SiTex Graphics Celebrates 10 years with AIR 10
Highlights of the new release include:
64-bit Linux Support
AIR is now available as a 64-bit binary for Linux, allowing Linux users to take advantage of the additional memory and improved performance available on modern 64-bit platforms.
With the AIR 10 release SiTex Graphics introduces a new unlimited threading licensing policy that allows an unlimited number of rendering threads on a single machine with a single license.
Pairs of stereo images can now be generated in a single rendering pass. Stereo pairs may be generated for any extra output channel in addition to the standard rgb channels. Unlike some other stereo rendering implementations, stereo rendering in AIR does not require modification of existing shaders.
AIR 10 allows colors to be specified as spectral power distributions to more accurately simulate the interaction of lights and materials. AIR can accurately compute direct illumination based on spectral data - the most important component of the final surface color in most cases - without incurring the performance costs normally associated with full spectral rendering.
Physical Light Sources
AIR 10 includes a new physical light shader that allows illumination to be specified using physical units such as candela or lumens. The new light shader also provides an option to employ IES light profiles for accurately reproducing the illumination from specific light fixtures.
User-defined Structures in the Shading Language
AIR 10 users can define their own structures in the shading language, greatly simplifying the construction and maintenance of complex layered shaders. User-defined structures are a compile-time feature and incur no render-time performance penalty.
Outline Export as Vectors
Vector-based outlines may be exported in SVG format for printing and editing. AIR 10 adds new attributes to include border edges and edges based on the angle between faces in the list of outline vectors.
Many existing AIR features have been optimized for better performance. Procedural primitives may now be evaluated by multiple threads in parallel, helping to alleviate a common bottleneck in multithreaded rendering. Subsurface scattering cache evaluation is now also multithreaded, and SSS cache memory requirements have been reduced. Occlusion may now be computed using a point-based approach, and ray-traced occlusion has been accelerated for very complex scenes.