Exluna is hoping to back up the buzz with a powerful, affordable, rendering tool that will enable artists to use shading, lighting, painting, and rendering to alter the appearance of 3D objects. Affordable in this case means $1500 per CPU or dual-processor system-less pricey than, say, Ren derMan at $5000 to $8000, but still out of most hobbyists' range. According to the company, digital artists in film, television, design, CAD, and game development who have not until now had access to powerful rendering tools represent Entropy's target market.
In terms of features, Entropy offers scanline rendering and its own shading engine and imaging and antialiasing algorithms for fast rendering of complex scenery. Raytraced reflections, refractions, and shadows are available, as are true area lights, global illumination, and caustics. Entropy supports multithreaded rendering and programmable shading, with support for shaders written in the RenderMan shading language. It is compatible with scene files and shaders written for either BMRT or RenderMan.
Entropy is available now as a standalone package, but a version that will integrate with Discreet's 3ds max and 3d studio viz as a plug-in is due out this fall. Plug-in versions for other products are also on the way.
Entropy runs on Linux, Windows NT/2000, and SGI Irix operating systems. (Exluna; www.exluna.com)-JD