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EcoSystems & Vegetation

Artwork by Alen Vejzovic

Grow Your Own World

EcoSystems are VUE's instancing technology. Together with procedural plants, they form the heart and soul of environments. Scatter millions of plants across object surfaces, paint them into a scene and create as many plant variations as needed. With environmental constraints, layering systems and affinity and repulsion, setting up complex forests, meadows and jungles is quick and easy.
Procedural Vegetation

Procedural Vegetation

VUE integrates PlantFactory's plant technology natively. Load any procedural *.tpf plant into VUE and select presets, adjust maturity, health or seasons and edit published parameters. VUE can generate new variations, adjust plant resolution and use the built-in LODs for distant vegetation. For even more control, a temporary copy of a model can be sent through a bridge to PlantFactory. There, you can change the model's internal node network and synch them back to VUE without the need to save a new species. Depending on how a model was designed, PlantFactory plants also can grow on polygon objects in the VUE scene. Of course, PlantCatalog species are supported by VUE, too.
 
Next to the PlantFactory file format, VUE ships with a collection of lightweight legacy procedural plants called SolidGrowth. These models are less detailed and lighter on memory than PlantFactory models and thus well suited for dense and distant populations. SolidGrowth plants generate random variations, too, and can be edited with a set of simple, pre-defined parameters.
 
 

Artwork by Daniel Respaud

Populating Ecosystems

Populating EcoSystems

EcoSystems can be added as a material layer onto any object. Setup growth rules such as altitude, slope and orientation constraints or affinity and repulsion with other EcoSystem layers. Stack rocks to quickly create geological formations or use PlantFactory, PlantCatalog or SolidGrowth plants for unique variations. Any type of mesh, static or animated, native or imported, can be used in an EcoSystem. Densities, color and scale variations and much more can be optionally controlled node setups or noises.
 
An optional dynamic population mode populates objects only at render time, which is ideal for creating large-scale, sweeping landscapes without overloading system memory. EcoSystem instances can also be used as particles in animations with simple forces and effects such as drag, collision, elasticity or adhesion as well as emission of other Ecoparticles upon collision or death.
Painting Ecosystems

Painting EcoSystems

EcoSystems can also be painted onto any object. You can paint both new EcoSystems or make edits to existing auto-populated or painted EcoSystems. Painted EcoSystems can be tied to an object and will move, scale and rotate with that object, or they can be a global EcoSystem without any dependency on the underlying surface.
 
Build your own brushes by layering effectors, from painting to scaling, rake, ripple, grid align or tornado. Setup environmental constraints, use bitmap masks for painting and customize falloffs. 
 
Painted instances can be selected, transformed and optionally converted to real objects. When using the integration plugins in the VUE Professional and Enterprise solutions, you can even paint and populate instances on host application objects or add host application objects as items to an EcoSystem population.*
 
*Note: This feature is not available in the Lightwave plugins.

Artwork by Daniel Respaud

Global wind and breeze

Global Wind And Breeze

Both standalone procedural plant objects and PlantFactory and SolidGrowth plant instances in an EcoSystem react to scene-wide wind and breeze settings. Customize gusting, fluttering and wind intensities in the atmosphere editor and keyframe constant wind directions and intensities on single plant objects.
 
Wind animation can be computed procedurally per frame or pre-baked and cached per item in an EcoSystem for PlantFactory plants. The framerate and duration are customizable and the animation can loop seamlessly. Using the export functionalities or the integration plugins in VUE Professional / Enterprise, entire EcoSystems can be exported or converted with or without animation into native host application objects or generic 3D file formats such as FBX, Alembic and Pixar USD.
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