I am really struggling to understand this VUE rendering in MicroStation CE Update 16. IMHO this render engine is actually useless and a lot of settings don't really make sense.
Below a couple of things that I just can't figure out/understand:
1. There appears to be no connection between Render Quality and Intensity/Contrast? Are you supposed to change the Intensity and Contrast manually every time after creating a rendering?
2. When going to Atmosphere Editor > Environment Map tab > enable Environment Map and selecting an image the Reflection Map and Illumination Map show the selected/chosen image. Why is this? It actually causes confusion.
3. Why does clear glass not look transparent but colored glass does? It looks like panel material in the Material Editor (PBR mode)
4. The render result is not consistent as Contrast and Intensity need manual adjustment.
Image with HDRI map, trees/shrubs unloaded (brick color looks different)
Image with HDRI map, trees/shrubs loaded (brick color looks different)
To me VUE rendering is a complete pain and it is user unfriendly. Luxology render gave much better result and was consistent with the result.
The tone mapping for intensity and contrast work exactly the same as they do in luxology, it compresses an HDR image so it can be displayed in standard definition on a monitor.
With regards to the atmosphere dialog. When selecting an environment map, that map is also used for the reflection and illumination maps. If you want a different map for reflection and/or illumination you can choose a different image.
In your material editor screenshots you have 2 different opacity values for your materials one is 70% the other is 20% which is why the second one is more transparent.