Vue 3D Environment Competition 2010

Started by domdib, August 03, 2010, 07:17:40 am

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domdib

http://www.e-onsoftware.com/showcase/competition/2010/

My two cents:

The winner is a fine image, which does showcase Vue's strength of working with vegetation. It's also got a really nice rock/lichen texture.

The two runners-up surprise me, as there are at least three other images among the finalists (Between Land and Sea; Croatian Dream; Knights of Fire) that seem clearly better to me in terms of the level of skill and effort. 

Some of the clouds are, I have to say, better than TG2  :( (although not in the two runners-up, except for the cirrus in Over the Clouds)

So, without starting another TG2 vs Vue flamefest, what do others think?

Tangled-Universe

I've seen this a couple of days ago, also contemplated to start a topic about it here, glad you did it :)
I do not intend to start a TG2 vs Vue war, but these 3 "winners" probably made it too hard for me to resist, damn! Here's why IMHO:

The winner: well, it's a render of a bunch of models. Put the same scene in TG2 and you'll have a near exact similar result, though I believe Vue is ahead of TG2 when it comes to freedom of object placement etc. I call it a render of a bunch of models, because the models are probably NOT made in Vue at all. So what is it showing about Vue. Very little if you'd ask me.
1st runner up: I admit that the cirrus look very good. But I can't help thinking that it is made b&w to mask the many flaws in the terrain, texturing and clouds (especially the grain).
I bet this render looks sucky in full color.
2nd runner up: it allways seems easier with Vue to get nice glow in clouds, but luckily the cloud-fractals of Vue are far behind of TG2 ('s "only" 4 fractal-flavours)
The terrain is barely visible and as far as I can see nothing special. The real laugh for me on this one is the seemingly "end of terrain" like we used to see in the TG0.9x days when you had camera placed at too high altitude and could see your heightfield float into infinite empty-ness :)

Dom, I agree Between Land and Sea does look better, but what annoys me is that the clouds obstruct too much of the otherwise very nice POV. And the 3 references shouldn't be necessary. A landscape image should explain its scales by itself, so not by putting a human, an airplane and a boat somewhere to show the vast scales.
Clearly my opinion of course, because I don't like landscapes which are "polluted" with man-made objects. With the exception of some well-crafted/executed works of some of course :)
Croatian Dream is really one of the best there. It might not be the environment the judges were looking for, but it clearly shows that Vue can do other things besides making natural landscapes. I bet that making the same image in TG2 is a painstakingly difficult and utterly time-consuming effort. Vue is way more versatile when it comes to object placement and speed of work.
The Knights of Fire looks pretty good. Too much photo-texturing I'd say, but in certain parts it works extremely well. I'd ve broken it up a bit more, because it destroys the depth of the image. Or else I'd have tried another solution by slightly altering the POV to emphasize the different stages in the image (fore- mid- and background).

Looking at the winners and other finalists it seems the judges probably had something else in mind than we would expect by simply looking at the contest title.
For me 2 of the 3 winners are among the worst submissions.

Dom, can you explain why you think Vue clouds are better now?
Have you seen Clash of the Titans, by accident?

All in all I think there are only a handful of Vue artists which can make top landscapes with Vue.
There are a couple more than the 3 I will mention below:

http://kouki1.deviantart.com/gallery/#i-3D-LANDSCAPES
(mostly well-balanced images which have not, like many Vue-works, each pixel/area of the image stuffed with you name what)

http://jonx0r.deviantart.com/gallery/#3d-Renders
(keep an eye on this guy)

http://nukeation.deviantart.com/gallery/
(self-explanatory for me)

Cheers,
Martin

Henry Blewer

I like the images they chose as winners. I'm sure that T2 could do better. I still believe Terragen 2 has more power and is a better value.
http://flickr.com/photos/njeneb/
Forget Tuesday; It's just Monday spelled with a T

Tangled-Universe

Yes Henry, when it comes to value TG2 is much better!
TG2's terrain-generation and texturing is still very powerful.

However, Vue also has hyperterrains and more slick ways of texturing your terrain.
Even better is that these materials are more easily exchangeable between projects.
In my own experience, while designing packs for NWDA, this is always the most hardest part of the process.
Make a clipfile which works in the majority of cases.
As far as I have been able to read around this works better with Vue materials.

Further more Vue's renderer has more options like DOF, multi-pass, radiosity, spherical rendering, panoramic rendering, option to render externally, blurred reflections/transparency and physically accurate caustics.
Ok, please don't ask if all these functions really work and stable :) But still, these options ARE already there.
We have seen quite some people, from the game-industry for example, who ask for spherical/panoramic rendering, or multi-pass.
If TG2 would have these things it would be even more competitive with Vue.

For a long while TG2 has been a winner to me in comparison to Vue. But trying to look at it objectively I can't say that anymore. It's a draw now and as we all know Vue is being developed much much faster than TG2.
TG2's value for money, stability, atmosphere system, render-quality and un-precedented procedural terrain generation and displacements are really winners over Vue, but else TG2 lacks a lot, especially speed, versatility and control/easy of use.

