Total Impact's four-procesor G3 board sells for about $4,000. The G4 board sells for about $6,000 and up.






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July 5
Pixels, Total Impact Collaborate on G4 Multiprocessing Renderer
Support for OS X on the way

by David Nagel
Executive Producer

Pixels Animation Studios, maker of Pixels3D, says it's working with Total Impact to support multiprocessing rendering with Pixels3D software on the Mac. Total Impact currently sells multiprocessor G3 (yes, G3) and G4 boards with up to four processors per PCI card. (The G3 boards' multiprocessing is asynchronous, while the G4 boards' multiprocessing is synchronous.) According to Total Impact, the architecture of the boards allows for as many board expansions as the user has PCI slots, and each board can hold up to 512 MB of RAM.

In late May, Pixels3D announced it was developing a new rendering engine called Tempest. The new version, which the company says is RenderMan-compliant, will be available this fall for the Mac OS. (A Linux version is also in development, but no announcement has been made yet. There is no Windows version.) This new deal with Total Impact will bring multiprocessing support to Tempest, enabling the software to send rendering tasks to Total Impact's Total mPower boards. Pixels says Tempest and the Total Impact solution will run under OS 9. OS X versions of both products are also under development.

Tempest is the first commercial renderer to integrate the REYES rendering algorithm with a ray server in one application. This combines micro-polygon displacement with true raytraced reflection and refraction. Tempest also integrates RIB parsing and Shading Language support. Tempest comes bundled with Conductor, a utility for managing large render farms, as well as Crescendo, a visual shader development application.

Total mPower boards start at $4,000 for four G3 processors and $6,000 for four G4 processors. Tempest is available for preorder now for $249. For more information, visit or

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