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Intergraph announces RenderGL, first graphics library to enable "Real-Time Reality" on the desktop.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 25, 1996--Intergraph Computer Systems today announced RenderGL, a new graphics library with an open application programming interface (API) that enables hardware acceleration of high-quality, photorealistic features on 3D models.

RenderGL, which runs on top of OpenGL, can accelerate the rendering of models with realistic features such as Phong-shading, bump maps, 3D texturing and shadows up to 16 times faster than workstations using OpenGL alone. The ability to display this level of photorealistic-image quality in real time defines "Real-Time Reality(TM)."

Intergraph introduced RenderGL in conjunction with the announcement of its next-generation TDZ Workstations, which incorporate Intergraph's new high-performance RealiZm 3D Graphics subsystem (see separate TDZ June 25 announcement). RenderGL is an integral element of RealiZm 3D Graphics, which also includes the first hardware graphics accelerators to achieve greater than 1 million triangles per second on Windows NT.

"RenderGL is a giant step toward rendering feature-length animated films, such as `Toy Story,' in a day," said Wade Patterson, president of Intergraph Computer Systems. "RenderGL enables creative and technical professionals -- for the first time -- to add more sophisticated photorealistic effects, such as bump maps and shadows, to 3D models and then to render those models at accelerated speeds, producing what we term Real Time Reality."

Enhancing the OpenGL Standard

RenderGL extends OpenGL's capabilities by accelerating the generation of photorealistic 3D images. It is an open library available for use by any OpenGL-based software application. In addition, RenderGL has an associated software developers kit (SDK), which allows software developers to take advantage of RenderGL's performance and realism-enhancing features in their OpenGL-based applications.

"Any vendor can easily enhance existing or design new software to take advantage of RenderGL, and we think many of them will," said Patterson. "Already, three industry-leading graphics software vendors plan to support RenderGL: Softimage, maker of SOFTIMAGE 3D; NewTek, maker of LightWave 3D; and MetaTools, maker of Kai's Power Tools."

"These vendors obviously recognize the impact that RenderGL, and RealiZm 3D Graphics as a whole, will have on the industry," said Jeff Edson, vice president of Intergraph's Digital Media Group. "If you can design your animation in Real-Time Reality -- at accelerated speeds with a photorealistic quality that represents what your final product will be -- you can work a lot faster, and you have a lot more time to be creative. Ultimately, these are the benefits of RenderGL and RealiZm: higher-quality animations produced in a shorter amount of time."

Photorealistic Features for Real-Time Reality

RenderGL works on top of OpenGL to enable very fast rendering

of high-quality, photorealistic features that are not

accelerated by OpenGL. These features include Phong shading.

Phong shading uses a much higher quality, and therefore a much

more demanding shading algorithm than Gouraud shading.

Bump mapping. Bump mapping is used to provide superbly textured

surfaces on 3D models. Bump maps are applied to deflect light

in numerous directions to make the surfaces appear "bumpy,"

thereby providing a more realistic texture.

Procedural 3D textures. Procedural textures, or 3D textures,

are textures that occupy three dimensions and understand the

the geometry of the object to which they are applied. For

example, if a 3D texture of wood is applied to a block, a

cross-sectional view of the block will reveal the grain of the

wood inside.

Shadows. RenderGL provides special extensions for the

acceleration of shadows, enabling RealiZm graphics to display

shadowed objects dramatically faster than standard OpenGL-based

workstations.

Availability

RenderGL, an integral element of Intergraph's RealiZm 3D graphics within the new TDZ-310, TDZ-410 and TDZ-610 workstations, will be shown publicly for the first time at SIGGRAPH `96 in New Orleans and will be available in August.

Intergraph Background Information

Intergraph Computer Systems develops, manufacturers, sells and supports computer systems for the creative and technical desktop -- the combination of compatible applications and personal productivity tools in a single desktop computer. Hardware products include Pentium Pro/Windows NT-based graphics workstations and servers. A member of the Fortune 1000, Intergraph is the world's largest company dedicated to supplying interactive computer graphics systems. -0-

Note to editors: Intergraph is a registered trademark of Intergraph Corporation. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

If you wish to provide a telephone number for reader inquiries, please use 800-763-0242. Use of this number allows Intergraph to better serve your readers. We can also be reached on the World Wide Web at http://www.intergraph.com.

CONTACT: Intergraph Computer Systems, Huntsville

Gary Frazier, 205/730-1419 or

Aggie Frizzell, 205/730-6139
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Date:Jun 25, 1996
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