E-on Expands Its World-Building Capabilities

Software from natural image digital content specialist E-on is used just about everywhere digital greenery is required. This summer E-on is pushing its ability to “grow” content in new directions.

E-on specializes in nature. The company’s products generate ‘scapes of land, sea, and sky for professional 3D modelers as well as that growing market of enthusiasts. Its technology has been used in just about every movie with a leaf in it including Avatar (which seems to have used just about every software with a pixel in it), Clash of the Titans, The Wolf Man, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassas, and a whole lot more. At Siggraph earlier this year, the company showcased new versions of its flagship Vue programs including Vue 9 xStream and Vue 9 Infinite. Vue 9 Infinite is a standalone product used to create natural environments. Its companion product, Vue 9 xStream works within leading 3D modeling and animation products.

Image of the Day from E-on
Carlos Silva created this image using E-on's Vue Infinite 8

The company also had a few surprises for attendees including demos of new products, Carbon Scatter and LumenRT for architectural projects. With these new products, E-on is venturing into new territory. LumenRT looks a little like Autodesk’s Showcase and Carbon Scatter creates humans and creatures for crowd scenes. In this it resembles Massive’s software for crowd generation.

E-on’s main technology enables naturalistic settings by “growing” organic forms so that plant life is consistent yet each element—flower, leaf, steam, etc. is naturally diverse. The company also promises realistic clouds, water, rock forms and the product line includes fantasy as well as more earth-bound scapes.

The new Vue 9 includes new features such as EcoSystem 4 for better rendering and memory management, relighting to adjust scenes after they’re rendered, HDR multi-pass rendering, HyperBlob technology to convert hyperTextured MetaBlogs to polygon objects with user defined LOD (level of detail), new tools for terrains, network rendering, auto saving and new tools including Rocky Mountains fractals, Inverse Kinematics, Cloud Radiosity, etc. E-on promises the new products in Q4, 2010.

The company is also introducing LumenRT for architectural and design projects. It’s designed for creating static renders in which users might want to move objects around in their scene. The company says its technology can be used to create an interactive showroom, demonstrate design concepts, visualize 3D models in client presentations, showcase projects in 3D environment.

Also being readied for release is Carbon Scatter. The company says this is a collection of plug-ins that will varied produce populations using the native instancing technologies of leading CG applications. The company says the new technology is based on its patented EcoSystem algorithms that can be called from inside popular 3D applications and then rendered using the host applications renderer or another renderer of choice. Carbon Scatter works with 3DS Max Mental Ray and Vray. The company is developing versions for Maya, Cinema 4D, LightWave, and Softimage. Interested beta testers are asked to check out carbonscatter.com. And again, there is no release data for Carbon Scatter. The company is still in the process or recruiting testers. In this case, E-on promises to offer similar capabilities to Massive for a lower price tag.

However, since neither LumenRT nor Carbon Scatter are shipping products or even have a shipping date, the world will just have to wait and see what they come up with.

Rendering and visualization are increasingly being used in more day-to-day contexts and as this happens, they’re many more companies getting on board. E-on was founded in France in 1997 by Nicholas Phelps. The company now has offices in Beaverton, Oregon and Paris.

If you’d like to try your hand at world-building, E-on has partnered with Daz 3D (which offers digital people for sale), 3D Artist Magazine, and 3D Cornucopia content to sponsor a contest. Build a world, put people in it and submit it by October 4. Details are here.