Is it worth it to buy terrain specific apps like Vue Espirit

Hey, I am having alot of trouble making landscapes in Blender. I know it can be done, but it takes forever to make it look good. Would it be worth it to buy Vue Espirit or something to do this (I want grass and trees and stuff so Terragen won’t work). I don’t want Bryce because it doesn’t seem as flexible.

Also, Blender isn’t really handling high poly counts for grass and trees and mountains. These programs are designed for it. Will it make me look like a wimp if I buy one of these? I have never bought 3D software before and this would be my first purchase!


I haven’t really done much landscape modeling in Blender, but I’ve seen some pretty good looking landscapes from it.

For the landscapes, you can use the noise button in the editbuttons(you probably already have tried this though). You can also try Blender World Forge (don’t have a link on me right now though), it’s pretty neat, but gets a little complicated to use.

For grass, Fiber (don’t have a link for this either) or static particles work pretty well. Trees can be tough: you can try to use images on planes for them if you’re worried about high poly count, or just find a good tree model and import it. Arbaro, mentioned in another thread, is pretty good at generating trees.

Remember, if things start running slow in Blender because of high poly objects, you can always set the draw mode to bounding box (under the draw tab in the Object Buttons (F7) go to the drawtype menu and select bounds… You can even change the shape of the bounding “box”)

Just mess with stuff, and you may run into something that looks good :slight_smile: .

Yea I tried Vue Espirit and it sucks really really bad. My computer is really old (400 Mhz) so I think the solution is to get a new computer. I have trouble with animation too. The thing I don’t like about halo particles is that although they are much faster than geometry, they don’t do anything with the raytracer. This makes it very hard to use them. Geometry will probably work fine once I get a new iBook next year (when they come out with the new ones, or maybe I’ll wait for a Powerbook G5!)


If it’s slowing down in the edit mode try tricks like using subserf and setting it to 0 in edit mode. use verts and bump map type things to save yourself from tedious moddeling and keep several layers only selecting them all when needed. As for rendering that’s going to be slow for any app any computer I think to some degree.

I think Bryce 5 is like Vue D’Espirit. I have it, and I use it some times. It’s a pretty neat package, even though it doesn’t have many modelling features (most 3d landscapers don’t). It has a great internal renderer and a lot or preset materials and objects. Plus metaballs and boolean modelling. You can also import models from Blender or other 3d apps. Plus, if Im not mistaken, it is CHEAPER than Vue D’Espirit. I’d take a peek at that too, if you want to model landscapes. (You cannot export them, however, so if you want to use blender, youd have to model in it, then export to bryce…) Oh well, it depends on what you want to do…

You could use a true displacement script and use a texture or a drawing to extrude from.

There’s also a new feature that came with blender 2.35a Some feature in static mode to scale an object by using steps. Make a blade of grass, parent it to a plane, hit duplicate. Don’t know how to use the scaling yet. Cant tell you if you ask. Oh, duplivert it with the terrain to create a better affect, also ask dreamgate, she did a good one a while ago.

Found it

It’s a particle duplicator that use the IPO to create some kind of effect.

My impression is that Vue d’Esperit (and World Builder) are very specialized softwares for realistic landscapes rendering. I love the results of both, although not owning none I’m very tempted for the last VUE5 . I think that Blender is not comparable to VUE5 for landscapes and its internal tools for terrains, textures, global illumination, plants, forest, atmosphere, water,… Which is not contradictory to use Blender and VUE5, since VUE5 lacks lots of features for modeling. My impression is that both could be compatible. Having a 400Mhz computer for 3D is going to make any project difficult, though :slight_smile:

yea but thats a really high vert count with dupliverts, and halos suck right now. thats all I’m saying.

Well, that’s why you use duplivert, You don’t have to convert it to mesh to render it, so you only have to worry about the noise or vertex layout.

If you still concern that noise can’t make grass here’s one I did

There’s also a fiber script or use beast which is a card randomizer.

These are more then enough options. Please give them a try.

Or you could use povray, since they don’t use mesh when render stuff like grass.


how did you do the grass with noise?

sorry for that dumb question!

I wouldn’t advise using Bryce. I hated it.
Vue d’esprit has lots of presets and is a pro piece of software but I haven’t used it much.

Terragen is good and I totally understand the high poly deal. With a machine as slow as yours, you really have to get into the whole compositing deal. You don’t render your scenes all at once but maybe some trees in one pass and land in another and then put it all together in a compositor.


maybe I’ll wait for a Powerbook G5

I would totally recommend it if I knew they were coming soon.

Vertex in static and shaded Halo in texture.

I don’t have a problem making landscapes in blender now that I have a new powerbook, but it still is a bit tedious. Blender can’t handle more than a certain amount of dupliverted meshes before it crashes. It isn’t very many either. If the vertext count is higher than like 500000 or something it starts to hang. Anyways, fiber works the best.

dont buy
get terragen

S68 created Blender world forge. Perhaps that would be what you’re after.

Although if you want to stay away from crreating landscapes with Blender, download the Forrester program for Terragen. This lets you add trees and objects to a Terragen landscape.


Also don’t forget the Ter2blend script, that lets you import Terragen landscapes into Blender. I used it once a long time ago and it was nice, I donm’t have the url to it though.

Hans Petter

There’s another program called GenesisII by Geomantics that I got free with last month’s (or maybe the month before’s) PC Shopper. It seems fairly powerful to me, though I haven’ tried any others. It can also use 3DS format meshes for objects within the world. Do we have a 3DS exporter?

I think most important are the details. Scale is in the details.
So if you don’t want to model all the detail then get some displacement mapping to do it for you. And if you find it a boring job get some software todo it for you. Terragen seems fine, don’t know much about

But if you don’t do realtime displacement then better be prepaired for large meshes with lots of poly’s.

My WIP on a project I’m working on now. But hush, even the client did not see it yet.
Basic shape made with heightmap ‘smooth’ on grid of 20x20 polys.
Then added detail where needed (vulcano mouth for example).
Now buzy painting the displacementmap and bumpmap. Ramp shading is used to get a better idea of the height.

WorldBuilder owns the competition. I got it for free off a 3D World cover CD :slight_smile: The renderer is very smart in this thing, and you can export to .3DS and other formats (for Blender rendering). Hell, there’s even a function to animate natural erosion of hills, or model that way :smiley:
TerraGen is really only good for smooth hills. It’s essentially just a heightmap renderer…