Press Release for Air 13


September 2013

SiTex Graphics Releases Air 13, Air Stream for Maya 2, and SketchAir for SketchUp beta

Seattle, Washington - SiTex Graphics has released its 2013 suite  of rendering products, including version 13 of the Air renderer, version 2 of the Air Stream plugin for Maya, and a beta version of SketchAir, a new plug-in for Sketchup.

Air 13 Highlights

Physically Plausible Shading

Release 13 of Air introduces a new set of physically plausible surface shaders.  The new  shaders are based on new shading language functionality that allows reflections to be sampled based on a specular response function.  Because specular highlights and reflections are treated in a consistent manner, the new shaders require fewer parameters, simplifying material setup and providing physically plausible results.

Interactive Retexturing

Air 13 includes a new Retexture application for interactively altering materials in an image as a post-process.  Rexture works with "deep" images rendered by Air that include extra information that allows Retexture to recompute the final image as materials are interactively edited.  Retexture's simple interface allows even non-technical users to experiment with different materials by, for example, dropping a texture file onto an object and seeing the image update in real time.

Faster Global Illumination

A new radiosity cache for indirect diffuse illumination can greatly accelerate rendering by allowing shading results for indirect sampling to be re-used.  Rendering with indirect bounce light can now be almost as fast as rendering with ambient occlusion.  Ambient occlusion has also been further optimized to work better in complex scenes when rendering with many processing threads.


Air 13 includes several new shaders for creating and shading carpet.  A new carpet instancer shader "grows" carpet on a surface at render time based on user supplied parameters.  The carpet is created as groups of light-weight curve primitives that provide the detail needed for close viewing in a manner that is also efficient to render.  For cases where less detail is required, a new fake carpet surface shader traces a virtual field of fibers to produce a carpet appearance without the memory overhead of creating large numbers of curves.  Air 13 includes a new curve tapering option that can be used to the fine tune the appearance of carpet fibers or other curve primitives.

Air Stream for Maya 2.0

The Air Stream 2.0 rendering plugin for Maya includes builds for Maya 2014.  Maya fluids can now be rendered as surfaces or volumes using Air.  Air volume shaders can be used for global atmospheric effects.  Air Stream now automatically handles hair or fur created with Joe Alter's Shave and a Haircut, and Shave hair and fur can be interactively shaded using TweakAir just like other scene elements.  Stereo rendering is now much easier:  Air Stream automatically adds the extra image and camera information required for stereo rendering to the exported scene file when a stereo camera rig is detected.  Finally, Air Stream 2.0 includes support for additional Maya shaders, as well as new controls for the radiosity cache and curve tapering capabilities in Air 13.

SketchAir beta

SiTex Graphics has announced the first beta release of a new SketchAir plugin for SketchUp.  SketchAir provides a simple and efficient way to render with Air from within SketchUp.  SketchAir is available as a free download on the SiTex Graphics web site.

About SiTex Graphics

SiTex Graphics (Denton, Texas) has provided advanced rendering software for visual effects, industrial design, architecture, and digital content creation for more than a decade. 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:



Scott Iverson

SiTex Graphics, Inc.
5401 36th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126
Voice: 206-937-1853


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