Altair Acquires Solid Iris Technologies, Leader in Photorealistic Rendering and Visualization

Rendering technology integration with Altair software portfolio to deliver new user experiences for designers and engineers

TROY, Mich., September 14, 2016, Altair has acquired Solid Iris Technologies, a Greece-based technology company specializing in photorealistic rendering and visualization, with its high-end solution “Thea Render”.  The companies have built a relationship over the past several years, with Altair using Solid Iris’ Thea Render superior technology to provide rendering functionality in its solidThinking Evolve concept design software.

James R. Scapa, Altair’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, notes that, “With the continued growth in performance and cloud availability of high performance computing (HPC), the opportunity to deliver rendering solutions for applications from architectural visualization and product design to entertainment and augmented reality is truly exciting.  We look forward to delivering powerful new capabilities for our software community of designers and engineers.”

Thea Render is a state-of-the-art Biased, Unbiased and GPU renderer with a rich set of innovative features, a powerful material system and its own advanced studio. Integrating this photorealistic rendering technology with solidThinking and Altair products will contribute significantly to a completely new experience to visualize, model and design.  Thea Render is also integrated on many modeling applications, with thousands of users who will benefit from Altair’s global support and training resources.

“Vision is the most important human sense”, says Ioannis Pantazopoulos, Managing Director of Solid Iris, “and it plays a vital role in our understanding of the world.  As we fully integrate our team and technology within Altair, we are committed to advancing the user’s experience such that product creation will seem to occur inside a real scene rather than in front of a computer screen.”

Please visit www.thearender.com to learn more about Solid Iris product line.  Interested to see it live and explore the intersection of design and technology? Join us at solidThinking Converge 2016.

About solidThinking
solidThinking creates, develops, and markets technology that helps organizations make informed decisions and bring the most desirable products to market faster. solidThinking software is sold and supported by a global network of distribution partners and is also available as part of the Altair HyperWorks ® suite. solidThinking is a wholly owned subsidiary of Troy, Mich., (USA)-based Altair. To learn more, please visit solidThinking.com.

About Altair
Founded in 1985, Altair is focused on the development and application of simulation technology to synthesize and optimize designs, processes and decisions for improved business performance. Privately held with more than 2,600 employees, Altair is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, USA with more than 45 offices throughout 20 countries, and serves more than 5,000 corporate clients across broad industry segments. To learn more, please visit www.altair.com.

Media Contacts:
Altair Corporate/ Americas
Biba A. Bedi
+1-757-224-0548 x 406

Altair Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Evelyn Gebhardt
+49 6421 9684351

Thea Render Edition 1.5 Now Available

Solid Iris Technologies announces immediate availability of release v1.5 of the Thea Render physically based rendering platform. While the previous release brought forward updates and new core features, the latest release provides major enhancements and additions to the robust material system as well as new supplemental tooling for end-users. The product line-up has also expanded to include support for the cloud based modelling platform Autodesk Fusion 360.

Thea Version 1.5

Notable features of Thea Render v1.5 include:

  • Coating with Absorption color

  • Improved Shadow Catcher

  • Fresnel Ramp

  • Multi-layer OpenEXR support

  • Online material repository available at thearender.media

A material conversion tool has also been released which enables licensed users to convert Allegorithmic Substance physically based materials into Thea Render materials. For full details about the latest release please visit our corresponding web page  or contact us directly at contact@thearender.com


Thea for Rhino Beta Now Available!

Solid Iris Technologies makers of Thea Render is proud to announce immediate availability of the new Thea for Rhino integrated plugin for industry leading platform McNeel Rhino 5. Thea Render is a powerful physically based biased/unbiased rendering solution that supports GPU accelerated rendering through the use of NVIDIA CUDA technology.

rhino press

Major New Features in Thea for Rhino

  • Production render modes (Biased/Unbiased)
  • Interactive render mode for advanced real-time scene navigation
  • Physically based material design (uniform material creation for all render modes)
  • Physically based Environment support (Sun/Sky)
  • HDRI lighting (IBL) support
  • Physically based Camera and Light support
  • Proxy and Instancing support
  • Exporter to Thea Studio for further staging and material/lighting adjustment

Thea for Rhino is available now at www.thearender.com/rhino and existing Thea Render customers can purchase the new integration plugin immediately. New customers will be able to purchase the full bundle which is comprised of the standalone Thea Studio package as well as the integrated plugin. Thea for Rhino currently supports 64-bit Microsoft Windows operating systems (Vista onwards) and is compatible with 64-bit Windows edition of McNeel Rhino 5.


Thea Render Edition 1.4 Tech Preview

Delivering upon the promise of an even faster physically-based biased/unbiased renderer, improvements of Thea Presto which supports NVIDIA CUDA technology for its GPU engine were made possible. While staying true to our principle that combination of CPU and GPU devices provide stunning visual quality and short render times, release 1.4 provides a range of new robust features and improvements.

Major New Features in Edition 1.4

Improved Interactive Render (Thea Presto)
With a progressive supersampling and faster build times, the interactiveness of Presto engine has been substantially improved.

Motion Blur (Thea Presto)
All types of Thea Render motion definitions are now supported by Presto. This enables end users to render efficiently transformation motion blur within fraction of typical render times.

Displacement Mapping (Thea Presto)
Originally available in Thea Render CPU engines, displacement mapping is now available on all engine modes including Presto GPU.

Render Channels (Thea Presto)
Major focus has been placed on providing channel support for Thea Presto. Not only CPU unbiased core channels are supported but additional channels have been implemented, such as UV, Position, Mask and Shadow.

Faster Caustics (Thea Adaptive BSD)
Photon map caustics in biased engine have been dramatically improved in both render times and memory footprint terms.

Overall Optimizations
All the CPU engines on Apple OSX and Linux platforms have now up to 25% better performance. Memory footprint has been dramatically improved for Presto CPU.

Bucket Rendering (Thea Presto)
Rendering high resolution images with multiple channels is usually an issue since the GPU memory can be a restricting factor. With our bucket rendering implementation of Presto, we managed not only to overcome this potentially limiting factor but also to improve scalability on bigger render clusters.

Relight Support (Thea Presto)
Besides extended channel support, Presto supports now Relight which is a powerful feature for producing lighting animation sequences with just a single render.



Faster Caustics


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