Denton, Texas - Version 9 of SiTex Graphics' AIR rendering software includes powerful new illumination features, enhanced interactive rendering, and a new incremental rendering mode. AIR Stream, a new rendering plug-in for Maya, is now available for beta testing by AIR users.
Release 9 of the AIR production renderer gives users additional lighting controls for performance and flexibility. A new set of light shaders allows shadows and illumination to be baked to 3D texture maps and re-used for accelerated re-rendering. The same shaders can also utilize shadows or illumination baked to 2D maps with SiTex Graphics' BakeAIR texture baker. For optimized rendering of interiors, AIR 9 has a new portal light shader for efficiently simulating incoming light from windows and doors.
AIR 9 extends the ability to record a separate output image for each light by allowing each light's image to include the light's contribution to reflections and global illumination. This additional information produces a more accurate result when light channels are tweaked and combined in compositing. AIR's fragment shadow maps (used for "deep" mapped shadows) are now more accurate in scenes with high depth complexity. Image-based lighting with global illumination has been greatly accelerated in many common cases, and new environment map controls allow users to tune performance and quality.
Release 9 includes many other additions to the core AIR renderer including a new micropolygon shading mode and an option for view-independent tessellation of curved primitives.
TweakAIR, the interactive version of AIR, includes a new command to move the camera during an interactive session. View manipulation during interactive preview rendering is supported in the RhinoAIR plug-in for the Rhino modeler and in the AIR Space visualization application included with AIR.
For the first time the AIR distribution includes documentation and interface files for the TweakAIR API, which has been extended to allow TweakAIR to run in batch mode for scripted incremental rendering. The new batch mode can be used to efficiently render image sequences that capture incremental changes to a scene, such as swapping environment maps, changing shaders, tweaking lights, or moving the camera.
With release 9 SiTex Graphics also introduces a new common product licensing policy. Anyone with an active AIR license now has access to TweakAIR and BakeAIR, which no longer require purchase of separate licenses.
AIR Stream is a new Maya rendering plug-in designed to provide an easy-to-use Maya to AIR workflow. AIR Stream was created by Hai Nguyen to meet the demands of visual effects production, and earlier versions of the plug-in have already been used successfully on several projects. The first public beta of AIR Stream is available as a free download on the AIR user group.
About SiTex Graphics
SiTex Graphics (Denton, Texas) provides advanced rendering software for visual effects, 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.
More information is available on the SiTex Graphics web site: