What is the state of VUE in 2015? Any one using it in production?


I’m an old Vue xStream/Infinite user (v.9.5), and I would like to know if it is worth upgrading.

What do you think about it?
Is it an important tool nowadays for the CG artist (generalist)?

We always see, on the E-On site, amazing stories and images that it’s being used in many hollywood productions. Is it really true? Or was it just used in some minor aspects of the mentioned films? I mean they say, for instance, in the croods (dreamworks), the jungle was done using vue, I mean what was really done in vue, the actual jungle, or most of it? or only the grass in the bottom-left corner? And for the coral field, they say it’s done with vue. What is done with vue? the rendering? The geometry (I don’t think so)? And the list goes on.
I would like to have a better picture of what it is really used for in films.

Thank you for an eventual feedback.


Why does it matter? Use whatever you want to make your work; whether or not it was used on films shouldn’t have any bearing on how you work.


I know that I have to use whatever is needed to make my work, and that’s precisely why I’m asking this question. Will vue get the job done?
So it matters because it is a proof of quality and it confirms that I’m not loosing my time in it.
I’ve had mixed feelings when using vue, I thought it had a great potential but ending being frustrated by unsuccessful/poor results, not to mention the very bad xstream integration…
And if it is true that many serious productions use it (not just for previz or for a negligible aspect), then I’ll reconsider my pov and assume that I’m not ready yet and have to improve my skills in order to get out of vue what productions manage to get.


I know that the jungles in most of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and also that last (not so great) Indiana Jones movie were all done in Vue. It is used quite a bit in movies.


That’s also what I’ve read about these jungles, thank you for the feedback.
But again, if someone has an information about how much vue was actually used in these productions would be very informative, because I have the feeling sometimes that they exaggerate when they state :“done in vue”, and it is often only a part of it, or maybe a minor aspect.


Just like anything else, it’s used for creating jigsaw pieces that artists can glue together to create their final comps. Especially in matte painting steps. Imagine the Croods with all those custom design plants. Matte painter won’t have any photo to work with obviously. (Yes the Croods used VUE). Also the hills in Kungfu Panda, those were matte painting using VUE render as based as well.

You may want to check this up . While it’s not a particularly good course for VUE, the insight instructor shared exactly answered your questions. Lots of eye-opener in that course.


Thank you panupat for this :slight_smile:


That isn’t my only source of information confirming it.


I know that the jungles in most of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and also that last (not so great) Indiana Jones movie were all done in Vue. It is used quite a bit in movies.

No, not so accurate, they were used for little more than a base for concepting. That’s E-on marketing! Along side the environments for Clash of the Titans, which I personally worked on. I recall we purchased 35 Vue nodes on the farm and after lengthy testing, we canned any attempts to work with it due to unrealistic render times, noise etc. E-on’s marketing team get news of a project using Vue and suddenly they slap Vue logo’s over the hero environment shots; it’s a little cheap. Though on the plus side; people buy into it, this sells their software, and one day we might have a tool that actually works well, and Vue has the potential.

That said; I’m reflecting on how things were several years ago. Today I’m finding vue is a little more capable and more frequently used by matte painters for creating 2d elements to project, however the workflow of going going back and forth between Vue and Maya/Max is still a pain. It’s great if you start in Vue, but the sad reality is, when working on projects with a large environment team, you rarely get to start in Vue. More; Layout provides you with a Maya scene and you have to build up around that. Try opening that in Vue and watch the atmospheric scale go off the chart! suddenly a building is the size of a small moon. Is their a way to scale the atmospherics? … Nope! then let’s talk about mattes for clouds and skies, E-on openingly admit this is still in development.

Vue is great for stills and projections, Vue is great if you want to stay in Vue. Vue is not great if you’re in a team of 200 people, working in a Maya pipeline, like most studios are and trying to pull of a big camera move through an environment.


Everlite, do you find other tools better than Vue for creating personal environment projects with foliage, trees etc?


Lots of plugins.

Currently using;

World Machine for landscapes
Vray scatter for populating environment elements
PhoenixFD for water effects
Itrees for trees, tends to be quite fast
Zbrush for modifying and up’ressing World Machine geo
Zbrush / Mari for textures
3ds Max for layout (person preference) sometimes Maya, depending on project and client

Trying to pull Vue into all that for atmospherics, so far, scaling is my only barrier.

A Vue rep might point out that you can get all the above in one program … like Vue for example, however the sad reality is; the world of VFX works in Maya, and Vue doesn’t talk so nicely with Maya as outlined with Scaling and Mattes.

Curious if anyone else currently has different environment workflows.


thank you everlite, that’s exactly the kind of information I was looking for, and it seems that my feelings are justified and that marketing is exaggerated.
But, as you said also, the newer version appears to be better and vue could be a good part of someone’s workflow, not integration, but a useful tool, and that it has deep output…


I like GrowFX for foliage ( Max only). Then I populate my scenes with Forest Pack, for everything else I mostly just use Max and Corona.

I am in Landscape archvis though. It’s not in the same ballpark as VFX or games.

If your goal is to create natural procedural environments then I would say to download the demo of Vue and run through a tutorial set to see what is new. If it gives you the results you want in an efficient way, or gets you a base product you can tweak in another software then it might be worth the investment.


Everlite - thanks for sharing.

Sounds like you use V-ray as your primary rendering tool? And what do you think about Speedtree, would it fit anywhere in your workflow?


Thank you paul for your useful advice. That speaks for itself.
I’m a former vue user (v9.5) and I know it, but I just wanted to know how it was today to help me pull the trigger if positive. :slight_smile:


Sounds like you use V-ray as your primary rendering tool? And what do you think about Speedtree, would it fit anywhere in your workflow?

I’ve never used Speed Tree beyond just playing around with a demo one time. It seem’s like a powerful tool for creating a base for a hero tree. I recall some of the environment guys saying they used it on Avatar back in the day, not sure if there was truth in that. Personally the main use I’ve had for trees has always been populating forests etc

Yes, I’ve been using Vray for several years now. I find it easy to to use, artist friendly and gives very predictable results. Just remember to use Vray Photographic exposure control, and everything always looks pretty photo realistic off the bat :slight_smile:

Must look into Corona, see how it holds up!

I am in Landscape archvis though. It’s not in the same ballpark as VFX or games.

I would disagree with that :slight_smile: You find many archvis people transition back and forth between archvis and film environments; the skills are pretty much the same.


Thank you David, a very interesting info!


Is there a way to work around the useless camera control in Vue? That’s been the deal breaker for me as I always have to fight the camera to move around the scene.


Everlite, Have you had chance of using planetside terragen?(the latest version 3) I liked its output and feel it is better than VUE, only downside is the way it works.


You don’t like its workflow and user interface?
Or something else?..