Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Marmoset releases Toolbag 4.05

Originally posted on 20 December 2022 for the public beta, and updated for the stable release.

Marmoset has released Toolbag 4.05, the latest version of the real-time rendering and look dev software.

It’s a wide-ranging update, focused primarily on improving texture painting workflow, but also adding light baking, USD import and export, and a number of improvements to materials, lighting and rendering.

A real-time look development and rendering toolkit, particularly for games assets and portfolio work
A lightweight system for look dev, compositing and final rendering, Toolbag is widely used by games artists, but is also increasingly being used in other sectors of the industry.

It enables users to visualise imported models quickly, setting up PBR materials and lighting, with last year’s Toolbag 4.0 update adding a new 3D texture painting system.

Users can then either bake texture maps for export to other DCC software or game engines – Toolbag exports directly to Unity, though not Unreal Engine – or render stills or animation directly.

Better texturing paintig workflow
Marmoset describes its primary goal for Toolbag 4.05 as improving texture painting workflow.

Major new painting features include support for symmetry – both mirror and radial – on brush strokes, and the option to arrange images in the viewport to use as stencils for the painting tools.

There is also a new Stencil mode – intended for quickly adding logos or graffiti to objects, or adding grime to textures – which lets artists set up a screen-space mask when painting in the viewport.

In addition, the update adds a new Lazy Mouse system to stabiise freehand brush strokes.

Smaller improvements include a new seamless mode on the Blur adjustment layer for painting over UV seams and the option to generate masks from heightmaps.

Performance is now “up to 10x” better on “complex texture projects with many layers”.

Support for USD files, and the return of light baking
However, there are also a number of other major features in the release – not least, the return of light baking, removed in Toolbag 4.0 when the new GPU ray tracing backend was introduced.

Users can now bake the contributions of the diffuse, specular or indirect lighting in a scene – or all three – into textures, with support for multiple light bounces and denoising.

Other major new features include the option to import and export models in USD format, making it easier to use Toolbag in workflows based around the VFX-industry-standard Universal Scene Description format.

Improvements to materials, lighting and rendering
Changes to the materials system include a Glint reflection shader for mimicking effects like the metal flakes in car paint, or light reflecting from ice crystals in snow.

Lighting changes include new ambient occlusion, diffuse and specular passes when rendering, as opposed to baking lighting to textures, all with direct and indirect variations.

It is also now possible to set light colour in Kelvin units, and to adjust highlights, midtones and shadows in the post effects settings for the camera object.

In addition, Toolbag now supports Nvidia’s DLSS viewport upscaling technology, improving frame rate on complex scenes by enabling Toolbag to render the viewport at lower resolution, then upscale.

Although mainly designed for games, the technology is used in a number of other real-time graphics applications, including D5 Render and the RTX Renderer in Nvidia’s own Omniverse platform.

Pricing and availability
Toolbag 4.05 is available for Windows 10 and macOS 10.15+. It is compatible with any Direct3D 12-capable GPU on Windows, and macOS GPU family 2. The update is free to users of Toolbag 4.0+.

New licences now cost cost $319 for individual artists, up $20 since the previous release, and $879 for studios, up $80. Subscriptions now cost $15.99/month for individuals and $43.99/month for studios.

Read an overview of new features in Toolbag 4.05 on Marmoset’s blog

Read a full list of new features in Toolbag 4.05 in the release notes