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Foundry ships Mari 4.1

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Foundry has released Mari 4.1, the latest version of its texture painting software, updating its handling of colour spaces and selection groups.

Since Mari 4.x is still not available for macOS, there is also a parallel Mari 3.4 release, which brings most of the same features to Mac users.

Improved, more WYSIWYG colour workflow
Most of the new features in Mari 4.1 affect the way that the software handles colour, with the intention of making workflow truly WYSIWYG.

Colour picking now uses a single OpenColorIO (OCIO) colour space, preventing issues where a colour picked in one channel appeared perceptually different in another channel that used a different colour space.

There is also a new scalar monitor colour space in the View Transform, meaning that scalar channels appear in the viewport as linear ramps, while preserving all of the original source data.

It is also now possible to use gain and gamma controls when viewing scalar data.

In addition, procedurals now have explicit colour or scalar contexts, removing issues when picking colours in another channel to the one to which they are assigned.

The update also introduces new OCIO role names which Mari uses when configuring a project’s colour space defaults, making it possible to share a common OCIO config file across a team.

There is also a new OCIO Colorspace filter, which converts paint target and buffer colours to another colour space within the currently loaded config without affecting channel settings.

Finally, the GPU-accelerated colour space management system introduced in Mari 3.3 has been extended to support procedurals as well as paint data.

Define selection groups once and have them persist through asset updates
Handling of selection groups has also been updated: Mari now automatically matches a new version of an object to existing selection groups, providing that its topology has not been changed.

The change means that selection groups need not be redefined when updating a model or its UVs.

More updates to the user interface
Finally, the work done on streamlining the user interface in Mari 4.0 continues.

The Colorspace toolbar has been decluttered and renamed the View Transform toolbar, and now includes a visual indicator as to whether you are viewing colour or scalar data.

The Channels palette also displays whether a channel contains colour or scalar data, and its bit depth.

Play controls are now a toolbar, meaning that they can be found via the right-click menu of any other toolbar.

Still no Mac version of Mari 4 – macOS users get Mari 3.4 instead
Mac users get most of the same features: just in Mari 3.4, not Mari 4.1.

The Mac version of 4.x is delayed by changes to the Qt UI libraries as part of support for VFX Reference Platform 2017: according to Foundry’s FAQs, it’s in progress, but six months on, there still isn’t a release date.

Pricing and availability
Mari 4.1 is available for Windows 7+ and CentOS/RHEL 6+ Linux; Mari 3.4 is also available for OS X 10.10+.

Both nodelocked and floating licences have an MSRP of $2,068, although at the time of posting, the software is available at a discount. New rental options are also available, discussed here.

Read a full list of new features in Mari 4.1 in Foundry’s release notes

Visit the Mari product website

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