Vue users will know how annoying it is to encounter apparent content that has the file name ~~. These were not real content, just thumbnails with links that led to the now brutally-closed Cornucopia online store.
How to mass delete these now-defunct spam link in your Vue content folders? Thankfully they all have the extension ~~. For instance:
So we need to delete everything with a ~~ in the name. What the Vue user can’t do here is have Windows Explorer just search for ~~. or *~~. and then delete the lot. Explorer doesn’t play nicely with symbols, for some unknown reason. All it will do, with a search like that, is to find everything.
Of course, it’s possible to do this with arcane command lines or wrestle with PowerShell, but that’s total overkill and requires skills unknown to ordinary mortals.
The solution is a handy little Windows freeware utility, of course. Alternate Directory is a finder-deleter for Windows that can do the job. It’s a little mis-named, and should probably have been called ‘Search and Delete Files by Mask’ or something like that.
1. Download and install.
2. Make sure you’re going to ‘Recycle’ rather than ‘Clean’. Then go: View | Options | Edit.
3. Paste in *~~.* at the top of the list. Then select and delete all the other file name-types on the list, and save. Congratulations, you’ve just configured Alternate Directory to only find files with ~~. in the filename. (The * here, for those who don’t know, is a wildcard — it tells the software to find ‘anything’ in the search string).
All the other file-types were just the sort of cruft that system administrators encounter on their servers and need to bulk delete.
4. Now use Alternate Directory to navigate to C:\ProgramData\e-onsoftware\Vue xStream 2016 (or whatever top folder your Vue version indicates for its content files)
5. Making absolutely sure you have ‘Recycle’ selected run “Diagnosis” on the folder. All sub-folders are also looked into.
6. Look at all that crap it found, nearly 5,000 bits of defunct system junk. Pressing “Clean” deletes it all to the Recycle Bin.
Alternate Directory will then take a while to delete that many found files, in this case about five minutes. Once it’s finished you empty the Recycle Bin, and enjoy an extra chunk of disk space.
Now re-index your Vue folder in any 3D content indexing software you have, such as PzDB.
Alternate Directory is a useful bit of freeware that does the job simply and effectively. You may also find it handy in future for similar bulk deletion jobs, where there’s a filetype you want removed or where there’s a repeating filename for it to hook onto. It could, conceivably, also be carefully used for cleaning massive Poser runtimes of certain unwanted old filetypes.
At last, there’s a simple “object mover” script for Vue! It’s the equivalent to Poser’s vital SnapTo script.
Select any two objects, run the script. With one click the second object moves to the location of the first, with a slight offset… so that it doesn’t land on top of the camera or inside a building/tree etc. The offset can be precisely adjusted in the script. Optionally you can also have the object scaled up at the same time, which may be useful if it’s a tiny object in a vast landscape.
How to create, find and position a billboard prop in Vue 2016:
1. First, render your prop and save it to the target .PNG file you intended for your Vue scene. If not using Vue itself then this means using software that enables the saving of a clean .PNG with an alpha, with no fringing at the edges. It may also mean approximately matching the lighting in your Vue scene. Or, if you have no idea of what lighting you’ll eventually end up using, then at least have fairly neutral lighting. The output size doesn’t need to be huge, maybe 1800px. I’ve no idea if DPI affects such things, but 300dpi may be a good standard to work with.
2. Launch Vue and go to the top menu. There go: Object | Create | Alpha. Shift + H will do the same on the keyboard, and can also be tied to a mouse-move gesture.
3. The Import window will appear. Those who learned their 3D with the old Bryce interface will be familiar with the cryptic mini-buttons look. Note that one of the tiny buttons also lets you change the gamma of the import image at this point. (I’m using Vue 2016 R4. Apparently R5, R6 and the new subscription Vue have changed the UI, and this may be one of the changes).
For some reason, this import operation will not always seem to work:
A. Works, and the result appears in front of the current camera: In some cases, the import window has behind it the ‘blank billboard’ plane. The new prop will then appear right in front of the current camera.
