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Next Limit Maxwell | Maya v4.2.2

Review:

Next Limit Maxwell | Maya
  
Next Limit Maxwell | Maya

High quality, photorealistic 3D rendering for architecture and product design

Maxwell | Maya offers seamless integration, allowing you to work comfortably within the Maya interface. This product has been specifically designed for rendering in Maya with a simple yet comprehensive Maxwell toolbar. It brings you advanced Maxwell Render technology in a simple, self-contained package.


Highlights

GROUND TRUTH RENDER ENGINE

Maxwell Integrations offer an easy workflow which allow you to compose, edit and render your scenes from a simple toolbar inside your usual 3D application.

Maxwell Integrations come with the full Maxwell toolkit – including:

  • Maxwell Production Engine
  • Multilight™
  • FIRE (interactive preview engine)
  • Materials Editor
  • Real camera model
  • Network tools

CORE FEATURES

DENOISER – NEW

Maxwell now easily integrates a powerful denoiser (by Innobright’s Altus), while preserving texture and geometry details, effectively saving a lot of time. You can obtain your images around two to six times faster, depending on the scene for a similar amount of detail. Instead of having to render your images to a high sampling level, you can keep it low and let the denoiser do the job.

Based on Reality

Reality means predictable, reliable first-time results. With Maxwell Render, you can focus your valuable time and energy on creating your vision, not struggling with obscure computer graphics terminology and tweaking parameters.

Accuracy

Be confident that your simulations truly reflect reality. Maxwell Render’s incredible lighting accuracy means that your materials will look the way they are supposed to, and every detail of your textures and models will play a part in bringing your render to life.

Advanced Ray Tracing

The advanced ray tracing technology which forms the core of Maxwell Render’s engine is so powerful that it is capable of simulating light exactly as it is in the real world. No tricks. Just real world physics. Which is why Maxwell Render is the benchmark in render quality.

Physical Sky

The physical sky system in Maxwell Render uses a novel approach, offering a wide range of real-life, physically-correct variables to control the look of the sky and lighting in your scene. You can control your position on Earth (location and time), the sun’s aspect, and the atmospheric conditions.

Fast Scene Setup

Computer time is less important and far less expensive than human time. The entire Maxwell Render approach (real world camera, emitter and material parameters) is geared up to save you time on your projects by giving you accurate, predictable results. Don’t spend your valuable time endlessly tweaking dozens of parameters, just set your scene with simple Maxwell settings – and move on to your next project!

Extra Sampling

Often when you render an image, residual noise is concentrated in certain areas of the scene due their particular lighting and material characteristics. With the new Extra Sampling feature, you can now define a specific area of your image to be rendered to a higher sampling level than the rest – putting all the render power to the areas where it is most needed, rendering smarter and saving a huge amount of time.

Multilight™

The highly acclaimed Multilight™ feature removes the need to re-render an image when light changes are required. Multilight™ allows you to change the intensities of lights and scene emitters during and after the rendering process, so you can tweak the lighting set up over and over, saving out as many images of the same scene as you like-all from just a single render.

FIRE: Interactive Scene Preview

Maxwell FIRE gives you immediate feedback in the renderer for adjustments to lighting, materials and camera settings. And unlike other interactive style renderers, Maxwell FIRE is compatible with ALL Maxwell materials and features.

Intuitive

The Maxwell Material system uses components that can be stacked like layers in an image editing program, so it’s easy to use. The materials are based on real optical properties, creating unrivalled realism.

Realistic Camera Model

The camera in Maxwell Render has all the parameters you would expect in a real camera – f-Stop, Focal Length, Shutter speed, ISO, film size, diaphragm blades. This means that DOF, bokeh and the exposure match your live footage – making the compositing stage far quicker and simpler.

Materials assistant

A fast-track materials editor which build the basics for you – saving you lots of time. Choose a category and the assistant will help you create perfectly optimised materials for your scene in just seconds!

Grass and Fur

The Maxwell Render grass generator allows you to quickly create grass on a selected piece of geometry. Designed to offer maximum control over the look of the grass – from impeccable detail on close-up shots to fast-rendering further away from the camera. Compatible with Maxwell Studio and almost all supported plugins.

Memory Saving Instances

Instances are a great way to save memory when rendering. With 10,000 instances of 1 object, Maxwell Render will consume the same amount of memory at render time as if it was rendering only the 1 object. Instances are great for creating vegetation, bricks, furniture or any other extensively repeated geometry in your scene.

Accurate 3D Motion Blur

Maxwell Render’s accurate 3D motion blur can now handle unlimited sub-steps, and can be set for both a still camera to mimic long exposure effects such as trails of light, and a film camera to show the motion blur effect of fast moving objects. The amount of motion blur is directly controlled from the camera, by either the shutter speed or the rotary shutter angle.

