows make designing your scene a snap. A simple
double click on the window bar of one of the four views opens
the window into full screen view. Double click again and you're
back to the four window view.
Editor has a vast amount of settings; you can mix your materials
and add transparency, ambiance and store your new material creations.
an atmosphere for your scene is taken to a new level with complete
control over Sun and Light, Sky and Clouds, and Fog and Haze.
You can adjust the position and size of the sun and also determine
whether the sun is masked by clouds and how much masking is
done. Lighting is also varied with ambiance, balance, global
exposure and you can apply the settings to all light sources,
or only the sun. For the Sky and Clouds, you set the sky color
map, the color map position, distortion by the sun and the fog
in the sky. You can also add multiple cloud layers and edit
the characteristics of each layer. Fog and haze settings include
color, altitude, and thickness.
editor has a number of effects you can use, from painting altitudes
to adding gravel and a fir tree look. You can copy your terrain
and edit it in a paint program and paste it back in the terrain
editor. Another nice feature is the option to export your terrain
in dxf , picture or as a script for use in the PoV program,
along with the color and bump maps.
Growth vegetation generator is what is lacking in other
landscape rendering programs. Included in the program are 8
different vegetation species. The species include; Dry Brush,
Fern, Tropic, Dead Tree, Fir Tree, Plum Tree, Umbrella Acacia
and a Coconut Tree. All are nicely detailed and have a full
description with polygon count. You can download others at the
e-on Software web
site, a couple of free ones and some for a fee. The for a fee
ones are worth the price for these good quality vegetation.
for creating soft shadows, blurred transparencies and depth
of field for more realistic scenes are easy in Vue dEsprit.
However, unless you render in "Superior anti-aliasing mode"
you will have pixel scattering around the edge of the images.
a scene I made in Vue d'Esprit 2.The boat is a 3D mesh
object that comes with Vue d'Esprit, the dead trees and brush
in the water are created with The Solid Growthvegetation
comes with atmospheres already to go. There are many to choose
from and you can tweak them all to suit your needs. If there
isn't one that fits the scene your working on, make your own.
Here is a screen shot of the Sky and Clouds Editor. A nice function
is the cloud layers, you can add up to three with separate settings
for each layer.
ground, clouds and terrain
and trees in the background were created by using a terrain
and adding fir trees in the Terrain Editor. You can add as much
or as little as you need to get the effect of distant trees.
Growth vegetation generator was used to add the dead trees
and the brush to the scene. When you click on the Tree icon
in the left toolbar, if it's the first time used in the scene
you will get a random species. Succesive selections will be
of the same species, but it will grow randomly so will not be
a duplicate of the first. Or, you can go into the Objects/Create
menu and choose Vegetaion and make your choice from the plants.
I added from the included library in the Add Objects, where
you can also import and add your own to the library. I left
the material on the boat as it came, however you can change
the material in the Object Properties panel. You can also smooth
the object by clicking on the Edit Object in the same panel.
You also have the choice to add a sphere, cube, pyramid, cone,
cylinder and plane.
of the scene
objects can be moved easily and you also have controls that
rotate the object around the view axis and rotate inside view.
You can move the camera to almost any place you want, change
the focal, blur and focus.
scene I have the camera set at; Focal: 35mm, Blur: 0% and Focus:
100. You can get some really unique looking scenes by changing
the blur and focal settings, as you can see here. I changed
the focal, blur and focus to: Focal- 27mm, Blur- 30%, Focus-
70. Same scene, different look.
renders in the main window as long as you have it set to do
that in the rendering options.
a screen shot of the rendering options. As you can see, you
get full control over how it renders. What is lacking is mask,
distance and altitude rendering, which is important to many
A classic interface. The Solid Growth vegetation generator.
A great material editor. Nicely done tutorials and a Kick Start.
The number of included atmospheres, objects and materials. The
price is right and Vue dEsprit 2 is fun to use.
Vue dEsprit 2 is reasonably fast, unless you turn
up the anti-aliasing to Superior, then it slows quite a bit.
The only problems I encountered were a crash when I tried to
save an atmosphere I created, and a crash when doing a drag
and drop in the World Browser. Pixel scattering in with the
soft shadows unless in superior mode.
d'Esprit 2 is a high quality program that has a bright future
as a top landscape generator.
PentiumŪ 120 MHz or greater
Windows 95/98 or NT 4
16 MB Ram & 50 MB HD space
16- or 24-bit video recommended