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LinkedIn Learning

Animating a Landscape with VUE

via LinkedIn Learning


Create an animated digital landscape with photorealistic effects using VUE. Learn about modeling natural materials, lighting, keyframing, and rendering the animation.

Rendering a photorealistic animated landscape is possible with VUE, a powerful application for creating computer-generated natural environments needed for visual effects, animation, architectural visualization, and illustration. In this course, Aaron F. Ross demonstrates the VUE workflow for digital nature, including interoperability with other 3D programs, terrain sculpting, populating the scene with plants, daylighting and atmospheres, complex material functions, keyframe animation, and production rendering.

Realistic skies and lighting are achieved with the VUE photometric spectral atmosphere model. This course covers adding animation to plants, water, and clouds with procedural wind effects. Aaron also shows how to create camera movement by employing the Timeline's intuitive tools, including animation and curve editing. Rendering many animation frames poses challenges not experienced with still image rendering, and so the course concludes with key strategies for optimizing the balance between image quality and rendering time.


  • Welcome
  • Using the exercise files
  • Setting application options
  • Choosing display options
1. Scene Layout
  • Importing a model
  • Framing the camera shot
  • Sculpting a terrain
  • Adding water
  • Scattering plants
  • Populating with the EcoSystem Painter
2. Lighting
  • Directing sunlight
  • Editing atmosphere parameters
  • Adding a cloud layer
  • Editing a cloud function
  • Filtering cloud density
  • Controlling exposure
3. Materials
  • Managing materials
  • Editing materials
  • Material nodes in the Function Graph
  • Adding node outputs with a Combiner
  • Creating a gradient color map
  • Fine-tuning with a Slope Filter
  • Bump mapping
  • Displacement mapping
  • Compositing mixed materials
4. Animation and Rendering
  • Auto-keyframing in the Timeline
  • Manual keyframing
  • Function curve editing in the Animation Graph
  • Rendering a preview
  • Adding wind to plants
  • Adding cloud wind
  • Keyframing the atmosphere
  • Setting Render options
  • Rendering animation
  • Next steps

Taught by

Aaron F. Ross

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