Altair revs its rendering engine

Sep 14, 2016 | Hot Topics

Altair announced today that it has acquired Solid Iris Technologies, maker of the Thea Render photorealistic rendering engine that’s already in use in Altair’s solidThinking Evolve concept design solution. Thea Render results are gorgeous –check out the gallery, here— and bringing them closer into the Altair fold enables Altair to grow its presence in Thea accounts that may use rival CAE products — and,. perhaps more importantly, make CAD models and CAE results visualizations even more accessible to outsiders. Financial details were not released.

Altair’s Jim Scapa said in prepared remarks that “the continued growth in performance and cloud availability of high performance computing [creates a truly exciting] opportunity to deliver rendering solutions for applications from architectural visualization and product design to entertainment and augmented reality.”

The press release goes on to say that Altair intends to Integrate photorealistic rendering with Altair products beyond solidThinking Evolve — but it sounds like the Thea Render third party integrations will continue to be supported, since “thousands of users who will benefit from Altair’s global support and training resources.”

I’ve been spending a lot of time with CAE types lately, and communicating results to non-experts continues to be a struggle. One CAE wizard told me that he’s training his marketing team to understand Pareto frontiers as they analyze tradeoffs — think how much easier those conversations could be if the object under consideration is so realistically rendered that you wonder, is that real?

The title image is from the Thea Render gallery: “Autumn is coming”,created by nicolaco.