Vue user considering T2 - thoughts?

Started by Shackleton, May 03, 2009, 01:26:23 pm

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Shackleton

Hey all! Noob here. I've been watching Terragen, actually for years now. I'm a long-time Vue user and an active member over at Cornucopia3D. 3D is the youngest of my A/V pursuits; started with Bryce - didn't take to it - then tried Vue and loved it... for a while that is. I still use Vue routinely but I have complaints that I'm sure any of you fellow Vuers know well. First and foremost is stability, or rather the lack there of. The second thing (or group of things) which is getting worse is E-on's attitude and pricing.

So, I'm now more seriously considering a replacement for Vue, long term. I've just downloaded the free trial of T2 to check it out. If it looks and works well, I'll definitely buy. But regardless I just wanted to see what any of you might have to say regarding pros, cons, whatever, for a Vue INF user switching to T2.

Thanks a bunch for your time and comments.
Cheers!  8)


P.S. Kudos to the planetside's tech team for choosing SMF for the forum board. Great move.

All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.
JRR Tolkien

Tangled-Universe

May 03, 2009, 01:51:54 pm #1 Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 03:18:27 pm by Tangled-Universe
Welcome to the forums!

You already gave some pros like stability, attitude and pricing. TG2 used to have stability issues as well but that has improved greatly in the past year, further the attitude and pricing are very good :) The staff is very small, very busy and very willing to help, but they aren't always capable of direct help/support.
No worries, because as you may have seen here already (don't know) you'll find many users here willing to help each other.
These forums offer a lot of resources and knowledge from first-hour TG(2) hobbyists to guys from the industry.

I virtually don't have any experience with Vue, but from the things I hear a con of TG is the lack of control for placing things like clouds and objects.
The latter I can verify. TG2 lacks display of wires and therefore it can be quite difficult to place objects or handle them.
Same is for clouds, there is no direct control of placement.
However, there are ways of increasing that control to a very good level.

Rendertimes have been discussed endlessly and I don't dare to say anything about it.

I'd say just give it a go and don't let the learning-curve push you back if that gives you troubles.
Good luck!

Martin

Shackleton

Hi Martin, thanks for the welcome!

Appreciate the comments. Vue actually isn't very easy for precise placement either, but it sounds as if TG2 may be even less so. No worries. Every program has its pitfalls, but in addition usually some workarounds.

Learning curve in general isn't a problem. I'm just busy enough that I don't want to waste my time on deadends. I'm happy to and enjoy learning a program if it's one that I want to learn and has a good chance of fitting within my workflow.

I don't really see the small staff as a problem. I prefer to learn as I go, and like you said there's lots of help in these forums. Besides, when I can and when appropriate, I like to support the "small guys" in this business. Firms like Media Chance, Ulead (when they were small), and perhaps now Planetside, just to name a few. I think true innovation is found with these folks.

Thanks for the tips and advice.

Regards
All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.
JRR Tolkien

FrankB

Hi, a warm welcome from me as well :-)

To add to Martin's words, I always found it a practical approach in learning TG2 to try and sort of reproduce an image that someone else did before. Usually, in these forums, if you'd ask "how can I go about doing this or that, what the other guy did in his render", you mostly get loads of tips and explanations. From these, you get quickly into how things work in TG2, and it won't be for long that you know enough to create your own scenes.
I personally find Terragen very logical and hence easy to comprehend. I hope with our help you will have a similar experience.

Regards,
Frank

reck

Quote from: Shackleton on May 03, 2009, 01:26:23 pm
First and foremost is stability, or rather the lack there of. The second thing (or group of things) which is getting worse is E-on's attitude and pricing.



I'm hearing this more and more on different forums, especially regarding the pricing structure for vue. They seem to be pushing their existing customer base away from their product with such extreme pricing. Of course the stability problems don't help either.

Welcome to the world of TG2 BTW, it's lot of fun and there are plenty of experienced guys here who can help you if you get stuck, in fact two have already posted in this thread  ;D

bernardb

I also have Vue 6 Infinite.  I also have been watching Terragen for over a year now...

1.  Object placement is extremely difficult with T2

2.  The Scene preview is painfully SLOW in T2 and render times extremely high

3. The user interface in T2 is better and more intuitive than Vue

4.  T2 is lower priced

I have had T2 for only a few days so far so these are initial impressions and maybe the full release of the Deep w/Animation version will be faster. (I hope!)

Either program will give you stunning terrains with the proper tweaking...good luck!

Bernard

Shackleton

Thanks guys  ;)

@Frank: Good thoughts there. I was planning to just initally try replicating my own Vue work in TG, and see how it goes! Either way, the best way to learn is jump in and swim (...or sink).

@Reck: I too think that E-on is turning off their existing user base with the increasing prices (plus other things). Not exactly a winning equation, but what do I know, lol.

@Bernard: The slow preview and renders is something that I have previously heard about TG. (And something that I'm not super excited about). But as you'd know, render times in Vue can vary hugely depending on settings and scene textures, light, & ecos. As it is, I have a nice network render setup and have become accustomed to 30, 60, and 100hr render times; so I don't expect to be thrown too much with TG.