Hair

Maxwell Render’s hair rendering tool is compatible with many of the most popular hair systems (Maya Shave and a Haircut, Maya hair, 3ds Max hair, CINEMA hair, or Ornatrix). Hair systems are automatically converted to the Maxwell primitive – which is highly optimized for memory consumption and speed. The hair primitive has actual thickness so any Maxwell material can be applied to it, including transparent, refractive materials.

Volumetrics

The volumetric feature in Maxwell can work in several ways: as a constant density volumetric object – useful for large atmospheric haze effects or thick fog, it can work with particles files in several formats including RealFlow .bin, and also with density fields/voxels directly from Maya or Houdini.

RealFlow Integration

Maxwell Render is compatible ‘out of the box’ with Next Limit’s RealFlow™ software, giving RealFlow™ users the option to use Maxwell Render as their render engine of choice. Render your RealFlow™ particles directly with Maxwell Render, meshing the point cloud at render time.

Maxwell Sea

Maxwell Sea creates realistic ocean surfaces and waves based on the Ocean Statistical Spectrum from RealFlow. Various parameters such as water depth and surface dimensions allow you to produce a convincing water surface, from swimming pools to open ocean. The meshing is only done at render time, meaning it takes up almost no extra space in the .MXS file.

Alembic

The Alembic file format allows for very efficient storage of geometry and other scene data, which can now be referenced directly in Maxwell. Support for Alembic includes static and animated geometry as well as particles. It also works with the Exocortex CRATE suite of Alembic plugins.

Deep Compositing

Maxwell can render in ‘deep image’ format, which stores color as well as depth information per pixel, making it much easier to composite rendered objects together as well as eliminating troublesome edge artefacts. You can save the deep info in either .EXR or .DTEX formats, in rgba or alpha.

Pixar Open SubDiv

The Subdivision feature allows you to subdivide low-polygon objects into smooth surfaces, by implementing Pixar OpenSubdiv. Because it’s subdividing the geometry only at render time – your scene files take up far less space and can be transferred much faster around your network. OpenSubdiv is owned by Pixar. Copyright (C) Pixar. All rights reserved.

Python scripting

Maxwell Render has a Python SDK with online documentation. With Python you have access to almost all the features of Maxwell Render, allowing you to write custom tools such as extracting certain channels from an MXI sequence, rendering a turn-table animation of all your scene assets for easy referencing, creating materials on the fly, network render management and much much more.

Networking Rendering

Maxwell Render’s powerful networking capabilities are multi-platform, allowing for a mixture of Windows, OSX and Linux in the same network. You can set Maxwell Render to render one image using all of your computers, or set each computer to render one animation frame. Complete control and flexibility.

Post production plugins

We offer plugins for NUKE, After Effects and Photoshop which can load Maxwell Render’s high dynamic range format (MXI).

Channels

The Alembic file format allows for very efficient storage of geometry and other scene data, which can now be referenced directly in Maxwell. Support for Alembic includes static and animated geometry as well as particles. It also works with the Exocortex CRATE suite of Alembic plugins.

Custom Alphas

Create unlimited ‘layers’ of alphas and add any object(s) to those layers, which allows you to isolate the exact objects you need.

Ready to use

You have free access to hundreds of ready to use materials online in our community based library.

Compatibility

Maya 2016 - 2019

The minimum system requirements for Maxwell Render V4 are as follows:

Windows

  • Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, all 64 bits versions.
  • 2 GHz Intel® Core2 processor, AMD Athlon 64 or better
  • 1GB RAM minimum. 4 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended
  • 400 MB available hard disk space for installation
  • Accelerated OpenGL drivers
  • 3 button mouse recommended

Mac

  • Mac OSX 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10 and 10.12
  • 1 GB RAM minimum. 4 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended
  • 400 MB available hard disk space for installation
  • 3 button mouse recommended

Linux 64

  • x86_64 distribution with a 2.6 Kernel and glibc 2.5
  • Tested in Debian GNU/Linux 7 (wheezy), Fedora Core release 6 (Zod), CentOS release 6.5 (Final), Ubuntu precise (12.04.2 LTS)
  • 2 GHz Intel® Core®2, AMD Athlon 64 or better
  • 1 GB RAM minimum. 4 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended
  • 400 MB available hard disk space for installation
  • 3 button mouse recommended

GPU engine

  • Graphics cards that support CUDA platform (Nvidia).
  • Maxwell and Pascal architectures are supported (for reference you can check this link); it could work on older architectures but it could be unstable and the experience won't be good.