B. Appears not to have worked, but in fact has: Far more often this ‘blank billboard’ does not appear. It is in the scene, but it is either up above the camera viewframe or way off to the side. If this seems to be happening, just carry on as usual.
4. If the new billboard is indeed nowhere to be seen, and cannot be framed, then switch to the Top camera view and zoom way out. Most likely the billboard loaded miles away from the camera. This is the case, for instance, even with the default Vue ‘starter’ desert scene.
In the Top view, re-position the billboard in front of the camera. Then switch to the Side view, and do the same again.
To save such fiddling it would be nice to have a “place the selected prop directly in front of the current camera” Python script. But I’ve yet to find such a useful thing for Vue.
Update: I made a Magic Object Mover for Vue script, to help with this problem.
5. You’ll then probably also want to adjust the tilt and orientation of the billboard. It’s supposed to be automatically camera-facing and upright, and it sort of is, but will still often appear awkwardly tilted in the camera view and will need manual adjusting.
* You can scale up the billboard like any other prop.
* It can cast shadows that look like its shape, not like the rectangular plane the shape is inside.
* You can also point a spotlight at it to adjust its brightness. Go: Lights icon on toolbar | Right-click and hold | Spotlight | Edit | Influence | ‘Only objects selected’…
* A very low-res placeholder may appear in the viewport, depending on the power of your PC. On doing the final render, the high-res image will be loaded.
* You can save the billboard to the library as a .VOB prop, by right-clicking on it and saving it.
It’s the end of January 2020 and time for another survey of new content and scripts for DAZ Studio and Poser. What goodies have slipped out in this quiet time of the year? Read on and find out…
10 Drones Orchid Pack, organic alien spaceships in .OBJ format.
Where do the inn’s deep cellars lead to? Why, to the PW Underworld of course…
Mrs Evil HD for Victoria 8 and Genesis 8 Female.
Modular 3D Kits: Fantasy Library from ShaaraMuse3D. HD books, bookcases, tables and scrolls.
Ancient Greco-Roman Crowd Generator, as billboards.
RP Salty Scarlett for Genesis 8 Female.
Poser Hair ‘Em2 – Just Four Men. Dynamic Hair Room hair for M4 and Poser.
Wild West Horse And Rider Poses for G8M and Horse 2, including wielding six-guns while riding.
Characters and poses:
Matilde for La Femme for Poser.
A usefully generic free ‘surfing’ pose for Genesis 8.
Toon and storybook:
Fairy hut for Poser by 1971s.
Noor Toolbox for Nursoda’s Noor baby (part of the Fehn bundle).
Free Fehn Eyes, for Fehn, ten of them, the default ones being very dark.
Klia for G8F, a free semi-toon character suited to storybooks.
Some nice Retro brushes for Photoshop.
A classic French Citroen for Poser, likely to interest those with French style toons such as Muggie and Nos by Nursoda.
Multi-species WolfPack for Poser, with animations. They appear to be suitable for large pack scenes, once you reduce the textures a bit.
Old Town Alley for DAZ Studio.
A wind-scoured canyon system for Vue, for $2.
18Gb of vegetation and waterfall and related assets for Vue, including localised mists.
Photo Props: Electric Poles from ShaaraMuse3D, with HD textures so presumably suitable for closeups of a linesman working on the wires. Also likely to interest Vue artists.
Painting Over 3D Renders with Wootha.
Utilities and scripts:
Last month I said I wouldn’t cover any more of the burgeoning range of Genesis converter packs, but Cross Figure 0002 Character Morph and Cross Figure 0001 Character Morph look very useful and long-term. What the difference is between the two packs I just can’t figure out, though. Which is a huge barrier to a potential purchase.
Perspective Control for DAZ Studio. I’m fairly sure Poser already does this as standard, if this add-on is the same as Poser’s Perspective dial.
Reveal Node Type for Poser.
Finally, be aware that your CG Trader ‘Wish List’ appears to be public. I can access mine while logged out, and its not coming from the browser’s cache.
That’s it for this month. More picks next month!
