updated 08:30 pm EST, Fri December 16, 2011
Can now export as still or animated models, more
Mirya Software has updated its 3D modeling, animation and rendering cross-platform program Shade to version 12.1, bringing with it a new FBX exporter, which allows users to export static and animated models to all major 3D applications and development tools. Poser users can also directly import Poser scenes (using Poser 9 or Poser 2012). The update also incorporates many user-requested fixes and improvements.
The program can generate 3D models from 2D illustrations and allows users to light scenes and arrange camera views, and features extensive modeling, material and surface tools. Shade features volumetric lighting, detailed control over shadow rendering, up to 128-bit depth with color correction, morphing and 3D stereoscopic rendering and exporting. The new v12.1 adds several new monitor preset sizes for the Stereo camera such as the Sharp 3D Smartphone and Nintendo 3DS, and the Parallel and Convergence options in Stereo Camera have been improved along with improvements in stereoscopic rendering.
Some changes in area lighting in v12.1 may cause scenes to render darker by default than they did in previous versions, but users can change the default setting to match the compatibility of Shade 11. The Windows version also adds an iClone exporter for Reallusion iClone (requires iClone v5 or higher).
The app has been available on the Mac since 1990 and for Windows since 1986, making it one of the oldest consistently-used modeling and rendering programs on the market. The latest release includes 80 other minor and updated improvements, including better Mac OS X Lion support, improved radiosity, COLLADA support and more.
Shade v12.1 is a free update to 12.0 users, and owners of Shade 10 or later can upgrade at a discount. A trial version can be downloaded, and the company is hosting a series of live video tutorials via its Facebook page. Shade Basic costs $49 (temporarily on sale through the Mac App Store, normal price is $99), the Standard Edition is $349 and Shade Professional is $749. An iOS viewer version called Shade 3D Mobile is available for free.