Henry Blewer

I just watched Walli's tutorial for Maya and Terragen 2. All these faults are fairly easily worked around. But it does take thought and effort.
I remember drawing objects on graph paper in three views. I had to do this in order to get coordinate points. These all had to be entered by hand, in the correct order, to build a 3D object. This was done using a text editor. All the color info and material types had to be assigned in the text editor also. (There were three material types, dull, shiny, and transparent)
After the text file was done, I had to link it in a compiler and 'build' the program to raytrace the object. The program was then run and the image saved when it was finished. Hopefully everything was right. This was back in 1986 on my Amiga 1000. I wrote my own raytracer.
I don't mind how easy to use Terragen 2 is. It's actually quite easy, and gets easier as you use it. I would like to use Vue also; I think it has a lot going for it. But the price is too steep for me. I am having enough trouble saving for a new computer.
http://flickr.com/photos/njeneb/
Forget Tuesday; It's just Monday spelled with a T

domdib

August 03, 2010, 11:35:11 am #5 Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 05:12:07 pm by domdib
Martin, I think that what makes *some* of the Vue clouds better is precisely what you mentioned - the really nice and natural looking glow. No, I didn't see Clash of the Titans, either by accident or by design ;) But I did see How to Train your Dragon with my kids on a ferry crossing to the Netherlands, and was quite impressed by the clouds in it - anyone know what programme was used? You may be right about the flavours of fractals. Also I agree that the winning image could have been done equally well in TG2.

I checked out the gallery of the winner on e0n - he's LaurentR there - and some of his other renders are outstanding, including some really good rock texturing. So that's another area where Vue seems to be catching up - although of course I don't know if he's achieving that through image mapping or if it's fully procedural. Interesting that he's not a pro, but a hobbyist looking to move into the pro arena. Also, on Matej Hosek's site (creator of Croatian Dream) there is this image: http://aa.vslib.cz/mathos/fun/paklenica.jpg - Now, I'm guessing that this is a composited image, and that the terrain is actually a photo - otherwise, the rock texture/displacement and the vegetation pops are outstanding (although of course it doesn't indicate this is Vue).

Croatian Dream reminds me of the level of attention to detail of Dune's work - although of course it's not possible to know if it would look as good closer up, which is where Dune is usually working.

Of course Vue is being developed faster, because it's a much bigger company. Plus the number of good images generated by Vue is partly because they have a much larger pool of users. I just wonder why some of the really good guys don't *also* have a play with TG2, given how reasonable its price is.

FrankB

hmm... I'm not impressed by any of the three. I admit the winning scene might have been a lot of work to get done, but the other two? Dunno...

latego

If you want to see what Vue can do in the hand of masters, check these galleries: http://00angelicdevil00.deviantart.com/, http://digital-dom.deviantart.com/, http://nukeation.deviantart.com/.

As you can see, they are uncomparably better than any of the E-On competition entries.

Seth

Quote from: domdib on August 03, 2010, 11:35:11 am
I just wonder why some of the really good guys don't *also* have a play with TG2, given how reasonable its price is.


Because it is far more difficult to use, far slower to render, and they don't need to start to learn any other landscaping software because they already "masterize" Vue.

piggy

August 04, 2010, 06:08:32 am #9 Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 10:45:24 pm by piggy
This is to the TG2 Development team,

I guess you have read the comments of TG2 users (and those who use Vue 3D as well).

Is there anything you can and/or will do to improve TG2 to put TG2 ahead?

airflamesred

Despite the generous prizes on offer I also, was not overwhelmed by the standard of entry (LB4236 was the exception) and was expecting 'a bit more'.
Having played with TG2 for 6 months now I have come to realise it needs a lot more technical knowledge than Vue/bryce etc.The question is does all this necessary knowledge detract from from the artistry that , I suuspect we are all striving for?. Obviously the nature of CG means a good knowledge of the technicalities but I think TG2 is at the wrong end of this. I can't draw so I thought CG would be an answer to putting ideas into a visible format. Ten years later it's still a stuggle to make my point!

rcallicotte

Not to divert the thread, but most software out there has demanding technical requirements to learn it.  zBrush is an example of something moving more toward the artists, though it still has some technical expectations.  Have you tried it?

Quote from: airflamesred on August 04, 2010, 08:52:20 pm
Despite the generous prizes on offer I also, was not overwhelmed by the standard of entry (LB4236 was the exception) and was expecting 'a bit more'.
Having played with TG2 for 6 months now I have come to realise it needs a lot more technical knowledge than Vue/bryce etc.The question is does all this necessary knowledge detract from from the artistry that , I suuspect we are all striving for?. Obviously the nature of CG means a good knowledge of the technicalities but I think TG2 is at the wrong end of this. I can't draw so I thought CG would be an answer to putting ideas into a visible format. Ten years later it's still a stuggle to make my point!
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Seth

Oh, and I wasn't impressed by the winning images. but well maybe the best users of Vue were not competiting ^^
the problem with Vue, even for the best users, as I watch their render is that all their renders look like Vue renders !
And even if it is more complex, doesn't have such a good IU and is longer to render anything, I won't change my TG2 for Vue...