E Frontier has released Shade 8.5, a free update to its 3D modelling and rendering software. The update offers a Universal Binary release, which adds support for Intel processor-based Macs, and a version for Windows XP 64-bit Edition.

According to e Frontier, the Universal Binary of Shade 8.5 runs up to 20 per cent faster than version 8.0. The XP 64 release allows the application to access more RAM, and process more data at once.

Shade 8.5 includes an improved user interface, says e Frontier. The bounding box display is supported in PoserFuson, which ShadeExplorer gains support for the background and sound catalog.

Users can import and export sound files in Shade 8.5, with support for 3D sound. Panoramic and object movies can be exported in QuickTime VR format. The new Path Constraints plug-in makes linking motion easier, while FogPlus creates advanced Fog effects.

The upgrade also ships with the Shade Content Collection 3, which offers 690 models under a theme of 'Cars and Transport'.

Shade 8.5 costs $199 (around £115), with the Professional version $899.99 (around £515).