Denton, Texas - SiTex Graphics, maker of advanced rendering software, has released version 3.0 of the AIR production renderer and the BakeAIR texture renderer. Highlights of the latest release include geometry export, enhanced toon rendering, support for vector-based texture formats, augmented texture conversion tools, and new performance optimizations.
Geometry Export for Displacement Baking and Modeling
AIR 3.0 introduces a new capability to export any primitive as a polygon mesh in OBJ or RIB format. The new mesh export capability turns AIR's programmable displacement shaders into a powerful modeling tool for adding detailed features to any surface by allowing a displaced surface to be imported back into a modeling package for further manipulation. AIR users working with a pre-release version of AIR 3.0 have already employed this capability to apply detailed textures to free-form surfaces for rapid prototyping. Mesh export is also useful for optimizing rendering of complex objects with or without displacement: a complex primitive can be evaluated once and saved as a polygon mesh for rapid re-rendering.
Enhanced Outlining for Cartoon Rendering and Illustration
The latest AIR release includes many important enhancements to AIR's existing outlining capability for cartoon rendering and illustration. Leading the way is a new robust object-based edge detection algorithm that complements the existing image-based methods. Edges may also now be detected based on differences in depth. Other additions include export of the outline value as an extra output variable and additional shader control of the outlining process. Rendering speed with wide lines has been considerably improved.
AIR 3 has builtin support for vector-based textures when used with the Vtexture shading language extension developed by Alex Segal. (http://www.renderman.ru/vtexture/indexe.html) Vtexture provides shader access to vector-based texture files with an appropriate level of detail. Unlike bitmap textures, vector textures queried with Vtexture exhibit no resolution-related artifacts no matter how greatly the texture is magnified. AIR's builtin support for Vtexture allows vector-based textures to be used with existing shaders that support texture maps instead of requiring new shaders to be written specifically for Vtexture. With VTexture installed, a vector-based texture can be used for any shader texture parameter.
The texture conversion tools included with AIR have been extended to allow conversion between any of the texture formats supported by AIR with user control of data format (8-bit, 16-bit, or floating point), image size, and other image properties. The latest release includes a new display driver for rendering AIR texture maps directly for optimized texture generation using the BakeAIR texture renderer from SiTex Graphics. There is also a new display driver and image reader for HDR high dynamic range files, and the texture conversion tools can directly convert light probe images to AIR environment maps.
AIR 3 includes new optimizations for many core capabilities - including ray tracing, indirect illumination, caustics, and programmable shading - as well as new extensions - such as the new fast volumetric fog function - to accelerate specific, costly rendering effects.
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: