E-on Software 3D CG Environment Competition 2017 – Now Open

E-on software, in association with Nvidia, Wacom, HP, Pixologic, ArtStation, CGChannel, CGSociety, Cornucopia3D, Geekatplay, AsileFX, QuadSpinner, Routledge, Gnomon School, Bournemouth University and Ecole George Melies are honoured to invite you to participate in the “3D Environment Competition 2017”.

With judges that are leading experts in the major fields of the 3D entertainment industry, and with over $30,000 worth in prizes, this competition is the biggest they have ever organised!


Competition Overview

Create an image of any kind of environment!

Images can be in any style and genre, realistic or imaginary, as long as the natural environment is visually predominant. You can use imported objects and figures, but keep in mind that the judges will focus primarily on the quality of the 3D landscape.

Main and Academic Categories

For the first time, the competition will have 2 distinct categories, with specific prizes for both.

The main category is opened to every Artist (professionals and hobbyists), and the second category will be dedicated to Students.

To keep things simple, all entrants will submit their entry to the same gallery, however, Students must add an Academic watermark to their submission to be considered for the e-on Academic category.

Learn more from the Competition rules page.

Authorised Software Packages

You may use your application of choice, in combination with any of the e-on software products. This includes any version of VUE (Esprit, Studio, Complete, Infinite or xStream), including the free Personal Learning Edition and the free VUE Pioneer.

You may also use PlantFactory, Carbon Scatter, CloudFactory, and LumenRT or their respective PLEs and trial versions!

The 3D Environment competition is open to everyone, hobbyists and professionals alike. The judging will be based solely on the quality, originality and artistic merit of the images, not on the software used to create them.

In the first stage of the competition, e-on’s Picture of the Day contest team will select 10 finalists from all submissions in each category. The finalists’ images will be displayed on the e-on website, with links to their personal website/gallery. In the second stage, our judges will pick the winners out of the finalists.

Schedule

  • Submission period: June 1 – September 30, 2017.
  • Finalists announced: October 13, 2017.
  • Winners announced: October 31, 2017

Further information can be found here.

Vectorworks 2014 New Features

The new Vectorworks 2014 release provides many significant improvements, designed to boost both base-level performance as well as improve functionality within specific versions. Major areas of improvement in the core Vectorworks package cover interface and display and file interoperability. Changes to the 3D working environment provide more Sketchup-like modelling behaviour whilst working in perspective views. The new Taper Face and Twist tools further enhance the 3D push-pull style of modelling. Various improvements to architectural and space tools assist with BIM management. Please see the sections below for full details on these new functions and tools and which versions they are available within.

 

Best in 3D

Better BIM

Improved Efficiency

File Interoperability

Entertainment Design

Site Design

Rendering Tools

 

Best in 3D

 

  • Fast Interactive Display
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Designer | Renderworks )
    With version 2014, navigation in all 3D views looks amazing with OpenGL, and you get real-world 3D feedback in all-solid rendered modes. The cache generated in OpenGL also improves navigation in other render modes. Plus, with our integrated rendering application, Renderworks®, you will enjoy interactive light aiming and faster OpenGL shadows by default. Now you can enjoy the rendered look of your model without sacrificing performance and speed.


Better BIM

 

  • Create Section Viewports from Clip Cube
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    You now have the ability to immediately create either design layer or sheet layer section viewports directly from the interactive Clip Cube. You can not only create these viewports, but also edit them using the Clip Cube. This enhancement allows for a more hands-on, visual approach to creating specific sections from your model.
  • Auto Hybrid Enhancements
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    An auto hybrid object can create a hidden line representation of the object above or below the cut plane in plan view. New options have been added to the auto hybrid object to control the smoothing angle, intersection lines, and dash styles, resulting in better-drawn objects and overall improved performance.

  • Polygonal Control
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Designer )
    The new Simplify Polys command will enable you to simplify polylines, and 2D or 3D polygons in the Vectorworks application. This command can be incredibly useful after importing complex site data, simplifying imported DWG files, or dealing with any polys with too many corner vertices. Many incredible projects start with basic shapes and evolve into more intricate and interesting forms. The Reshape tool has been enhanced with a new mode that allows you to move an object’s edge without changing the adjacent angles. Plus you can now reshape rectangles.


