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ART Ups 3D Raytracing with 64-bit RenderDrive

ART VPS has released a new 64-bit version of its RenderDrive network system that can accommodate up to 48 of the company's AR350 dedicated raytracing processors. This comes on the heels of last weeks release of the new Pure PCI-X raytracing card, offering twice the processing power of its predecessor.

The new RenderDrive RD6400 provides off-line, final-frame rendering for an unlimited number of users. It can address model sizes of 30-million polygons or more at resolutions that exceed the capabilities of current display devices and printers. Faster I/O speeds are provided by a new gigabit networking system. RenderDrive RD6400 is available in configurations of 16, 36 and 48 AR350 processors.

"RenderDrive RD6400 creates nearly unlimited possibilities for ultra-photorealistic imaging," said Brian Tyler, ART VPS ceo. "Designers and artists can transcend previous limitations of geometry size, resolution, or administrative problems associated with renderfarms and software rendering."

The AR350 processor within RenderDrive is specially designed to provide raw performance that speeds up the raytracing process. RenderDrive enhances efficiency by assessing each frame and adapting ray depth requirements for specific sections of the image. The AR350 raytracing chips process 66 million ray-triangle intersections per second per core. Each AR350 has two cores.

The RenderDrive RD6400 is bundled with RenderPipe plug-in interfaces for current and past versions of 3ds Max, Maya, Autodesk VIZ and CATIA. RenderPipe supports Windows and Mac OS platforms. It contains a library of advanced materials, lighting tools, ray tracing, radiosity, HDRI support, motion blur and depth of field. RenderPipe will support global illumination in its next release, slated for early fall.

ART VPS's hardware raytracing technology is being used in a number of new applications, such as producing computer-generated photographs of prototype cars that are indistinguishable from the real thing and creating 3D animations with photorealistic quality.

Burrows, a design agency specializing in the automotive industry, uses RenderDrive for billboard-sized renderings and realistic animations of Ford and Mazda products. These images would be impossible to produce with software renderings, according to Derek Price, creative head at Burrows.

"Even though computers have advanced, an interior image that mimics real-life photography with 20 lighting sources, soft shadows and raytraced shadows would virtually shut down the computer, even for a test render," added Price. "RenderDrive is the only solution we've found that can handle the large CAD data sets we require and give us the highest level of realism for Ford's automotive marketing materials."

ART VPS Ltd. ( offers hardware-accelerated 3D ray tracing that improves design and marketing communication and helps reduce the time and cost required to bring a new project to market. ART VPS systems are used by some of the world's leading design and manufacturing companies, including Learjet, Nikon and Procter & Gamble; architectural firms such as Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Chapman Taylor Partners; entertainment companies such as IBM Interactive and Walt Disney Imagineering; and digital post-production studios such as Burrows and Saddington & Baynes.

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Rick DeMott
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