Digital Element releases Aurora 2


Thanks for posting that bit of information! I went and looked at Aurora 2 and was delighted to find that there was a version for Mac. For a number of years now, one of my few regrets about using a Mac has been that WorldBuilder was a Window's only application. While Bryce satisfied my need for simple world building, it no longer will be made for the Mac OS, unless there is some new change in plans at Corel which is possible as they are constantly on the verge of collapse.

Anyway... Aurora has a capacity unique to PS plugins, and that is treating each layer as a transparency at differing depths to render more realistic 3D effects. While each of the separate capacities, lighting effects, water, and clouds (except for the underwater effect!) are available via some other 3rd party PS plugin, the overall feature set and 3D rendering are unique.

It is on my must-buy-when-I'm-feeling-rich-again list!



Welles said:
While Bryce satisfied my need for simple world building, it no longer will be made for the Mac OS
Vue d'Esprit is a better choice than Bryce and it's available for both Windows and Mac. I use it on a regular basis and it's a very easy to use program (much easier than Bryce) and you can also create better results than Bryce. Worldbuilder is nice too, but you can't create the same natural looking images as you can achieve with Vue d'Esprit. Worldbuilder is also 5 (!) times more expensive than Vue.

Thank you for that tip!!! I had actually toyed with the idea of getting a Windows computer for Bryce 6 but, upon brief use of the demo, it looks as though I'll just start using Vue d'Esprit 4. That was a fabulous tip, Sir, and I thank you.
Dont forget Mojoworld :perfect: a planet fly around in it for hours and never see the same piece of scenery twice,you never run out of polygons either.Also no pixellation whether you fly in from outer space or are 1 foot off the ground.The gui is a bit confusing,but its Mac friendly and knda cool.Mixed with Xfrog Mojoworld would rock.

Mojoworld is very cool and I had never even heard of it before! Thank you for that tip, Stu. I've now blown away nearly a whole day puttering with the demo versions of all three pieces of software which are mentioned in this one thread!

PSG is going to cost me a fortune! :rofl:

I'm gonna look for a job! You guys are a bad influence!
Terragen is free :D

I knwo the feeling Welles - upgrade AE,upgrade C4D,upgrade BP,upgrade the upgrade...and on and on and on....



Great tips Stu, really forgot to mention the other ones :D

Now let's sum it up and show some differences between the programs


For Mac and Windows, free, but if you register for US$79 you also get the ability to render images larger than 1280 x 960, terrains larger than 513 x 513 and enhanced anti-aliasing modes.

The program creates realistic water, skies and clouds. Vegetation is not included.
Development has slowed down over the last few years and it?s showing in some areas.
Still a great product and very popular.


For Mac and Windows, US$249

With Mojoworld you can create landscapes, but Mojoworld really shines when it comes to creating fantasy worlds that includes planets, star systems, planetary rings, etc.
It?s very versatile, great value, vegetation is not included. Animation is included.
The render engine is however slow and the program is also fairly complicated to learn

Vue d?Esprit

For Mac and Windows, US$199

Very easy and fun to use, fast rendering, includes network rendering, vegetation, advanced material/terrain/atmosphere editor, some basic modeling, numerous 3D file import/export filters, animation. Excellent value.
New versions can be quite unstable, but after some maintenance updates most of the problems are solved. Latest version v4.12 is stable.

Here?s an example to show you that you can still create more than just landscapes using Vue d?Esprit?s basic modeling tools, which include only shapes and booleans. ( 100% Vue d?Esprit)

Other products;

World Construction Set

For Windows, $995 Mac version released soon.

Natural Scene Designer

For Mac and Windows, $139

Vista Pro

Only for Windows, only US$34.95

Plant Studio

Windows or emulation on Mac; free!

Create plants models

Xfrog 3.5

For Windows only, Full versionUS$269, Lite vesion US$138

The #1 program to create organic structures

Xfrog 4 ( tip! )

Cinema 4D 8.1 plugin for Windows and Mac. US$299

More info here:
My cup doesn't merely runneth over it floodeth! Well, in order of purchase, I think I'll get Aurora first as I still focus more on Photoshop than any other application. I'll follow that up with Vue d'Esprit 4 to be my Bryce replacement and keep looking at the others. Mojoworld is mighty tempting. Terragen does do beautiful water and I put a vote in at the Plant Studio site for a Mac version.

Thanks Gaussian and Stu for such exhaustive least my fascination with new software is exhausted for the moment!


Water in Terragen looks great without any doubt, but is still limited. Things like large tidal waves, foam, underwater scenes, caustics, a natural looking shoreline or advanced textures are impossible or almost impossible to do in Terragen.