File Interoperability

 

  • Publish Command
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Designer )
    A new Publish command gives you tremendous flexibility in customizing and saving drawing sets for when you need to issue them. With this new command, you can select specific views and sheets from files along with PDF, DXF/DWG, and DWF files, and save them as a named set for export or printing (Design Series required for batch printing and PDF export). Managing your publishing settings has never been so easy.
  • DWG Improvements
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Designer )
    You can now directly reference DWG/DXF or DWF files in your Vectorworks project, making collaboration and team workflows that much simpler. The Export DXF/DWG and Export DWF commands now support complex and custom line types when exporting from Vectorworks, resulting in a cleaner and more accurate experience for your collaborator. DXF/DWG and DWF Support for Named Colors enables the color names to match in Vectorworks and AutoCAD® software. Save DXF/DWG and DWF Preferences in the Import Log File provides a record of your DXF/DWG and DWF import settings to assist you in achieving consistent results with respect to your DXF/DWG and DWF imports.


Entertainment Design

 

  • Lighting Device Improvements
    ( Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    The lighting device object has received a serious boost with features that are sure to make you more efficient. It’s no longer necessary to try to remember label names when assigning a label legend. Instead, use the new pop-up on the lighting device. See the full height of the beam clearly at the focus point. Freely mix your own information with the built-in information using customized data records. See the simulated color of multiple gel “sandwiches.”
  • Lighting Pipe Objects
    ( Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    New lighting pipe and lighting pipe ladder objects to bring you exciting new options and facilitate the creation of lighting positions.
  • New Instrument Summary Object
    ( Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    Based on the original tool designed by Joshua Benghiat Lighting Design, enjoy the flexibility to efficiently create and format instrument and position summaries with this amazing new plug-in object.Seating
  • Seating Layout Improvements
    ( Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    We’ve added a new option to the Create Event Seating command, so you can accurately lay out seating with rows aimed at a focal point. The focal point option is also available when editing a seating layout.


Site Design

 

  • Plant and Massing Model Shadow Improvements
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer )
    With the enhanced plant shadows, you’ll find it faster and easier to create presentation-level site plans with interactive, dynamic shadows on your plant objects. You can apply a document-wide shadow style to all plants on your drawing, while also creating custom shadow settings for individual plants, as needed. With support for massing model shadows, you can work with smart objects in 3D while simultaneously achieving their desired visual results for 2D plan representation. And like plant shadows, you can also apply both document-wide and individual custom shadow settings to massing models. Additionally, you now have the ability to specify floor usage data in a massing model record. The floor usage data can be reported on by using a new worksheet sub-string function, giving you the ability to use massing models for early design analysis in urban planning.
  • Plant Tool Enhancements
    ( Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer )
    The custom plant tag can now be created by selecting predefined tag field values instead of having to remember keywords for the plant record fields. You now have easy access to edit plant definitions from every pane in the Plant Settings dialog box.
  • Site Modifier Improvements
    ( Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer )
    The new site model contour label position functionality gives you the freedom to position and reposition contour labels at will with the Reshape tool for legibility, annotation, and office standards. This new addition can be applied to drawing types such as site surveys, grading plans, site plans, and planting plans.
  • Suppress Location Adjustment for Georeferenced Data
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer )
    This new option provides greater selectability and power in sharing data from a .VWX file, as well as increasing the number of layers and classes with record formats in a single .SHP file. This may benefit GIS users, planning departments, land use planners, and urban designers who are fulfilling and/or enforcing jurisdictional requirements.


Rendering Tools

 

  • Displacement Mapping
    ( Renderworks )
    Current Renderworks users have never before seen rendering quality like what they’ll get in version 2014. The new displacement mapping option gives you the ability to make even more realistic renderings with materials like grass, carpet, water, bricks, or stone.
  • Images for Brick Shaders
    ( Renderworks )
    Many great new images of bricks come with Renderworks and are ready to use and edit for texturing your designs. In addition, they are also new shaders, which enable you to control multiple images representing multiple bricks, along with having granular control over the gaps/grout between bricks or tiles.

 

 

Behind the Scenes of John Carter with Kevin Hudson and ZBrush!

