Denton, Texas - SiTex Graphics, developer of advanced rendering software, has released version 5 of the Air production 3D rendering software. Air 5 features fragment shadow maps, more flexible output, and new optimizations for complex scenes.
Fragment Shadow Maps
Air 5 introduces fragment shadow maps, a new map type that overcomes limitations of traditional shadow maps. Fragment shadow maps store multiple samples at each pixel, and each sample includes coverage and transparency information. This additional information allows accurate computation of shadows for semi-transparent objects. Fragment shadow maps also provide much more detailed shadows at a given map resolution, which allows smaller map sizes to be used for scenes with high geometric detail.
Release 5 of Air offers additional control over the data saved during a rendering pass. Air has always allowed multiple images to be rendered in a single render pass. AIR 5 allows users to select precisely which objects appear in each output image, with proper matting of hidden objects in a particular image. Users can now render multiple layers in a single rendering pass instead of rendering each layer in a separate pass.
Enhanced surface and light shaders allow each light’s contribution to the illumination of a surface to be saved as a separate output image for later manipulation in a compositing application. AIR 5 also includes a new shader that computes motion vectors for use with the Reel Smart Motion Blur plugin from RE:vision effects.
Optimizations for Complex Scenes
Air 5 has been further optimized for efficient rendering of complex scenes. New optimizations greatly speed the rendering of motion blurred particles, hair, and fur. Memory use for scenes with large numbers of primitives - such as instanced particle systems - has been dramatically reduced, in some cases by a factor of 6 or more.
Other improvements in Air 5 include higher quality traced reflections, volume primitive extensions, access to additional memory under 64-bit Windows, and new shaders for normal mapping.
About SiTex Graphics
SiTex Graphics (Denton, Texas) provides advanced rendering software for television 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 efficiently accomplish even the most demanding rendering tasks.
More information is available on the SiTex Graphics web site: