nVidia will begin a beta program for the next version of its Gelato rendering engine in September. The software uses the company's graphics cards to render scenes from 3ds Max and Maya.

Gelato 2.1 provides faster raytracing, with NVidia claiming an average 30 per cent improvement over Gelato 2.0 with a smaller memory footprint for dense polygon meshes. It offers easier texture baking and full support for Maya bake sets, according to nVidia.

Improved stereo rendering features a new off-axis projection mode and a better anaglyph (red/blue) display in the image viewer.

The software has also been updated for Maya 8 and Windows 64-bit.