Specular International is about to launch a major upgrade to Infini-D, due to ship at Macworld Expo in August.
Important new features include signficantly faster ray tracing, animated lens flares, animatable Booleans, shadow catchers, and transparency in Phong shading mode.
Ray tracing is now two to five times faster than in the previous version, according to the company. Lens flares are completely customizable and animatable. Controls include color, intensity, glow, halo, streaks, reflections, rotation, and scale.
You can designate any object as a shadow catcher, so that you can catch and render shadows for complex objects; this makes it easy to composite a 3-D object onto a photo or live video with a realistic-looking shadow.
Specular is also reducing the price of Infini-D to $695 list (about $399 street). For $895 list (about $599 street), you get the Infini-D 3.5 Production Studio, which includes Specular BackBurner 3.5, a distributed rendering system for accelerating 3-D rendering; the Specular Replica CD library of 3-D models and surfaces; and the updated Specular Pro-Resource CD, which includes scenes, animations, surfaces, tips, and techniques.
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