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E-On Vue & Plant Factory


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Does anyone still use E-On Vue & Plant Factory in C4D? In the past year they have made an effort to update these products and I think they seem to work well on their own - not sure sure about in C4D.  I tried the E-On products with Maya and I found that the 2 programs didn't work together as well as I had hoped.

Secondly, are there plugins available (ie Forester) now that are better than what they have to offer? 

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I suspect E-on are going to have to work quite hard to repair their reputation with Cinema users, comprehensively shattered after years and years of crash-happy PoS Vue software, no updates and ignoring support emails drove us all up the wall, and a lot of us to uninstall it altogether ! I have read a fair few threads here over the years expressing peoples' frustration with them. That and their OTT pricing provided little in the way of incentive to persevere with them. It's a shame, because at one point it had a lot of potential before things like Terragen and World-creator came along, and made Vue look rather antiquated and inferior.

 

I don't know that they can ever win me back - the other things seem more reasonably priced for what you get and still rather better IMO - compare the demo images on Eons site versus either of the 2 I have previously mentioned - Vue doesn't come out of that comparison well, and they now only do subscription, which costs more than Cinema per month, which nearly everyone will hate, and seems ridiculously overpriced to me... 

 

But, in the interests of fairness,  those other 2 aren't without their own problems - TG has an initial learning curve that is a bit like a vertical wall, and WC, whilst a joy to use, with its extra shiny GUI and a fairly gentle slope into its sensible intuitive workflow, needs a pretty high end graphics card to work fast enough, has some reliability issues of its own, and you couldn't exactly call its plant library extensive. But it is £300, perma-license, which is a lot of bang for buck, and its terrains are properly breathtaking and real-time, which is an amazing thing to see... can you tell ? - this one wins that battle for me 😉 

 

All offer demos, so best bet is to try them all and see what you like best for the price...

 

CBR

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I create YouTube tutorials for e-on on PlantFactory and have worked for them on a freelancer basis for many years, after having used both softwares for more than 15 years. An update for R21 for Vue is not out yet, but the current version works fine in R20 and R21 is supposed to be supported soon. Is there anything in particular you would like to know?

 

I am probably a little biased as I do freelancing stuff for e-on and I am not allowed to say too much of what's going on behind the scenes, but e-on has put a lot of effort in the last two years to gradually catch up with the industry standard. While a full core rewrite like with C4D is not currently underway, dozens of issues have been fixed (and are still being fixed continuously), code and modules are refactored one by one and the software opens up very much towards professional pipelines. Subscription model and pricing aside (as this is more of a sales topic and less a development topic), the current subscription version has introduced support for OpenVDB import and export (including animation) for bringing Vue's cloud layers into other DCC apps, LOD baking and exporting (billboards included), support for PBR and Substances, gradually more features for the Path Tracer (unfortunately at an even slower pace than ProRender updates in C4D, but still...), more texture baking options and - released just two weeks ago - a first tech preview for native import of PlantFactory species in 3DS Max and Maya, with C4D, Blender, Houdini, Unreal etc. supposedly to come next year. Also, for PlantFactory, more realtime integration options are planned. Integration plugins are also very stable now and are supposed to be gradually revamped over time as well.

 

Cerbera has lots fair points on e-on's past problems and mistakes, but a lot of these things have changed by now as well. Tech support is really good nowadays and while the subscription model has the same Pros and Cons that we have to tackle now with MAXON's move away from MSAs, it helped at least to consolidate the product palette into two versions, differentiated only by export options and rendering resolution (the software features themselves are identical between Creator and Professional versions), and to release a new update every quarter with more focus on stability and pipeline integration.

 

I don't want to make a sales pitch here, but I wanted to give a bit of insight from someone familiar with the company and tools that things are indeed changing drastically at e-on, even though at a slow pace. Subscription or not: due to the ongoing fixes and code refactoring, the current versions are the best yet, with lots of work still to go for the developers...

And as for PlantFactory, the software has always been really stable from the very beginning and is overall more powerful than Speedtree. The learning curve is steeper, though.

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First of all let me say thanks for the robust, informative responses. I’ve just recently joined so this quite encouraging to see.

 

I’m in the early stages of investigating C4D.

 

I’ve been in need of updating my hardware for quite a while - like many Mac users, I was waiting for the release of the new Mac Pro.  My first impression of the consumer reaction to this new machine was that there may be not be a real future for 3D in the MacOS environment (because of the limited choice of graphics cards as well as the processor speeds being offered).

 

Then after reading about Metal, I started thinking that instead of switching to PC or Linux hardware, it might be feasible to switch to more Mac-agreeable software (from Maya to C4D).  I’ve read that Apple is working with C4D to adapt to Metal. I believe this includes RedShift.  Otoy (Octane) reported this week that they are close to releasing software that utilises Metal.  They’ve confirmed that buyers of the new Mac Pro will get a free year subscription to Octane X Enterprise.

 

I’m not sure I trust Autodesk to make (Metal) changes anytime soon (but I haven’t found any info about their plans either way).

 

So I’m looking for software that can generate natural environments within C4D and is agreeable with (and hopefully optimised for) the hardware options for a Mac user.  I have more research to do but it looks like I may end up choosing the following:

 

3.3GHz (4.4GHz TB) 12-core Intel Xeon W

Radeon Pro W5700X with 16GB of GDDR6 memory (available soon reportedly)

 

Anyway I'm determined to at least investigate the Mac hardware option - hopefully this won't turn into a Mac vs Linux/PC thread.  

I haven't developed a loyalty to any terrain and landscape visualisation software - open to ideas.

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