Cheers



All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.
JRR Tolkien

Oshyan

Render optimization in TG2 is still an art form that everyone is learning. I think with ideal optimization, TG2 render time are quite reasonable when you consider quality against other applications. Of course most often you do not have "ideal" optimization of settings, so render times tend to be longer, or quality lower than you might like.

The biggest thing to avoid is simply turning up all settings, hoping to achieve "maximum quality". TG2 provides a lot of control over the rendering process which allows for fine tuning settings for best performance and quality in a given scene, but with this control comes the need for good awareness of what each setting does. When in doubt, remember that the defaults have been chosen with good reason.

There are quite a lot of good discussion threads about detail settings here. I made an introductory post on another site quite a while ago that remains relevant: http://www.terragen.org/index.php?topic=3386.0
and a recent related discussion here: http://forums.planetside.co.uk/index.php?topic=6156.0

- Oshyan

Shackleton

Thanks, Oshyan.

I understand what you are getting at, and really it is the same with Vue. Jacking all the render settings way up won't necessarily result in the highest quality (or rather, most attractive), but it can certainly result in near infinite render times. Vue's defaults are not always particularly helpful (I'm glad to hear that, from your comments, TG may have something better), and custom setting profiles chosen for certain scene contents were ultimately the way to go.

Thanks for taking the time to post and for providing those links. Should be quite helpful.

Cheers
All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.
JRR Tolkien

latego

I have made just a few attempts with TG2, but I think that preview renders with appropriately low parameters and a non-huge render size are currently roughly in the same league with Vue w.r.t. time.

The main difference is that with Vue you can build an image (or better a doodle ;)) in 20 minutes; you cannot do that with TG2 (as you cannot do that also with Carrara e.g.). No program beats Vue scene development speed.

Bye!!!

P.S.: I think that this thread is sending shivers along E-On management and marketing spines...

Walli

something that people often forget about placing in TG - you can rightclick in the preview window and choose "Copy coordinates" and then just paste these coordinates into the transform section of your object.
So its probably not so easy if you go the "visual" route, but you have some tools to do it fast and easy.

Moose

Quote from: Tangled-Universe on May 03, 2009, 01:51:54 pmTG2 used to have stability issues as well but that has improved greatly in the past year...


While it's clear what you meant to most regulars, it might be slightly misleading to anyone new to Terragen. :P

Just to clarify: A year ago (a month ago, even) TG2 was unreleased and in heavy development - naturally there'd be stability issues. But the final released version is overall very stable.

Planetside's attitude to stability can also be seen with their forerunner product, Terragen Classic, which was also very stable. Any stability issues after a new release were quickly patched (days, perhaps a week or two at most) - The same attitude persists with TG2, thus far.

Right, CA can have his hat back now.  :D

-------------------------------

@ Shackleton

I'm not a Vue user, but one issue which I notice differentiates TG and Vue and hasn't been mentioned, is development pace.

It's taken a long time for Terragen to get to where it is. As noone (except perhaps a privileged few??) knows the internal health of Planetside it's hard to say whether they will pick up the pace. Essentially, for development pace to increase TG needs a few more hands; or the developers need to be working on this full time, if they're not already (it's hard to imagine that they are or were - thin air doesn't put food in bellies?). But this is all speculation fuelled only by what is know publicly - there's possibly a lot that isn't known that may change this outlook, but left dangling, we I speculate.

That said, Vue may amass all the new features is cares, but devoid of stability and poor support, quickly deem themselves useless, I guess. So on the one hand you've got an app with lots of marketing bucks previewing new features what seems every six months, but they probably won't work like you'd expect. And on the other, there's a solid app that may lack on features but still produces great results, is quite cheap, has great support bla bla...

I'd say at TG's price you cant loose (even if you still continue with Vue). Plus, if enough people think like this then maybe Planetside will acquire the kind of revenue need to pick up the development rate.

reck

Quote from: Walli on May 04, 2009, 05:42:15 am
something that people often forget about placing in TG - you can rightclick in the preview window and choose "Copy coordinates" and then just paste these coordinates into the transform section of your object.


lol I never know that and i've been using this software for a long time. Maybe the problem isn't that people forget its that this sort of functionality isn't exposed easy enough for people to find.

FrankB

This feature has been introduced with the final. So you haven't missed it for too long. Should make you feel better ;)

Vulthoom

May 04, 2009, 10:44:37 am #14 Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 10:48:34 am by Vulthoom
Quote from: Oshyan on May 04, 2009, 01:04:26 am
TG2 provides a lot of control over the rendering process which allows for fine tuning settings for best performance and quality in a given scene,
but with this control comes the need for good awareness of what each setting does.
- Oshyan


What TG2 really needs is a decent manual. You can buy libraries of books on Vue but the help for TG2 is slim to say the least.
Oshyan is correct that a good awareness of what each setting does is necessary but, at the moment (and for the last several years)
there has been little to inform the paying public of how to acquire this knowledge short of trial and error.

The info is ususally in the form of:-

"Interossiter Trembler Setting - this slider affects the effect of the scale of the Interossiter Trembler function ...."

Yes, thank you, but what does it do..!


Just my opinion,

V

PS - It may be my first post here but this doesn't mean I haven't been using TG2 and TG for several years.......