TurboVNC, “high-speed, 3D-friendly, TightVNC-compatible remote desktop software”, including mouse and keyboard control of the remote PC. Free, open-source, mature but also in active development. “3D friendly” here means things like Poser, Cinema 4D, Vue etc, not videogames.
Those who’ve used the business-friendly Team Viewer will be familiar with the basic principle of the ‘Remote Desktop’, aka ‘Virtual Desktop’. You install some software on both PCs, then with the aid of a ‘crossover’ Ethernet cable and a Local Network set up in Windows, you can seamlessly view and operate a remote PC from the comfort of your main PC. A use-case might be that you want to run Vue 2016 directly on your 12-core dual-Xeon render-farm ‘beast’ PC, rather than just sending its rendering work to that PC. But you don’t want to have to swop seats, cables etc to do so. Windows also has a similar feature built-in, which may be enough for those not doing advanced modelling with real-time rendering.
I also looked at the similarly free TigerVNC, also 3D-friendly, but TurboVNC seems the best choice for such things as it has high throughput and also ‘visual glitch’ error correction designed for 3D software work. Though it has a User’s Guide that only a techie could love, and badly needs a focused and user-friendly 6-minute YouTube video offering a quickstart on its setup and use.
Still, making a .BAT file should relive you of the need to type in a half dozen tedious commands, which are needed before you start up the Viewer component…
Note that, to download TurboVNC you may also want to know how to get direct downloads from SourceForge, if the EU’s cookies-crap stops your download from starting.
It’s finally official, AMD is set to ship its long-teased “world’s first 64-core, 128-thread” CPU early next month. It’s a consumer unit, not a server unit. The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X will be $4,000 and will ship on 7th February 2020. By all accounts AMD generally now has total supremacy in the marketplace, beating Intel by a mile on both price and speed in both the server and the consumer markets. Their new CPU would be like having a 128-thread render-farm under your desk, crunching on your CPU dependent rendering (i.e. from Vue XStream, Poser’s Firefly, Keyshot etc). I imagine it would also probably be rather handy for capturing and streaming HD video while you run demanding software.
Of course it would need your other PC components to be able to keep up with it, so you’d really want it in a new PC. Thus the most important question is, what’s the likely cost of that? I can’t immediately find anyone set to ship such a thing in February, but I suspect you’re probably looking at $7,000 for such a PC by summer 2020. That’s a hefty dent in your wallet, but it’s not an impossible sum for a small studio looking for a tax write-off. Yet if AMD can get some sort of 64-core into mass production and thus drop the price, it would be nice to imagine that a 64-core could be in a $4,999 content-maker workstation by late 2021.
The obvious step down appears to be the new $800 AMD Ryzen 3950X, at 16 cores and offering a mere 32 render threads. That’s for the CPU alone.
Below that is the $500 AMD Ryzen 3900X at 12 cores and 24 threads, again for the CPU alone. A somewhat future-proofed self-build list in summer 2019 used this CPU and quality components and topped out at $3,400. However I see that the same CPU is now in UK gaming rigs at around £1,300 all-in. I assume the graphics card in one of those would also make light work of iRay renders from DAZ Studio, though at that relatively cheap price it probably wouldn’t be capable of fast real-time ray-tracing.
Below that, in terms of pre-built PCs, the cheapest gaming PC with a AMD Ryzen 7 2700 (8 Cores, 16 render threads) can be had in the UK for around £480 from Fierce, but it may be just as cheap to custom-build up your own 3D-focused PC from a motherboard + CPU bundle. Note that 2700 is the energy-efficient 65w version, and the 2700x is the more power-hungry and slightly faster version. It’s apparently a trade-off there, slightly more power from the 2700x… but noiser fans. The 2700 is said on the Smith Micro forum to be in 2019 about the equivalent of 2 x Xeon X5690 CPUs (24 render threads) in a old refurbished workstation.