Pixologic recently published another great example of just how important ZBrush is to the design workflow within a live action film and an amazing effects studio. Kevin Hudson talks to Pixologic about how he and his team at Double Negative use ZBrush to create the fantastic characters in the recent sci-fi fantasy film, John Carter.

How did you come to be involved with the John Carter project? What was your role in the production?

I was recruited by Double Negative Visual Effects in London from Los Angeles to head up the modeling effort on this major Character piece. To date, it was the largest project they’d tackled. While in California, I first tried out ZBrush while working on Ghost Rider. I expanded its use to build the sixteen Zombie creatures for I Am Legend. I then used it to sculpt Dr. Manhattan for Watchman. But with over forty characters, John Carter was going to be the largest scale ZBrush character project that I’d ever attempted. It was also going to be Andrew Stanton’s first foray into live action film making, which meant we had to do an outstanding job.


What was the overall pipeline for your work on this project?

We received ZTools of character concept sculpts from Legacy Effects that had been developed with Andrew Stanton in California. We then took these and retopologized them in Maya using some basic Maya shrinkwrapping tools. I don’t use anything tricky for my retopologizing, but use Maya’s World Space Transfer Attributes tool to shrinkwrap my retopologized model onto the concept sculpt.

We then used ZBrush’s Projection tools to extract as much data as possible from the initial concept sculpt. The model was then reposed into a more standard pose and we began resculpting with an eye for preserving as much of the concept sculpt’s intentions as possible. Everyone would have a say at this point and often revisions to the anatomy to better serve rigging would be done.

We also made modifications to proportions based on animation tests using the basic model. All of this would lead us towards our final production models and sculpts.

ZBrush did a great job when reprojecting new topology onto our sculpts over the many generations of revisions throughout the show. I found that by taking the Blur setting down to 1 we preserved a lot of good detail. Andrew, who had spent a lot of time with Scott Patton at Legacy Effects, was very much in love with his characters and was always there to smack us if we varied too much from the original concept.

Was ZBrush used for environments at all?

The Environment team — headed by Guy Williams — also used ZBrush to touch up all the environments to give the stone a weathered and chipped look. They built intact structures, then used the Clipping brush to chip and flatten sections in order to make them appear old and broken. These chunks were then retoplogized before more subtle weathering was done.

What character posed the greatest challenge for you?

Tars was the biggest challenge and a lot of modelers all had an impact on Tars. He is on screen a lot, and there was a lot of talk about the character looking like Willem Dafoe, or at least his essence. We did a lot of exploration on how much it should look like Willem Dafoe — at one point we did a reworking of Tars to incorporate a lot of Willem Dafoe’s facial characteristics. This was often refered to as the “Eleven” version. Ultimately, we backed off from this almost completely and returned to the original concept.

In the film industry, this process of coming back to the original concept isn’t uncommon. Sometimes, the director needs to explore all the variations to confirm that the original inspiration was the best. Or at least, what they really wanted.

The White Apes were a technically challenging character because of their size and ZBrush poly count. I really took ZBrush to the limit and ultimately had to break the model up into separate UDIM pieces in order to export the displacement maps. For the most part, all of the characters were able to be exported using the Multi Map Exporter from ZBrush, but because of the high poly count on the Apes we couldn’t do this. I used the Group UV tool to create separate groups for each of the UDIM tiles. I then then used the Groups Split tool to break the White Ape mesh up into separate SubTools. Even with splitting the model up, it was a challenge exporting the maps, as I maxed out the RAM on my machine.

To read the full interview in detail click here.

Autodesk Labs’ Project Geppeto now available to the public!

 

 

Project Geppeto is an early stage research project that makes it fast, easy and fun to add crowds to your work. It is a brilliant way for architects, engineers, and designers to bring their presentations to life using simple geometric shapes and paths.

 

What autodesk says about this is:

Autodesk Project Geppetto is an early-stage research project that explores making it easy, fast, and fun to add crowds to 3ds Max scenes. Geppetto is a data-driven animation system that offers high level control of plausible human motion. Creating and editing Geppetto crowds is done using simple geometric shapes and paths. This free* technology preview of Project Geppetto comes with a set of animations for use in common settings like sidewalks, hallways, lobbies, and plazas. Architects, engineers, and designers can use Geppetto to enrich the context of their presentations with realistic human activity. Geppetto is the first crowd technology to offer both ease of use and high quality results.

