Issue: May 2009


ArtVPS names the day for Shaderlight launch



by James Hilton

ArtVPS, the specialist developer of ray-tracing technology, has announced the launch date for a pre-release version of Shaderlight, a revolutionary new rendering technology that will deliver massive productivity and creativity improvements over traditional ray-trace rendering engines. Shaderlight is being launched as a pre-release version so early adopters of the technology can help shape the software by providing valuable feedback during the key final phase of product development. Shaderlight 0.1 will be available for free download from 1 June 2009.

Shaderlight is a physically based ray-trace renderer that enables 3D artists and other visualisation specialists to make changes to key image attributes at any stage of the rendering process – even on production quality images – without having to restart rendering computations. Users will be able to make interactive changes to materials, environments, lights and textures (the MELT elements) on high resolution images, enabling a level of creative fine-tuning that would be impossible using standard rendering software.

“Ray-tracing is a compute-intensive process and continues to be a bottleneck in the production of high quality computer-generated images and animations,” says Michael Lawson, CTO at ArtVPS. “Because even the smallest change to the factors that define the image means rendering must start again from the beginning, CG professionals are all too often faced with the choice of missing a deadline or compromising on the quality of their final output. Shaderlight removes this obstacle by enabling fundamental changes to be made right up to the point of delivery, maximising creative freedom and ultimately improving the final image.”

The first pre-release of Shaderlight will be a plug-in for 3ds Max, the leading 3D modelling tool from Autodesk. It will be available as a free download from www.artvps.com, where users will be encouraged to share feedback, both with each other and with the ArtVPS development team. “The early reactions we’ve had to Shaderlight have been very positive and the feedback has helped us shape the product moving forward,” explains Lawson. “We want to maintain this important line of communication by engaging with and supporting an active community of early testers and adopters.”

Anyone interested in joining the testing programme can register now at: www.artvps.com

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