has announced a forthcoming major new version of its Shade 3D software, version 14
, and a change in the way it handles updates. The company will abandon the "monolithic" periodic release model and instead distribute feature updates to Shade 14 throughout its life cycle, the company says. Initial new features in Shade v14 that cover all versions (Basic, Standard and Professional) include a line offset tool, a redesigned 3D text tool, support for the STL format for industrial and commercial 3D printing and more.
The Standard and Professional releases also include Least Squares Conformal Map (LSCM) unwrapping, now integrated into the unwrap editor. The feature now also supports unwrapping into multiple UV islands, using pins to control points and seams that define points of separation. The Professional edition also gains a granular render quality control, making it possible to set different render quality for each light and material in a scene as well as offering superior control over soft shadows, which can produce dramatic savings in the time needed to render.
The Line Offset Tool supported in all editions lets users have a base line with offsets on one or more sides, along with variable repetition rates, gradients, differing angles, rounded corners and so on. The tool is primarily aimed at architectural design to ease the creation of wall thicknesses or staircases. The 3D text primitive works with both OpenType and TrueType fonts, and now offers better interactive control over text within the Shade figure window. The Shade Text Effector now works well with international fonts as well.
Shade 3D includes support for real-time stereoscopy, analglyphic animation rendering, stereograms and other forms of 3D. The real-time stereoscopy requires compatible monitors, glasses and graphics cards, with the new version offering improved usability for 3D printing and 3D prototyping.
Users who bought or currently buy Shade 13 after June 22 of this year will automatically received a free upgrade. Version 14 is expected to ship in late summer, with version 13 currently available from the Mirye Software store
. Shade 3D (Basic, $50) and a free Shade 3D for Unity (optimized for modeling and animating 3d characters for game development) are also available through the Mac App Store.