Avoid the pre-Ryzen AMD FX-8320 PC, which can be found at about the same price as the 2700’s. Supposedly “8-core” circa 2012, and nice to have at that point in time. But apparently the 8320 was really 8 threads-pretending-to-be-cores sitting in 4-cores, done via some fancy cache workarounds. So far as I can tell that means you won’t get it to show 16 render threads to the likes of Vue in 2020, since it’s wasn’t a real 8-core. However, if you can pick one up for £100 it could be used as a fairly fast render-node for Vue.
The DAZ Store and Renderosity have been at the discounting dance for months now, and have already cleaned out the PayPal reserves of DAZ/Poser creatives who’ve been paying daily attention… but if you still have something left over then here’s my round-up of some Black Friday items of possible interest…
Heavy discounting at Xurge 3D, maker of top-quality armour and uniforms for M4 and V4.
Heavy discounts and a $59 ‘all-you-can-download lifetime offer’, at Teknology3d. Sadly they have a new-look site and my old log-in from a few years ago no longer works.
A small sale at Hivewire including AniBlocks for the HiveWire House Cat. Also ‘Ants of the World’ for Poser, which I don’t think I knew even existed. They can presumably be scaled up into house-sized 1950s atomic-mutant ants…
CGTrader has lots of 30-50% off items (but keep in mind that they add local Sales Tax at the Checkout!):
KitBash3d has 50% off its store.
The XFrog store has 60% off. Contrary to the name, they make quality realistic 3D trees and plants not frogs.
An “up to 70%” sale on around 5,000 game assets in the Unreal Marketplace. There may well be some stuff that can be got out to .OBJ, of interest to those who need large lightweight landscapes done in geometry rather than as domes / backdrops.
And “up to 50% off” at the similar Unity store. The Diesel machines constructor kitbash kit apparently has 220 items, for instance.
No sign of anything happening at the ArtStation store.
GarageFarm.NET has “up to 40% extra” render credits for its render farm. They support Vue 2015 and 2016, but not the new subscription Vue.
The similar RebusFarm also has extra render credits.
Blambot comics lettering fonts have a 30% off Cyber Monday sale coming up. No sign of anything happening at ComicCraft.
Slight discounting on PzDB with 1.2 down to $32. Highly recommended if you have a huge Poser runtime.
Corel has 15% off Corel Painter 2019.
Serif / Affinity has 30% off its budget “Adobe-killer” products, including Publisher and Designer.
Marvelous Designer’s “personal perpetual” licences are reduced to $340 until 31st December.
No signs of any movement on the price of Comic Life 3 or JitBit Macro. But Clip Studio Paint is now 50% off. Keep in mind that only the EX version has multi-page support, and that Comic Life has multi-page and is far easier to use.
And lastly, completely free… the new Krita 4.2.8! Krita is also good for comics production, if you jiggle it a bit.
If you’ve found this and other recent posts useful, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks!
It’s the Dante78 70% sale at Renderosity. While you may think that your bulging Runtime can’t take any more medieval stuff, this is top quality and the prices are very low.
Advice from FSMCDesigns on the forums for DAZ users of these Poser models, re: iRay rendering of these in DAZ Studio…
With Dante78 products, turn down the Specular and change the color in the Diffuse channel to white” for iRay.
It’s that time of the month again, and here’s my survey of the new DAZ and Poser content which caught my eye during October 2019.
The Matrix-style outfit, dForce Tepes Outfit for Genesis 8 Male.
Free Superfly MC6 materials for AppleJack’s Futuristic Base 2. Futuristic Base 2 shipped for free with the Poser 11.2 official megabundle.
Also the free Funky Sofa for Poser, for those needing additional futuristic sci-fi furniture for their Futuristic Base 2.
Need a sci-fi desert creature, as an alternative to a camel? The new Camezard HD for DAZ Studio.
Where’s your Camezard going to take you? Why, to 1971s’s lost city of the Technomages of course…
And beyond the door… perhaps the Spacequalle…
Or the cool $10 Skull, pitched as sci-fi but also easily adapted for steampunk-ery…
Steampunk and dieselpunk:
The Count Outfit for Genesis 8 Male. I like the dForce folds on the trousers. There’s also a short ‘Musketeer’ type cape.
