Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:56 am
Location: Los Angeles
Dear Maxwell Friends -
An important milestone in the development of Maxwell Render has been reached. Although RC5 brought with it more physically-accurate light propogation, improved caustic performance, vastly superior and more flexible materials and a host of other improvements, those of us who regularly use MXI/HDR lighting, Sub-surface Scattering, and who prefer a simpler material presets model have needed to remain using the beloved Beta version.
Well, those days are over!
Every last feature we've come to know and love in Beta is now fully implemented in the latest Maxwell - and far more robust than ever before. For the development team, it wasn't enough to simply re-enable existing features; everything is faster, more flexible, and more powerful. Add to that several new tools to improve your workflow and performance enhancements across the board, and you've got the most powerful Maxwell yet. Here is just a glimpse of what lies ahead, as we say goodbye to Beta, and look forward to Maxwell Render 1.0.
- MXED - The Standalone Material Editor
The next generation in Maxwell/host integration is here: Just imagine taking the material editor in Studio out and running it as its own program and you've got the idea. You just build your material, save it, and load the .mxm in your host application. Whereas before, Studio was a necessary bridge to the new materials, now you can choose to work in whatever app you wish with seamless integration. For me, it's been great to return to Maya for all my Maxwell work!
MXED (Standalone Material Editor) workflow with Maya
- Material Wizard - RC Power; Beta simplicity!
The new Material Wizard - a function of the Material Editor - allows you to define simple materials just the way you did in beta. You can choose from your familiar material categories: Diffuse, Plastic, Metal, Dielectric and Emitter; the wizard will do the rest. Perfect for quick material setups; build your own library of instant-access favorites.
- Multi-Light Illumination Control
This is the realtime interactive lighting feature demonstrated recently, and I think it's the number-one feature you're most going to wonder how you ever lived without. Imagine rendering a building in the daytime; move a slider and it's a night shot; move another slider and bring the interior lights up. You can preview these new versions before saving, directly from the .mxi, both during and after the render, in realtime! It's insanely powerful. Product designers are going to love it, too as you can set-up multiple lighting rigs, and choose your look after the fact. And the rendertime hit for all this extra flexibility and power? Zero.
This quick kitchen multi-light setup rendered in one pass, but allows for various lighting studies in realtime.
A single image generates all these variations in seconds, in realtime, saving hours of setup time, testing, and renders.
Remember this? Click HERE for a multi-light demo of this nostalgia favorite in action or HERE for a screen movie of the setup!
- HDR/MXI Lighting
Speaking of lights, image-based lighting is back, and more powerful than ever: Light your scene with an HDR/MXI environment sphere with separate channels for Background, Reflection, Refraction, and Illumination: load a single map for all the channels, or different maps for each if you like! And how about this: load HDR channels as spherical projections, but map the background image as a screen projection, for simple composite shots. Or hide the background entirely, if you want. For your emitters, take advantage of the power of MXI lighting textures for even more creative flexibility.
- Objects Hidden to Camera
Maxwell simulates reality better than any other engine... but sometimes it's nice to bend Mother Nature's rules just a bit. With Hidden to Camera, you can see the effects of an object - reflection, caustics, or shadows, etc., without the object being directly visible in the scene. Works for emitters, too. A hugely-requested feature. You asked, you got it!
- Lighting Presets
A completely re-vamped illumination system means real-world values generate real-world results. You can choose from a list of pre-built light objects(!), properly scaled, with actual intensities pre-set, for immediate use in your scene! In addition to the preset illumination values, you also have explicit control over every quality of the light.
- Complex IOR/SSS/Dispersion
Complex IOR materials, for super-accurate rendering results are back, faster and more accurate than ever before. Add to that sub-surface scattering (SSS) and dispersion and a universe of material possibilities is yours.
A suite of Complex IOR materials
Fully-mappable anisotropy is now supported, with individual control over amount, and angle. Brushed-Aluminum heaven.
And HERE'S a short clip of anisotropy in action.
- Cooperative/Network Rendering
Distribute your renders quickly amongst all the machines on your network for ultra-fast cooperative rendering of a single image, or as multiple frames for an animation. A simple and intuitive interface makes setup easy, and combining cooperatively rendered frames takes only seconds.
These are just a few of the many improvements already made to Maxwell including engine optimizations for much improved performance in noise reduction, indirect lighting, and many, many others. In the coming weeks, members of A-Team will be generating more images to show you these features at work, along with screenshots of the interfaces, etc. Watch this space for more announcements soon!
_________________You don't get what you deserve. You get what you accept. www.mikeverta.comwww.starwarslegacy.com