Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 Posted by Jim Thacker

Free Maxwell update adds interactive renderer

The Maxwell Fire interactive preview renderer running in Maya. [Higher-quality video available here.]

Next Limit has released version 2.5 of its Maxwell Render physically accurate rendering software. The update, which is free to existing users, adds the company’s long-awaited Maxwell Fire interactive preview renderer.

Maxwell Fire is intended for non-final-quality renders. Although it also converges on a physically correct result, it does so more quickly that the main Maxwell engine: according to the FAQs, “it resolves the easiest 80% of the image first, but will still keep working on the other 20% if left long enough.”

Unlike mental images’ and the Chaos Group’s interactive preview renderers, Maxwell Fire is purely CPU based.

The renderer is fully integrated into both Maxwell Studio and the 3ds Max, Maya, Rhino and SolidWorks plug-ins. The remaining plug-ins will be supported later.

Other new features in version 2.5 include improved subsurface scattering, a number of new scripting functions and command line options, and improved network rendering workflow.

Read the Maxwell Fire FAQs

Read a full list of new features in Maxwell Render 2.5