My Edwardian Hair for Genesis 8 Female. Fancy up-do styles suitable for steampunk.
Long gloves with wrinkles/folds for G3F and G8F. That’s something you don’t see every day. Comes with three fold presets.
Nor do you see a dForce Fur Coat everyday. For G8F, using strand-based hair. Just the thing to keep you warm on your airship or in your flying car.
Coflek-gnorg’s retro Flying Car for Poser and DAZ.
The free Grizzlymen Morph Package for Genesis 3 and 8 Males. 98 presets for designing stylised fantasy male heads.
The low-poly Country Cottage could provide the bemused neighbours for 5 Toadstool Lane, in distant pictures of the street.
Grimalkin for the HiveWire House Cat. Grimalkin was an old British folk-name for a big old ‘king among the cats’.
Haunted House Pro for Poser and newly updated for DAZ. As classic Haunted Houses go, this is one of the best I’ve seen in 3D.
Web your haunted house with the free Mystics Spiderwebs (Dforce) for DAZ Studio.
dForce Gunslinger for Genesis 8 Male and additional textures. Possibly also useful for Doctor Who (the classic ‘Tennant years’) or Sherlock Holmes type fan-art. For a more Matrix-style trenchcoat, see the top of this post.
Photo Props: Stick Collection. Lots of uses here, from Old Master paintings where an old peasant is carrying a basket of sticks through an icy wood, to a big stack of brushwood around the feet of a witch, to clutter for your prehistoric village.
A free Ancient Minoan vase.
Landscapes and plants:
Howie Farkes has developed a UltraTrees – Realistic Tree System for DAZ Studio. The pack has 24 tree models and instancing is used to “place 1000s of branchlets on the tree model, giving lifelike foliage density without the overhead of needing millions of polygons”. They certainly look good.
Wild Flowers – Water Plants Vol 2. Duckweed and other surface plants, as transmapped geometry rather than flat textures. Likely to be useful for small scenes of frogs, dragonflies, dancing water-nymphs and the like. Possibly also doomed pre-Raphaelite maidens.
Rocky terrain for Vue. A huge Vue-sized landscape of big mounded rock-domes and scrubby desert between them.
Somewhat similar for DAZ Studio is the smaller Desert Depression, with a more of an Australian or Southern Africa feel to it.
Autumn Decor Bundle 2. It’s not often you see a vase of Chinese Lanterns modelled, but here they are, albeit at $15.
Scripts, shaders and utilities:
UHD Fur Builder for DAZ Studio. Interesting new shaders, promising fur-look materials without a hefty render-time. A Merchant resource. It would be interesting to see how good these can look on some cats.
MDBridge for Poser Beta. Interfaces Poser with Marvelous Designer 7 (digital-clothing design-and-cut software).
Bring Us Together for DAZ Studio. There’s an over-complicated description and video, but as far as I can figure it out… this could be a very useful mover-script set. You’ve loaded in three or four items, they’ve loaded way off-stage, you have no idea where they are… and you just want them all moved to be right in front of the camera. That seems to be what it’s about.
There’s also a free version of this, which apparently is “automatic”. One to test soon.
La Femme CrossDresser License for “La Femme Pro – 1.1 Pro Base Figure for Poser 11”. Quickly convert clothes for La Femme, from hundreds of other figures. The CrossDresser 4.0 software, that does the conversion, is free.
3D Printing : Best Practices and Approaches using DAZ Studio and ZBrush.
That’s it! More picks next month.
A simple experiment: can Vue render hair from Poser’s Hair Room?
The test rug: the old Poser 6 Ben hair, which is a default Poser hair made with the hair-room. It’s shipped with Poser for ages.
It was loaded, test-rendered (fast!) and then saved as a Poser scene file…
Then the saved scene was loaded in Vue. It can indeed be rendered in Vue, with the Poser Hair Room running the back-end. The drawback is that even with a fairly simple ‘sunny’ atmosphere, it’s going to take a long long time to render, and it won’t look as good as a Poser Firefly render. This basic 1200px render took 31 minutes and I halted it half-way through. Ugh.
