ArchVision Hi-Res Deciduous RPC Collection Reviewed
By Jeff Mottle (email@example.com)
Marking the first of many upcoming hi-res RPC libraries, ArchVision recently released a North American Deciduous collection containing 75 trees each 2500 pixels high.
Those of you that have used past RPC tree collections will see a substantial increase in image quality and resolution. This translates into being able to get much closer to the trees and using them for foreground elements rather than the mid and background shots that previous libraries were typically used for.
This Hi-Res collection is licensed and distributed using their new ACM (ArchVision Content Manager) technology, making the process of getting up and running virtually seamless. The process is quite simple. Once you purchase your content it will become available to you online. You then right click on the ACM tray icon and click download. All of the content that has not yet been downloaded appears in the dialog box. Your content and license is downloaded and installed and you need simply to start placing it with your RPC enabled application. Of all the licensing mechanisms I have seen in the CG industry, I have to admit it is probably one of the most straightforward systems out there, involving minimal user intervention and a very welcomed lack of complicated authorization codes and setups.
You will need a fairly good hi-speed Internet connection if you do choose the download route as each of the 75 RPC packages ranges in size from 2-9MB in size with a total size of 325MB for the entire collection.
As you can see from the samples below the quality even close up is very good with very carefully created alpha masks.
The only drawback to this new collection is that they are only a 2D collection. Unlike their earlier counterparts which are full 3D RPCs, this collection is really limited to still images. While they can be used in animations because the RPC technology ensures that the tree bitmap always faces the camera, in most fly-through situations this would lead to some potentially odd looking scenarios. If used in the background or in shots where the camera angles did not reveal their 2D nature, you could get away with it, but due to file size and memory requirements would likely be better off using one of their existing 3D RPC tree collections.
If you need a hi-res tree collection that is well photographed, lighted and masked, and will be primarily using it for hi-res still imagery, then this collection is worth a careful look. The combination of RPC flexibility and the hi-resolution nature of each tree make for a great match. For animations I would continue to look at their exiting 3D RPC collections. The Hi-Res Tree collection retails for $349.00 US and can be purchased and direct downloaded from the ArchVision website at http://www.archvision.com.If you would like to post comments or questions about this review, please visit our forum
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