Version 4.2.2 - 26 Feb 2019

New things and improvements:

  • Added support for Maya 2019.
  • Added support for Maxwell material representation in Viewport 2.0 (Core Profile) for Maya 2017 and newer; in the case of Maya 2016 Legacy Default Viewport has to be used but the features regarding viewport shaders will be the same as in previous versions.
    • Added support for showing in viewport the color or texture of Reflectance 0º and 90º.
    • Added support for showing in viewport the transformations of textures loaded in Reflectance 0º and 90º (Invert, UV Rotation, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Hue from “Maxwell Image Controls” and Repeat UV and Offset from “place2dTexture”)
    • Added support for showing in viewport the textures loaded in Layer Masks and BSDFs Weight Texture with support for Invert and UV Rotation from “Maxwell Image Controls” and Repeat UV and Offset from “place2dTexture”
    • Added support for showing in viewport any texture using “Enable Viewport Override” with support for Invert, UV Rotation, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Hue from “Maxwell Image Controls” and Repeat UV and Offset from “place2dTexture”
    • Added support for showing in viewport an approximation of the transparency set in Transmittance as well as textures with support for Invert and UV Rotation from “Maxwell Image Controls” and Repeat UV and Offset from “place2dTexture”
    • Added support for showing in viewport an approximation of the blending between Reflectance 0º and 90º (colors or textures) affected by roughness value.
    • Added support for showing in viewport an approximation of the blending of multiple BSDFs as well as multiple layers (limited to 32 elements, that is BSDFs or layers) taking into account Normal or Additive blending modes.
    • Added support for showing the main color and texture of the assistant materials in the viewport.
    • Added support for showing any other texture of the assistants through “Enable Viewport Override” with support for Invert, UV Rotation, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Hue from “Maxwell Image Controls” and Repeat UV and Offset from “place2dTexture”.
    • Added support for showing environment viewport preview for Windows and Linux (in Mac it’s not working as it is based on OpenGL 2.0 and in Mac it’s only supported from version 3.2 and up. We’ll try to add support for this in future updates).
  • New Maxwell Material Preview area in Attribute Editor; bigger, more useful, collapsible and detachable).
  • Added a bigger material preview area that can be set to three different sizes.
  • Added engine selection options for the material preview (drop-down and right-click menus).
  • Added controls for Sampling Level (SL) and Time limits as well as the number of threads for the Material Preview.
  • Added a drop-down menu to be able to select the preview scene from the ones available at the Maxwell installation preview folder.
  • Added a text box where to store custom information about the material.
  • Added a toggle button to change from On Demand preview update mode to Automatic.
  • Added a button to edit the material in Maxwell Material Editor (MXED).
  • Added buttons to detach the material preview to a floating window.
  • Added update preview button.
  • Added new buttons to create embedded, referenced and assistant materials (new).
  • In the case of MXS references, we added new object ID options, so you can choose between Container (it will show the one of the MXS reference itself, so it will be one single color), Content (it will show the object ID of the individual objects inside the reference, so it will show several colors) or Recolor (this will generate new random colors for the objects inside the reference which will be persistent between renders).
  • Reorganized assistant materials’ options and default values so they match the ones in MXED; also added some missing texture chips and fixed some problems using textures.
  • Added Hair assistant material.
  • Added an alternative custom saving folder for the Online Gallery downloads in Preferences.

Fixes:

  • Launching a region render crashed Maya when the image was returned to the image frame buffer.
  • When using “Export selected” from File menu with Pack and Go, all the materials of the scene and related files were exported, instead of only the ones related to the selected objects.
  • The plugin was ignoring Maya lights and MXS references when exporting under certain circumstances.
  • Maya crashed if the plugin could not find the right version of Maxwell. It now informs of the problem and disables the plugin.
  • MXS references were not displaying correctly in the viewport in the case of grouped geometry that had transformations applied to the group (although they rendered fine).
  • Some of the fields were showing a light grey background while Maya default color is dark grey.
  • Instances with negative scales exported from Maya were not opened in the right place in Studio (although they rendered correctly).
  • Maya was crashing when trying to open another file after saving one.
  • When Maxwell was set as default renderer, Render Settings panel showed empty.

Version support changes:

  • Dropped support from Maya 2012 to 2015 (included) as some of the new features were not able to work on the old versions.

Version 4.2.1 - 21 Feb 2018

Changes:

  • Update to Maxwell 4.2.0.3.

Version 4.2.0 - 09 Feb 2018

General:

  • Built with Maxwell SDK 4.2.0.2.
  • Added channel "Triangle ID".

What's new in version 4.1?

The new Denoiser feature helps to achieve clear images at a lower SL, and makes Maxwell up to eight times faster, depending on the scene. Instead of having to render images to a high sampling level, users can keep it low and let the Denoiser do the job, setting it to denoise at all SLs or at the end.

In addition, Maxwell 4.1 brings a number of new features, fixes and improvements, including:

  • Optimized GPU-handling memory – paving the way to Multi-GPU in a future update
  • Maxwell | Multilight™ Standalone V2 – a FREE tool for light management, now with the possibility for animations and more
  • New Lights panel in Maxwell | Studio to play with light intensity
  • New illumination assets in the Library Panel
  • New material compatibility: MERL, X-rite AxF, Real-IES files
  • For the full list of features and specs consult the Maxwell 4 website

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