 

 

 

The idea is to solve these 3 big problems

  1. Creating believable motion easily (Geppetto)
  2. Creating the look of any kind of human population or demographic and allowing for cultural influences (Evolver)
  3. Creating an efficient framework for interacting with tens of thousands of such characters

 

Geppetto technology can currently solve some of the following problems:

  • Path following: Real-time steering of physically correct walking and running motion that follows a specified path.
  • Agile responses: Real-time triggering of physically believable agile motions, such as quick turns. This is required for collision avoidance and navigation.
  • Object interaction: Seamless and natural real-time interaction with objects in the environment, such as sitting in chairs, or stepping up to climb stairs.
  • Intelligent “human-like” dynamic obstacle avoidance: The perception of potential collisions and subsequent evasive actions must mimic the response times and behavior of real human beings.
  • Intuitive crowd orchestration: New methods will be introduced that allow artists to directly control the flow and interaction of traffic patterns. Ease of use plays a major role in the design of the intended workflow. Characters are orchestrated in an intuitive high-level fashion through the manipulation of flow patterns, goals, and designated behaviors. The tools are geared toward controls that are fun to use, and accessible to “non-animators” but not at the expense of serious artistic control.

 

This free technology preview of Project Geppetto comes with a set of animations for use in common settings like sidewalks, hallways, lobbies, and plazas.

To read more about the Geppeto Project Click here.

E-on Software Release Vue 10

E-on software have now released Vue 10 Infinite and Vue 10 xStream and have also announced that it will release the new versions of the Vue product range such as, Pioneer & Theme-packs, Frontier, Esprit, Studio and Complete  in mid November 2011.

 

Vue 10 adds a number of new and extended features such as:

  • Spline and Road Tools: Vue 10 includes a comprehensive spline toolkit that can be used for EcoSystems, terrain effects, building roads or creating objects. An automatic path-finding algorithm can also be used to build realistic roads at the surface of terrains.
  • Dynamic Rocks: Vue 10 features a library of dynamic rock templates that can be used to instantly create single rocks, groups of rocks, or use them in EcoSystems. Each time the user creates a rock from a template, a new and unique variation will be generated.
  • Physical Transparency and Water Shaders: Physical transparency adds absorption and scattering parameters to allow for realistic light absorption in glass or in a body of water. Ocean waves now accurately affect incident light to produce realistic underwater caustics.
  • Render Comparison: The new render display dialog now lets the user stack and compare previous renders. Users can overlay and compare 2 renders (including multi-pass layers) and use HDR difference tools for in depth analysis. Lightweight render clones can be created to test various postprocessing effects, without altering the original render.
  • EcoSystem Phase and Lean-out Control: Vue 10 lets the user individually control the phase (animation offset) of animated elements inside EcoSystem populations for creating more natural animations. Phase is totally user-controllable on a per instance basis, using the function graph. EcoSystem Lean-out Control lets the user define how the EcoSystem instances lean out towards zones of lower density.
  • Terrain Editing Improvements: Users can now precisely preview the active zones when painting with a brush that has Environment Constraints applied. A new Custom 3D terrain brush is added to the brush collection. Mask rotation can also be enabled/disabled when painting in the terrain editor. Material painting in the terrain editor is markedly improved. A new Strata3D node is added for the creation of realistic canyon walls and stratified rock formations. And much more!
  • Edge-based Anti-Aliasing: A new edge-based anti-aliasing algorithm is added to complement the previous color-based anti-aliasing strategy. Both AA settings can be configured independently.
  • Improved Depth of Field and Motion Blur.
  • Up to 30% Faster Rendering Speed*: Significant internal optimizations made to Vue 10’s rendering engine will result in dramatically accelerated rendering.
  • And much more: new “Main View Defined” Aspect Ratio, Multiple Camera Aspect Ratio Variation, Improved Render Area, Texture Projection Node, Mixed Materials Alpha Channel, Collada Morph Targets…
  • Plus all the new features introduced in Vue 9.5 such as GPU Anti-Aliasing, FastHybrid Depth of Field, Atmosphere Relighting, Localized Cloud Layers, Advanced Cloud Control, Interactive Texture Placement, Custom Star Maps and more.

These products are now available to view and purchase from CAD Software Direct.