Dear friends, I hope you’re all doing well and keeping safe.

Our roots have always been grounded in our users' satisfaction, and we’ve made sure that every bit of feedback we receive is treated appropriately. In these weird times we’re living in, we know and understand that you are even more careful than ever to get the most bangs for your bucks. After almost 4 years on the current business model and after gathering all your feedback, we felt it was time for a slight adaptation.

So here are a few bits of information related to various changes coming up for our products and business.

Feature set updates

First, some feature set changes will be coming up for the Creator lines of our products.

Many users of our entry level tier have been clamoring for some interoperability with other 3D applications in their creative arsenal. I am glad to announce that we are bringing all interoperability features to the Creator product lines starting with the upcoming 2022 release.

All asset and full scene export capabilities, as well as all integration plugins and 3rd party application embedded technologies, incl. native shader conversion will be added to VUE, PlantFactory and also PlantCatalog Creator.

This means Creator versions will thus be expanded with the following (formerly Professional & Enterprise-only) features:

  • Inclusion of the VUE & PlantFactory integration plugins for Unreal Engine 4 & 5 (PlantFactory & PlantCatalog), Lightwave (VUE), Cinema 4D, Maya and 3DS Max (VUE, PlantFactory & PlantCatalog)
  • Omniverse live link (VUE, PlantFactory & PlantCatalog) and Omniverse connector / extension (PlantFactory / PlantCatalog)
  • Unlimited render size in VUE & PlantFactory
  • Multipass & G-Buffer rendering in VUE & PlantFactory
  • Python support in VUE
  • Live link to Zbrush through the GoZ bridge (VUE & PlantFactory)
  • Export of all scene elements with or without baked textures and animation, including EcoSystems, atmospheres as HDRIs and volumetric clouds as OpenVDBs (VUE)
  • Import and export of camera data / motion tracking information (VUE)
  • Export of plants to any 3D file format (VUE, PlantFactory & PlantCatalog)
  • Native shader conversion for Renderman, Arnold, V-Ray, Redshift, Unreal, Omniverse and native host application render engines with the VUE & PlantFactory integration plugins (VUE, PlantFactory & PlantCatalog)
  • Hybrid rendering with the VUE plugins in supported host applications and render engines (VUE)
  • Full scene creation with all tools inside other applications with the integration plugins (VUE)

We can't wait to see the ideas and projects you will use our tools for with these new integration options. Note that this will come alongside a EULA change, limiting the Creator product line (VUE, PlantFactory and PlantCatalog Creator versions) to “Personal non-commercial use only”.

A VUE scene exported with clouds and atmosphere to Cinema 4D and rendered with Redshift

Export entire scenes to other applications, including clouds and atmosphere, and render them with the render engine of your choice.

Do more with your content: End User License Agreement update

On top of the above “non-commercial use” change for the Creator line of products, we are also updating, expanding and clarifying what you can do with the assets you produce with Professional and Enterprise licenses, outside of a production use (work for hire) scenario.

In short, starting with the release 2022 update, you will be able to sell your exported VUE & PlantFactory assets on public marketplaces (which is prohibited by the current and soon-to-be-replaced EULA), provided you follow certain rules:

  • 3D files can be sold publicly only as standard generic file formats (i.e. not in VUE or PlantFactory proprietary formats) such as FBX, Alembic etc. for as long as you keep your VUE and PlantFactory license active (Professional and Enterprise),
  • You can share your asset files in native VUE & PlantFactory scene format privately and non-commercially,
  • Assets should be 100% user made (i.e. nothing comes from the content we ship in the collections, or from PlantCatalog, for instance),
  • No redistribution/embedding of asset collections in 3rd party software native collections (this means content browsers in game engines or in 3D authoring tools) - which requires a specific custom licensing agreement with us.

Please note that selling exported and / or modified PlantCatalog assets is not allowed. Feel free to contact us for any question you may have on the EULA.

A first look at the PlantFactory integrastion plugin for Unreal Engine 5, coming with release 2022

A first look at the PlantFactory integration plugin for Unreal Engine 5, coming soon with release 2022.

Multiyear licenses

We’ve also just recently added more licensing options for long term use and additional savings. All our VUE and PlantFactory products can now be procured by the month, or for 1, 3 or 5 years. Of course, the more you book, the more you save, as a 3-year license will offer 1 year for free (33% saving), and a 5-year license will offer 2 years for free (40% saving). These new references are immediately available in the online store and will be permanent. And, good news, no price raise is scheduled at this time.

Legacy license re-activation requests

To finish, for the past 4 years, our support team has gone above and beyond to continue supporting long time users who did not take the plunge to the new VUE and PlantFactory solutions – free of charge. Unfortunately, the infrastructure necessary to continue this service has a maintenance cost that we must now find a way to cover. We had to choose between completely retiring old license support or charge a service fee. We chose the latter since it allows long time users to keep using their tools should they require so. So starting today, any VUE and PlantFactory legacy licenses (versions 2016 and below) re-activation request will be contingent to a service order.

Upcoming releases

VUE and PlantFactory 2022 versions are also nearing completion – adding the final polish and preparing the feature videos and tutorials. We expect to release these versions in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

The next batch of PlantCatalog assets is also well under way, and the least we can say is that Frederic (our vegetation modeler) surpassed himself! The new batch will focus on some of the most requested coniferous species. Expect the new batch to hit your collections mid to end Q4.

In the meantime, feel free to browse the existing collection of over 130 procedural species in the PlantCatalog collection, totaling over 320 customizable 3D models with over 12 000 preset variations!

Stay well and take care.

Matt Riveccie I was raised to grow a passion for image science and technologies. After graduating with an Engineer degree in Telecommunications, I joined e-on software back in 2003 as the PR Manager. During my time at e-on, I got involved in many aspects of the company: software business development, product road maps and go to market strategies, technical and customer service, sales and BtoB, project development and delivery, and a lot more. After Bentley Systems acquired e-on software, I have accepted embracing new challenges in becoming the Director of Product Management for e-on software products. On my spare time, I love traveling the world as an avid Landscape photographer, and also enjoy playing guitar.