Saturday, December 7th, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

Marmoset releases Marmoset Toolbag 2


Originally published on 14 October. Scroll down for updates.

Marmoset has released Marmoset Toolbag 2, the next version of its real-time rendering toolkit – as a private beta. The rest of us get a preview of the new features on the developer’s website.

The software was developed as a look-development tool for games pipelines, but is becoming increasingly widely used by artists in other sectors of the industry.

And there’s a lot on the feature list for Marmoset 2 that will interest artists of all types, with functionality dividing loosely into four categories: core performance, workflow, new features, and odd things.

Performance and workflow boosts
In the first camp, the engine has been “basically [rewritten] from scratch” as a 64-bit client, and there is a fast OBJ loader “with support for millions of polys” for previewing models, with or without UVs.

Workflow improvements include a new scene file format that saves all settings and objects – including cameras, lights, meshes and groups – in a single file; an improved UI; and a new camera system with per-camera settings.

The lighting system has also been revamped to make it easier to load panoramic content for image-based lighting. The new Sky Light editor makes it possible to parent directional lights to the environment light.

Features big, small and exotic
In the new features category, there is a new physically accurate shading model, and a new material palette window with the option to drag and drop materials to a mesh in the viewport or scene list.

Smaller materials features include a multilayer specular option for materials like car paint, a new skin shader, support for height and vector displacement mapping, and support for Allegorithmic’s Substances.

Rendering now supports local screen-space reflections for more accurate inter-object reflections, Bokeh effects, and multiresolution viewport display and antialiasing.

And under the category of ‘odd things’, Marmoset Toolbag 2 supports the Oculus Rift. (Okay, not that odd in a primarily games-focused tool.)

Polycount’s live preview of the first Marmoset Toolbag 2.0 beta. We can’t find any official demo videos yet, but the software is now shipping commercially. Check out a full list of features on Marmoset’s website.

Updated 6 December: Marmoset Toolbag 2.0 is now shipping. It’s available for Windows or OS X – although, if you’re a Mac user, you will need the new OS X 10.9 Mavericks. A new licence costs $129.

Read a full list of features in Marmoset Toolbag 2