Conclusion: Even if you had a cunning plan to have Poser provide unusual hairiness (such as thatched roofs for your medieval structures rendered in Vue, for instance), it’s not viable. While Hair Room ‘grown’ strand hair is very quick in Poser, it definitely isn’t in Vue.
On the other hand, it’s better than the calamities currently being perpetrated with Blender’s Eevee under the name of “NPR”…
In last night’s tutorial-experiment with Vue I showed you how speed up Vue. Here’s how to add sea to Vue in Photoshop, and thus save even more render time.
How much time will this save? Out of interest, I re-rendered my same Vue tutorial scene (see above) again. But this time the sea was replaced by the “Simple Pottery Clay” material, and this was coloured green to match.
Render-time at 2800px was cut to just 14 minutes. No clouds, no sea, and… they both get added in Photoshop. It’s a heck of lot faster, and clouds and sky can even look better.
1. Ok, so how to add a realistic sea on this demo scene? First get the Photoshop plugin Flood 2 from Flaming Pear. There’s a free trial. Install.
2. Render your Vue scene as normal, but after adding a simple quick-rendering material to the sea, such as “Simple Pottery Clay”. Give it a scene-matching colour.
Make sure you are rendering the scene with auxiliary render passes (aka ‘multipass’) turned on, and that you give yourself what Vue calls a ‘materials ID’ pass (aka a ‘clown pass’). The usual simple ‘alpha pass’ won’t get you the bits you need for this tutorial. The extra render has to be a ‘materials ID’ pass. This is what one looks like in Vue, using the demo scene…
As you can see, a random flat ‘clown’ colour has been automatically applied to all materials, with no colour being quite the same as any other. This makes doing selections in Photoshop really easy.
And this is where to find and save it after the render completes. Best to save it out as a .PNG file, in case you find that Vue didn’t bundle it in the Photoshop file for the main render…
(I’m still trying to figure out how to force Vue to bundle all render passes into a single .PSD. Ticking “Save to disk” in render settings is supposed to do it, but doesn’t. One of the problems with Vue is that, to force it to do simple stuff like that or just turn off the automatic lens-glare, you have to hunt down multiple tick-box settings on different panels).
3. Now you’ve opened the render in Photoshop. Let’s bring on the flood. You have your main render open, and a clown pass layer sitting above it in the layer stack. Make a working copy of the main render as a new layer. Run the Flood 2 plugin on this working copy. Find the horizon, then go slightly above it into the sky and render a sea using Flood 2. (We need the extra headroom so we can feather a bit off later, without creating a razor-sharp horizon line).
Flood 2 rendering took about two minutes on this 2800px render, and may vary depending on complexity of the sea. The effect is very realistic, with sea-swell and reflections. Doing the same thing in Vue could take hours if not days.
4. Go to your Clown Pass render. On the top menu in Photoshop, find: Select | Colour Range | + set a fuzziness of about 20. Use the eyedropper to select just the sea colour…
You’ll see that automatically takes account of the legs of the structures, something a standard alpha-pass layer could not do.
Keep the selection active.
5. Now switch layers, back to your working copy of the render with its Flood 2 sea. Turn off the clown pass layer. We now have a perfect selection for the water, and the water only.
6. Copy this selection over from the temporary layer to your original render layer, and paste it in with: Top Menu | Edit | Paste in Place. Blend the layer to taste. You’re done.
Multiple objects at different distances:
“Ah, but Flood 2 has no masking options”, you say. True. “So what to do where there are multiple objects at different distances in the sea, as there are in this demo picture?” In that case you create not one placeholder render-copy to work on, but three. On each one you render a different horizon on your Flood 2 sea…
Then you select each temporary layer by using the clown pass as before (see instructions, above). Then you copy out and blend the three Flood 2 sea renders together in Photoshop. With a bit of work combining and blending them, you can get far more interesting and artistic reflections that you could get after many hours of finding, choosing and then rendering a sea in Vue. As you can see in this comparison…
Original demo, Vue sea:
Flood 2 multi-distance Photoshop-combo sea:
So, there you have it, two tutorials on how to get better clouds and better sea in a Poser-to-Vue seascape scene, while cutting render time to 15 minutes at 2800px.
