Monday, June 23, 2008

Video Training Review: Vue 6 xStream Essential Training With Larry Mitchell


Reviewed by T. Michael Testi

Vue 6 is the latest release from e-on software for the creation of realistic 3D environments. These include landscapes, buildings, and atmospheres. These creations can be used for both still work as well as animation and have been used to create new worlds for popular films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Spiderwick Chronicles. To learn more about the product itself you can read my review Vue 6 Infinite.

Your trainer for this library is Larry Mitchell, a digital media artist and producer for the last 20 years. He has created graphics and software for TV shows, arenas, video games and commercials. Vue 6 xStream Essential Training is divided into 11 lessons and runs 9.5 hours.

Lesson 1, "Getting to Know Vue" begins with a brief welcome and an explanation of how to use the exercise files. Then you move into an overview of the Vue interface and the rich number of options that are available for you use. You then are shown some essential preferences and how to select and transform objects. Lesson 2, "Vue Objects" gives you a good run through of all of the different objects that you can find in Vue such as primitives, rocks, plants, water, clouds, and terrain.

Lesson 3, "Additional Objects" describes the library, text, and the importation of 3D objects. Lesson 4, "Modeling Objects" teach you about the ventilator objects, Boolean, objects, and group objects. Ventilators are a method to give you a localized wind source so that when the main wind is blowing one way, the ventilator can blow something a different direction. Boolean allows you to use logic to create an new item from more than one object. Group objects allow you to create parent/child and sibling/sibling relationships between objects.

Lesson 5, "Materials" is all about the different types of materials that you can work with from within Vue. Here you will see how to create basic materials, animated materials, eco systems, hyper textures, and sub surface scattering; allowing light to be absorbed or redirected through a material. Lesson 6, "Lighting" shows you how to create different lighting types, how to control and edit lights, and converting objects to area lights.

Lesson 7,"Cameras" guides you through the use of camera. Cameras are how the rendering sees your objects. This includes controlling the camera, showing you what the advanced camera options are, and how to use frame guides to make sure that objects are effectively displayed in your render. Lesson 8, "Working with Atmospheres" is a detailed lesson in making your world appear more real. Here you will work with clouds, the sun, sky, fog, stars, wind, and other things that will give your image depth.

Lesson 9, "Rendering" shows that now that you have created your world, you now need to render it to make it really see it. Here you will work with render quality, render destination, picture size and resolution as well as rendering to animation. Lesson 10, "Animation" shows you how to make your world come to life by giving it movement. Here, along with giving it movement you will see how to animate a plane as well as a car. Lesson 11, "Integrated Workflow" will finish up with how to use Vue 6 with other programs such as Poser, and Cinema 4D.

As with his Poser training, instructor Larry Mitchell takes what is a complex program and really makes it simple to use. He systematically steps through each section and clearly shows you how Vue 6 works. While this title is Vue 6 xStream Essential Training, it contains plenty of information for the Vue family of products.

You can get Vue 6 xStream Essential Training two ways. One is as a DVD training package Vue 6 xStream Essential Training and the other is part of the online training experience at The DVD Training Package is $149 USD and includes Vue 6 xStream Essential Training as well as containing everything you need.

The online training Vue 6 xStream Essential Training comes in three flavors. For $25 USD/month you get all of the videos that are available online (approximately 21,811 videos on 318 topics at this time). For $250 USD annually (or Premium at $375 USD per year) you get all the videos as well as all of the exercise files. Take note that the exercise files are not included with the monthly or annual subscriptions. They are included on the DVD and Premium subscriptions.

You can use Vue 6 xStream Essential Training as a training program for the individual student, as well as the college or vocational teacher looking to supplement their educational materials. It is of benefit to anyone who needs help understanding Vue 6 xStream Essential Training. You can also try out most of the first lesson and more for free at

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