Pixels has began shipping Pixels 3D 4.0, the latest major release of its 3D modeling, animation and rendering program for the Mac.
The new version now integrates ShaderMaker Pro, which provides procedural shading capabilities. The software was formerly a stand-alone tool. Particle systems are also included, enabling animators to create more natural-looking fluid and smoke effects. Pixels 3D 4.0 also incorporates more object types -- new primitives, curves, polygons and metaballs. The new version also features relational modelling and stackable, non-destructive modifiers.
The new version now sports a 100 per cent OpenGL user interface, taking better advantage of available hardware acceleration, according to the developer. Using the AttributeManager, version 4.0 users are able to organize and control every aspect of a scene from objects, lights and shaders to rendering options and keyboard shortcuts.
A new rendered called Tempest provides better quality images than before, with improved quality and speed. Tempest supports displacement shaders, subsurface scattering, ray marching, depth-of-field effects and motion blur, and can render in batch mode.
Alas, Pixels 3D is not yet Mac OS X native. It requires Mac OS 9.1 or later, and does support Mac OS X's Classic mode, however. It costs $599 for the full version (around £450). Upgrades for previous releases cost $249. Academic and other pricing is available.