What is Maxwell Fire?
Maxwell Fire stands for Fast Interactive Rendering. It is a new interactive preview tool inside Maxwell Render that will significantly speed up your workflow by allowing you to see scene changes instantly through a new window inside your normal interface. Instead of doing test renders, moving your camera or objects to check where emitter reflections fall on a surface or see how the bump and color looks in your scene, you can now get real-time feedback when editing a material or moving your camera and/or objects in the scene.
Maxwell Fire allows you to see a preview of your scene set up and changes immediately, and interactively, providing a fast visualization of the scene you are working on, and instantly showing changes to lighting, materials, objects and camera movement.
The goal of this new tool is to provide a much more intuitive and efficient workflow, dramatically reducing setup times and learning curve, and improving the user experience.
Is Maxwell Fire GPU-based or CPU-based ?
It is CPU-based. Maxwell Fire works on standard CPUs within your existing machine, it does not require specific hardware or GPU technology. While GPU hardware has become more capable of handling some of the calculations a complex render engine requires, they are still not ready to efficiently accommodate all Maxwell Render features.
Do I need any specific graphic hardware to run Maxwell Fire ?
No. Any system capable of running Maxwell Render v2 can run Maxwell Fire. While other interactive render solutions providing GPU- based interactive rendering force you to buy expensive graphics cards to achieve the desired results, Maxwell Fire is CPU based, and no special hardware is needed.
Will Maxwell Fire use all of the CPUs on my computer ?
Yes, in the same way that the core render engine inside Maxwell Render v2 is optimized to use all of the cores available on your computer, Maxwell Fire will use all of the cores available, and scales linearly so will be even faster on machines with more cores.
Is Maxwell Fire compatible with existing materials and lighting in Maxwell Render?
Yes, it is a workflow enabler inside Maxwell Render which has full compatibility of materials and objects, and with the final high quality Maxwell Render engine.
Our goal when creating Maxwell Fire was not to cripple your workflow by forcing you to abandon certain material types and features if you want to instantly preview your scenes. Maxwell Fire supports all Maxwell Render materials (incl. subsurface scattering, displacement, complex IOR, emitters) and all Maxwell Render features (incl. instances, motion blur, RealFlow Renderkit).
Is Maxwell Fire a biased renderer ?
No. It is not biased, everything about Maxwell Render is unbiased and physically correct, and Maxwell Fire follows these principles. The only difference is the output is not designed to be final quality - it is designed to be a fast preview - a draft of the final high quality image - to achieve this it resolves the easiest 80% of the image first, but will still keep working on the other 20% if left long enough.
What are the limitations of Maxwell Fire ?
For complex indirect lighting, caustics etc. the final quality engine in Maxwell Render might provide better performance. Other than that, there are no limitations in the way Maxwell Fire works with normal scenes of any size (some of the demos have scenes of 2 million triangles) and with any kind of material.
Does it provide a different set of parameters that I have to learn?
No, the render options are the same as those used in Maxwell Render, and the scene format is the same.
Will it be shipped as a separate / standalone application?
No, it is NOT a separate application and it does NOT require a special Maxwell scene file to work.
One thing is clear to us, the main point of an interactive preview tool is to provide the user a way of tweaking the scene quickly, getting an immediate response when a parameter is changed. We do not see the point of making it a separate/standalone application because it would completely break the interactivity it is designed to provide. This way users wanting to change something in their host platform will immediately see the changes reflected in the viewer. The power of this feature would be dramatically reduced if you have to re-export the scene from your favorite platform every time a geometry changes.
Maxwell Fire is a truly interactive workflow, available in both Maxwell Studio, AND is integrated in plug-ins for those that wish to continue to work inside their host 3d app. Having to re-export and re-import can hardly be called an interactive workflow, that's why we have completely integrated Maxwell Fire into Maxwell Studio and also into Maxwell Render plug-ins.
Will it be integrated inside Maxwell Render's existing suite of free plug-ins ?
Yes. Our aim is to have Maxwell Fire inside all of the plug-ins we support BUT we cannot guarantee it will be in all the plug-ins due to specific limitations of each platform - we will try but cannot guarantee it. The first release of Maxwell Fire will be integrated inside updated plug-ins for 3ds Max, Cinema4D, Houdini, LightWave, Maya, Modo, Rhino, SketchUp, Softimage and SolidWorks, and other plug-ins will have Maxwell Fire soon.
What plug-ins does Maxwell Fire support ?
Maxwell Fire is currently integrated inside plug-ins for 3ds Max, Cinema4D, Houdini, LightWave, Maya, Modo, Rhino, SketchUp, Softimage and SolidWorks. Other plug-ins will also soon have Maxwell Fire.
How much does version 2.5 with Maxwell Fire cost ?
For existing Maxwell Render v2 clients - Maxwell Fire is included for free in Maxwell Render 2.5, and Maxwell Render 2.5 is a free update for existing Maxwell Render 2.x clients.
For Maxwell Render 1.x clients who have not yet upgraded to version 2 - you will only need to pay the existing Upgrade fee to get Maxwell Render 2.5 with Maxwell Fire included. We have not increased the upgrade price - it remains at $395 / 345 euros.
For new clients - Maxwell Fire is part of the release of Maxwell Render 2.5 - and licenses for version 2.5 are being kept at the same price - no hidden extras. Unlike others who charge extra for their interactive tools or who have increased their prices to include them, Maxwell Render 2.5 with Maxwell Fire inside will remain at $995 / 895 euros.
I'm an Educational user, can I also use Maxwell Fire ?
Yes, Educational users will also benefit from this new feature. Maxwell Fire will also be included as a free update to Educational versions of Maxwell Render v2 - anybody holding educational licenses of Maxwell Render 2 will get full functionality of Maxwell Fire. Unlike others, we're not blocking this new feature from you - we want you to be able to preview your scenes equally as fast as commercial users.
How do I upgrade to version 2.5 ?
Existing Maxwell Render v2 clients will be able to download version 2.5 and the new plug-ins from the download area by logging into the customer gateway in the normal way.
Maxwell Render version 1.x clients who have not yet upgraded to version 2 can login to the customer gateway and purchase your Upgrade in the normal way. Alternatively contact your local Maxwell Render reseller.
Is there are demo version of Maxwell Fire ?
The free demo version of Maxwell Render 2.5 and relevant plug-ins will also include Maxwell Fire. So anybody wanting to road-test Maxwell Render will also be able to take advantage of this new interactive technology.
Like the free demo version of Maxwell Render itself, Maxwell Fire inside the free demo version will have the following necessary restrictions:
This restriction still means you can quickly and easily check how Maxwell Fire can significantly boost your rendering workflow - and this restriction is much less "restrictive" than those placed on other demo versions of interactive style renderers.
Do I need to be an existing Maxwell Render client to use Maxwell Fire ?
No, the beauty of including Maxwell Fire inside our free demo version of Maxwell Render 2.5 and plug-ins is anybody can use Maxwell Fire. The demo version has necessary resolution restrictions but apart from that, non-Maxwell Render users will be able to road-test Maxwell Fire for free simply by registering for our free demo version.
Where can I get more information about Maxwell Render 2.5 and Maxwell Fire ?
More information is available at www.maxwellrender.com/fire