AIR 2.8 Press Release


June, 2004

Press Release:  SiTex Graphics’ AIR adds Subsurface Scattering and Toon Rendering

Denton, Texas - SiTex Graphics, maker of advanced rendering software, has released the latest version of the AIR production renderer.  Highlights of the latest release include subsurface scattering, outlining for toon rendering and illustration, and smooth mapped shadows. 

Subsurface Scattering

The latest release of AIR efficiently simulates the subsurface scattering effects crucial to accurate rendering of translucent materials such as skin and marble.  Using subsurface scattering is as easy as enabling a single new attribute and selecting one of the new subsurface scattering shaders included with AIR.  Users can add subsurface effects to their own shaders using the new shading language subsurfacescatter() function.  For those users who require even more control, AIR exposes the underlying point sampling capability on which the new subsurface scattering feature is built.  AIR's new "point set" capability allows a cache of illumination samples to be generated over an arbitrary collection of surfaces and then queried in the shading language, facilitating custom subsurface scattering implementations and other exotic effects.

The point sets used for subsurface scattering can be saved to a file and re-used to accelerate rendering of animated sequences and iterative renders.  Subsurface scattering is also available in SiTex Graphics' BakeAIR renderer for "baking" subsurface scattering to texture maps.

Cartoon Rendering and Illustration

AIR 2.8 includes a new high-quality outlining capability for cartoon rendering and illustration.  AIR computes outlines at the sub-pixel level, producing beautiful smooth lines for normal size images, in contrast with other outlining methods that require rendering oversize images to obtain smooth results.  Outlines can be generated for object or region edges and for silhouettes, with user control of region ids, line width, line color, and silhouette detection.  AIR also ships with a new toon shader for cartoon rendering.  Outlining can be combined with other rendering effects in AIR such as global illumination to produce novel illustrations and non-photorealistic renderings.

Smooth Mapped Shadows

AIR now incorporates a new proprietary shadow map filtering algorithm that produces beautiful smooth results and eliminates the need for users to tweak a shadow samples parameter to obtain smooth edges for very blurry shadows.

The newest version of AIR includes many other improvements including faster ambient occclusion, faster true displacement, and new support for distributed rendering of global illumination. 

About SiTex Graphics

SiTex Graphics (Denton Texas) provides advanced rendering software for tv and film, industrial design, architecture, and digital content creation.  SiTex Graphics' products include AIR, a highly advanced 3D production renderer, and BakeAIR, the only standalone dedicated renderer for producing high-quality texture maps.  With sophisticated, economical products and responsive, committed support, SiTex Graphics helps clients achieve outstanding results quickly and efficiently.

More information about AIR is available on the new SiTex Graphics web site:



Scott Iverson

SiTex Graphics, Inc.
804 Sandpiper Drive
Denton, TX 76205
Voice: 940-323-9305



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