E-On software, developers of Vue 6 Infinite, my 3D package of choice for landscape visualisation, are running a feature on my recent work. It’s quite nice to have been picked by them to show off what the software can do.

But I am left with a little sour taste in my mouth. The latest “update” for Vue 6 Infinite breaks network rendering on the Mac. And what am I currently working on? A large scale animation of a digital elevation model (DEM) of a world heritage site. What do I need? A render farm of lots of computers. Great.

So I’ve rolled the software back to its previous state, and net rendering works again. Or so it seemed. Network rendering using the “HyperVue” and “RenderCow” elements of Vue are shockingly unreliable. I’ve battled with it for years, and it seems to actually be a lot worse than it ever used to be.

Over the last week or so, every render but one (say 9 out of 10) have failed. Either the RenderCow clients have crashed, or the whole thing has gradually just… stopped. Without finishing. Maybe 300 out of a 1000 frames are rendered. Next try, it’ll do 162. The RenderCows just permanently get stuck, one by one.

I’ve got support tickets open, but E-On are going to have to do something quite major to fix this.

Unfortunately, even though I’m now being used to advertise their software, I can’t actually recommend it if you need to do any large scale animations, with real deadlines, if you’re a Mac user. It’s great if you want to use it for a hobby, but you can’t rely upon it.

I have a complete love/hate relationship with Vue. It does produce beautiful images that are incredibly difficult to achieve using other software, and it’s quite simple to use, but it’s just so darned unreliable.

There’s now a Personal Learning Edition version of Vue 6 Infinite, if you’re curious about it.