Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 4 (April 2000)

SPOTLIGHT: ART Introduces the RenderDrive RD5000

RenderDrive systems comprise both hardware and software that run on specialized rendering processors. The RD5000 is built on the AR350, ART's latest ray-tracing graphics processor, and will deliver between three and five times the performance of the current RenderDrive RD2000 system, according to the company.

Also new from ART is version 2.0 of the software that runs with the RenderDrive. The new version provides a Ren derMan-compliant interface that enables RenderDrive users to fully implement Pixar's extensible shading language. Version 2 also adds support for object motion blur.

Another new software re lease designed to complement version 2.0's embedded Ren derDrive software is Render Pipe RIB, an interface for Ren derMan users that enables the rendering of Ren derMan RIB files generated by major 3D applications such as Alias| Wavefront's Maya and Side Effects Software's Houdini. RenderPipe RIB is available for WindowsNT, Irix, and Linux.

Also new is ART's Ren derPipe Max plug-in for Dis creet's 3D Studio Max and 3D Studio Viz products. Ren der Pipe works with Render Drive to allow users to import, edit, and render RenderMan shaders as part of a 3D Studio Max scene without needing to master the actual shading language itself.

The RenderDrive RD5000 was scheduled to ship in March 2000 at a price of $24,950. (Advanced Rendering Tech-nology, ART; Cambridge, UK; 44-1223-563854;