Exton, Pa. — Bentley Systems, Incorporated acquired e-on software, a leader in the creation, simulation, and integration of natural 3D environments, with software development based in Paris, France. E-on software is widely acclaimed in the digital content creation (DCC) market, where its VUE and PlantFactory products are a mainstay among computer graphics (CG) professionals in the media and entertainment, science, and education industries.
E-on’s offerings have been used in the making of numerous blockbuster films, including Minions, Jupiter Ascending, How To Train Your Dragon, Avatar, The Hunger Games, The Avengers, Hugo, and Terminator. Headed by founder Nicholas Phelps, e-on software, operating as a Bentley subsidiary, will continue to develop innovative solutions for the unique challenges of the DCC community.
Phelps said, “For over 20 years, I have dedicated e-on software to creating and supporting the best digital nature solutions. While initially only focused on serving the media and entertainment industry, we recognized in recent years a growing need among architects and engineers to ‘tell their story’ in a more compelling way. We responded to this by leveraging our expertise in visual effects to also create easy-to-use products such as LumenRT that bring quick, high-quality ‘movie production’ to the architectural and engineering market.
“I am thrilled to join Bentley Systems to explore and extend these avenues together. Bentley is a fantastic company that shares our passion for technological excellence. It will be a great home for e-on software to thrive in. We gain access to a highly qualified user base, substantial resources, and new distribution channels that will allow us to walk boldly into the future and produce ever more exciting and versatile natural environment simulation and integration products, putting Hollywood movie quality into the hands of engineers and artists alike, around the world!”
Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley said, “With our acquisition of e-on software, reality modeling for architects and engineers to capture existing conditions and provide context for proposed infrastructure designs can now be enlivened with digital nature. The natural world is the backdrop for all infrastructure projects and, as individuals, we all experience elements such as trees, skies, and terrains as being intrinsically vital to our quality of life. With the ‘cinematic’ quality of LumenRT environments, every architect and engineer can envision and present his or her proposed design alternatives as they would be experienced in actual operation in nature.”
In 2014, e-on’s LumenRT software achieved a breakthrough in enabling “live” natural environments to be easily incorporated within the work of infrastructure engineers for improved “real-time” design context and for stakeholder communications with life-like qualities. Bentley users are already benefiting from the integration of LumenRT’s capabilities with Bentley’s MicroStation-based common modeling environment for advancing infrastructure.
David Burdick, formerly e-on vice president of marketing and now Bentley Systems industry executive, visualization, said, “With LumenRT, users can enliven their designs with a full complement of environmental elements such as moving people, breeze-animated plants, rippling water, windy skies, and man-made objects such as vehicle simulations and traffic. The ability to couple Bentley’s infrastructure solutions with LumenRT provides an unsurpassed ability to craft more environmentally coherent designs while streamlining the ability to communicate winning design stories to all stakeholders.”
Bentley Systems Executive Vice President Ray Bentley said, “I have spent my working career advancing the quality of 3D representations of infrastructure. But there’s always been something missing – the ability to immerse designs within their dynamic context and natural environments, conveying their operational and aesthetic qualities. With LumenRT and our recent acquisition of Acute3D ‘context capture’ software – which automatically generates 3D reality meshes from digital photographs – we can now enable all of our users to readily take advantage of ‘enlivened’ reality modeling!”
VUE and PlantFactory
VUE products enable VFX studios, animators, architects, matte painters, and CG professionals to create exceptionally rich and realistic digital nature environments. VUE provides all the tools required to efficiently model and animate synthesized natural 3D environments. It is a flexible and versatile package designed to integrate seamlessly with all production workflows. VUE xStream can be used directly inside of all leading 3D software packages, including 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, LightWave, and CINEMA 4D.
Scott Brisbane, senior matte painter, Weta Digital, said, “VUE is one of the most artist-friendly tools I’ve ever used. It has become an essential package in the environment creation workflow I have developed over 10 years of production on films like Avatar, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Croods.”
Jean-Denis Coindre, matte painter at Universal Pictures – Illumination Mac Guff, said while using VUE on the film Minions, “No other software can create natural environments in full 3D as quickly and fluidly as VUE does! It’s a very versatile and impressive piece of software. It would be totally insane to even try doing what VUE does in any other tool!”
PlantFactory products are dedicated to the accurate modeling of dynamic, wind-animated plants. They produce versatile results that are used both in the DCC and architectural and engineering markets.
Frederic Bec, landscape architect, said, “As a landscape architect, I find PlantFactory to be a fantastic tool! I can show my clients what their projects will look like in any season throughout the year, or what they’ll be like in 10 years.”
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