These methods will also work on any advanced 3D software that can give you a ‘materials ID’ / ‘clown pass’ / ‘Toon ID’ render, and will thus let you precisely mask the sky and sea. Which, since we’re now all using Poser Pro, includes all Poser users. In Poser Pro 11.2, you enable this render pass by ticking the Firefly render settings thus…
Poser calls it ‘Toon ID’ instead, but it’s the same thing as Vue’s ‘Materials ID’ render pass. You’ll just need to Auto Colour / Auto Contrast it in Photoshop to make its areas visible.
There’s even a free Poser script that lets you pick which Toon ID colours you want to assign to sea and sky, potentially making them even easier to select in Photoshop.
1971s is one of my favourite model-makers at Renderosity. Here’s a little help along the way to making ‘green fog’ scenes with his models, similar to many of his Store renders.
This tutorial sends a Poser scene to Vue. Poser 11.2 still works fine in Vue Xtream 2016, in terms of import of a saved Poser scene with materials. Here’s how to do ‘fast and green’ via the old Vue 2016, and get a render rather like many of the 1971 store preview renders.
1. First, make your basic scene in Poser. Use the top camera to get a good distance between the props.
2. Then save and load the Poser file into Vue as normal. You don’t need re-pose-ability or animation. Once the scene is loaded, keep your models grouped and raise them all up off the floor, as we’ve going to have sea under them in a minute. Then un-group the models so you can fine-tune their position. Load a sea and surface for it. Find your camera view and lock it.
3. Load the atmosphere preset, and my ‘Fast AA’ render settings preset, both in .ZIP file (this is on SendSpace, so may time-out if no-one downloads it for a month). User presets can be copied to C:\ProgramData\e-onsoftware\Vue xStream 2016\Atmospheres
4. My presets, when used together, should remove the pointless auto-run lens flare / lens glare (whose clever idea was it to have that on by default?) If you find you still need to turn off default lens-flare in Vue, along with other post-processing time-hogs, this is how you do it…
i. In your Scene Browser selected the Sun, right-click on it and Edit Object. Find the Lens Flare tab and turn it off.
ii. Think that’s it? Nope. This is Vue, so think again! Now go up to the top menu, them ‘Render’ | ‘Post-processing Render Options’. From here you can also turn off Lens Flare. ‘Copy settings to scene’. Press OK.
iii. Go to Render, and… you should not be warned that “lens-flare is enabled”. If you are still prompted about it on starting the render, it’s possible you forgot to ‘Copy settings to scene’ before you pressed OK to exit the Post-processing Render Options.
5. Render. You should be able to do 2800px in a reasonable amount of time, with my Atmosphere / Render Settings Preset combo. With the sort of sea I have in my demo picture, perhaps 50 minutes. The water is the big time-hog here, as we have no clouds to speak of.
6. All done. Save the render as a .PSD Photoshop file. The render preset should have given you useful extra render data such as Z-depth and various material zone masks and alpha masks. Save these out too if you need to. Save the scene file and exit Vue.
(Note that using “Save to Disk” bundles the extra render data in the .PSD, but otherwise you need to manually save them out one by one).
7. Now you can use the z-depth render on Photoshop (invert, layer-bend using Lighten) to add extra depth fog, and the materials zones pass (aka clown pass) to select particular materials with the Magic Wand. You don’t actually get the pretty clouds in the Atmosphere, as seen in my demo. They’re added later. Using one of the Vue masks output with the .PSD file, one can quickly create a masked selection for the sky. Paste that onto any suitable sky picture, copy what it selects, and paste it in, blend to suit. That way you get nice real clouds, but without the massive render time.
Demo as raw Vue render:
Demo after some work with Vue’s additional z-depth and multipass render types: