Next Limit ships Maxwell Render 3
Next Limit has released Maxwell Render 3, a significant update to its physically based renderer, adding tools for volumetrics and ocean simulation, support for new open standards, and a number of workflow improvements.
Waves, surface scattering and volumetrics
New features this time round include Maxwell Sea, a simulation system for ocean surfaces and waves based on sister package RealFlow’s Ocean Statistical Spectrum. Meshing is carried out at render time to minimise file size.
It is joined by Maxwell Scatter, a new system for scattering instances of an object across a surface, with parameters similar to that of Maxwell’s existing grass modifier, and support for volumetrics.
Users can create constant-density volumetric objects for haze or fog; import particle files in standard formats, including RealFlow .bin files; or import density fields or voxels direct from Maya and Houdini.
Extensions of existing toolsets
A number of existing features have been extended: any emitter can now project a gobo, or be set not to influence particular objects in a scene; and there is support for an unlimited number of ‘layers’ of alphas.
The update also adds five new lens types to the Maxwell Camera – Spherical, Fish Eye, Pinhole, Cylindrical and Orthographic – and render-time Booleans, for creating custom cutaway effects.
There are also new controls for the physical sun system, and a range of readymade procedural textures.
Support for current open standards
Maxwell Render 3 plays catch-up with a range of current VFX standards, adding support for Alembic, Pixar’s OpenSubdiv, and OpenEXR 2’s deep compositing.
Performance has also been improved in a number of areas, including the Multilight offline relighting toolset, Fire interactive render preview, and motion blur – the later “upwards of 100X” faster on complex scenes.
Maxwell Render 3 is available now on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. A node-locked licence costs $795, while a floating licence – which now includes 10 render nodes – costs $1,395.