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Jens Kafitz releases Mari Extension Pack 5

Friday, October 25th, 2019 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Former Weta Digital artist Jens Kafitz has released Mari Extension Pack 5, the latest version of his suite of bonus tools for Foundry’s 3D painting software.

The update adds Substance Painter-style Smart Masks for creating procedural wear effects, a new Pattern Engine for generating procedural textures, and new Hotbox and marking menu systems.

A massive collection of add-on tools used by most leading Mari facilities
First released in 2014 as a collection of free tools, and now available as a commercial product, Mari Extension Pack has quickly become a staple of texture artists at many leading studios.

The list of users on Kafitz’s website is pretty much a who’s who of the world’s biggest visual effects, feature animation and games facilities, including Weta Digital, ILM, Pixar, DreamWorks, EA, Ubisoft and Blizzard.

The pack provides hundreds of add-on tools covering just about every aspect of Mari workflow.

New Substance-style Smart Mask system and pattern generator
As with previous Extension Pack updates, the release adds features that will be familiar from Adobe’s suite of Substance material-authoring tools.

That includes a new system of Smart Masks, for mimicking dirt and wear on materials, in the same way as those in Substance Painter.

Mari Extension Pack 5 includes 65 Smart Mask presets, plus a Mask Builder tool for creating custom masks.

The update also adds a new Pattern Engine for generating procedural textures, which looks to have similar versatility to Substance Designer’s pattern-generation nodes.

Again, the release ships with hundreds of presets, including both geometric patterns and procedural noise; or there are new Pattern and Shape nodes for generating completely custom patterns.


New Mask Shelf for creating and sharing presets, plus customisable Hotboxes and marking menus
Changes to Mari’s interface added in the new release include a Mask Shelf, making it possible to save any layer, layer group or node selection as a preset, and share it with other artists.

The software automatically embeds a preview image when creating presets, making it possible to browse them visually; and it is possible to filter and group content in the shelf.

The release also adds a system of Hotboxes and marking menus of the type found in DCC tools like Maya and Houdini, making it possible to select commonly used tools from a circular contextual UI overlay.

The Extension Pack ships with seven built-in layouts, which can be customised via a new Hotbox Manager.

There is also a long list of other features, including new adjustment layers, blend modes and utility tools, and new mathematical and OpenGL functions in Mari’s node graph.

Pricing and availability
Mari Extension Pack 5 is available for Mari 4.2v2 or higher, although you also get access to legacy versions compatible with older releases. It doesn’t work with Mari Non-Commercial.

Pricing has changed since the previous release, which is also still available to buy.

The cost of a single seat rises from €49 (around $54) to either €59 (around $66) for an Indie licence or €99 (around $110) for a Freelance licence.

The former are intended for individuals with revenue under €90,000/year; the latter for individuals and companies with revenue up to €5 million/year.

The cost of a site licence rises from €500 to €2,500 ($2,780).

Read a full list of new features in Mari Extension Pack 5

Watch videos of the new features on Jens Kafitz’s Vimeo channel

Visit the Mari Extension Pack 5 product page

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