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Nvidia serves up free Gelato

Still charging for the Pro release, though

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Nvidia has opened its Gelato 3D rendering software to all, releasing a free-of-charge version of the once high-end only application that will run on any Nvidia GPU - from the GeForce 5200 upwards.

The Quadro-specific version is still available, as Gelato Pro 2.0. The freebie release lacks the Pro version's support for distributed rendering across a network, its ability to leverage a multi-threading processor, its support for DSO shading operations, and for Nvidia's own Sorbetto interactive relighting system. Unlike Gelato Pro 2.0, Gelato 2.0 isn't 64-bit native and doesn't come with dedicated support.

The upshot is Gelato 2.0 is going to take rather longer to render a given scene than its Pro sibling, but at least it gives the rest of us the chance - however slowly - to play with this film-standard rendering system. Nvidia is hoping quite a few digital content creation types try the free version and then cough up the $1,500 asking price for the Pro release. The price includes a year's maintenance and support - annual renewals cost $300 per licence.

Both versions provide high-quality anti-aliasing, smooth motion blur, raytracing, global illumination and the inclusion of plug-ins for Autodesk's Maya and 3ds Max software, Nvidia said.

Both versions can be downloaded from Nvidia's website. ®

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