AIR 4.0 Press Release


December 2005

Press Release: SiTex Graphics Releases AIR 4 with Volume Rendering, TweakAIR

Denton, Texas - SiTex Graphics, maker of advanced rendering software, has released version 4 of the AIR production renderer and BakeAIR texture renderer.  Release 4 adds volume rendering, automatic shadow maps, and significant optimizations for many existing capabilities.

SiTex Graphics has also released TweakAIR, a new rapid re-rendering engine for shading and lighting 3D scenes.

Volume Rendering

AIR 4 features fast and flexible rendering of volumetric effects such as smoke and fog.  A new volume primitive type specifies the basic shape of a volumetric effect.  Shading is accomplished with a programmable shader, which computes local illumination and transparency.  AIR automatically uses the local shading results to evaluate visibility and attenuation for ray queries through the volume.  Users can smoothly balance image detail and rendering time with a single control.

AIR's programmable shaders enable users to combine procedural patterns with user-supplied data to define the appearance of a volume primitive.  AIR provides two methods of attaching data from a simulation or other source to a volume:  in the first method data is assigned to a 3D grid over the region; in the second, data is associated with a set of 3D points within the region.  Data defined with either method can drive arbitrary computations in a programmable shader.  Motion data can also be attached to define intravolume motion blur.

Automatic Shadow Maps

AIR 4 includes a new capability to automatically generate shadow maps on-demand, instead of rendering each map in a separate shadow pass.  "Automaps" provide a third option for computing shadows in addition to AIR's existing support for ray-traced shadows and standard shadow maps.

AIR 4 includes additional optimizations for many existing capabilities, including more efficient curve rendering, more accurate and efficient subdivision surfaces, a new fast sprite mode for point primitives, and enhanced illumination models.


TweakAIR is a new rapid re-rendering tool for shading and lighting 3D scenes in RIB format.  TweakAIR provides a "live" rendered viewport that continuously updates to reflect changes to surface, displacement, or light shaders.  New surface and displacement shaders can be assigned to any object.  Lights can be added and moved, with automatic updates of ray-traced shadows and automaps.  TweakAIR uses a memory-efficient caching scheme and selective shader re-evaluation to greatly accelerate re-rendering of scene elements.  TweakAIR is currently supported by Animal Logic's MayaMan plugin for Maya.

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; 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. 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 SiTex Graphics web site:



Scott Iverson

SiTex Graphics, Inc.
804 Sandpiper Drive
Denton, TX 76205
Voice: 214-520-7186


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