e-on Acquired by Bentley Systems

LumenRT_ALDOTAccording to a fresh press release, a big company that does something has acquires e-on. It seems that Bentley Systems REALLY likes LumenRT, so much so they decided to buy the whole house. So far, it seems everything will be business as usual from the perspective of the average user of e-on products. e-on will continue to exist as a subsidiary of Bentley.

Sales and support of all e-on software, except the higher tier versions of LumenRT, will still be available through the e-on website. Those higher tier versions of LumenRT will be sold and serviced directly by Bentley. So, Bentley get LumenRT and a well known brand, and it seems that e-on’s software will see greater investment, both from Bentley directly, and through exposure to some big clients.

It’s nice to think that this will lead to better Vue, Plant Factory etc for all, and given the wide CG industry usage of e-on products there is no reason to think the e-on name is going away any time soon.

TPF_3_copyright_Maciej_Sikora

News Bites 15-Nov-13


Ok, so there are always these little snippets of news that I want to write about, but either I can’t get together something significant enough to post or I’m strapped for time. News Bites is a new column or segment or whatever, where I’ll gather up all the crunchy crumbs and serve them up. Sound appetising? Hmm… Let’s hope it tastes better than it sounds, and entirely more hygienic.

What’s covered: 3Delight 11, DAZ Studio User Guide (by DAZ 3D), Complete Guide to DAZ Studio 4 (by Paolo Ciccone), DAZ Studio user image gallery, and the release of Vue 2014.

3Delight 11 – Quad Core For Free!

Released back on the 1st of October, 3Delight Studio Pro offers some great new features. Included is a new path-tracing algorithm, which is apparently much more efficient at rendering multi-bounce GI, SSS, and motion blur. There have also been multi-threading optimisations and significant improvements to all round raytrace render speeds. Support has been added for deep image output via EXR 2.0 file format.

Undoubtedly, there will be some time before we see the new algorithm implemented for DAZ Studio, but for adventurous and script savy super nerds this should be little problem. For such as these, and those that prefer to work with the standalone application, there is an additional piece of news here. As of version 11, we have access to a quad-core license (old version was dual core). DNA has also promised that users of the free version of the program will see releases more frequently, so we can expect our versions to be much closer to what the paying user base get to play with.

Download 3Delight Studio Pro

Well, that was a rather significant bite of news right there. What’s next?

Not a manual, but DAZ Studio has a User Guide

As of the 11th of November DAZ Studio has a User Guide and a QuickStart Guide. While these documents are still a far cry from the manual many DAZ Studio users have been asking for (for a good LONG time), they are accessible and perfect for getting new users in and orientated. Topics covered include the basic layout of the GUI and its various preconfigurations.(who knew there was such a thing?), posing, surface editing and render settings. The section on lighting will be of particular use for the many people new to 3D/CG that find this element particularly challenging.

Back to waiting for that manual.

DAZ 3D’s Long Lost Galleries Are Back

DAZ 3D user galleryWe all know what a disaster the website updates were at DAZ. The stores still flips out from time-to-time (or all the time, depending on who you ask), member avatars for the forums have just come back etc, etc, but since at least the 13th Galleries ARE back, though in Public beta. DAZ isn’t promoting the beta outside the members area of the forum, but all users have access now.

To configure your gallery preferences and to start your own collection you just need to visit the new “Gallery” tab in your “My Account” area of the DAZ 3D website. This new feature is still obviously in development, so navigating around the gallery is awkward, but it is shaping up nicely and has a lot of promise. Come by and check me out :)

The Complete Guide to DAZ Studio 4

complete guide to daz studioAs if one guide in the month wasn’t enough, but here it is, and let us be honest and say that this one is far more extensive than the basic introduction provided by DAZ. Written by well-known community figure and creator of Reality for DAZ Studio and Poser, Paolo Ciccone –

The Complete Guide to DAZ Studio 4 shows you how to effectively use DAZ Studio 4 from start to finish. This guide takes you on a fun journey into the world of 3D art with DAZ Studio. Using everyday situations and practical examples, this book leads you from understanding the basics of 3D to the exploration of all the relevant topics, including posing, lighting, rendering, and content installation. You will follow step-by-step examples that will show you how to create great 3D art with fun and ease.

Topics include:

  • Pose human figures in a natural and believable way
  • Use morphs to create new characters and install new content in DAZ Studio
  • Understand the building blocks of a 3D model and modify the DAZ Studio materials
  • Build a complete scene, with a character in a full environment
  • Frame your shot and use the camera effectively
  • Understand the basic principles and approach for lighting a scene
  • Create geometrically accurate images with photo-realistic rendering
  • Achieve photo-realism in DAZ Studio with the Reality plugin
  • Create your own content in DAZ Studio and sell it online
  • Animate your characters and create movies with DAZ Studio

Vue 2014 Release

Vue 2014 - 3D forest rendering. Our last compelling news bite of the day is E-on’s launch of the updated line of Vue products. On the 6th E-on released Vue xStream 2014, and Vue Infinite 2014. The lighter versions of the program (Complete, Esprite, Studio, Pioneer etc) will be released later in the month. E-on says the staggered release is aimed at dealing with download demand and providing better customer service.

Vue 2014 Improvements include:

  • (xStream) Better FBX support allowing for import of textured geometry and cameras. Camera motion import and export.
  • World Point Position Pass – compositing flexibility
  • Physically Accurate Sunlight Model and Photometric Lights – nuf said?
  • Tone Mapping – multiple tone mapping filters to simulate human eye or camera light responces
  • Natural Grain – natural colour variation suited for… natural stuff.
  • EcoSystem improvements – natural clumping algorithm to give more natural vegetation distribution.
  • Improved Plant Factory compatibility
  • MORE!

And there it is, the first edition of our new News Bites. How does it work for you? Let us know.

Artists Feature Jeremy Mowen (Exyle Studios)

fdc674d34505786946f2fd6dbd2Jeremy Mowen was one of the first friends I made in the Poserverse. He was one of those cool guys with an awesome gallery that doesn’t mind slumming with the initiates and sharing his thoughts and knowledge. Getting any sort of feedback in a crowded environ like deviantART is a rare business, especially for those among the endless ranks of lowly newbs, so I always enjoyed talking shop with someone that had a good head start on me. Eventually we moved to exchanging correspondence and WIPs via email and began collaborating on joint projects, all of which have languished long in a mutually agreed murk and may never see the light of day in their fully intended forms.

One of the primary factors in this agreed stasis was Jeremy’s shifting efforts to push out his literary/graphical chimeras before they wither on the vine. The foremost front runner in his undertakings is the Autumn Risen (set amidst a cataclysmic war-torn US), with Revenant emerging out of the frozen wastes of distant UV Prime.

Jeremy primarily works with Poser and Photoshop, but he also makes heavy use of DAZ Studio, Vue, and Reality 3D among others. Whatever the programs used you will notice bold contrasting colours, grungy vivid postworking techniques, strange beings and flawed heroes, big weapons, and lots and lots of wings.

Continue reading

The Plant Factory Pre-Release II Sees Relaxed Feature Restrictions

The Plant Factory - e-on softwareE-on Hoses Down Fire On The Plant Factory Blog

The tune has certainly changed over at The Plant Factory’s blog. Whether it is a sensible distillation of the overwhelmingly blood curdling response from the blog’s angry mob, and the probable torrent of emails, or whether it was the more mild-tempered feedback from pre-release adopters (or some combination of the two), but E-on has relaxed a number of the harsh feature restrictions.

Changes for The Plant Factory Pre-Release II

TPF Studio users will now enjoy full node and graph capabilities that were previously restricted only to Producer. Essentially this means that users of Studio can now produce the same content they would be able to with the Producer version.

Plant Factory Designer replaces Plant Factory for Vue

With all the features of the previously announced PFfV, Designer users will now be able to export static objects as FPX, OBJ, and 3DS formats.

Pre-Release II will be available on Monday, 10th of June and the new price will be $595 for one week after release – still a discount of $400.

A move in the right direction

E-on have undoubtedly won many users with their alterations. Many will be happy that they no longer have to fork out almost $1500 for a product they spent months reading about with every teasing post. Being able to settle with a fully featured TPF, just without the fancy compositing/rendering capabilities, for $995 (or $396 if you grab it now) will settle a lot of bad blood. For some, the final price tag will still be much too high, which I tend to agree with, especially considering that objects created with any version of TPF cannot be distributed outside Cornucopia 3D. Given the price of the software one can still only ask, WTF?

WTF indeed

In a post on the blog, one responder pointed out that free redistribution of TPF products would be commercial suicide for e-on. If people could just go out and buy plants from any old back alley brokerage, then why would anyone need to buy the software in the first place? How would e-on be compensated for their fabulous software development?

Umm… are we serious here? This sort of thinking plays right into the hands of e-on, and simply just doesn’t fly. Clients and content consumers are always hungry for new varieties and unique content. Artists always want/need to create new from scratch. If free distribution of content killed sales of content creation software then why is there so much software out there, and why are these suicidal developers constantly updating it?

E-on are certainly heading in the right direction here, but are they more concerned with creating tools (to sell at enormous cost – think upgrades here too people), or with establishing themselves as a content distribution service which? If the latter, it would be greatly appreciated if they dropped the price of such software.