SiTex Graphics Air 11 adds Shader Networks, Mesh Baking, and Per-Face Textures
Denton, Texas - SiTex Graphics has released version 11 of its Air production rendering software. Highlights of the new release include:
Shader Networks and Layered Shaders
Air 11 extends the RIB shading architecture to allow multiple surface or displacement shaders to be assigned to an object and connected together to build a shading network from pre-compiled components. The companion Air Stream plug-in for Maya uses this new capability to translate Maya shading networks for rendering with Air. In addition to shader networks, simple layering of multiple shaders can be used to apply different materials to different areas of a surface or to add details such as decals. Extra shaders can also be used to compute additional output values for a render pass.
Release 11 of the BakeAir baking tool has a new mesh baking mode that stores shading results at mesh vertices and exports meshes for later re-use with Air or other rendering engines. Air shaders for occlusion, indirect lighting, and subsurface scattering have been extended to automatically utilize baked values when they are present on a mesh.
PTEX for Per-Face Texture Mapping
The open-source PTEX library defines a new file format that stores a separate texture for each face in a polygon or subdivision mesh, allowing textures to be applied without the assignment of UV coordinates. Air's implementation allows PTEX textures to be used with most existing Air shaders simply by enabling a new attribute. BakeAir can render arbitrary shading results to PTEX textures.
A new environment shader type provides a programmable interface for shading rays that miss all objects in a scene. The Air 11 release includes a physically-based sky environment shader as well as a companion sunlight shader.
Other new features include a deep image hider, tone mapping, directory mapping, smarter texture caching, and new ray tracing optimizations.
About SiTex Graphics
SiTex Graphics (Denton, Texas) provides advanced rendering software for visual effects, industrial design, architecture, and digital content creation. SiTex Graphics' products include: Air, a highly advanced 3D production renderer; BakeAir, the only standalone dedicated renderer for producing high-quality texture maps; and TweakAir, a custom rendering engine for tweaking shading and lighting of production scenes.
More information is available on the SiTex Graphics web site: